Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I am really feeling joyful today, the kind of joy you can feel almost bubbling up inside you.

I keep having this one scripture run through my mind, over and over again. James 4:8a says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

I'm pretty sure I have shared on this scripture before. I consider it to be like "Kingdom math," A+B=C. A classic IF/THEN principle. If you do, then He will. There aren't a whole lot of things in life like that you can count on, but God's Word is.

Anyway, back to bubbling joy. I think it's from the play out of this scripture in my life right now. I have been digging in, more determined to focus and keep Him at center point the way He's supposed to be. I love the sense of abiding, of feeling plugged in. It's not as though I was backslidden(total Christian-eeze, not a real word), or had fallen away, but so often the busyness of life gets in the way of relationship. It happens in marriages, with children, friendships, and it happens with the Lord. At least I've found that to be the case.

Of course unlike in marriages and friendships and the like, when it comes to ones relationship with the Lord, the obstacles and estrangements are completely one sided. The Lord doesn't forget about us, doesn't fail at the foot of intention and desire. He's there, ready, willing and waiting for us to remember Him, to turn our minds and hearts back toward Him, and when we do, via "Kingdom math," He responds and rewards us with His presence. Incredible.

If my children went days or weeks without paying me any mind or at least not actually talking to me, I'm not so sure I'd be so quick to forgive. Imagine them even coming into my home or bedroom (since technically at this stage it's our home) and if they never even truly acknowledged I was there too, just going about their business, visiting with others, maybe singing a few songs and then leaving... Hmmm, I think perhaps I am getting off track.

So, in the past couple weeks I have been turning my heart towards the Lord with vigor and purpose. I wish I could say it was never turned from Him, but I have been distracted. I have allowed myself to become distracted. But slowly I have been reordering things, focusing on Him, getting life in order, in my schedule, my home, with my family, taking bites from the elephant.

And these are some of the things I have been wondering about as I notice the dramatic difference it makes when I am looking to Him.

When I am "tuned in" to the Lord, He speaks so clearly. Even in little things, God does speak. I can think of half a dozen ways I have "heard" Him direct me in just the last week. When it happens, it excites me.

Let me elaborate, and give a very practical example. I misplaced something of value yesterday, initially it stirred panic in my heart. I stopped and prayed and suddenly remembered I had left it in the pocket of the sweater I was wearing the day before, I went to the closet where the sweater was hanging and sure enough there it was in the pocket. I believe the Lord was speaking to me, He helped me remember and stopped the panic. Now here's the rub, I get excited that I hear God's voice. Not literally, but the still small voice in my heart. I'm sort of proud, for lack of a better word, not necessarily of myself, but of the fact hat God speaks to me. So I wonder, is that prideful?

And here is yet another thought on the matter. When my focus is stronger on the Lord, I open myself up to be used by Him more. Sunday at church there was this weird thing that happened and I knew I was supposed to pray for someone, but I hesitated, but then she came to me. As I prayed for her I felt all this faith rise up in me, it was exciting, and powerful. It made me proud. I was proud to be used by God, proud that I felt it was confirmation that He was speaking to me about praying for my friend. So when I feel this pride, am I lacking humility? Seriously, these are some of the questions I struggle with.

I don't know, I suppose I over analyze these things, and I strongly suspect that God Himself imparts far more grace to me than I do myself, but I do get my brain caught up in these matters. I just know I am very glad to be feeling so connected with the Lord, and every time I arrive at this place I pray this is the time it will stick and truly become a lifestyle and not just a cycle. So glad He isn't giving up on me and will keep working on me till the day I see Him face to face.

Be blessed!

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