"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Furious

I've recently fallen in love with a song that refers to God's love as furious. Dictionary.com defines furious as follows:

adjective

1.
full of fury, violent passion, or rage; extremely angry; enraged
2.
intensely violent, as wind or storms.
3.
of unrestrained energy, speed, etc.
 
 
Now, I would never define God's love for me as "extremely angry; enraged", but unrestrained energy, speed, etc... yeah, I like that. A lot. I know that God has always been right where I need him, right when I need him, no matter when or where. And the fact that that love can't be restrained? Awesome.
 
 
I also can get the intensely violent, as wind or storms. Sometimes God's love has to sweep in and blow out some of the mess, the clutter of our hearts before we can truly feel him. Sometimes his love is the storm, even though it is painful, the storm shows us his heart for us.
 
 
And my prayer is that my love for God would grow to become furious as well. A love of unrestrained energy and speed. That I would run to him as fast as I can with everything that is in me.
 
 
Furious by Jeremy Riddle
 
 
"Your love is deep, Your love is wide, and it covers us....
 
 
     Your love is fierce, Your love is strong, it is furious....
 
 
          Your love is sweet, Your love is wild, and it is waking hearts to life..."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Grieving, quenching and benching

I am in a season of quiet. I don't like it. I am not an "in the quiet" kind of person. I like to be doing, leading, teaching, growing and so on. Recently talking with a friend we decided that when it comes to ministry, to use a football term, I like to be the coach; scoping out the needs on the field, making sure people are where they need to be and have what they need and developing the skills they need to go out there and win! I never have wanted to be the star quarterback, the running back that goes for a 60 yard touchdown or the one that kicks the game winning field goal. I want to be on the sidelines helping others do their best to win the game. 

That's me. Perfectly described. Its an active role in ministry and it is very very fulfilling. It might also explain why I loved working as an administrative assistant. Lots of work to make sure that others job is easier and that they have everything they need to succeed. 

For the last year, "coaching" jobs have been very few and very far between. I have struggled to stay out of the feelings that I am prone to. Feeling useless, disconnected, and overlooked. I won't lie, it is a struggle to remind myself that these things aren't true. You can put Scripture in front of me all day long, and while I know it in my head, my heart constantly tries to argue it away. 

But I continue to ask God to help me believe what I know instead of what I feel.

This season of quiet has lasted a long time. I have been trying to figure it out, find what I am doing wrong. Mostly I ask myself, "Am I in the wrong place?" And God has been very silent.

Yesterday I feel like I finally got my answer. 

Our pastor has an amazing ability to share God's message. He can deliver his message and you know, you just KNOW that it wasn't his message at all. God had spoken and that it was meant just for you. Yesterday, about 2/3 of the way through, I felt God tapping me on the shoulder and telling me to pay attention, that this was just for me.

Pastor's whole message was on quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit. It was a very good message and I was taking a lot of notes. Then he started talking about ways we quench the Spirit. Ways that we keep the Spirit from working in and through us. Some of them hit really close to home. I had never considered myself the type of person that would actually grieve the Spirit. Yes, I can be disobedient to God, or I can ignore callings to come and talk with Him, but to actually grieve God? I hadn't really put myself in that category. 

But I heard about quenching the Spirit by not taking my life, cares, concerns and worries to Him first.Big and little. Life-changing and hum-drum. I generally try to handle the day -to -day stuff myself. It never crosses my mind to talk to God about the little things. He is a big God so I guess I tend to save Him for my big things. Then I heard how when I ignore the promptings of the Spirit to go a different way or make a different choice, I quench the Spirit. Refusing to step out in faith quenches the Spirit.  Not using our gifts in the way God is asking us to quenches the Spirit. Allowing feelings that don't glorify God to impact my relationship with other believers quenches the Spirit. 

And all this quenching grieves God because it becomes a breach in our relationship. The entire purpose of Jesus' life and death and resurrection was to heal the breach between us and God, and now I am causing a breach through my unwillingness or insensitivity or down-right disobedience to the Spirit's leading. That does grieve God. Yes ma'am it does. In a big big way. It's like telling Jesus thanks but no thanks for all that you did. I will just go my own way.

This was such a light-bulb moment for me. I have been so intent on not getting to serve and not using my gifts in the way I wanted, being unable to do the things in my home life that I wanted, focusing on things that were my desire, that I had completely shut the Spirit down. I was only listening to me. And God can't use a me-focused girl. 

What did I conclude? Wait for it cause this is deep stuff.... I am in a spiritual time-out. Just like a toddler, I have been throwing a fit, not listening and insisting on my own way, so God has essentially put me in the corner until I can be quiet and listen to Him. He can't use me in the way he intends with all my attention focused on, well, me. Told you it was deep. 

God has me where I am for this time and season for a reason. Is it where I want to be? Kinda, but with some qualifiers. I never have liked the quiet. I like the doing and going.  God has some stuff to teach me, but have I been making a point to learn those things? Nope.  

So God put this "coach" on the bench until she can be quiet and learn the new plays He has for her.Yes, I know coaches don't actually get "benched" but work with me here. How long will it last? I don't know. I just know that God has the habit of keeping me where I am until I can truly show contentment in my heart. 

Maybe God will call me off the bench tomorrow, or maybe three months from now, but at least I know something in my life, in my relationship with God, that hasn't been working. And I we can work on that.