Well, the Lord is continuing to work in my heart in a manner in which I cannot even describe. I find myself just weeping at some small point every day because I am overcome with His presence and thoughts of His goodness.
I am being drawn to my knees in prayer every single morning. And when I say “drawn to my knees”, I mean it. Its like I’ll get up, get some breakfast, take a shower, then I’ll walk into my bedroom to get something, and immediately I’ll just find myself dropping to my knees to seek Him and cry out to Him and thank Him and to yield myself to Him. And sometimes I’ll just be drawn in the middle of the day or the evening to do the same, just talk to Him and seek Him and commune with Him.
I am being drawn to the bible in a newer and deeper way. Truth be told, reading the bible has always been a challenge and a struggle, something that I just had to almost force myself to do just knowing that God calls us to do so and that we have to do it in order to grow. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little. Don’t get me wrong, I mean, I would enjoy God’s Word every time I would read the bible, but then I would still find that there was always this major battle for me to pick it up the following day. And sometimes I would persevere and win that battle…and yet sometimes I would lose. I’m not being legalistic here, I mean the Bible commands us to meditate on His word every day. It is not a suggestion. It is not just for some that really like to. it is a command to every one of God’s children. And so I tried my best to follow that command. But these days, I am being drawn to read the bible all the time simply because, yes I want to obey His command, but more so because I want to know more about this great and awesome God who has redeemed my soul and has set me free. My cry is the same as that of the apostle Paul, “that I may know Christ and the power of His resurrection and to share in the fellowship of His sufferings. And so, I find myself just picking up my bible here and there throughout the day just to seek to know Him more. I even installed the Bible on my iphone just so I can have it with me wherever I go and get the opportunity to read it throughout the day.
He is drawing me into a new and deeper “quiet time” or “personal devotion time” like never before. Again, my “quiet time” (though I never called it “quiet time” because I wasn’t always quiet) was a struggle to maintain no fail daily time alone with Him. And again, having that time alone was always enjoyable, but it would be a struggle to get up and do it again the very next day. And so I have spent years as well trying to develop a discipline where that would just be part of my daily routine. But it would often be a battle. And again, sometimes I would win…yet other times I would lose. But these days, my time with God is not just being reduced to a “Ok, read my 5 minute devotion, read a scripture, and said a quick prayer, so now I’m set for the day.” Again, maybe exaggerating a little, but I hope you get the point. But these days, my quiet time or time with God or whatever you want to call it is not just a 10 minute thing in the morning, but rather throughout my day. I want to spend time alone with Him in the morning to start out my day, but then I want to stop what I am doing in the afternoon just to pause and pray and seek Him and tell Him that I am so thankful. And then I want to talk to my wife about what He is doing in my life. And then I want to journal my thoughts and prayers and ask Him to reveal more of Himself to me. So, its like my time with Him is constant, and I so much enjoy His presence that I want to include Him in everything that I am doing!
I am being drawn to worship Him all throughout my day. I just want to listen to worship songs that glorify His name. I just purchased an itunes card so that I can download more worship songs on my iphone since I don’t nearly have enough. Unfortunately, I do have enough secular songs, many of which I have removed because I realize that I cannot bring honor and glory to God by listening to them. Now, I’m not in the boat of “Christians should only listen to Christian music”, even though, at this time, that is all I want to do. But I am in the boat of “Do all things for the glory of the Lord.” And so, if I am listening and gaining enjoyment from a song that actually takes away from the truth of His glory, then how is that bringing Him glory? And you know, some of the songs that I have removed are considered “Christian”, but the truth is that the music label does not matter, its what the song is about that matters. So, if I am listening to a “Christian” song that simply expresses all kinds of heartache and defeat and struggle, but never points to the source of truth and freedom, then how does that bring glory to God? It actually takes away from His glory. And I just don’t want to do that anymore. So, these days, I just want to worship Him in complete purity of mind and heart.
Like I said in my previous post, I feel like I have been born again, again. I feel like I have been given a new heart that is undivided. As I read in Ezekiel that after the Lord said that He was going to execute judgment on the people of Israel for all of their detestable acts and sin that they committed, that He would bring them back from the land of captivity and He would give them a new heart, one that is undivided. He would take away their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. And as a result, the people would return to their land and tear down all their false altars and remove all their vile images from their temple, and they would wholly seek the Lord. To me, as well as many who have used this verse in sharing the gospel, this describes the salvation experience, when Jesus takes away our old heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh. And though I had an experience when I was 19 years old when I surrendered my heart to the Lord and asked Him to forgive me of my sins as I acknowledged Him and agreed with the message of the cross, I can’t say that I experienced what I am now experiencing. I mean, I remember acknowledging my sin and asking for forgiveness, but I don’t remember falling to the floor overcome with such grief and just crying uncontrollably because I realize the gravity of my sin in the light of a holy God. And I remember being so happy that my sins were forgiven, but I don’t remember just in any given moment being brought to tears simply at the realization of how rich his mercy is to have covered my wretchedness with His love.
Ok, so did I just get saved? No, I truly believe that when I prayed at age 19 and asked Jesus to become the Lord and Savior of my life, that He truly did at that moment. But, all I can say is that He has done something in me in this last month that has never been done before. I can’t fully describe it, but He has done it by His grace. He has given me a new heart, one that is undivided, one that wholly wants to seeks the Lord. And I am overwhelmed by His love as I am being drawn by Him. – Cody