I don’t want complacency. I don’t want to be lukewarm. I want to voraciously read my Bible. To pray like I can’t breathe. To feel thirst for the Lord and to delight in Him. I want my desires to be in line with those of the Lord. All of them, all the time. Sort of like it was when I first knew Christ, only deeper.
I want a heart that is continuously flowing for Jesus–not stagnant or easily caught off guard. Alert in prayer, sober-minded. Easily pierced by the Word and sensitive to the gentlest whisper of the Holy Spirit.
This is what I think it means to have a heart that’s alive.
Even when the fig trees bare fruit and then a long drought comes–instead of despairing, really hoping in Him. Believing that He is who He says He is. With joyful hope.
Here’s the thing, and I wonder if you can relate. Something (many things, actually) stands in the way of a heart that is always flowing for Jesus. For me, my “go to” feeling is despair. I sin and I despair. I mess something up and I despair.
I get fixed on me and I despair.
Maybe you struggle with anger, or fear, or unkindness. You get the picture. My response is to despair (sin) and then I often sin more, because I’m already on a destructive path. What a yucky, vicious cycle.
That I’m learning how to break. I finally have a real answer as to how to deal with it, the despair.
I know the intellectual answers to my problems with sin. However often times, the “obvious” answers totally miss the heart of what is laid out in Scripture. The Lord doesn’t desire sinful habits to be broken and disbelief to be shattered by sheer determination or self discipline (though those are helpful tools which should be employed). A heart change has to take place.
Enter the Adoration Prayer Book sent by a new, precious friend. This book has been a tool the Lord has been using to turn my world upside down. I am learning, for the first time, what adoration is, how to do it, and why to do it. This is the answer to my problems–adoring the Lord (not the book! It’s a tool).
I am purposely doing it because as I understand who He is and what that means…it changes everything. When I am adoring Him, there is no need for despair. Only hope. And joy. And praise, and awe. My gaze is shifted from myself to Him. This is Hope. He is Hope.
I read through one verse listed in the book, see an attribute of God and then look it up in Webster’s 1828 dictionary (quite possibly my favorite book behind my Bible!). I mean, if I want to adore someone, I’ve got to really understand why I’m adoring Him, right? I decided not to trust what I think words mean. I want to adore God. So I sit with my dictionary. And I drink in the words.
Here’s an example:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble” Psalm 46:1.
1. Shelter or protection from danger or distress.
2. That which shelters or protects from danger, distress, calamity; a strong hold which protects by its strength, or a santuary which secures safety by its sacredness; ANY PLACE INACCESSIBLE TO AN ENEMY (ahem, emphasis mine)
3. An expedient to secure protection or defense.
4. Expedient, in general.
The words jumped off the page at me. The Lord IS a shelter/protection from danger or distress. I cannot by touched by the enemy when I seek His refuge. He IS this for me. In His grace and mercy. He chose to be this for me. WHY do I ever fear? Why am I anxious? The Word does not say, “If he feels like it, He’ll be a refuge when you need it.”
Why do I despair? There IS hope in Him.
I want to adore Him.