Sunday, January 9, 2011

Listening for God's Voice

It's been a long time since I heard God speaking clearly to me - all my fault, not His at all. I haven't been listening for His voice for way too long. Last night, I had a feeling on my heart - I couldn't quite pinpoint it... so I prayed. For the first time in what feels like forever.  It felt awkward, praying by myself in the dark... but it felt familiar too. For the first time in months, I actually prayed out loud. And these words came tumbling out:

"Lord, You are supposed to be my first love. Why am I living like You don't matter? I look forward to talking to Jerry, I look forward to talking to best girl friends... when I should be seeking You out each day. You are my first love, but I treat You like You're not even a part of my life."

Oh, how far I've strayed.

I blogged about how my word for this year is HEART. And, oh, how God has honored that in this first week of the new year.

This morning at church, the pastor preached on Matthew 6:25-33. A familiar passage to many:

Do Not Be Anxious
 25(AP) "Therefore I tell you,(AQ) do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26(AR) Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.(AS) Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his(AT) span of life?[g]28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,29yet I tell you,(AU) even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you,(AV) O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For(AW) the Gentiles seek after all these things, and(AX) your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.33But(AY) seek first(AZ) the kingdom of God and his righteousness,(BA) and all these things will be added to you.

I love how the ESV version uses the word "anxious" instead of "worry." The pastor talked about how we use the words "stressed", "burdened", "overwhelmed", and etc. to describe how we feel... all of which mean the same thing in the end - anxiety.

He described anxiety as this: "Planning your life and making decisions for yourself and completely leaving God out of the equation, as if your life depends on the decisions that you decide are the best for you."

Wow. How often I fall victim to this - planning out my life, planning out my days, trying to micromanage every aspect of my life.

During worship, I again heard God speaking to me: "My daughter, why do you live your life as if your struggles are bigger than what I can handle?"

It really struck me. How had I gotten into this spiritual rut? It was a slow and gradual process - one that I did not want to admit to anyone. But I felt I needed to share this - maybe someone can relate to what I'm feeling and what I've been going through. I have been running away from God instead of towards Him, because I feel like His grace is not enough to cover me. Which is completely the opposite of what His word says. I'm relearning the meaning of GRACE - I feel this will be another word that I will be focusing on this year as well.

God is a radical God. And He pours out radical grace on us. He desires for me (and all of you) to run towards Him in times of struggle. I have spent enough time running the opposite way - God is calling me back to Himself. Time to be changed on the heart level. 

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