What Does God Want From You?

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message…

Sometimes I think we’ve made our relationship with God far too difficult and confusing. We strive so hard to draw closer to the heart of God. And all the while, God’s outstretched hand is reaching to draw us in.

For more than half a century, I have been striving, pursuing, and seeking God. And like a cat chasing her tail, I’ve been going in circles.

Circling in the wilderness with the Israelites, if you will. Saved from slavery, for sure. Headed to my own personal Promised Land, hopefully. But somehow stuck in the wilderness wandering ever circling but not quite reaching Jordan’s shore.

And I am not alone. Statistics show that one of the top desires of Christians is to grow closer to God. During a recent poll, 65 percent said they were declining or on a plateau in their spiritual growth. On the other hand, Peter wrote: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

We have everything we need to experience the ever growing, continually maturing, abundant life, so why aren’t we? Why are most of us languishing on the desert plateaus of mediocrity and complacency? Why are most of us satisfied munching on the predigested truths of teachers rather than pulling up to the banquet table and feasting with God at a table set for two?

“God, what do you really want from me?”

I’ve pondered that question since the genesis of my relationship with Christ. Perhaps you have too. When you boil down all the water from the diluted soup of questions men and women have simmered in their heart through the centuries, this is the one question left in the pot.

And somehow, we feel that if we could answer that one question, we would discover why that glory ache persists and how to satisfy our yearning.

I had asked the question a thousand times, but one morning, I got quiet enough to listen. And then, in the stillness, He showed me that my busy sisters and I have been asking the wrong question.

Rather than ask God what He wants from us, we need to ask Him what He wants for us.

I meditated on Acts 17:28 throughout the following year after the day God whetted my appetite with the possibilities wrapped up in those eight little words: In Him we live and move and have our being. I came to realize that what He wants for us is to sense His presence, experience His love, and delight in intimate relationship as we live and move and have our being in sacred union with Him. And when we do, He opens our eyes to His glory all around and the ache for something more is soothed.

So today, I encourage you to be still. Just get quiet. Breathe deeply. Jesus in. Worries out.

Don’t make your faith about what God wants from you, but what God wants for you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Be Still

Were you told as a child to “sit still” or “be quiet”?  I honestly don’t remember being told that but maybe it is just “selective memory”.  Imagine my surprise when I got one of my Daily Messages from God (an app on Facebook) that said:

God wants you to know that …most of your words are unnecessary.

All too often you speak simply to fill the space with sound, because you feel too uncomfortable with the silence. But this silence is golden. Only in silence you can hear God speak to you. Only in silence can a real prayer, a heart prayer be born. Next time you start chattering, stop and feel into the silence, feel its shape, its texture, and then slowly and silently say only what really has to be said.”

Okay, so this is a random app but I truly believe that God sends us messages in ways that we will accept.  This message really hit home.  How often do we pray or have a conversation with God and he never gets a chance to get a word in?  We talk and talk and talk.  When it comes time to LISTEN, we sit for a second and when we haven’t heard anything, we move on.

Does silence make you uncomfortable?  Think about your everyday conversations with friends, family or acquaintances.  When there is a lull in the conversation, you do start talking?  Do we really give the other person an opportunity to talk or even think for a second before they respond to what we have said.  How many one sided conversations do you have a day?

How do you think the people that we are talking to on the phone feel?  Or if they are right in front of us, have we ever stopped to consider their feelings when we don’t LISTEN?  If we can’t STOP talking and LISTEN when there is an actual physical person, how difficult it must be when we talk to God?

be still

Will you be still today and LISTEN for what God has to say to you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Be Still

tulips

Listen, be still and wait,

You’ll hear all kinds of things:

A moth up on the windowpane,

Whir of birds on the wing.

Listen, be still and hear

The language of the wildflowers.

Be serene and patient; wait

For new sounds every hour.  – Mami Oaburn Odum

These are words that I needed to hear this morning because I forget to LISTEN and BE STILL.  My mind is always racing 100 miles ahead of where I am – letting moments pass by, letting frustration creep in, and worse of all letting Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie land for even a moment.  Patience has never really been a strong point for me.

Life has been hectic the last few weeks and I have found myself undergoing a range of emotions or should I say reactions that are not always pleasant.  Hubby pointed it out to me just the other day.  We were having a great morning when all of a sudden – this gray cloud came over me and I was “snappy”.  I know hard to believe, right?  LOL.  I actually found myself stopping for a moment , keeping QUIET and saying the Serenity Prayer.  Within an hour – gray cloud gone and sunshine prevailed for the rest of the day.  I so which I could understand why the gray could comes out of no where.  I don’t know where hey come from BUT I do know what makes them go away – listening to and sining my favorite songs, asking God for help instead of demanding help; keeping quiet, appreciating my surroundings and being grateful for all of the many blessings that God has given me.

I find myself having one sided conversations with God (or anyone else that will listen) and then when I need to BE STILL, I become impatient because I want an answer NOW!  My time, not God’s time.

So JUST FOR TODAY in a day filled with activity (church, church count team, Thirty One Open House and Wawa), I will make sure that I take a few moments to BE SERENE, BE STILL and LISTEN.  I have a dream and goals but I need to know if they are the same as what God has in store for me.  The only way to do that is to LISTEN.  Get off the computer. Avoid the IPAD.  Get away from the phone.  UNPLUG, communicate with people and LISTEN for the doors that God is opening for me.

Will you unplug with me and PLUG into God’s beauty that surrounds us?  What are you thankful for today?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!