First of all... I have to say, when you pray, DO NOT be surprised when God acts. For some reason, I'm astounded every time. I pray what I think is a simple little pre-church prayer and WHAM!--it's answered tenfold during the service... and even RE-prayed (often word for word) from the pulpit. God WANTS to move, He WANTS to touch lives, and we are the lives He wants to touch. He'll use us to accomplish His will. I don't really get it, but I'm all for it. :)
So tonight, Pastor Peter was preaching from Proverbs 3:11-12:
11 My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
He talked about being willing to let God do whatever He needs to do in us... I loved this quote: "If God can't compel you to do something you don't want to do, He really isn't your Lord." It's so true... Yes, much of following Jesus IS enjoyable--it's happy and it feels good. But if we lived only in that feel-good place, we'd never grow and draw others to Him. There are times we must do what He says... simply because it is He who commands it. That's obedience.
So we're going through the service and I feel God plucking my heart strings. I wrote in my Bible, "God - Do whatever it is you need to do..." knowing I'm probably not going to love it all... but I want to GROW and MATURE more than I want to stick in a stagnant pool of complacency. Then here comes the kicker... I started thinking about all the times God speaks to me in a day--and I can say that it's a lot. I know my Shepherd's voice, and I'm learning it even more day by day. There are times, though, that I have willfully ignored His voice. There are times when I've let the noise of "life" overpower anything He would want to say. There are times when I know I SHOULD pause to hear His thoughts, but I opt to continue MY day in MY way. And then I get home at night, sit with Him, and grieve over lost opportunities.
But... what if... What if I acted on all of those thoughts and words from God? What if I was ACTIVELY listening, and whenever He told me something, I not only listened and HEARD Him, I acted on His words?
It's almost mind blowing to me. Sure, you may think that this is the most simple thing in the world... But what if He were to say, "HEY - don't get angry at your boss/co-worker. Go over there and ask for forgiveness for what you just said--even though THEY were just as wrong as you were." What if He tells me to do stuff I don't want to do??? What if?
I came to the conclusion that if I actively listened for my Lord for the next 30 days, my life would be radically different than it is today. I'm asking for heart surgery. I'm terrified of what it entails. I'm begging God to be gentle but thorough; disciplined but loving. But I'm still kind of scared.
Here goes... the next step in the adventure.