Yes, songs are speaking to me. To my heart. Enough said.
A while back, the workbook Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby & Claude King kept coming to mind, and I’d think “I should do that again. It was good.” Then I’d just go on with daily life and not do it. But the closer I got to working on a special project that I felt God calling me to do, the more pressing was the thought of re-reading Experiencing God BEFORE the special project.
And I now KNOW WHY! He is preparing me! I’ll be sharing some tidbits from the workbook over the next few posts. Wow…wow! Some amazing stuff in that workbook study!
As I started Experiencing God and realized WHY He wanted me to do that study again and WHAT He was doing, I felt totally guilty that I hadn’t started when He first prompted me. I started beating myself up. Thankfully, God spoke to me that I was doing it in His time….if I had done it earlier, I would have missed some vital revelations that are pertinent to NOW.
But my first self-condemning reaction was my usual M.O. It’s my DEFAULT reaction. My.Whole.Life. Feeling guilty. That I’ve done something wrong. Again. Feeling less than adequate. That I wasn’t measuring up. That my performance wasn’t up to par.
What an epiphany I had….Well, duh…
After hundreds of sermons, devotionals, journaling, prayer, Bible studies…..I’m STILL ranking myself in the “Christian Hall of Fame” and ending up waaaaay down at the bottom. I’m STILL trying to EARN God’s Love and acceptance. I’m STILL feeling guilty when I fail at MEASURING UP! I’m STILL trying to please the impossible-to-please God in my mind. I’m not talking about being convicted of my sinful ways here….it goes way beyond that.
I didn’t think I was doing that anymore. But He showed me that I was. You could read my journals & see exactly what I’m talking about…..always apologizing for not being who I think I should be. Who I try to be. Who I think God wants me to be.
One of many things He’s been revealing to me, especially through Experiencing God. More on that later…..
P.S. I had to add this onto what I had already written above but not published yet: I got an email devotional this morning. Guess what it was about? Yep. That’s right. Here’s an excerpt:
I carry shame and guilt over sins I have already confessed. I hold onto the guilt and work to make it up to God. I live as if I am really, really sorry, then He will forgive me. Or, if I do something for someone else today, then maybe I will make myself right before God. However, that is not what the Lord has for us. Christ has set us free. Not free to do whatever we please but free from the penalty of sin. In fact, we have freedom from having to earn His love and earn His forgiveness. He has already paid the price, and he has already forgiven us of our vices and shortfalls.
Actions in keeping with repentance are appropriate! But, all those extra “sorry’s” and all the things I do to try to make myself right with God are not about Him. Those things are all about the attempts I make to improve my “standing” in His eyes.SDG (Soli Deo Gloria which means, “To God alone glory”)
Yesterday, within a couple of hours, I heard David Crowder’s song “How He Loves Us” twice from different sources. It’s a very stirring song to me, and I actually wondered about hearing it twice in such a short time period. Coincidence or God Coincidence? Was He sending it to me for some reason?
Due to God’s prompting, I am re-reading Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. Today I was shaken by this morning’s reading.
The verse was Matthew 22:37-38:
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”
Then the question: If you were standing before God, could you describe your relationship to Him by saying, “I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART AND ALL MY SOUL AND ALL MIND AND ALL MY STRENGTH?”
That cut me to the quick.
Could I? Or would I say the same as this man when asked that question in the example:
“Nobody has ever asked me that. No, I could not describe my relationship with God that way. I could say I obey Him, I serve Him, I worship Him, and I fear Him. But I cannot say that I love Him.”
My heart broke. And I had to ask myself, “Do I love God this way?”
I know it’s still hard for me sometimes to really believe that He loves me….I mean in my heart, truly and firmly and with no doubt. And that affects my trust in Him. God and I had have many discussions about that over the years.
He pursues me with His Love. He continually assures me – the needy child who seems to ask her Daddy over and over “Do You love me?” – with patience and faithfulness and…yes, LOVE.
How could I not love Him with all my heart and all my soul and all my mind and all my strength? Help me Holy Spirit to have a whole-hearted love relationship with the One who created me for that very purpose.
This is a continuation from the last post My Soil Is Being Disturbed from Matthew 13.
This is from Judy Peterson’s message at our women’s Triennial…PACKED full of good stuff.
Judy relates the brokenness/hurts/trials/tribulations/hard places, etc. i.e. the STONES THAT NEED TO BE ROLLED AWAY to the stone in front of Lazarus’s tomb, blocking him from living. She noted that Jesus wept. That Jesus never takes lightly what you have lost because the hard & heavy things are not the design that He intended for the world. (And even after hearing that several times from repeated listening, that phrase still brings tears to my eyes.) Jesus removed what was blocking Lazarus from an abundant life. We don’t need to rush past the weeping, but then we need to let Jesus roll the stones away so we can return to the land of the living.
“Hard & heavy things are no problem to very strong God.”
Again I say..This is just a little teaser about a really great message. If you want to hear it in its entirety, go to this site and listen to Judy Peterson’s talk. It’s a little long BUT SO WELL WORTH IT! Not only does she speak truth, she’s funny. YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY YOU LISTENED TO THE WHOLE THING.
- Part 1: My Soil Is Being Disturbed (learningtobeblog.wordpress.com)
Last week I posted a video showing a pastor of a church chastise his congregants publicly and by name. He sounded arrogant, self-righteous, and not very loving. It was not pretty.
I wanted “feedback” from you because I personally thought it was horrible.
This morning, I watched that video again and found myself getting indignant again.
And then, God spoke to my heart.
I did EXACTLY THE SAME THING HE DID. I chastised him publicly and by name. I sounded arrogant, self-righteous, and not very loving. It was not pretty.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
I have removed the video.
I ask for your forgiveness, just as I have asked the Father’s.
I’m back after a little hiatus…hopefully, I’ll have time to actually write from now on. But this morning’s email devotional was a pretty good one to share.