Sunday, June 6, 2010

Inward Living

For the past year the majority of my posting has been of the surface nature….updates and pics on what we have been doing as a family with a sprinkling of a few other topics that I find interesting. But I have written nothing about the condition of my heart. I have always enjoyed writing about how God is moving through my life as a way of bringing attention to my love for my Savior as well as offering encouragement to any reader who might be experiencing a similar circumstance. I also love to go back and read past posts and see the hand of the One who made me revealed in my own life. Nevertheless, those types of posts have been few and far between and I was thinking yesterday after I posted about Grace’s end of the year party that I really haven’t shared anything deeper than the happenings of our family and in all honesty that thought produced some conviction in my heart. It all made me question why I haven’t had anything that I felt was worthy of sharing. Needless to say, while cleaning my house yesterday I did a lot of searching within my soul, did some talking to myself (which I do when I need to process emotions) and then arrived at church last night to hear Gods word speak to the emptiness of my life. Emptiness that hasn’t come from a lack of activity, we have been more than active but there has been a lack of meaning, purpose and direction and for months what I would have testified as a lack of “joy”. This year has been difficult in many ways. I have felt loneliness, isolation, frustration, guilt and the list goes on. And you pack all that onto a miserable cold winter that just seemed to never end. Recently, there have been some added circumstances that have heightened and intensified those emotions, all of which have left me questioning a lot about decisions that have been made and the current state of our life. Having said all of that, I found myself living in a state of the past, thinking about all the things that lay behind me. The life I and my family once knew invades my thinking frequently and I clung to these memories with a death grip convinced that if I could only duplicate those past scenarios’s my joy would return. My life looks and feels so different today than it did just 2 years ago and for the most part I haven’t fully embraced the new life mainly because I didn’t care for it and frankly after 2 years it still doesn’t “feel” like it is “me”. A fish out of water….that has been me. Constant chaos….that’s my life. No intimate connections, little to no personal time to myself, severe lack of private time to connect with my husband and a deep longing for friendship. Pretty sad huh? The downward spiral of negative thinking has left me in a pitiful state. I have made half-hearted “outward” attempts to fix the problem never acknowledging that perhaps I should look a little deeper. I am sure that God has been consistently prodding me to do this but I just wasn’t willing until last night. I sat through worship with an apathetic attitude and even felt distant from what was taking place…it bothered me that I did feel disconnected from the music that brought praise to my God. It was a different service because it was a communion service but I was in no way prepared to hear the words of God and how they would pierce my attitude. Our pastor has been doing a very long series on the Book of John. For the past couple of weeks he has done a mini-series on John 17 which is the prayer that Jesus prayed for us prior to his death. A powerful chapter that will overwhelm you if you digest it as it written, a prayer by God’s Son to His Father for you. Anyway, here are a few highlights from the sermon. It was entitled Inward Living.
Living Inward means this:
Living Joyfully
John 17:13 I am coming to you now but I say these things while I am still in the world so that they may have joy within them
Jesus wanted us to have joy.
What is joy? A deep inner sense that GOD IS ENOUGH. It certainly is not a circumstantial exemption card meaning that we aren’t guaranteed that life is always going to be full of outward circumstances that produce ‘joy’.
You can CHOOSE this joy ---which is an inward celebration that HE IS ENOUGH.
The outward stuff may not pleasant but oh if HE is ENOUGH then joy abounds.
We search for happiness but happiness is circumstantial, Joy is not.
Living Nourished
Oh this one was a biggie for me!
John 17:14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them for they are not of the world anymore than I am of the work……:17 Sanctify them by the truth your word is truth.
To live nourished means that we are digesting the amazing food of his Word. My pastor drew an analogy of being at an all inclusive resort where everything was paid for yet one does not take advantage of any of it.
I have been living among lavish banquet tables and buffet lines yet have been severely mal-nourished. I am so ashamed to say that it has been a while since I have fed on HIS Word.
Psalm 19:7 the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. I just love that “reviving the soul”
Oh how my soul needs reviving. I think I have been in soul cardiac arrest for a long time.
Love this one to as it combines the first two points…..The precepts of the Lord are right giving joy to the heart. Psalm 19: 8
Living Loved
John 17:23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have LOVED them even as you have loved me.
I think I get this one. I mean I know that I am loved but do I let the world know that I am loved and do I rest in that pure love every minute of every day. When we know we are loved we act differently. Am I acting loved by My Father?
We ended our service with two beautiful worship songs Breathe and He knows my Name. (If you haven’t heard them you can listen here and here)
And I left determined to work on Living Inward by:
Joyful Living
Nourished Living
Loved Living.
I pray that you will too!

No comments: