I've been going through Jonah: Naviagating A Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer this week (I'm in week 1) and it has been great. She's really easy to listen to on the videos, and has great points in her study. I just love how she points out (well many thing, but these have stuck out this week), that it is a privilege that God has chosen us to participate in His walk for our lives, and that if we listen and follow Him, our lives can have ETERNAL significance for not just us, both those in the generations that follow. The God of the universe doesn't NEED us, but He chooses us to partner with Him! "You are the one He singled out and pinpointed as His partner for a particular project." How amazing is that? He has given us certain talents/personalities that He designed specifically for us to carry out His will. And you know what, we may never see the 'fruits' of obeying Him. But that's the great part--knowing and trusting Him--I know it will bring Him glory. We get to read about all the people who had 'divine interventions' in the bible, and how their stories turned out (David, Jonah, Peter, Paul, Esther, etc), and how they affected us today, 2,000+ years later. But they were in our shoes. They didn't know what would come of their obedience, they just chose to obey (reluctantly sometimes)!
I loved this quote: "Believing that divine interruptions are a privilege not only will cause us to handle them differently but also to await them eagerly." What a great way to think about it. The study has started out discussing how when we're going along our path in life, God will intervene, either by speaking to us, or bringing people or circumstances into our life, and we have to choose to follow Him. I don't want to be a person that is not ALL about God! I want to be totally dependant on Him, but at the same time that is scary to me. She says it great! "What most of us want is autonomy. We'd like to have independence and freedom to govern our own path. We want to make a mark but only on our terms. We don't mind following Christ as long as His path eventually converges onto the one we already had chosen. We want to select our own course, run after our own ambitions, and decide how to make use of our own time. So when anyone--including God--steps in and makes demands that interrupt our goals, we push back." What a great word. Why do I think I know best? Don't I know He created me for not just a purpose, but His specific purpose? Isn't it tiring trying to chase after all the things I have on MY to-do list, only to realize they weren't what He had planned for me anyways? I am submitting. I want to follow, and I want to be held accountable (that's why it's going up on the ol' blog). And I want to be encouraging! I for sure don't have it figured out. Sometimes I even question if I'm hearing Him at all at times. But I know that I am seeking Him (even in my sleepless stupor) and He will lead me! There is so much else I want to write, but I feel like I'm already getting sleepy and not making great sense :). Most of this below I typed first....I wanted to share some great verses and some tools we use!
Ephesians 3:20-21 "Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen"
This verse was focused on in the study I took this summer called Faithful, Abundant and True. And it still applies (of course)! We can't even fathom the things God is able to do! Ok, I'm not going to type after each of these verses, just will share them with you:
2 Timothy 2:21 "Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work."
1 John 2:4-6 Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
And a tool we use:
We love Seeds Family Worship! A few years ago our church started carrying these in their little bookstore, and we've owned Seeds of Faith for a year or so. Cara absolutely loved it, and I even pick it to listen to in the van, especially on long car rides when our radio is hit or miss. A week or so ago we bought Seeds of Praise, and the kids and I put it in this week for the first time. We already love it. I love how they mix slow and fast songs. I love how I recognize the verses and it brings to memory where I was in life when I memorized that scripture. I ABSOLUTELY love how my kids worship God as we're driving down the road. People don't believe me, but for about 4-6 months now, Micah has been 'praising' God and it is too cute :). I really should get it on video. If you've played at our house, you know in the kids room is a chest that holds all the dress up clothes. For awhile now, Cara has thought it was her personal stage, so she gets up and sings on it. Well, of course little brother wants to do it too, but he is oh so sweet. He gets up there, raises his hands and sings "Hallelujia, Praise the Lord!!!" :) It makes my heart so happy to see my kids learning to worship at such a young age!