~ I often look back on my ramblings and draw encouragement from the evident truth that we serve a faithful God who is always growing and perfecting us, weeding out the selfish and transforming and renewing our hearts into something even more precious and captivating. I hope this particular post will breathe renewal into hearts that wonder if God really is at work in us, and serve as a testament and encouragement that He will never leave us where we are.
~ The heart is so mysterious, so dangerous. It is confusing and conflicting and condemning. It is capable of great evil… and deep love. It can be certain of someone or something one day, only to feel something completely different the next.
~ My heart longs to be free. Free to hope in the plan and will of God. Free to love Him with an undivided heart. Yet, I remain trapped by my longings, the very desires of my heart. Are these desires evil or ungodly? Not at all. In fact, I truly believe they are desires that the Holy Spirit built in me for a purpose and a perfect time. It just makes the waiting painful and contentment seems to lie just beyond my fragile grasp. I long so desperately to see past the things I pray for.
~ How do you make God the Lord of your life when you have made something or someone else your idol? How do you pursue a Man you can’t touch or have a conversation with? How do you have a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus when you can’t look into His eyes, or feel His arms around you, or hear His voice? How do you find contentment in the Lord? How do you begin to see yourself through God’s eyes, as beautiful and captivating and alluring?
~ Faith. ‘Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.’ Hebrews 11:1. The definition of faith is “Confidence or trust in a person or thing; belief that is not based on proof.” It is easy for me to have faith that God is who He says He is. That He came and died and became our perfect sacrifice and provision. I have faith that He loves me and chose me and will continue to mold me into His image. But when it comes to those desires I feel so strongly, those longing that are knit so very close to my heart; I lack the faith to trust that His plan is perfect and better than I could ever imagine. I lack the faith to give them back to Jesus and say, “Your will be done”. I lack the faith to give Him my whole heart.
~ Hope. ‘For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.’ Romans 15:4. The definition of hope is “To cherish a desire with anticipation; to desire with expectation of attainment; to expect with confidence.”
~ Last year I was consumed by the desires of my shallow heart, and drowning in my lack of faith that I would never get my fickle wants. Essentially, I was whiney. And selfish. My eyes were on me. MY needs. MY wants. MY feelings.
~ I’m in awe of the change that has happened in my unpredictable heart. I have hope in my Savior to supply all my needs according to His great love and I’m not overly worried about what the future holds. I want to be used where I’m at and if my desires don’t line up with His, then I don’t want them. They aren’t worth the separation from my Heavenly Father.
~ It’s amazing what the Lord can do quietly when you’re not paying attention. I read through this and realize that, in a lot of ways, my above plea has been answered. I’ve learned we will always have an idol of some sort in our lives. It will humble us, refine us and show us the grace of God. And in His time He will conquer that idol and begin working on the next. Discouraging? I guess that depends on how you look at it. God uses our imperfections to perfect us. He uses our idols to sharpen us and our failings to teach us.
~ I’ve come to love that He pursues us when we are so stuck in our selfishness that we don’t know how to pursue Him. I’ve also learned that Jesus IS beauty and we become captivating and beautiful when we stop looking AT ourselves and start looking LIKE our Savior.
~ And contentment comes when you least expect. You cry and you beg and you plead, and one day you realize that, not only have you stopped crying and begging and pleading, but you have stopped being consumed by that want. It doesn’t come by way of some huge revelation from God or when you ‘figure it out’. It comes quietly, subtly, gently.
~ It’s overwhelming, this pursuing of our Warrior King. Sometimes we only see Him in the big things and we neglect to present Him with a heart of thankfulness for the continual renewing of our spirit. I love that He did not answer these questions that plagued my heart in some big, elaborate way. He has been alluring my heart and beginning to show me the actual truth found in delighting myself in the Lord, and I never even new He was at work until I stumbled upon this outpouring of my heart. I hope this next year brings an abundance of change, a deeper relationship with my Savior and that, if it’s His will, He would use me as a mighty force for His kingdom.