Omnipresent not Omnitemple

“Oh God, You are more awesome than Your holy places. The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people. Blessed be God!” – Psalm 68:35

I’ve been slowly reading the Psalms with the hope of seeing something new about the man after God’s own heart. I’ve been reading to discover something new about God. I’ve been reading to see what a relationship between God and a man after his own heart looks like. David was far from perfect and yet that is how God saw him. That is how God chose to honor him in his written word. That is how God wanted us to see this messy, sold out lover of His. God chose to show us David’s mess and his relationship with him. I like that. I need that. I need to know there is hope for my messy. I need to know God can see past the mess straight into the heart. I need to know He isn’t afraid for you and me to know He sees it.

A few weeks ago my Pastor preached a sermon about God as our Source. The sermon wasn’t just about giving up all the bad things we tend to fill our lives with in place of God. It was also about looking at the good things in your life that you may have given a place that really should be God’s. Included in that list was church activity and ministry and other sacred cows.

Why would a preacher who has recently launched a church plant encourage anyone to take a step back from church activity and ministry? Why would a preacher who has recently launched a church plant already be blessing and sending out a group of peeps to begin their own church planting process? Because it’s not about a church! It’s not about a “holy place.” It’s about HIM!

I didn’t realize at the time how important that sermon was about to be. Sure, I knew I was heading into a season where my ability to meet with my church family on Saturday evenings was going to be greatly limited. I knew how much I hated the thought of that. I knew how badly I wanted to be in THAT atmosphere! I still do! I’m still struggling with every week that goes by that I can’t get back there to meet with this new community of believers that is building something new in the Kingdom for Him. It’s a place I want to be. It’s a place I want to be a part of. These are people I want to get to know. These are people I want to grow with. These are people I want to spend time digging deeper into the heart of God with. These are contagious people going after the heart of God together, who wouldn’t want to hang out with them?

And then I realize what I am doing…again.

Please don’t misunderstand. Community is important. Fellowship is important. The local church is VITAL! I don’t want to live life without it. Its been a part of my journey since I was little. Its been the place where God has strengthened and protected and grown my faith. Its been the place where I have forged friendships that He has used in the tapestry of my relationship with Him and I wouldn’t trade it for a minute.

But what about those times in life when you just can’t make it to a meeting? What about the other 6 days of the week? What about those times when those people aren’t available to cheer you on and encourage you? What about those times when your cell phone dies and you need an answer and you can’t call or text anyone? What about people who don’t live in the Bible belt with a church on every corner? What about people who don’t have a nice, air-conditioned place to gather? What if there were no more gatherings? What if there were no more conferences? What if your ability to get to those places dried up for a season…or two or three?

I don’t know about you, but I need His strength and power. I need it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year…forever! I need it as a wife and mother. I need it in friendship. I need it when I am driving in traffic. I need it when I’m laughing and crying. I need it when I’m breathing! I need it when I fail and when I succeed.

David knew…

David, the one who wanted to build God a temple

David, the man after His own heart…

I wonder if David would have told me what a friend told me this weekend after I shared my excitement at the chance to dance with one of my heroes of the faith…”You can dance with the Holy Spirit any time you want!”

 

 

 

Yes, Yes I Will

The handsome fella and I went to a marriage conference on Valentine’s Day and renewed our wedding vows along with close to 1,000 other couples. We each repeated the vows looking into the eyes of the love of our life. We each exchanged the same rings we had worn into the event. We said I do and I will all over again.

Sunday night the preacher shared with us God’s opinion of David and what made him a man after God’s own heart. He was willing to say I will to anything God asked of him.

22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ – Acts 13:22

Is that a little odd to any of you? This is the same David who committed adultery, tried to cover up the sin and ultimately had the husband murdered. But who am I to argue with God when he calls someone a man after his own heart. He does know what he is talking about. Perhaps God was speaking from a place of grace and mercy when he made that statement? Or could there be something to a redeemed, repentant life that God admires? Could it be that God really isn’t looking for perfection when he is looking to see what our hearts are made of? Wouldn’t that be a relief? Wouldn’t that be a game changer if you could believe that about God’s heart toward you?

This scripture was part of my daily bible reading today and I was amazed at the timing.

28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. – Matthew 21:28-31

How many times have you said you would and didn’t? How many times have you said you wouldn’t and then did after you thought about it a while? I’ve done both more than once. Sometimes my follow thru is just not what I’d like it to be. Sometimes I allow fear to speak and then later decide to take authority that I forgot I had at my disposal so that I could say yes. Sometimes I am just stubborn and rebellious.

I am so thankful to serve a God who ALWAYS means it when he says I will. I am thankful He is the God of second chances who is way more concerned with the outcome than all the missteps and mishaps along the way. I am thankful He looks at the heart thru a completely different lens than I do.

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “[a]It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. – Revelation 21:5-7

And I am thankful He gave me a handsome fella who wanted to say I will all over again.

Music Monday: Yes, THAT!

The preacher promised a message that would tell us what it takes to be called a man after God’s own heart. Great! I would finally know the secret. With pen and paper in hand, I was ready to receive.  Ready, set….

22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do. – Acts 13:22

Say YES to EVERYTHING God tells you to do…

We got a chance to make declarations at the end of the message. They provided an open mic for anyone who wished to use the power of their words to declare something they were going to do that God had placed on their hearts. It was a powerful night knowing that the truth of God’s word and will were being declared. There was no doubt that territory was being taken in the Kingdom last night. Life was being declared!

The tongue has the power of life and deathand those who love it will eat its fruit. – Proverbs 18:21

And I sat…

There wasn’t time for all the people who stood in line to make a declaration. Plenty of people sat.

I sat because I wasn’t ready to submit to the thing God placed on my heart. I needed to have a discussion with God about it first. I needed to tell Him all the reasons it just wouldn’t be a good idea. I needed to negotiate with Him. I had some explaining to do. Surely He didn’t know everything I know. Surely He didn’t mean what he was saying. Surely He didn’t mean to ask me to do THAT.

He will do everything I want him to do…

And there it was again…

That word…that one word…SUBMIT.

It is one thing to take pen and paper to a great message. It is quite another to stand up and be a man or woman after God’s own heart.