Monday, September 22, 2014
God is so aggravating sometimes. There you are minding your own business on Sunday, thinking about how this message is SO good for that friend you have been praying for. Wondering if they are hearing the same thing you are - if they are paying attention, because wow, this is just exactly what they need to hear. And you're so excited for them you can barely sit still!
And then it happens. BAM! You can sit still now for sure. Because you get nailed. Nailed to the very chair you are sitting in. Wait a minute... what the heck - this is for me????
At the moment we are in a series focused on Ephesians at my church on Sundays. One of my favorite books of the bible actually (and just like God to use what I love against me).
Yesterday as our Pastor took us through the second week of this series called "Immeasurable", focusing on Ephesians 1: 17-23 - Paul's prayer for the Ephesians he served and loved - that's when it happened. I got nailed. One verse in particular seemed to reverberate through the room. I mean his lips were still moving, I could plainly see he was still talking. But all I could hear was THAT verse. I mean I know this verse, read it many many times. I did mention Ephesians was one of my favorite books. This time though - BAM!
My favorite translation says it this way "I pray that your hearts will be *flooded with light* so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he has called..." ~ Ephesians. 1:18
I managed to get through the conversations after church with those around me, through lunch with friends, through a visit with my mom, and even some chill time with my husband on the couch before bed watching some HGTV - all the while knowing this wasn't over. And sure enough as my feet hit the floor this morning, as I was brushing my teeth, and as I was on my way to work there He was again with the same verse. Dang it!
So when I got to work and settled in at my desk I prayed and asked God to reveal what he wanted me to get. What He wanted me to know today more completely than I knew yesterday.
(I admit I did this halfheartedly but that didn't dissuade Him at all - he was loaded for bear)
I then looked up the meaning of the one word from that verse that kept resounding in my ears and mind the loudest since yesterday morning.
There were many definitions I found, but a few jumped off the screen at me like "arrive in overwhelming amounts or quantities" and "fill or suffuse completely".
But the one that cut me to the core and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up? "As to drive someone out of their home or business with a flood"
Okay, I said to myself looking back at the verse. My heart. It's a home for Christ to reside. Right? What's in my home that needs to be driven out?
I immediately wish I hadn't asked. I didn't like where this was going at all. But I had come this far and if the last 22 hours were any indication I needed to forge ahead or be nailed every time I turned around.
So I ask myself the question I didn't want to answer - Who is at the center of my heart that He battles for space?
The answer was immediate in my spirit. Almost audible. And matter of fact. The answer was Me.
My concerns. My worries. My wants. My needs. And all this "Me" affects everything I say and do. Every single stinkin' day.
And I write those with capital M's because that's where I put them all most days. More important and ahead of Him. I try not to. Some days I do pretty well - for some of the day. But at some point, even if its for just a little while, my home becomes suddenly flooded once again. Only with Me instead of Him.
I looked again at the scriptures we went through yesterday.
To pray that my heart be so overwhelmed and filled completely (flooded) with His light (His Spirit and unveiling of truth) that there's no more darkness there, so there is no room for anything to be covered and unseen. I mean, I want to know the abundance of His hope and His calling on my life - but to pray that is isn't messing around. It means I must vacate the premises. Me - less. My concerns - less. My worries - less. My wants - less. My self evaluated needs - less. (any one else hearing Mercy Me's "So Long Self" yet?)
Now hold on just a minute. That sounds and feels pretty icky, like I have to disappear. And in a world where I as a woman battle the insecurity of feeling invisible already many days, what the heck does that really mean? What will that look like?
But dang it, that's exactly what's required... "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." ~ John 3:30
I went back to the section of verses and looked again. Because to get to the end of Paul's prayer, to attain what is so precious and desirable, "to be made full and complete by Christ" (verse 23), this is what the sacrifice must be.
Every stinkin' day.
So, there you go. No denying it. It's not like I haven't prayed this before. I have. But you now what I mean when I say THIS time it means something else. THIS time its with a whole new level of understanding what that means. Scary stuff.
Starting today my prayer every day has to include that I become invisible.
I have a feeling now however that because I know what he wants though, that He'll be even more aggravating if I don't. You know? I know you do ;)
I fully acknowledge I will fail at this many days, but would you like to join me? It's always easier to do anything when you know you aren't alone, when you know there are others in the thick of things with you.
If so, here's what we'll be praying daily together:
God please drive "me" out of YOUR home, flood my heart with more of you, so there isn't room left for what I want or think I need, but fill it to overflowing with more of you revealed, and what you want for me. Show me the FULLNESS of the hope you have called me to - a completeness in Jesus!"
Comment below or on the Facebook post that led you here to let me know if you'll be praying this too
Joyful on the Journey