Yesterday, we went to a cookout at some new friends who live in a beautiful home. A few years ago, I would have been so intimidated by the magnificence of this home and the land that surrounded it. It was marked with lush green grass, expansive gardens and landscape and the home inside… well it was full of southern charm and character. The planked, sky high ceilings had me memorized and the large screened area with a brick and mortar fireplace was dreamy especially with the pool fountains in the backdrop.
But because God has been removing my desires the past few years and ripping me away from what I thought to be God’s best for my life I found myself standing in awe of the goodness of God despite how sometimes my own life looks so differently than I had thought it would. I could feel the presence while standing in this home and I felt Him say, ask me for more.
It wasn’t long ago that if I had heard these words I would have associated His Voice with material desires that I longed to have. A misconceived notion of what we believe our needs to be can put false interpretations to what God is really saying.
God wasn’t speaking to me about where I shall live or how I should renovate my house. He wasn’t saying you need more and therefore you should ask Me for more.
He was simply saying… I am More.
As I sat on the end of a sofa overlooking the pool water (and rain) while 9 kids swam, I listened as my two friends talked about God and His power. In both friends, God is doing something new and their faith to walk through unknown futures is aspiring and had me on edge as they shared His whispers with me. One friend shared about how she had been given specific instructions from God that scared her but as she did what He was asking her to do, she saw how He was in it all. She was seeing miracles and divine encounters with Our Heavenly Father that made me tear up and overwhelmed my heart in the best way. As I listened, I envisioned myself drinking coffee and reading my Bible in this exact spot on the end of the sofa in her beautiful home and so I decided to ask her, is this where you drink coffee and spend your quiet time? She said yes, that I was sitting in the exact spot that she sits and reads His word.
I began to ask God (quietly in my head) for something I haven’t asked Him for in a very long time. I asked Him for More and I specifically prayed for visions, words and miracles to embrace my life and for Him to make me more useable for His Kingdom. I asked that He would remove fears from my being. Fears to be liked. Fears to be accepted. Fears to be successful. And I asked if He would mold me to be the exact person He sees me to be.
This divine moment with God sounds like I sat there for hours but in reality it was an encounter that lasted only a few minutes. I think this is why the Bible says, With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day… because God can take our time clocks and multiply our minutes if we would just surrender our thoughts and our hearts in all things rather than only in a constricted time slot where we expect Him to show up.
I am so guilty of this. A few years back I began to read the Bible from beginning to end. I wanted so desperately to ingest His Word at full value and so I made the effort to invest in knowing what the Bible says from Genesis to Revelation. Through this journey, not only did I experience a life change but I also developed a promising routine of waking up early and spending the first hour (possibly two) with Jesus. For a while this was the sustaining bread of Life that I needed. It grew me. But along the way I have developed this attitude that my first two hours of my day were enough for God. Forgetting that 22 hours remain and that those minutes were possibly even more important… because that is the part of the day where I get to live out what I spent my first portion of the day learning to do.
So easily we grow and become complacent. Grow and become complacent. We make the sacrifice that is needed to grow (sometimes by choice and other times by force) in the things of God and then, because we feel proud for surviving the famine, we feel like we can sit back and take credit for the feast.
In other words, we become entitled.
Entitlement produces complacency and complacency stunts growth.
Today, was church day. We had plans to go to two services so that during the first service we could catch the meeting to find out more about the church and the staff. We were excited to dive deeper into the church we feel God has planted us in for this season. However, for some weird reason, in which we actually never do, we lost track of time and when we announced it was time to get in the car, we looked up and saw that we had six minutes to make it on time. That wasn’t going to happen.
So instead, slightly disappointed in ourselves for messing up, we turned on Elevation Church Live Broadcast and it just so happens one of my favorite speakers was taking the stage, Lisa Harper. So we decided to watch an online sermon before we went to 11:30 service.
Lisa Harper had Wade and I weeping as we sat on our sofa dressed for church as she shared once again the urge and call we are to carry as believers. We are to speak from the deep Hope that is inside of us, no matter the costs. No matter the opposition. That it is actually from this state of opposition that we usually find the most Victory, the most Glory for the Savior that longs to rescue. She reminded me once again that playing it safe, building our homes, our careers, our dreams is not our purpose, but our purpose is to share the Hope of Jesus and through that, He will build our lives.
I can promise you this… if I spent as much time asking God for more of Him as I do scrolling the life and dreams of others or wishing He would use me for something great… I would probably have seen some of the miracles they saw in Acts by now. Sick people healed. Broken people delivered. Lost people saved.
I won’t ever find what I need in this world. The answers are not in my phone or the kind of house I live in. My fulfillment isn’t found in what I do or how many blogs I write. My deepest desire isn’t met in how many friends I have or how many Bible studies I lead. My greatest fulfillment is in Him and how much I allow Him access to all of me.
A portion of me is a faulty sacrifice of what He is asking me to do. If I truly want all of Him, I must surrender all of me.
The Christian way is different: harder and easier. Christ says ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked- the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become Yours. -from Mere Christianity