Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Main Event.

"Blessed are those who trust in the Lord 
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit."
-Jeremiah 17:7-8

Yesterday, I took a bike ride around Edmond.
I was so so excited just to be outside - to feel the wind and see the birds and feel attached to nature. After a while though, I saw an awesome looking tree, and I decided to go and sit by it (of course, it helped that my legs needed a break, too... I'm a little out of shape). I wish I could accurately explain to you this tree... The sun winked at me through the leaves, and the leaves danced with the wind as it surged through the air. Just laying under that tree, watching the leaves and the clouds pirouette, I could not bring myself to leave.
For me, the most natural response to moments like that is praise. So I prayed and I praised, and God's presence was there. Who knows how long I spent there. All I know is that I was content without rush, without worry, without time, and with God.
As I was riding back, it struck me that this was not just a bike ride. I left my dorm, excited about a form of exercise, but God had planned for us to sit under a tree together. I still hadn't caught on when I decided to take a break, because I had only planned to rest for five or ten minutes.
But that's just it. Even when we aren't looking for Him, God pursues us. And He is a God who refuses to stand on the sidelines. He will not take second place to a bike ride, or a shopping spree, or a house, or a boyfriend.
Our God is the Main Event.
And rightfully so.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sweet Surrender.

Being a disciple of Christ is hard
Just look at the shoes we have to fill! It can be so overwhelming sometimes, that it's tempting to throw up our hands and say, "Jesus, I will never look like you, so why should I try?" Jesus raised the dead, after all. People. There was a dead man... rotting, stinky, decomposed... dead man. And after Jesus was through with him, he was as good as new (maybe even better). How are we supposed to model a life like that? I can't even make it through a day without physically hurting myself or someone else... much less healing someone - multiple people.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately - how incredibly overwhelming it is to look at the life of Jesus Christ and have any motivation to model it, knowing how weak and simple I am.
Some of us are quick to say that we are not called to be just like Jesus, because after all, Jesus was perfect, and we are human. But let me point you to a couple verses that don't leave any room for that kind of thinking.
Matt. 5:48 "But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." These are the words of Jesus.
John 14:12 "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father." These are also the words of Jesus. 
Jesus is calling us to be perfect. How do we handle that?

There is some incredible joy that comes with this. That joy goes by the name of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit takes over for us, when we surrender to Him/Her, and our task does not have to be difficult, burdensome, or stressful. Jesus says, "For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." - Matt. 11:30.  Seems a little contradictory, eh? How is being perfect an easy burden to bear? Because of the Spirit. When we empty ourselves, surrendering to the Spirit's Power, He/She does the work for us. There is so much freedom in that!! I hope you hear this truth the way I heard it the other day. We do not have to fit a mold, succumb to the pressure of society, or strain or struggle. All we have to do is empty ourselves, and the work is done! After surrendering, all we must do is live presently in each moment, listening and doing. That is so easy... and SO freeing. Of course we will mess up. The point is that we stand back up, let the Father dust us off and point us a new direction, and surrender again. And again. And again and again and again. 

(A lot of these ideas came from a sermon I heard at Traders Point Community Church in Zionsville, IN).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Come and Listen.

Come to the water's edge all you who know and fear the Lord.
Come and Listen.
Come to the water's edge all you who are thirsty, 

Maybe you are like me, and you are searching, thirsty for God's presence and guidance in your life. That's where I am today and every day. I get so excited to go and do for the glory of His Kingdom, but God is first calling us to come and be. 
If you are like me, and you are waiting for God's plan for your life to drop in your lap so you can yell, "THANKS, GOD!" only to run off into the sunset, forgetting about the Giver of your life and your plan, hold your horses just a moment.
First, God wants you and me to know (I believe) that He has amazing plan, and it is coming. No need to fret. 
BUT, God has placed us right where we are, and He is waiting to use us here
Being a Christian is not always about moving across the world (although many of the strongest Christians I know have been called to do so). Being a Christian involves listening to God's voice and following it moment by moment. 
Before we go and do, God is urging us to come and be. 
Only then can we truly recognize his voice when He does call, and only then can we find our purpose in each moment of our day.

I urge you to spend time with God today. 

Come and Listen.
Come to the water's edge all you who know and fear the Lord.
Come and Listen.
Come to the water's edge all you who are thirsty,