Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Whoa, Light Bulb!

      I read this great blog post last week about this girl's (total stranger...gotta love blogs!) spiritual journey of growth. She talked about different experiences she has had, books she has read, etc. It really got me thinking about my own spiritual growth journey. But, the main thing that really got me thinking was that she said she could remember the first day she felt like she walked in the Lord all day. Funnily enough, she is a teacher too. The day I read that was just an overall yuck day. I was easily frustrated, scattered, and tense for no real reason at all. Then I started thinking...Have I really talked with the Lord today? And, I hadn't...coincidence?...I think not.

        Yesterday (Monday February 8th, 2009...I wanna remember), I decided I wanted/needed to strive for that day of total dependence on Abba God. I think the very best change I made was in the morning. Most mornings, my drive into work is spent dodging traffic, constantly glancing at the clock, and listening to bad morning radio (even the Christian stations..are just bad in my opinion...annoying/negative...why did I listen to that?). Even music (once again, even my great Christian CDs) were sometimes distracting to me. So step one was...turn off the radio. My 20 minute drive into work was transformed into personal prayer time. Who knew my car could be a great prayer closet/altar. It was such a wonderful time. The biggest transformation was that I could feel that wonderful peace that only the Holy Spirit can bring. Ahhhhhhh.
          This really set the pace for my day. All day I would just constantly talk to God. Each thing I saw or heard would prompt something. It was just wonderful. All day, such peace. That particular day, I was placed in a particular situation that would have usually made me feel frustrated, but I just immediately prayed, and it was released from me. I asked God to whisper His words into my ears all day, and boy did He! I just love having verses in my head, what could be better than....

If God is on our side who can be against us?

I die daily.

Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom.

I will meet all your needs according to my glorious riches.

For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things.

Thou Oh Lord, are a shield for me, the glory and the lifter of my head.

Do everything without grumbling or complaining.

The Lord is slow to anger and quick to love.

         The bonus to this was, it made me CRAVE God's words, I couldn't wait to get alone with my Bible. I just gobbled those precious words of God right up. It was just great. The Lord granted me what I asked of Him! I walked in His presence ALL DAY! Oh, it was just wonderful. But, just like my last post said... I had to FIGHT to do that. Literally, those verses plus others were my sword against the evil one who would constantly try to swoop in and steal my joy by plaguing me with pride, or jealousy, or worry, or hatred, or guilt. But, by His grace and power, I defeated that nasty thing. OH, it was wonderful.
       There was also a glorious side effect to all of this. Normally, my way of dealing with stress or emotions is food. I am guilty of seeking comfort in a brownie instead of the Most High God who gives His children peace that passes all understanding...how dumb! A few months ago, God really put this into perspective for me. After a stressful day, I heard someone say..."I need a drink". How disgusting, I thought! How could someone reach for a bottle because of stress or frustration. Then I realized... I do the exact same thing, its just my bottle comes in the form of chocolate. The bad thing is the food isn't even comforting. Once I've eaten it, I feel terribly guilty, which adds to the struggle instead of curing it. I've been praying for months, years even, that God would heal me of this awful sin. But the struggle continued. However, going along with the "Fight" post, I realized that I had to fight against it...every day, every moment. So Sunday night, I prayed that God would remove that temptation from me. But I also proclaimed that He would not tempt me beyond what I can bear, and that He would always provide a way out so I could stand up under it. So on Monday , when frustrations came, He was so faithful!! Instead of reaching for my stash of starbursts (which I keep for the kids and don't even really like!), I reached for my Abba. Soooooo much better, let me tell ya.
         Today was another test, and He was so faithful once again. I had a long day, and previously tonight definitely would have been a night for a big ol bowl of ice cream to soothe me, but I can proclaim that instead... I have been comforted and fulfilled by Jesus. On the drive home from my class, I just prayed and listened. That wonderful peace returned.
        I am just in awe of Him. One last thing that made me so happy was that I could see that this practice of all-day-complete-communication/reliance on God was making me into the woman I long to be....

I thought of that quiet and tranquil spirit in 1 Peter...
    “Let your beauty not be external - the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes - but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in the God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NET)

I thought of God's ways of handling emotion...

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,

Exodus 34:5-7

I thought of Jesus himself, His humble quiet spirit.
Then, light bulb moment...
This constant walking with the Lord= Becoming more like Him

I've heard it a million times. It's as simple as can be. But I finally got it....
And I don't wanna go another day going my own way...

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