I just returned from the most amazing walk/run I've had in quite some time and I could scarce wait to get home to share it with you.
Have you ever experienced seasons when you just couldn't quite feel a sense of God's favor? I've been going through one lately - not because I believe God's favor is not there but because He's working out some things in my life that are just between Him and me. They are hard things because they are internal - matters of the heart. As a new believer we often begin the sanctification process with the externals. Somehow it seems if we clean up the vices people can see (smoking, drinking, cussing, and the like) then the hard work is over. However, what remains are the inner thoughts, actions, and attitudes of the heart and mind that aren't so easily changed. I find the longer I walk with God, the more sorrow I feel over sin that would never have fazed me years ago because I was still busy working out the 'big' stuff. Not that any sin is more or less desirable in God's eyes but we all have our own dross God is purifying out of us and if we were to see one another's we may well say, "THAT's? what you are so torn up over? Why that's nothing!"
Well, it's all huge to me and when it seems that I'm failing at something that shouldn't be that hard, I allow Satan to lead me into a cloud of condemnation. Hence, the lack of a sense of favor. Something God has shown me continuously through this study of Romans 7 and 8 is that God only condemns flesh, not the person wearing it. We have a hard time separating a person from their actions but God loves the Spirit that indwells us, no matter how flawed its shell may be. It has also been a great comfort for me to learn that the 'man' of Romans 7 was not a carnal Christian but a mature one whose desire for holiness pervaded every part of his being. I want to be a girl who not only wants holiness but will allow Christ to crucify the flesh that prevents me from having a greater measure of it.
Okay, so back to my walk. I'm ashamed to say that I have just recently bought Mandisa's 'Only the World' cd. Am I the only person in the world who didn't have it? Anyway, this morning I had the iPod on shuffle and as I was praying to God for strength to overcome, for wisdom, understanding and practical application in teaching this very critical passage of Scripture, the song 'God Speaking' began to play. It may seem like I'm overspiritualizing but the entire time I had been running into the wind but during this song it shifted and it was the exact feeling of a hand being on my back gently pushing me along. I felt Him tell me, 'I'm here and I Love You'. I have to tell you I ran with my hands lifted straight to the sky. I know the stock boys at grocery store next door thought I had lost it but that's okay - they've seen my displays before. The most beautiful thing happened at the end of the song. As I was praising God for His presence, the sun burst through the clouds and shined so brilliantly I could do nothing but stand still in awe. I do believe God wanted to make a nature video of this song and wow, did He outdo Himself.
So I don't really know if you wanted to know all that...Perhaps these were thoughts best left to my journal but I felt compelled to tell you today that God Loves You. I hope you feel that as you go through your routine. Sometimes, it just helps to be reminded.
And you know what?
If it counts for anything, I'm pretty crazy about all of you, too :)
Wednesday, February 20, 2008