This morning I slept in.
When I finally started getting out of bed and took a shower, etc, I was already in a bad mood. I let the things my dog was doing get on my nerves. I walked in the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, wondering to myself out loud “why am I just waking up so angry and bitter lately?”
But as soon as I said that, I stopped.
“I did NOT wake up like this,” I told myself. “I didn’t wake up depressed. I didn’t wake up angry, or upset or bitter.” Instantly, I said “I will not keep believing this lie!”
So, what happened? As soon as I had opened my eyes this morning, I heard God speak to me. Not audibly, but my heart was compelled to just “Come to Me”. But what did I do? My human heart, with that bent toward sin, pushed Him away and looked around instead for my phone. It was a conscious thing, but it was ever so slight a deviation that I brushed my betrayal off my shoulders. But, it didn’t really go away. It was still there, weighing me down. I had tried to brush it away, saying “I will only be 5 minutes on Facebook”. Hmm yeah. Everyone who has Facebook knows that 5 minutes turns into an hour in a heartbeat.
When I finally put my phone down and got up for the day, I no longer wanted to kneel in the presence of my Lord. I no longer felt the urge to fall before my Father and hand Him the reigns to my day. I had instead shut the door of my heart, put earplugs in, and turned away from the comforting, all-so-familiar voice of my Father, beckoning me into an intimate and deeper relationship with Him.
“I’ll only be 5 minutes” may seem small to you. It did to me at the time. But, yet, deep within my heart I knew what I was doing. I was choosing people over my Creator. I was choosing immediate satisfaction, a fleeting and momentary enjoyment over the deep richness of the relationship I could be investing in with my Savior. I was pushing aside my First True Love—the One who called me before the foundations of the world—to play on some stupid phone app that told me what others thought of me and my comments/posts the day/night before. God knew me before He created me. God chose me because He loved me. God knew that I would fall head over heels madly in love with Him, and He chose me to become a witness for Him.
Oh there are many rough edges He is working on with me—trust me. I’m by no means perfect. Only He is. But I can tell people about Him and when I remain in the Vine, I can be His witness—to all of Judea, Samaria…well… my world, wherever my Judea and Samaria are.
Yet, I decided to push Him aside for those few precious intimate moments when I first woke up, all to say “hold on, Jesus—later.” Really?? How dare I! Honestly, how dare I?! My Creator, my Sustainer, my Deliverer, my Redeemer. The One who walked on water to show me that nothing is impossible with Him. The One that hung, beaten and bludgeoned to near death, and left hanging on that cross for me. And I say “just five minutes. Not now.”
Hmm. What a wake up-call. I can’t say that I will be perfect from here on out. But what I can say is that undoubtedly I will think about this day when I want to say “not now”. Because there used to be a time when, the moment my eyes opened, I would roll out of bed and literally hit my knees. I would spend those first few minutes of my day with my Lord. With my Redeemer, my Deliverer, my Rock. My Friend. I would choose Him over the rest of the world. I would choose His Word over the words and thoughts and attitudes of people I barely know. Or even over my closest friends. But over time, our hearts begin to give in to little things. Temptations here and there. And we get calloused to those things that once we may have seen as utter betrayal.
We are warned to flee from idolatry. Flee!
Why? Because anything that takes the place of Jesus in our lives is an idol. And when we begin looking toward other things / people / places / situations / circumstances / etc, etc, we have succumbed to the idolatry of “self”. Yes, self. Because when we start worrying about what everyone (or anyone) else thinks of us or what they are doing, or whatever—more than we care about what God says to us, and what God wants to show us—we are elevating ourselves over God. All of a sudden, how we think/act/feel is dependent on something other than God and what He has already said about us. He chose me before the foundations of the world. He chose me before He created Adam and Eve. He knew me. And He created me, knitting me together in my mother’s womb—thousands of years later.
And He wants an intimate relationship with me. He loves me. He calls to me. He beckons me to draw near to Him. And I say “wait”???? No. I can’t do that anymore. I won’t do that anymore. God, my Father, my Lord, my Friend: Help me. Help me to surrender myself into Your loving arms before I even open my eyes for the day. Help me to open my eyes to Your Word, help me to bow in reverence before You the moment I wake up. Because, quite honestly, I miss You. I miss those intimate times I spent with You, those days that I hungered and thirsted for You. I miss being madly in Love with You. I need You, Lord Jesus.
Please forgive me for the many, many times that I have pulled away from Your loving embrace to tend to my own wounds or tend to my own idolatrous self. Help me, Lord, to turn to You, my Healer, my Redeemer, my Friend. Help me to listen to You and let You tell me Your love story for me. Help me to have eyes that are open and search for You in every moment of every day and help me to have a heart that longs for Your Word. Allow me to serve You in whatever capacity You have given me, and I ask You Father to allow me to come before You in humble submission every moment of every day for the rest of my life.
I look forward to the day that I get to walk with You, Jesus. I look forward to waking up in Your presence. And it brings tears to my eyes to think that I have chosen to ignore You so many, many times. When You are literally right here with me every moment of every day. You live inside me and You love me with an everlasting love. You call to me, You stir within me and You beckon me to come closer to You. And yet, I have pushed You away. I need You, Lord, to help me rise above the temptations. I need You to call out within me “help me”. Because so many times I think “I’ve got this.” And I refuse to ask for Your help. Yet, when I do, You never fail me. You always come through. You are always there and You are always guiding me. You give me strength that I never had on my own. You help me to rise above the temptation, instead of giving in. And so, I need Your help in even asking for Your help. And You are so gracious to have given me Your Spirit to live inside me, to help me to ask. You know what I need more than I do. And You help me to ask—when I am living in submission to You.
Father, I love You. I need You. And my heart and soul pants for You, like a deer pants for water.