In recent months, almost every time I meet with God, I begin thinking of His patience and longsuffering with me over the years. I love these attributes of God. I am verrrry thankful for His kindness in this area.
I often wonder why I've progressed so slowly. (At least it seems that way to me.) I look back on bright seasons of growth mixed with times of struggle, distraction and failure. Over the years, I have pleaded with God to not give up on me, and I'm happy to say, He's answered that prayer. (I'm still living and breathing and growing.)
When I've been apathetic, God has lit fires to wake me from my slumber. He's had to do this numerous times.
When I've been selfish, God has lovingly showed me better ways. He's done this over and over, year after year.
When I've been prideful or presumptuous, instead of angrily deflating my balloon, God has patiently shined His light on my error.
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation - Psalm 24:3-5.
Christians toss words around that others don't understand and that often we ourselves don't thoroughly comprehend. I recently Googled the words, "praise" and "worship." I want to be sure my efforts in these areas are what God desires from me. Here is what I found:
To say or write good things about. To express approval of. To express thanks to or love and respect for God. (Merriam Webster)
The offering of grateful homage in words or song, as an act of worship. A hymn of praise to God. (Dictionary.com)
Extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to. To show respect and love...
When we have a "deep thought" that stands in contrast to our ordinary thoughts, does this mean we're having a moment of personal brilliance, or is it the Spirit of God giving us something new to consider? I'm sure that many times it is God's voice, nudging us to explore a matter from His perspective.
On a recent morning, I was wrestling with negativity—with the usual sniper fire from the enemy, meant to distract me from God's amazing truth. Then a "deep thought" came and sent the enemy running for the hills:
What if I was successful in the world but not close to God—or didn't have Him in my life at all? What a tragedy that would be! I am truly blessed by my current place of need for God's presence and for His provision.
Thank You, Lord, for sharing Your perspective with me!
God was not asking me to discard my faith in His promises—to settle for things as they are. But He was reminding me of the riches I had...