Jan 9, 2014~New Years
Sold out. January, 2014.
While I no longer set New Year’s resolutions, I often think about spiritual formation—specifically, how I get to be the woman God envisions when he sees me as the ‘apple of his eye’1. One thing I know—God is not interested in mediocrity, so I must not be okay with it either.
Here’s my starting point, my basis of belief—my default mode:
God created me
God loves me
God’s heart is good
God has a plan for my life, and it is a b o l d adventure
I want to ‘be all about it’ ~ fully engaged, living
in the extreme, sold out.
As I have been reading, studying and praying about how I could tell someone else how to get to God’s sweet spot for him, here’s what I came up with:
Believing these things . . . (the above)
1. I know that God wants all of me, he is not interested in sloppy seconds; he wants a sold-out, follower – God is calling me to surrender myself to him.
[starting with an acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as my Savior--the pathway to life with God, a relationship with him while I live, and Heaven when I die]
2. Lately, a word that keeps coming to me is consecrate. To be honest, the first time it came to me in prayer, I wasn’t entirely sure what it meant – it means to ‘declare or set apart as sacred’, to ‘dedicate myself to living an uncontaminated life’. First is surrender, but then is consecration … letting go of whatever entangles, entraps, or deters me in my relationship with God. To be sure, it is a process.
3. God wants his children to soar … to live victorious, not defeated lives. What would enable you to realize the victorious in your life?
Let me help you get to an answer:
~What are your greatest dreams?
~What are your biggest fears?
~What do you want God to do for you?
--heal your marriage?
--heal your broken heart?
--heal your body?
--help you breakthrough financially?
--make you emotionally healthy?
--bring your loved ones to know him?
--rescue your teen-aged or adult children?
For six weeks or so, I have been pouring over The Circle Maker2, an inspiring book about the power of our prayers, based on an old Jewish legend—in which an old man literally, physically circled himself in believing prayer. I have been reminded about the miraculous power of a single prayer—the power of that prayer to change the course of history.
In my prayer journal, I have begun drawing circles around my most heartfelt desire. ‘What is it’, you ask? That my family—all of us—my husband and four children, and their children—would stand side-by-side in worship of God. As I write my prayers to God, day after day, I ‘circle’ my requests of him, knowing that God honors the persistent pray-er.
4.Ask God . . . entrust these matters of your heart and life to him.
5.Listen. Our prayers are not one-sided conversations. Is God telling you or leading you in some way in your life?
6.Obey. ‘Praying hard starts with listening to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. And if you are faithful in the small things and obey those little promptings, then God can use you to do big things.’3 Obedience is key to breakthrough living for the follower of Jesus—yes, you can quote me on that. I adhere to what the old Scottish preacher, George MacDonald said, ‘all of life’s truth could be discovered as part of an extremely simple, two-step process: realizing who God is, then obeying him.’4
7. Praise God. God is near when we are praising him.
8. Thank God. To praise God and to thank God is to be obedient to his word, as both are commanded of the Christian.
9.Serve somewhere, someone in such a way that the love of God is spread.
These are not meant to comprise a great ‘to do’ list you must work at daily, but rather reflections of your heart, straining toward him and the life he means for you to realize.
1 apple of his eye – Psalm 17.8; Zechariah 2.8;
2 The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson, Zondervan.
4 Knowing the Heart of God, George MacDonald, Bethany House.