Connection with my Maker is a greater treasure than requests checked off my prayer list.
While I busily tell God how He should fix things, He patiently whispers to my soul, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
Whose kingdom am I trying the build anyway? Mine or His? Maybe it’s not always such a bad thing when our card houses crumble so we have to move into the dwelling place of our King.
In the end, perhaps it’s simply about surrender.
“But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” – Isaiah 64:8 ESV
“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’” – Isaiah 45:9 NLT
“One day when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them, “Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s own self!—can’t be my disciple. Anyone who won’t shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple.” – Luke 14:25-27 MSG
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 16:24-25 ESV
Just thinking out loud on a Sunday morning….
What is “true worship”?
Perhaps authentic worship is likely to be counter-cultural rather than a means to be successful within our culture.
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:23-24
We were MADE to worship. But sometimes we inadvertently direct our worship to things so unworthy of it… anything from a new pair of shoes to a shiny Jeep with really big tires! Let’s be clear here – you can appreciate something (especially a sharp Jeep) without worshipping it. But a complete focused-obsession, can’t-live-without, completely-dependent-worship?? That belongs always and only to our God!
When my Jeep needs work, I prefer to take it to my “Jeep Guy” because he is not only a great mechanic, but an expert in Jeeps who was trained by the manufacturer. It just makes more sense to take “Jeepers” to someone who, given the right parts, can build a Jeep from the ground up. (Yes, I name my vehicles and sometimes have long conversations with them…. Don’t judge me).
It makes sense for us when something in our physical life needs repair or maintenance to take it to the manufacturer or someone trained by the manufacturer for that specific product. In fact, some manufacturers will not honor the warranty on their product if you do otherwise. It simply makes sense that the designer of thing is best equipped to get that thing back into its optimal state.
So why do I – and perhaps you, too – often go to everyone but our Designer when something is “off” in our own bodies, spirits, or lives? A line in the Bible “jumped off the page” (or, rather the iPhone screen) for me this morning and got me thinking about all this. Because, really… “Shouldn’t people go to their God for help”? HE designed us and know better than anyone how to heal, direct, sustain, and protect us. Yes, He may and does use many others, from friends to physicians, in our healing process. But we should go to the HIM first rather than the THEM! And just like my “Jeep Guy” might refer me out to a specialist for some types of work (like when I am able to have her transformed into a giant Jeep with big tires that can drive through 4 feet of mud without getting stuck), I will still go to him first for direction.
So let’s operate in the same mindset with something a whole lot more valuable, timeless, and irreplaceable than a vehicle. Let’s go to our Maker first. Because as Tasha Cobbs Leonard said in this incredible YouTube Clip of a worship service she led, “All the strength and the peace and the joy that you need is at the feet of Jesus.”
“The people will say, ‘Go to the fortunetellers and wizards who mumble and chirp like birds. Ask them what to do.’ But I say, ‘Shouldn’t people go to their God for help? Why go to the dead to get help for the living?'” – Isaiah 8:19 ERV (Holy Bible: Easy-to-read Version)
Today I started posting on Instagram a short prayer to go along with the Scripture focus on my heart for the day. Feel free to join me in applying God’s Word and praying it back to our Good, Good Father. Here’s today’s post:Today’s #instaprayer is inspired by James 2:1-4. “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”
(Breakout Session from #ConquerConference2016)
I was so blessed to participate in #ConquerConference2016 and spend an afternoon with some beautiful women as we learned together how to better hear the voice of our #GoodGoodFather through #AbidingPrayer. And the beautiful church we were in recorded our breakout session – so you are more than welcome to join us through the power of technology.
(The information below was included on the handout mentioned in the conference video).
Thank you for joining me in this journey of learning to pray and live from a position of “pre-paid” connection with the only source of Truth and LIFE rather than from a position of constant seeking and chasing for blessings and answers from God.
Key Verse: “If _________________ abides in me, and my words abide in _________________, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for _____________.” –John 15:7
(Write your name in the blank instead of “You”)
- Meditate daily on Key Passage, John 15:1-11.
- Also, dig deep into the whole “root system” of God’s word by finding other passages referencing the same or similar concept of abiding, staying, or uniting with God.
- Commit the passages that touch you most deeply to memory. Write personalized confessions based on these passages and speak them out.
- Checking where you are praying from is just as important as how you pray. Visualize your position in Him (whatever reminder picture He puts on your heart that helps you see yourself as a much loved daughter who has always had her Father’s ear).
- Don’t be afraid of imagination and visualization in your Prayers. God is the author of these concepts – not the new age movement. Consistency combined with a passionate listening style of prayer that incorporates all of the senses God gave you will change prayer from a task that may or may not produce results to a lifestyle of powerful connection with your Creator.
- Abide In Christ: A 31-Day Devotional for Fellowship with Jesus – Andrew Murray
- The Practice of the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence
- God Is Closer than You Think – John Ortberg
- Fervent – Priscilla Shirer
- Hosting the Presence – Bill Johnson
- Seeing is Believing: Experiencing Jesus through Imaginative Prayer – Greg A Boyd
- 10 Confessions for Living – Ilya Golden
This Sunday at Amazing Church, we are going to sing these words loudly as a prayer over our communities, our families, ourselves.
If you’re in North Texas, please feel free to gather with us in person:
300 Ridge Road
Mckinney, TX 75070
But, around the world, please gather with us in spirit by singing out the powerful prayer:
“Spirit Break Out – Tear Our Walls Down”