Sometimes when we pray for things we don't truly understand how God answers those prayers. About four years ago I started to really concentrate on my walk with Christ. What HE wanted from me. What he expected of me. I tried not to think about "man-made"religion. I have always said I am hungry and thirsty for more of him. The type of hunger or thirst that never goes away. However, at the point in my life I was starving. I needed clarity not only for myself but for my family. I had to trust God. God has taken places in the past four years. Some wonderful some horrid!
I think the first thing God had to do was take take me from my comfort zone. I left a church that I loved and had been a part of for so many years. When I left I was devastated. The thought of not having the people who are part of that congregation with me devastated me. God had to show me that I did not have to have them. All, I needed was HIM. That what he was wanting to do in my life is HUGE. I have to trust him to take me on this journey.
After leaving that particular church I faced many emotional months. Tommy and I found a new church and settled in nicely. I began to be refreshed and renewed. Twelve years of children's ministry had left me pretty wiped out! My mind was transformed by His word. Something I had been into my entire life was getting a new look and feel. I began to see things, feel things, know things I had never before. It wasn't God just making himself real to me, he does that all the time. I was actually listening. With any successful conversation both parties give and take and that was happening. The clarity that I had sought God for for years was coming to fruition.
The call came for us to help with the church plant in Inman. We were honored to go and be a part. I am so thrilled that it has taken off. I will say that it was hard to leave there too. But Tommy and I both just felt in our spirit that it was time. God was leading us in a new direction. We are praying for the church and know that God desires big things for the people of Inman also.
God was not finished with the work he was trying to do in us. The first few months back at Grace were unreal for us. Each week the messages were exactly what we needed. They were the word that we needed to hear. Each week when I would read the weekly newsletter and see the title of the sermon I was amazed. It was exactly what I was going through. Every emotion that I had been faced with God confronted it through a message. It was AMAZING!!! See, anytime there is change...EVERYTHING changes it seems. I have been through an emotional roller coaster the past few years where relationships are concerned, hurt from the past, questioning God's purpose for my life, loosing a baby, you name it we had been face with it. God was speaking though. We heard him in his still small voice. His gentle spirit leading and guiding us.
That brings me to my heart today. God has changed me in the past few years. He has renewed my mind my spirit, my love for him and his people. Many of my so called "religious" friends (I don't say christian anymore, I say "religious") do not necessarily agree with the life change that have experienced. The "out of the box" type thinking that Tommy and I have allowed to come into our lives. That's ok... Jesus was ridiculed by the "religious" people too for his way of thinking and doing things. Last night we had Coffee Connection at Grace. I was so touched by the two amazing speakers. The entire theme was the VOICE OF GOD. Listening to him, communicating with him....not being too busy. It was truly amazing. Enjoying my ride home I was talking with God and I began to just share with him my heart. There is a song that used to say that "I see world that is dying by the master of deceit". It is just not the non-believer that is deceived but it is the believer (the "religious") people to. I want people to know and see Christ for who HE is. I am sick of man made religion, man made policies, man made convictions, etc. I want people to experience the joy of the Lord and his fullness.
I was sharing with my dear friend Amy this week how I don't want it to be about "my"ministry or "Tommy's" ministry but what God put us together to do. What he is setting us forth to do. To hear his voice and obey his commands. I know God has something for us together. To reach out to people and show them that they can be set free from the bondage that I lived in so many years. The bondage of not knowing and experiencing Gods grace in my life. To know and experience the joy and love that God had for them at its fullest. Not just a taste of it but to feast of it.
I am brought back to that time in my life when I was starving and thirsting for more of God. I am still at that place but in a different way. I went around seeking a so-called "supernatural" based on emotion move of God's presence in order to fill that hunger and thirst. Now I have come to realize that God's word says this..Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled Matthew 5:6. Each day I can make the choice to be filled up or be hungry and thirsty. It's up to me. God is right there ready to fill me up. I don't have to go around seeking an emotional filling of God or talk about how I want to be filled up. I can be filled up! All I have to do is pray, seek him through his word, and he does exactly what he says. It's kinda like the thousands of times a day my two boys ask me for snacks. Each time, I give them a little something a cookie, cracker, apple, etc. Then we feast off of our big meals to really get us going. That's our church services and then the snacks are the things that fill us up in between. Prayer, studying the Bible, worship, that is what keeps in tune with His voice. If we don't do the "snacking" we are starving when we get to church. I am glad to say that I am no longer starving myself during the week and depending on church services to be my only source of nourishment. Now I snack and I take in nourishment all week so that when I go to church on Sunday, I am not weak . I can take in what God is trying to speak to me.
I am praying that God will continue to give Tommy and I the clarity that we need to carry out his plan for us and our family. That we will be obedient in the days ahead. May each of you learn how to satisfy your hunger and thirst!