Sunday, July 29, 2012

In His Presence

Source: http://stoned-campbelldisciple.blogspot.com

What a hiatus, right?  One minute I'm here, and the next I'm MIA...Needless to say, the blog has had to take a bit of a backseat for the past almost, eh um(clearing my throat) two months.  How did the time escape me?

Well, I can tell you one thing.  While I have missed the outlet of writing, God has more than compensated me for my time away.  In the past weeks, since the "launch date" for Sunday evening worship, He has pushed me well beyond the limits of my comfort zone...I have had sleepless nights. Nights spent sitting at the piano, playing song after song with chord sheets spread out in front of me, forcing myself to look at each chord as I strike the keys...hour upon hour.  Day upon day of learning to play so that I can follow.  So that I can lead.  I have spent endless days in prayer, waiting on the Holy Spirit to reveal songs to me.  Waiting for God to speak to my heart about what He wants, versus what I want, what anyone wants.  My prayer has been, "What is it that You want us to bring to you?  What is it that you want us to hear from You?  What is it that You want to say to us?  What do you want to do through us?"

He has continually searched my heart.  He has found someone imperfect.  He has found someone who has been known to lose her patience.  Someone who gets confused and discouraged. Someone who isn't always pulled-together and kind.  He has found a woman who has been know to yell at her kids.  He has found someone who struggles with self-doubt and questions her value, when she forgets to see herself through His eyes.  He has found someone who puts her foot in her mouth on occasion.  Who acts out of haste and often regrets it.  Someone who worries when she should just trust.  Someone who has to remind herself of the One who died for her, and how much He cherishes her.  Someone whose first instinct is not always to react with love and patience.

Most importantly, to Him, I know He has found the heart of a worshiper.  He has found me emptied in dire need of being filled with Him.  With His presence.  With His love.  He has found a woman who desires nothing more than to be in constant conversation with Him...a woman who wants her life, her voice, her heart to be poured out for Him.  A woman who doesn't want to do anything unless He is in the midst of it.  He has found someone whose heart's desire is to be a David...or an Obed-Edom, someone we have spent the last month learning about on Sunday nights, thanks to Pastor Chris.  

Here is a link to an amazing summary of this man's life and legacy:*if link doesn't work, copy and paste into your search engine : ))

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/devotions/Spangler_obed.aspx

Just think...in the day of Obed-Edom, the presence of God was contained in the Ark of the Covenant.  It was contained in a physical, moveable and RE-moveable "box", so to speak.  If someone removed the Ark from your presence, they took God with them.  You had one of two choices.  You could remain where you were, void of God's presence or follow the Ark.  Obed-Edom chose to do the latter.  He had become so addicted to the presence of God, to the blessing of God, to hearing from God, that he refused to be away from Him.  He made the decision to go wherever God went, just to be near to Him. 

We live in a time now in which we have the Holy Spirit living in us. God is with us.  In us.  Living through us, as we call on His name and enter into His presence, found in us...in our "secret place" with Him.  I found an amazing resource for teaching this.  Here is the link:

 http://www.secretplaceministries.org/pages/journey/soaking/presence-of-god.html

In the past month and a half, I have become more free than I've ever been in my life...and in my worship.  God has already begun to move in the hearts of His people.  Lives are being not only changed but transformed.  I am experiencing and seeing true, abandoned, pure worship.  In His presence is fullness of joy.  In His presence is healing, hope, salvation, forgiveness, love, redemption, and freedom.  Only in His presence is life truly as beautiful and magnificent as He designed it to be.  He created all of us for worship.  He created all of us for a loving relationship...one that can only manifest itself as we draw near to Him and spend time getting to know Him.  Getting to know His voice.  Allowing Him to see every part of us.  The deepest parts of our hearts.  Our hurt.  Our sin.  And, the relationship with the living God is the only one in our lives in which we will be invited to come just as we are, asked to settle in...and STAY. He wants us to come to Him and never leave.  I am overwhelmed by His glorious love every moment of every day of my life.

I hope all of you are as blessed as I have been to take part in this journey~the journey of growing in Christ; growing as a worshiper, and yielding to God's calling.  His blessings will far outweigh any of the challenges I may face for stepping out in faith.  Thank you for all of you who have continued to pray for me and my family and my team; for those of you who have stopped to offer encouragement, and for those of you who come out on Sundays and worship at the feet of Jesus with us. 

Thank you forever.  May you all be blessed~