Monday, December 12, 2011
301 and counting
Guess what? This is my 301st post!
Woo Hoo. In February, top of the page will be 2 years old. And honestly, I'm pretty sure all these words have meant more to me than to you all. Blogging has been a way for me to hammer out my thoughts and beliefs. Root them more deeply in my spirit. In a sense, it's been an amazing way for me to exercise my faith like you exercise a muscle. Working out, pushing yourself, sweating and sometimes simply enjoying the fact that it has grown stronger. I'm thankful God has taken me on this journey here, with you.
And you have added so much more to it than I could have imagined!! Thank you for all the times you've encouraged me, shared your heart, and laughed with me. Or at me. Whatevs. I'm so grateful for all of you, for the time and love you've invested here with me.
I have to tell you again, though, that whatever I'm talking about here is only what God is working on in me at that moment. In that day. I'm always compelled to tell you about the most recent thing He's either trying to rip out or plant into the garden of my heart.
And I have a little story from today to share with you. Something that woke me up a bit.
We have some friends who are going through a really hard time. We really love these friends, and have tried for over a year now to be a consistent source of truth and encouragement to them. I felt extra burdened for them this morning as I drove to church alone in my car after hearing of a recent low point in their family. I felt like maybe I should turn off the music and pray for them right then. Call on the power of God to intervene. But I didn't. I shoved it off, and thought, What's the hurry? I'll pray for them later.
Right away, I felt a heavy sense of conviction. The Holy Spirit was like, "Hmm. Because I thought you loved them. You say you love them. How much do you really love them? Or more importantly, how much do you really believe in the power of my name?"
That sort of shut my excuses up. Perhaps the thought going through my head that I needed to pray for my friends was not the same as the thought that I needed to make a grocery list for the week. The Holy Spirit was not okay with me putting it off.
I turned off the music, and pushed through my ridiculous sense of embarrassment from speaking out loud in my own car even though I was alone. And suddenly I was doing it. I was boldly asking God to reveal Himself in a mighty way to our friends this morning. Then tears started, because He overwhelmed my heart with compassion for them, and I asked that He would assemble His warriors in the heavenly realms to battle their enemies and fight on their behalf when they had no fight left in them. I asked in the name of Jesus for healing. And I asked that He would draw together that which had fallen apart. I never even said Amen.
But do you think God answered those prayers? When He initiated them, He spoke them into my heart into the first place, and He willed them? There is no question in my mind.
Once I did a Bible study on prayer and I learned that Spirit-led praying for others, also known as intercessory prayer, is simply opening up the door for God's will to go into effect. He doesn't need to use us for that to happen. And sometimes He will go around us when we are disobedient. But He gives us the privilege of being a part of His plans. I experience a great sense of blessing when I do obey Him and take part in His plans on this earth. It is so humbling to be asked in the first place, and so fulfilling when I step out in faith to act on those little promptings.
My days are filled with little promptings, aren't yours? The tricky part is staying peaceful enough on the inside to be able to deciper which are from the Lord. That, my friends, is a constant work in progress.
I'll close with a great passage. In fact, it is what we chose for my daughter's life verse. Well, verses.
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
And that pretty much sums up the way I feel about all of you too.
Have a happy Monday.