So I've been doing this 'thing' lately where I actually allow God to be a part of our conversation when I pray.... sound crazy? Well, consider how easy it is for us to lift up all our requests and forget to take a moment to just be still and allow Him a chance to speak... make sense? I know He speaks in a multitude of ways, but there's just something so precious about taking a moment to shut your mouth & your busy thoughts and make room for what HE wants to share with you!
Last night was the first time in a long time I 'tested' this out... here are my results (lol):
After reading Matthew 7 & 8 I closed my eyes & asked God to give me the spirit of wisdom and knowledge. I started thinking about things I struggle with on a daily basis - I would see these labels scroll across my mind's 'tv screen'... then I saw the cross... glowing brightly! Zooming in, I see Christ hanging on that cross...
He looks up at me...
My attention is brought to the blood dripping from His hands (kinda gory right? keep reading!). Each drop of blood dripped onto my struggles (those words/labels). One drip falls onto the word "self-loathing"... the word dissolves... (honestly I didn't even think I struggled with that, but God knows my heart better than I do. As I thought about it more, it made sense). Then a drip fell onto the word "depression" and it was gone - "bitterness"... on and on His blood drips onto these struggles & I begin to see with clearer understanding (wisdom?) that His blood truly covers my multitude of sins!
Acting out in anger could cause me to reflect back on this & remember... He died for this! His blood covered that already... WHAT AM I DOING?!? HE DIED FOR THIS!!! He died so that I might know the fullness of His love & salvation & grace over-flowing, not dwell on my faults or the faults of others... to be impatient or angry or depressed... (!!!) wow... how did I get this all so messed up?
So... how to live this out I wonder? My 'thoughts' quickly bring me back to words I recently read: "Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger..." (James 1:19 - luv that book). I need to close my eyes, take a breath, & CONSIDER my responses (how it will affect myself & others) - not just spit out whatever comes to mind first or go with whatever voice is loudest... the Lord whispers so we must BEND, STRAIN, SEEK to hear His truth, spoken in LOVE... always in love...
I ponder all of this... how to truly live this life for Him - respecting the sacrifice He made so that I wouldn't have to be a slave to all of this... CRAP! I pull my blankets up & the pages of my bible spin back to Matthew 7, once again... (I end up reading Matthew 7, then 6, then 5, then all of them again... growing... going deeper... considering Christ's words... receiving whatever He has for me... need to grow up!)
"Lord, like a sunflower follows the sun, may our hearts follow after Your Son! May we truly be a light, shining your grace on the dark places of our own & other's lives... Remind us of who we are & what you overcame by Your sacrifice on that cross - remind us that "IT. IS. FINISHED..." *Amen*
Another example of how God speaks to me:
As I was typing the words to my prayer above, the movie 'The Lion King' came to mind?! The part where I guess the spirit of Mufasa (Simba's father) was speaking to his son, Simba, saying "remember who you are.... remember" - He was calling him out to step into his role as rightful king. I think God is crying for His children to remember who they are - children of the most high God - royalty - forgiven - made new - a light... don't forget! Remember who YOU are...
(Remember who you are...) Lion of Judah anyone?
(God is light, we are to be a light to the world - we can bring light to dark places)
In case you don't feel like watching the whole movie, here's the scene God brought to my mind... and don't get creeped out or confused by Rafiki or the 'circle of life' reference in the video link below - take from it what God gives you personally... it'll be good practice! ; )
*** http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maARmxjj3f0 ***
I love it when God brings to mind a single clip from a movie or lyric from a song to speak to my heart! He can use anything to speak to us ya know... Just imagine the lion of Judah, God himself, calling you out to remember your identity - who He created you to be - don't forget Him or what He did for you! Don't run from your past, learn from it & grow! All this from the Lion King (*snorts) God cracks me up sometimes ;)