Luke 5:16

Metamorphosis Project

Renewal

My walk with Christ has become so strong lately!  Since December (which I wrote about here) there have been some major changes happening in my life and my spirit.

But, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt far from God.

What I’ve realize, though, is this…  It’s not him who has moved or forsaken me.  It’s me.

As I reflect on my thoughts and actions over the past few weeks, I’ve begun to make more and more excuses (mostly to myself) for not spending time in devotion and prayer.  I’ve started allowing my own personal discipline to slip, allowing me to think and speak and act in ways that I, myself, find unacceptable.  I’ve spent less time reflecting on where God can be found in my life and more time working under my own will-power.

One other thing…

I’m moving closer and closer to where I feel God is calling me as a leader.  The job description for the full-time ministry position at my church, which is what I feel God calling me to, was finalized and approved just last night, and I will be submitting my resume this week.  Because of that, I think Satan is trying to distract me.  The problem is, he’s succeeding!

So, what do I need to do?

Pray:

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~

Study:

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.
I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again:
I will obey your righteous regulations.
I have suffered much, O Lord ;
restore my life again as you promised.
Lord , accept my offering of praise,
and teach me your regulations.
My life constantly hangs in the balance,
but I will not stop obeying your instructions.
The wicked have set their traps for me,
but I will not turn from your commandments.
Your laws are my treasure;
they are my heart’s delight.
I am determined to keep your decrees
to the very end.

~Psalm 119:105-112 NLT~

Trust:

God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

~Hebrews 12:10b-13 NLT~

Please pray for me as my life in Christ continues to grow and blossom.  I pray for each of you, hoping that your struggles are few and your joys are abundant!  And as brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray for us, as one, that we might support and renew one another as we experience it all together.

And the next time we see each other, please don’t hesitate to ask me how I’m doing…I need it….


Stop Singing!

Tim Hughes from Worship Central has a song called Everything.  My worship team has been playing it in worship for almost a year now.  The lyrics are below:

God in my living
There in my breathing
God in my waking
God in my sleeping

God in my resting
There in my working
God in my thinking
God in my speaking

Be my everything

God in my hoping
There in my dreaming
God in my watching
God in my waiting

God in my laughing
There in my weeping
God in my hurting
God in my healing

Christ in me
Christ in me
Christ in me the hope of glory
You are everything

Christ in me
Christ in me
Christ in me the hope of glory
Be my everything

Great song, don’t you think?  It’s a powerful arrangement that swells from calm reflection to eager petition for God to be present in our lives.  But, I want you to stop singing this song! (No offense, Tim.  Read on…)

Conviction

Can we sing this song with sincerity and truth if we’re not living what it says?

The song itself is not to blame.  In fact, it really is a song of reflection and inviting God to take first place in every area of our life.  But, just like the scriptures that we (hopefully) meditate on each day, the sermons we (hopefully) actively listen to each week, the prayers that we (hopefully) constantly send up throughout the day, we should strive to make it true for ourselves, live it out, take the risk of sounding like a fanatic when we respond to life’s activities with a strict regard for God’s will in our lives.

Is God really present in your walking, your sleeping, your breathing?  Is he allowed into your speaking, your thinking, your hoping and dreaming?  Can you find God in your weeping and your hurting as well as in your laughing and your healing?

If not, then my suggestion would be that you remain quiet the next time this song comes up.  Use that chance to reevaluate why you haven’t started letting Him into every nook and cranny of your being.

Empty Promises

It’s kind of like those empty promises that we, humans, are so good at creating.  We say we’re going to do things, we’re going to make a difference, we’re going to quit all our bad habits, we’re going to start spending more time with our kids, but we never take any steps towards making those things happen.  We make excuses for why we’re too small, too weak, too dumb, too busy, too distracted, to really accomplish all those things that we’ve promised.  So we go on living life the same old way with the same old schedule and the same old problems.  Never once realizing that we’re once again at a point where we have to either change our ways or make yet another promise that may never get fulfilled.

God is there waiting.

We keep singing about how we want God to take over our lives and exist in every action, experience, and thought that we have, but we never take any steps in his direction.  We decide not to change our orientation back towards him (repent) and make our lives the sacrifice.  We make excuses.  It’s too scary, it’s too hard, I’m not in control, I don’t know where to find God, he’s too hard to understand.

So if you’re going to make excuses, stop singing!  This may sound judgmental, and I could very easily be pointing a finger at myself, but if this is the way you’re going to live your life, just stop!

Stop and reevaluate.

Stop talking and start listening.

Stop and realize that God is right there waiting on you, ready to give you a reason to sing at the top of your lungs “You are my Everything!”


Digging Deeper

One of the goals in my Life Equity Plan for this year is to devote more time to study and scripture.  I’ve been looking for better ways to get into scripture and dig deeper, and I thought I’d share some of the resources I’m using.

First of all, I’ve subscribed to the Journey Deeper Into God’s Word blog and receive it by email each day.  Definitely some good insights from a pastor who is sharing his readings and thoughts each day as he encourages all of us to journey deeper.

I’ve also taken on the personal challenge of reading through the entire New Testament in 30 days by using the reading plan from NewThru30.  Many churches around the country and around the world are following this plan, and it starts today!  I would love for you to join me in this challenge!  Not only can you download the reading plan and study resources from the website, you can also follow @newthru30 on Twitter for thoughts and motivation during the challenge.

Needless to say, I hope to have plenty of thoughts to share here and on Twitter as I work my way through and find all that God has to say to me through his word.  God’s blessings and wisdom to all of you who who are working to know Him better through scripture this year!