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So God speaks to me in themes.
I think I've said that before.
I've heard Beth Moore say that before about herself.
When God plants a seed in my head, he confirms it through several different sources.
For a while it was David.
I bought a study about David (Beth Moore) in March of 2012. I did a week and got off focus, so I put it away.
Exactly a year later (almost to the day) I found it and started doing it again.
It has not stopped applying to me or speaking to me since.
Here is an example of a couple of crazy weeks during study:
*Started David study
*My niece wrote a devotional and referenced David fighting Goliath
*We visited a new church and the message was about David & Goliath
*Our lesson at church in the preschool room was about David & Goliath
*The sermon at our regular church the next week referenced David.
*The hit miniseries The Bible was on and the next night's episode was about David.
There are more, but that's all I can think of right now.
It was amazing. Everywhere I turned I was seeing something about David.
I am still figuring out exactly what the message was from that...be brave against the "giants" in my life? Trust that God has it all worked out despite the way I feel or the way things look? (Like when David was hiding in caves for years to keep Saul (the king) from murdering him even though God had told David he would be king).
And along the way, God has been speaking to me in smaller themes.
But a new one has begun.
Yesterday Joe and I taught the preschoolers. We did a skit about Jonah and the "big fish".
The story was that Jonah told God "NO!" he would not go to Ninevah to tell the people there to STOP doing bad things.
So, as Jonah was running away from God, God sent a storm. Jonah was thrown out of the boat he was in, and swallowed by a "big fish".
And spit out until he agreed to go to Ninevah.
So what in the world does that have to do with the price of tea in China?
Here's the thing...
I have had a long-standing tug-of-war with God.
It's about my kids.
I am fiercely protective with them.
Mama Bear X 1,000,000.
As most mamas are.
That instinct was placed in me, I believe, by God.
He considers children precious. (Matthew 19:14, Psalm 127:5)
I am so fiercely protective, however that I often place them above God's will.
I told Joe yesterday that my last "hold-out" with God is concerning the kids.
I want to say "Your will be done, not mine"
as long as that doesn't include ANYTHING uncomfortable, dangerous, hurtful, or fatal happening to my children.
Just a small caveat.
So, God, I am allllllll yours. 100%
*unless it involves anything negative concerning my kids, in which case I am O.U.T.
* = The fine print I added to my relationship with God.
The problem with that is God is a "Go Big Or Go Home" kind of 'guy'.
He's a 100% IN or 100% OUT kind of God.
He doesn't want my half-assed devotion. (Revelation 3:16)
I think of a boiling pan of water. If you add a cup of freezing water to it, it's no longer boiling.
I can claim to have a fire in my heart, but if I douse it with the freezing water of my doubt (doubt that God will TRULY take care of my family) then that fire is dampened, at best.
I prayed, multiple times, to be a "sold-out believer".
Not being afraid what others think.
Not being afraid of being un-friended literally or virtually.
Not being looked down on for raising my kids to be believers.
Not being afraid to stand up for the unborn and their right to life.
Not being afraid to stand for God when the world wants to stand for everything but.
And so on...
So God is calling my bluff.
Do I REALLY trust Him?
Do I REALLY believe it should be His will, not mine?
Well, that's what I am asking myself.
Here's where the rubber hits the road.
After teaching yesterday, I was looking at a blog last night and reading some of the comments on it when I clicked over to read another woman's blog. It was a random chain of events. I scrolled through her most recent posts and found she had just recently written about..........Jonah.
When Jonah said no, and ran away, God sent a storm after him.
What storm will God send my way if I continue to tell Him no?
I don't know that He will. I don't believe He will "smite" me. I don't believe He's a mean, vengeful God.
But I do believe He's a Just God.
I do believe that He detests liars.
And I do believe He'll hold me at my word.
For me to say I want to be sold-out, trusting and on board--only to withhold an area of my life--makes me a liar.
Thing is...I can argue this case single-handedly in my own head! (Again...it is exhausting being in here.)
God loves me.
I love my children.
God loves my children.
Where is the disconnect??
WHY do I continue to doubt??
I think we know why.
Doubt is a seed sown not by God.
The fruits of the spirit are: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.
I like the Message version of Galatians 5:22:
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
The kicker here, the absolute jaw-dropping Truth is that the MOMENT I turn over my faith and Trust in Him to be faithful (as He says He will be) is when I will get peace. Not before. Call it God's Trust Fall, if you will. I won't truly believe until I obey. I pray for peace, but it comes when I trust.
So, that realization seems to be the easy part.
The actual act of "Faith-ing" is where I have trouble. :(
It's not always as easy as flipping a switch.
I think *just my tiny opinion so take it for what it's worth* that sometimes the act has to come before the feelings.
If I say with my lips that I trust and then live as if I do and capture every thought that comes into my head that is contrary, I believe God will provide me with the peace to continue those activities and that commitment with my heart.
It's the letting go that kills me.
But it's the holding on that may kill my spirit.