“Edit Walker”

Several weeks ago I was checking my son in at church.  I was in the process of making the correct selections for the class he was going to be in when he noticed a button on the screen that read, “Edit Walker.”  With his 9-year-old wheels turning he asked, “What does that mean?”  I replied, “Computers have a button that allows us to go in and edit our lives.”  He didn’t buy it. 

We went on to talk about this a little while later.  We talked about why we go to church, read God’s Word, and why we pray.  I explained to him I do these things in order to give God the opportunity to teach me so I can get to know God better and so I can make the necessary changes in my life in order to become the person He created me to be. 

Too me it seems like I put God in a box and look for Him to speak to me in certain ways.  I look to those moments from the past and think I should learn certain things to help me adjust my life today… at least so I won’t repeat the same mistakes twice.  I know God chose this simple moment at the check in station to speak to me through my son’s question.  While reading Oswald Chambers this week I read,

Do not look for God to come in any particular way, but look for Him. That is the way to make room for Him. Expect Him to come, but do not expect Him only in a certain way. However much we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that at any minute He may break in. (My Utmost for His Highest, January 25).

There is no set formula on how to hear God.  I find that at different seasons of life He speaks in different ways to me.  My main job is to look for Him – in all circumstances.  I’ve got a lot of growing left to do.  Each day I know that a part of that growing comes from those moments where the Holy Spirit needs to do a bit of editing of my life. 

I’m ready!  I’m ready for God to break into my life.  I’m ready for the renewing and editing that I know needs to take place.  I know that I have a story to tell… I know you do to.  Be ready.  Be on the look out for Him to show up in your life.  There is not an easy edit button on your life.  Submit your ways to Him… and may they become His ways.  Just when you least expect to see Him begin to look… seek Him and you will find Him.

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Create in me a pure heart

Psalm 51 is the heart of David speaking with God concerning the sin he committed in adultery with Bathsheba.  It’s interesting to point out verse 4, David’s confession to God, “Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;”  The bottom line to David’s sin is that it was against God – his Heavenly Father.  It brought about a separation in their relationship.  Here is a beautiful account of his confession and the beginning of a journey of a closer relationship with God.

I’m encouraged by the words of David I read in Psalm 51 and the encouragement found in the devotional I’m reading currently.  We should never allow those failures, lapse in judgment, and sin to hold us back from the future God has destined for us to live.  We should not allow anything to get in between our relationship with God.  As soon as we do, we must confess our sin and ask God for forgiveness. 

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
   and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
   or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
   and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:10-12, NIV)

This is an excerpt from, “Living a Divinely Inspired Life,” a devotional at YouVersion.com,

In your life journey, there will be setbacks and possibly even failures. There will certainly be situations that you did not plan for. There were many attempts to the moon before the first successful manned mission of Apollo 11. Do not be influenced or discouraged by your previous failed attempts. The God who has given you the vision will give you victory.

If you find yourself in a place where you are separated from fellowship with God take the time right now to read Psalm 51.  Pray the Scripture you read and ask Jesus to forgive you.  Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with his power to overcome the obstacles, failures, and sins you find in your life.  Trust Jesus and he will see you through to a joy-filled journey.

It’s not about me

I normally don’t title my posts until after I write.  This one is a bit different.  “It’s not about me.”  Unfortunately, I have made my life about me.  For several years I have listened to the silence.  I’ve strained just to hear a little glimpse of the breath of God…  Something.  On Monday, of this week, I prayed for my ears to hear God.  In some way, I desperately wanted to hear Him.  I have become so tired of the silence.  In the midst of the silence, I have also become silent and have kept His Word to myself.

He answered my prayer on Monday.  I heard Him through several individuals.  It came in the form of a txt message, a phone conversation, a conversation at work, a sermon on the radio, as well as a few emails I received.  It was absolutely amazing.  I was so encouraged by several who had no idea they were each being used to answer a prayer.

While in a meeting tonight I had hoped to hear from God.  I want to be actively engaged in ministry in some capacity.  But for some reason I can’t get past… me.  As we closed the meeting tonight the pastor prayed.  While he was praying I came to realize something…  I realized I have made my quest to know God more into something that was about me and less about Him.

While he prayed I pictured this well that is full of water that hasn’t been used in a long time. With the wells lack of use it has become unhealthy to drink from.  It is a well that was initially dug out in order to give water and sustain life for others.  I am that well and I have been keeping His story to myself.  I’ve become consumed with what others may think of me… Yet, my whole life as a Christian I’ve wanted to be an open book that anyone could read and discover Jesus in the process.  But something has come to bring fear into my life – a fear of stepping out… I’ve become the well that came to mind while my pastor prayed tonight.

My prayer now is to tell my story… the one that has Jesus at the center… the story that gives life.  I want the well He has born out in my life to be filled and renewed by His Spirit.  I don’t want to live any longer as a Casual Christian.  As I pulled away from Starbucks tonight an old album came to mind by Degarmo and Key… the song, “Casual Christian”.  I don’t want to be a Casual Christian…

Living life fully devoted to Christ

I’m reading, “Living a Divinely Inspired Life,” on YouVersion as a devotional these days.  Today’s devotion is entitled, Discover your Spiritual Gifts.

I grew up in a church tradition that focused a lot on Spiritual Gifts.  It seems to me there is less of a focus on this in the churches I have been a part of in recent years… It’s just not what I grew up with in my earlier years as a believer… and maybe something I am missing now.

If I am honest, I have begun to do things in order to be seen by others.  I know that is super-spiritual and something you will probably want to aspire to… It’s just not of the Spirit I desire to please.  I find myself in a place where I don’t want to be.  I’ve made several attempts to live out God’s purpose on my own or own my own terms.  From the devotional I read,

In order to fulfill your purpose in life, you need to operate in your area of supernatural gifting.

So much water has gone under the bridge over the years.  It feels as though I’ve gotten out of the water and chosen to stand on the bridge and watch it pass me by.  While dreaming of being back in the water.  But for some reason I’m scared.  It’s a miserable place to be… where I am today… living in fear rather than in the power of the Holy Spirit.  One thing I am going to surrender today is this fake attempt at finding my purpose in the arena of trying to be noticed.  Step one is to step away from what I thought was “my ticket” to moving on. 

In The Message, 1 Corinthians 12:7 and 11 reads,

Each person is giving something to do that shows who God is:  Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits.  All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God.  He decides who gets what, and when.

Paul writes in Romans 12:6,

…let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.  If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; (The Message).

These words here by Paul really stuck with me this morning.  They pointed out my sin of comparing myself to others and my sin of trying to be seen by others in order to win their approval over God’s.  In the end, my desire really is to hear the words of Jesus, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”  And not the pat on the back from others.

Why does God give spiritual gifts to the people He sees as His church?  We can find the answer to this question in Ephesians 4:12-13,

To train Christians in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ. (The Message).

I know it’s so easy for us a Christians, pastors, and churches to get our eyes onto the wrong “thing”.  I believe that’s why so many of us end up searching for something else “to do” or for a new way of doing things.  We haven’t become comfortable in the skins God has created for us to wear.  We are constantly looking for approval from others or ourselves.  Our ultimate approval from God is the only approval we really need in this life.  We experience it as we build up His church leading each person into a lifestyle of being fully devoted followers of Christ.