Friday, April 22, 2011

Come awake!

God has been working on me a lot this past month. He has given me a hunger for Him that excites me! I am eager to read my Bible and it's like a light bulb has gone off and I am suddenly awake to God's word and what it really is. Before now I don't think I understood what spending time with God meant. I prayed often every day, and I tried to do a few different devotionals here and there, but always fell off the band wagon. But now, through some amazing women from my church, and my own desire to be closer to the Lord, I have learned what that means. Praying is not enough, my weekly Bible study, and church on Sunday is not enough, I NEED to read my Bible. I felt a tinge of guilt listening to some women in my small group talk about the importance of reading your Bible. Seeing how much they loved their Bibles and even the way that they held them was touching. That was the day that I felt the hunger. I wanted to be close to God in such a way that my Bible was precious to me. Since then just touching my Bible makes my heart race. I can't wait to see what God is going to teach me today! I love to know that God is molding me into who He wants me to be. It has given me such unspeakable joy...

A few days ago I read Psalm 119. There was no particular reason, I just kinda opened my Bible to that spot and asked God to show me what I needed to hear. This is what I heard:

Seek Him with all your heart
Live according to His Word
Hide His Word in your heart
Do not neglect His Word
Obey His Word
vs. 18 "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law"
vs. 20 "My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times."
Do not stray from His commands
Strengthen me according to your Word
Set my heart free
teach me to follow your will
Give me understanding
You have given me hope
Vs. 57 "You are my portion, O Lord, I have promised to obey your words."
I will not forget your law
I delight in your law
The law from your mouth is precious to me
I have put my hope in you
vs. 76 "May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant."
May my heart be blameless toward you
My soul faints with longing for your salvation
All your commands are trustworthy
vs. 89-90 "Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth and it endures."
Your commands are boundless
How sweet are your words
vs. 105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet and light for my path."
vs. 109 "Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law."
Your word is the joy of my heart
You are my refuge and my sheild
vs. 116 "Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed."
I stand in awe of your word
Have mercy on me
Let no sin rule over me
Direct my footsteps according to your word
Deliver me from my suffering
May my lips overflow with praise

What a powerful way for the Lord to tell me again what it is He wants from me. To seek Him, to long for Him, to hide His word in my heart! It makes me want tell the world. To run outside and say "You have got to see this!! Come see what the Lord is doing!"

This song describes how I feel pretty perfectly:

How can I keep from singing your praise
How can I ever say enough, how amazing is your love
How can keep from shouting your name
I know I am loved by the King and it makes my heart want to sing

I cannot believe I haven't realized before now the importance of reading my Bible. I thought it was enough to read or memorize verses here and there, to read the passages on Sunday and Wednesday, or to do my Bible study homework, but I was wrong! God will speak to me when I am in His word, and when He does it's amazing. It's like the words jump off the page at you. I have to spend time actually reading my Bible... I mean sitting down and opening it up, and spending TIME in His word. I need it, I long for it, I love every minute of it. It is absolutely insane to me that I have access to this kind of wisdom... That I hold in my hands the word of God. I can walk into a store and buy it for $5, but what is inside this book is a priceless, precious treasure. It's magical to me, it's like a portal to the throne of God, as if opening it up transports me to His side to talk with Him in the most shameless, intimate way. It doesn't take long to feel His love overflow from the pages into my heart... It is amazing how He can reach out and wrap His arms around me from this book. He can fill my heart and soul with Him and my whole outlook and attitude changes. I am suddenly filled with His patience, His love, His generosity, His gentleness. I am a better mother and wife, I am less consumed with the world and more consumed with Him. He has opened my eyes, He has consumed me with longing, He has strengthened me, He has sustained me, He is my portion, He is my comfort, His word is eternal through all generations and it endures!

Today is Good Friday and as we approach Easter Sunday I am moved by my Savior's love for me and by the amazing power of that love. I mean, He died for us!! He was perfect, He had never sinned, yet Jesus was beaten, spit on, cursed at, and nailed to a cross to cover the ugliness of my sin.

I'm forgiven because He was forsaken...

Amazing love how can it be?
That you my King should die for me

Think about it... He died and 3 days later came out of the tomb, Alive! This is what excites me, this is what it is all about!! This new covenant that gave us access to our maker. Jesus' sacrifice allowed us to be forgiven so that God could again look on His creation and smile. We are forgiven, and our sins forgotten... The Holy Spirit inside of me giving me a connection between the ugliness of the world and the perfection of our Lord. Ok this got long quick! haha I am going to end this with one more song that I am loving right now it's called "Christ is Risen" but you can't just read it, you have to hear it! Listen to Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave!

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave!

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead, he's alive! he's alive!

Happy Easter everyone!!


Your cousin Emma said...

At the Good Friday service at our Anglican church yesterday they brought up a cross, and people were urged to come up and touch it, read and pray there. The pastor pointed out we were not worshiping the cross but worshiping Jesus. The crucifixion in John was read, slowly, in the light of a few candles. When Jesus died,all the candles were out and the service was over. We didn't sing, and complete silence was kept as everyone left.
What a perfect post to write on Fri and to read soon after!!!!


Susan said...

Wow...that's all...just wow! What an answer to a mother's prayers for her children! I love you!