Something to prove …

16 Mar

To whom do I have something to prove?  Mostly myself I expect, but I hope in the process of proving to myself there are things I can commit to and follow through on … that there are things that when I have the opportunity and the determination to focus on I can do well – While doing all of this, that maybe I can create an example through my own growth.  That perhaps I can illustrate for others the value of the disciplines.

I have always felt that the disciplines of prayer, scripture reading and devotion are critical to “walking the walk”, so to speak.  I think that could be for a couple of reason – 1)How could you possibly expect to stay on track if you don’t know what the track looks like.  It seems to me that the Bible offers us some pretty good suggestions on what it looks like to be a Christian and what it is that God expects of us … and 2)Immersing yourself daily in the Word of God and then hanging with the Holy Spirit sharpens that connection to God.  I believe completely that the Holy Spirit resides in me (and, no, I don’t mean me alone) and urges me in the direction that God would have me go.  When I am committed to daily reading and prayer, I think it helps me get closer to tuning my receiver to the right frequency so that I can more clearly “hear” those promptings and it is easier for me to stay on track.

Today’s reading from Isaiah 55:10-11 compared God’s word to rain or snow and illustrated just as the rain and snow don’t fall down from heaven and then shoot right back up (instead they water seeds to cause plants to grow and allow grain to be turned to bread), God also does not want His word falling from heaven and then shooting right back up.  Instead it is intended to enrich His people and serve a purpose.  We have our Bibles so that we can receive this guidance and connection to God like water on our souls.  This water will allow us to grow and then through our growth feed the spirits of those around us.

The scripture from Psalms (Psalm 34) reminded me that when we appeal to God, when we seek God, not only is He always there, but he lifts our spirits and enables us to endure our trials … “Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:19)   Our daily disciplines ensure that we have this connection to God.  And as silly as it sounds, that we don’t forget that He is there.  So many of us try to forbear through these “afflictions” alone and with our own strength and in many, if not most, cases we are not capable of sustaining ourselves.  We wither through a loss of hope – I expect because we can’t see our situation in context.  I think a lot of times our spiritual walk doesn’t mend our situation so much as provides us perspective and allows us to put things in context and value something beyond the situation we are in at the moment.

Most folks who have any formal church experience have had the opportunity to learn the Lord’s Prayer in the context of the gospels and not just as that “prayer thing” we do in church most Sundays.  I think one of the more important aspects of this bit in the Bible is what precedes the prayer itself.  Jesus instructs us not to get carried away with fancy wordy prayers thinking that somehow God is going to be more responsive to our needs if we “impress” him – as if we could 🙂  Instead Jesus says, God already knows what you need … he knew before you said anything.  Instead he provides a prayer that is designed to sharpen this connection.  That works well to tune in on the Spirit Frequency.  Each line addresses the relationship in whole:

Our Father who art in heaven (Who exactly are we talking to?)  Hallowed be thy name (What’s the relationship?)  Thy Kingdom come.  Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (What is the objective?)  Give us this day our daily bread.  (On whom or what do we depend for sustenance?)  And forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us  (Can you get what you don’t give?) Lead us not into temptation.  But deliver us from evil.  (On whose strength must we depend to empower us for good.)  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory …  (Who is in charge, who is to be glorified?)  forever (How long?)  Amen. (!)  Matthew 6:9 -13

Today I was having trouble with my motivation … I eventually read my scripture because I didn’t want to quit.  I had all my little distractions surrounding me.  My 8-year old throwing books at me to read.  My 10-year old wanting to rely ever conversation she  had shared with every friend every hour of the day.  My 11-year old wanting to discuss his movie plans.  My 16-year old wanting to discuss his car repairs.  I tried to read my scripture and bond in the midst of this constant dialogue.  To boot, the kids where watching TV in my room.  Needless to say, it wasn’t happening.  I was in the midst of trying to contrive a way to check the  box and be able to close up the computer and get to bed straight away.  Fortunately, God has enough of a grasp through the Holy Spirit that he led me back to a blog that I have been following from a church out west on Lent.  I thought most of the time that the chatty nature of this particular devotion was a little inane, but then they finally came to the point … Don’t give up on your Lenten commitment.  Wow!  And here I was trying to figure out how to give up gracefully … or at least take a day off 🙂  From their blog:  “Stick with your plan, and don’t become discouraged.  Persist in seeking what God has put into your heart for this Lent season until you receive the fruit of your effort!”  (http://a2observeslent.com/2011/stick-to-your-plans/)  The scripture they accompanied their message with:  You will always harvest what you plant… So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Galatians 6:7, 9)

So yep, I have something to prove … to me … and something to do … for the Kingdom of God.  Why has he asked me to do this … I can speculate, but I anticipate that I won’t really be able to appreciate the fruit until it’s time for the harvest.  So if God called you to make a commitment to begin something (like a project 🙂 ) or to end something (like drinking soda) don’t give up  … abide in Him and you will receive water for your soul that will allow you to grow and endure through the most difficult times.

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2 Responses to “Something to prove …”

  1. Dan Butcher March 16, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Thanks for reading the posts at a2observeslent.com–I’m glad you found yesterday’s useful!

    • joycemzrodgers March 17, 2011 at 1:58 am #

      I check on them regularly … I’m really enjoying the contributions. Gotta love the internet giving folks access to so many folks, ideas and resources from all over the world. Thanks!

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