Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"From the inside out"

It's been such a long time since I've written! For the past couple weeks I've had a certain theme on my heart so I finally found the time to sit down and collect my thoughts...i hope they make sense!
Recently, my favorite activity to do on my days off is running.  It completely clears my head from all stress and worries of work, and most of the time I fill my mind with Christian music. A couple weeks ago I listened to a song that I had not listened to in a while and it captured my heart just like the first time when Kiki first played it for me.  It's by Seventh Day slumber and it's called "from the inside out"....the part that really sparks me to the very core are these following lyrics:
"My heart, my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out, O my soul cries out"
FROM THE INSIDE OUT:  the title of this song is extremely important....we must come to know and praise God from the inside out... what happens if we don't? we become those people in church who are constantly checking their watches and who can't wait for church to be over so they can go back to "their own business"... i'm sure those people love God, but their love for Him at that moment is failing to come from their true inside. On the outside, they are at Church...they love God from the outside view...but their hearts are elsewhere.  God can be found deep within all of us.  Our creator loved us so much that he can be found within each of our own hearts.  And He calls each of us to that very place where we can meet Him and find this deep, moving love that stems from the deepest part of our souls.  
      You often hear people talking on tv or on the radio about the need to "find oneself" or "discover oneself". I could not agree more, but sometimes they miss the key on how to do this.  We won't find ourselves by reading a million self help books, going on a getaway vacation, or scoring the perfect job.  These things may help but the key to finding oneself is by the same "inside love".  I believe that we can never be confident in knowing who we are unless we are confident in knowing who our God is.  Think about this: if you want to know your family's ancestry, you have to go to the people who created you: your parents, grandparents, great grandparents...if you really want to know where you came have to trace all the way back as far as you can go in the line of your creation.  If you really want to know why you are the way you are, why you have certain talents and why you fail at other things, or what your purpose is here on earth, you have to look to the ultimate Creator.  You have to look deep within yourself to that very spot in your heart where God resides. God will reveal to you why He made you who you are and who He is calling you to be, but we have to be the ones to reach deep on the inside and allow God to reveal these truths to us.  Only then , can we find full confidence in ourselves as children of God.
   I think this is really important in relationships with friends, family or significant others. Matthew Kelly wrote, "for to love is to give your self freely and without reservation. Yet to give yourself to another person, you must first possess your self."  I think now adays society tells us in movies and tv shows that to possess yourself, to find yourself will happen by falling into a nice relationship or looking to friends.  And yes these things can help, but i can't emphasize enough how God is crucial in being comfortable in your own skin. If you aren't fully you, or if you aren't comfortable with who you are, then you are not adding to that relationship.  You are the constant moocher...trying to find yourself through others.  They may help you or give good advice, or help you place a temporary bandaid on all your scars, but Jesus is there to help you become fully you and to heal those deep wounds on your heart.  And by knowing Him, He will help you know yourself and your purpose, and then you will be fully adding to your relationships since you are fully known!
   I guess it all comes down to, God and knowing God more should always be your number one priority.  Find Him deep down within yourself, and a great love and confidence will radiate from your innermost being that may make it hard for others to look away! May you always feel the great love that God wishes all of us to feel from the "inside out".

Monday, January 31, 2011

"Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening"

So, I've had this bible passage in my head for the past week, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening" 1 samuel 3:9. I really enjoy Samuel, I think he was one of the most interesting prophets. In this scenario, Samuel did not know he was to be a fact, the bible says that it was uncommon for prophetic communications during those days. During this particular day, Samuel was sleeping near the ark of the covenant with Eli just in the other room. God called Samuel's name three times and Samuel thought each time it was Eli. Each time he ran to Eli and asked, "Did you call me?". Finally, Eli gets what's going on here and tells Samuel to simply say the next time he hears a voice , "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening."

So put yourself in this situation..... are you more like Samuel... just going about, day to day routine, not really thinking too much about God and missing Him throughout the day.  He was just sleeping in the temple as usual...God was trying so hard to reveal Himself to Samuel, but could not grab his attention.  For THREE times the Lord tried to call him. How many times does God call us and we simply brush it off or lose his voice in the our own noise.  I know myself there are many times when I'm so caught up in the noise of my own life that there's no way God's gonna get through.... it's all about me me me...there's no "speak, Lord, your servant is listening" when all i'm doing is drowning in my own noise.  I really believe that if you lose your life to God, you will find it.....and by getting caught up in your own noise, you are just gonna end up in the middle of nowhere with no map and no direction.

Maybe it's not the noise that keeps you from God, maybe it's the sleep like Samuel.  He was fast asleep each time when he was awoken by the voice.  Are we "fast asleep" in the routine of our daily lives? Do we ever think of God throughout our days? I know it's been super hard for me lately, being busy and working long hours, then being so tired at night that all i wanna do is just unwind with some tv and fall asleep without opening my bible or without clasping my hands in prayer.....but God wants us to know Him, He wants to spend time with never know when He might be whispering your name.

Or maybe you don't believe that God would reveal Himself to you in such a way.  Like it says in this passage, messages from God weren't common back in those days. Real prophets are definitely not common during this day and age. But I would tell you to be careful not to let your hardness of heart keep you from feeling God's love. It's the most incredible gift we could ever welcome into our lives. Yet, so many disregard the gift. They don't think God would talk to someone like them, they don't give God the time of day cuz they have too much stuff to do and think about, they don't care because God hasn't revealed himself to them before...why would he now..... but you need to know He loves you....SO much...once you trust in that love, i mean fully trust....fully bow down before the Lord, empty and him all of yourself, the sins and the triumphs and laying it all at His precious feet in complete and utter trust and humility, only then will you be truly empty of yourself and filled with His unending love.

The phrase says it all really..."Speak, Lord"....meaning "God, I know you love me, i know you want to reveal yourself to me...please do so, I need to feel you, I need to hear you, I need to be one with you".....
"your servant"...meaning..."I'm totally and completely yours...I lay my life down at your mercy knowing that by doing so, I will be set free...I will find who i truly am by finding myself in You....I know that they only way to real joy is through serving you"
"is listening"...."yes, Lord, I am here and I am thinking about heart is open to your voice as I attempt to rid myself of all my own concerns, worries and know this is very hard for me, so i pray for your help, but I need you to know that I am listening for you, I am searching for you".....

so i dunno.....maybe next time spend a few minutes in prayer but only mutter these 6 words.

God Bless!