Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hearts Inclined to the Lord

The days seem to be flying by this summer. Work is going extremely well... enjoying more time with the family... etc. This afternoon, I even got in a nap before we all went out and played some volleyball. Ran into Pastor Tim and his wife at the park and they joined us in playing volleyball for a while... ran into some other friends walking by the park and we talked with them for an hour or so. We are so blessed. We have been studying 1 Kings in family devotions and chapter 8 caught my attention. I've been reading and meditating on little pieces of it. I love this prayer from Solomon and echo it in my heart to the Lord.
May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances, which He commanded our fathers. And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day requires, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no one else.
So often we want God to be with us and not forsake us, but when it comes down to it, we may not actually want to walk in all His ways and keep His commandments, statutes, and ordinances. We like the idea of God doing good things for us, but obedience just doesn't sound fun all the time. Sometimes it is hard to obey. Sometimes it doesn't feel like obeying is what is best for us. But I think that phrase "as each day requires" is so key to obedience--God is actively granting grace to enable us to obey. When we obey, God is glorified not only in our hearts, but in the world. When God asks us to obey in ways that may same "unreasonable", we must remember what He did on the cross... talk about unreasonable! Is He not so glorified when His children can say to Him... "God, this doesn't really make sense, but I know I can trust you and I will obey because You are worth trusting."? Oh how much I need to have my heart inclined to the Lord! That is not a something that if I think hard enough and work hard enough, my heart will be inclined to Him... no, the Holy Spirit does that work. He must do that work! Yes, it does take work on my part sometimes... He speaks through His Word and if I'm not reading it, I am losing out on so much of what He has to say... but, it is His work. I could read the Bible all I want, but unless the Lord does a work in my heart, I will not be inclined to obey Him. God, give me a heart of steadfast obedience!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trust Him - At All Times

My internal alarm woke me up around six this morning (which I like).   It's such a blessing that we have the freedom to worship the Lord together openly.  I ought to take advantage of that in every way possible.  The best way for me to take advantage of it is to prepare my heart to worship the Lord that I might worship Him in spirit and in truth.  I was convicted this morning of being frustrated about certain things and yet not taking them to the Lord in prayer.  I don't want to be self-dependent in any way!  I've seen how that doesn't work over and over and I desperately need the Lord to be my Rock.  I was reminded of Psalm 62:5-8... take a look:
My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
Any frustration I have, small or big is something that I can depend on the Lord to take care of. More often than not, my frustrations are a result of my own selfishness and God taking care of those looks like Him humbling me in the ways that I need to be humbled. Other times, it is something that He needs to do in someone else (which is how I tend to first look at it before the Lord changes my heart). Regardless, I would save myself a whole lot of time and wasted energy if I would truly trust Him at all times and as a result of that trust, pour out my heart before Him. May we grow to love and trust Him more and more and cast all of our cares upon Him with full confidence that He cares for us and only gives His children good gifts.