June 19, 2008

Renewed Hunger

I confess that I have been in a spiritual sulk for a while. We have had a hard year in our church, we have witnessed good friends and godly people seem to turn away from God and follow their own desires and I have dealing with personal setbacks. My head tells me, "Remember, Romans 8:28 says that all things work for the good of others and the glory of God.". Even with that encouragement, it is sometimes hard to live out that faith in my heart. It has been tempting to join my friends and turn away from God. Yet I know better because, in the past, I tried living without Jesus for a relatively brief , terrible, horrible, no good, very bad time. I thought I could live life fine without God and He used that time to demonstrate conclusively that I couldn't: I couldn't make better decisions, I couldn't navigate through life very well, I couldn't even keep the promises I made to myself about being a good person. Therefore I know that however hard a place God has put me, I know that living without God in my life would be much worse. Recently, God has been wooing me out of my sulk, mainly by pouring out His grace into my life to prepare me to pour it out on others. During the Illinois Christian Homeschooling Conference, He really opened the floodgates and started lifting my eyes up to the hills and realize that my help comes from God (Psalm 121:1&2, read all of it sometime when you really need your spirits lifted).

As a result, I have felt a renewed hunger for God's word and for loving Him with my whole heart mind and strength. My husband and I are starting to go through the "Experiencing God" Bible Study (which I highly recommend) and when I get the chance, I am reading My Utmost For His Highest as a midday break to carry me through the remainder of the day. Today's devotional is about the service of passionate devotion and is based on John 21:16. The comments from Oswald Chambers that really spoke to me were the following (italics are my thoughts):
  • Jesus Christ call service what we are to Him, not what we do for Him. (He values us, not our works. Even though I have experienced it personally, it is still hard to accept because I don't consider myself to be much of a prize and I have a tendency to be task oriented.)
  • People do not want to be devoted to Jesus, but only to the cause He started. (It is easier to do the works than to figure out what it means to be devoted to God--I know this personally)
  • Our Lord's first obedience was to the will of the Father, not to the needs of men; the saving of men was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father. (Deeds are the natural result of devotion but deeds can not come first)
  • If I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity though men treat me as a door mat. (because it is Jesus' love that pours out of me into the people around me. As His love pours into me, I have no room left for overweening pride, selfishness, or personal agendas.)

Praise God, who knows how foolish and prideful and inept I am at truly loving Him as He ought to be loved. Praise Him for showing me, little by little, with great patience, how He wants me to love Him. Praise Him for walking with me through this time and keeping me on His path. Blessed be the name of the Lord!


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