Monday, April 20, 2009

Oh Great God

I don't know how some of you approach your Bible reading, but there have been many times when I wish that God would just send me a passenger pigeon or a paper airplane with some Scripture verses on it which He thinks would be appropriate for me on that given day. Oftentimes I find myself with my Bible on my lap, usually having fallen open somewhere in the middle around Psalms or Proverbs, and then just waiting to be inspired as to where to go from there.

I have also been blessed enough to attend Bible Study Fellowship for the last four years, which is an intense study of God's Word that focuses on one section of the Bible a year, complete with weekly lectures and discussion, and daily lessons that require you to read certain passages and record your thoughts from there.

Give me that kind of structure and teaching any day.

I thrive on disciplined study, I can check my "completed" boxes with the best of them, sit me down with a set of questions and a time frame to do it in and I'm your gal. But leave me to my own devices when it comes to diving into the Word of the Lord, and more often than not I am lost.

And this is why it makes it so much more meaningful to me, and so much more of a miracle, when I do feel led to a certain passage. When I feel the Spirit whispering in my ear, leading me where He wants me to go, lighting on specific words and phrases that He desires me to internalize and to share. This does not happen as frequently as I would like, but when it does happen, oh my... the feeling that the God of the Universe has a part of Himself He would like to share with me is overwhelming, sends my heart a-flutter, and reminds me just how lucky I am to have heard His voice.

And last night He did just that. The actual Scripture He gave me I thought I would save for another post, as I know your time is valuable and I am well aware of my tendencies to go on and on. But today I want to focus on the magnificence of being people who the Lord desires to have a connection with. People who He notices are struggling to understand His Word and longing to see more of Him, and then graciously reaching down, coming close, and speaking to us.

Reflecting upon last night, and what made it different than any other night, I have come to the conclusion that He chose to get up close and personal with me because that was the only thing I wanted from Him.

I have found over the years that how blessed I am as a result of my daily devotions is in direct correlation with what I expect to get out of them. Do I expect answers to my problems? Direction as to the next step in a particular venture? Complete assurance that any worries/troubles/situations I have will be taken care of by Him? Many times, I admit, immediate solutions would be nice. And not to say that this is something I should never expect to receive from spending time with Him, but it is not a guarantee. Do I know He hears me? Yes. Do I trust that He does all things according to my own good? Absolutely. Do I have faith that He sees my life, knows my struggles, and could make all my problems vanish in an instant? There is not a doubt in my mind.

But this is not the kind of devotion He is desiring from me. The dictionary describes devotion as "selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or a principle". And I am learning that this is the kind of time spent together with our Lord that He will honor. Selfless affection for Him. Dedication to seeking Him and finding Him. Limitless adoration for the One who knitted us together in our mother's womb, and knows every one of our days before they come to pass. I have discovered that His blessing seems to pour over me when I come to Him hungry for only Him, when I pray only to be filled with His presence, when I address Him with no other agenda than to simply worship Him, to praise Him, and to just love Him for who He is and what He has already done for me. It is those times when I forget myself and focus on Him that I feel the closest to Him. This is when I come away knowing that He has allowed me to learn more about Him. And this is when I feel as if He has given me the chance to see His beautiful, tender, human-loving heart.

So today I am going to make a point of not waiting for the Lord to swoop down, drop a magic verse in my lap, and promise to solve all my problems. Today I am going to just concentrate on Him and what a privilege it is to be able to spend time together with Him. I am going to choose to adore Him, to make a list for Him of all the reasons why I love Him, and then unabashedly, unashamedly, with my hands in the air and my eyes to the heavens, glorify His Holy name.

Dear Lord,

I pray this day with praise on my lips. I praise You for being a God who desires to come down to meet me, when it would be so much easier for You to stay on Your throne. I praise You for Your unending love for me, a love that cost You everything, simply because You could not stand the thought of spending eternity without me by Your side. I am unworthy, Lord, of this kind of love and sacrifice, but I am forever grateful. I praise You for Your compassion, and Your willingness to forgive my sins in an instant, as long as I just bring them before You and ask for them to be washed away. You are a great God, a Holy God, a God worthy of all our praise.

If I may ask just one thing, Lord, it is only that You continue to be faithful to me when I honestly am seeking to know You more. That You continue to let me see a little more of You everyday as I hunger and thirst for Your wisdom, Your guidance, and Your Spirit within me.

I bow down before You in complete humility, just thankful that I have the opportunity to bow down before You at all.

Today I praise the Name above all Names, Lord... Your own.

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace... I honor You.


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