For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity.
I spend a lot of time seeking my own council, thinking about what I want, and focusing on my plans for myself. I don't know about you, but God is rarely the first person I turn to when trying to plan my day. He is also not the first person I turn to when I get my feelings hurt, or I am scared to do something.
In verse 12 God clearly states that we will never know his plans for us, his hope, unless we call upon him. We are to pray over EVERYTHING. But not just a "hey God, you there?" will do. We have to seek him with "all our heart".
I was watching the above video and was really honed in on the fact that we "call upon" God, but we only want him to be our confirmation of what we have already decided. We tend to stay in our struggles and fears because when we call on God, we go with a list of things that we are willing to do and things that are acceptable to us. We are telling God that we will only do this much, and then he should divinely take care of the rest. As long as we don't have to get too messy or do work that is really uncomfortable or hard, as long as God comes through with the result we want, when we want it, we will give it to him.
What would it look like if we didn't go to God with any thought but giving our situation to him? No desire for God to fix it, no intention to get God's approval of what we have already decided. What if we truly just poured out our heart and thoughts to him, and then sat in silence and listened to His guidence?
What if we accepted whatever God told us, no matter how hard to do, or how much it would cost us? What if we truly made God our Lord?
Verse 13 is what would happen. We would be brought back from our captivity.
Captivity comes in many different forms. We could be slaves to relationships, food, status, fear, money, situations, failures, frustrations and expectations. What would your life be like if you were not held captive by your current struggle? You would more clearly be able to see the plans for hope and future that God has for you.
Today I would like to encourage you to take your struggles to God, without expectation or desire, other than to hear the voice of your Lord, his direction and his love.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Letting God be Lord
Sometimes I get really involved with myself. You know...how am I going to handle this, what do I want, how can I move forward, why didn't they think of me, why didn't they ask my opinion, they hurt my feelings.