It has been awhile since I have posted here. I realize that it is a technical mistake to not continually post – especially if one wants to keep those following as a follower. I appreciate those who have messaged me or spoke with me in some way that I needed to write. That’s always so encouraging… thank you!
So, why have I not been writing? It began at the start of Lent. After reading, Wonderstruck, about Margaret Feinberg‘s experience around Lent, I decided that this year I would take those days leading up to Easter to focus. And focus is what I did! I sat down to write several times but each time I felt like my focus was being divided.
Matthew 6:33 was the basis for my focus. I began praying around these words of Jesus, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” I researched the Bible and prayed with the focus of God’s Kingdom and His righteousness. As I began praying, I realized how self-centered my prayer life had become. My praying over the years had become about the later part of Matthew 6:33, “…and all these things will be given to you as well.” I realized I had been seeking “things” rather than seeking God. My relationship had become about the physical over the spiritual-love-life that God so desires to have with His people.
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied withgetting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (Matthew 6:30-33, The Message).
At the beginning of Lent, there was a lot of things that came up against me and my family. I was beginning to wonder if what I had began to do was the right thing or not. I pressed on! With each obstacle, I spoke to God and prayed with His Kingdom and His righteousness as my focus. I did not ever pray about the specific issues that came up. I trusted the words of Jesus to seek first His Kingdom.
I write in a journal most days. That journal at times becomes a list of stuff I am wanting God to bless me with. I begin praying about those things and neglect intimately seeking God. Think with me for a moment about your best friend. Do you have them in mind? OK, now imagine every time you see them instead of talking with them you ask them for something. Not ever once inquiring about their life or thinking about their needs, etc. All you want out of them is something they can give you. How long do you think you are going to have that relationship if it is only based on you asking them of something? It’s not going to be much of a relationship is it?
If all we have are lists of things we are praying about – where is the relationship with God?
During Lent, I came to realize my past “comfort” was found in praying over my problems rather than finding real comfort from the Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit is at work around us, all of the time, God knows what we need. We don’t have to “worry” our prayers before God over those things. He truly desires for us to live in freedom rather than fear. I found freedom this year in knowing God. I am so thankful for the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. I am thankful for this time of Lent. I am thankful for a renewed passion for love I have for God. I am thankful for all the Holy Spirit has done in the past couple of months. I am amazed and so blessed. I can honestly say with great passion and grace I have been Wonderstruck by God.