30 Days of Hearing God: Day 1
Generally, I like to stay in some sort of bible study. Sometimes I’ll do a group study, but I especially enjoy working through studies on my own. It keeps me focused. It gives my private Bible-reading times some structure. It helps me understand difficult scriptures or look at familiar scriptures in a new way.
Not so, this summer. Currently, I’m sort of floundering through the New Testament. In an effort to saturate myself in the Word, I started reading through I Corinthians at the beginning of the summer (I chose I Corinthians simply because I think it’s the book I’ve read the least.) I made my way through that book and on to II Corinthians. I don’t really have an agenda, except to immerse myself daily in God’s word so He can speak to me. I’m trying to read through the passages slowly, jotting down scriptures in my journal that stand out to me. Sometimes I read the commentary or look up the cross-references.
Today this jumped out:
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (II Corinthians 5:14-15)
That those who live (that’s me) should no longer live for themselves (that’s me again) but for him who died for them and was raised again (that’s Jesus).
And the thought occurs to me, “I am not my own. I am bought with a price.” My friend, Pam, says this a lot, and I quickly thank God for her friendship.
Boy, sometimes I forget that my life is not my own. For days on end, I will go about my business like I’m living for me and not at all for Jesus.
I continue reading and this jumps out:
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (II Corinthians 5: 18-20)
Ambassadors. Ambassadors. I’m stuck on the word “ambassadors.” What is an ambassador, exactly?
This from the American Heritage Dictionary
1. A diplomatic official of the highest rank appointed and accredited as representative in residence by one government or sovereign to another, usually for a specific length of time.
2. A diplomatic official heading his or her country’s permanent mission to certain international organizations, such as the United Nations.
3. An authorized messenger or representative.
I am an ambassador for Christ—specifically an ambassador of reconciliation. Whoa. I feel a little convicted, because I have some relationships in my life that are not quite reconciled. I have been deeply wounded by reckless words—well, actually well thought-out words that pierced through me like a sword—and I am content to lick my wounds for awhile. I feel like I deserve to wallow a bit longer, since I’m the victim here. I wonder if God is talking to me about this or if He’s specifically highlighting my role as ambassador to reconcile others to God. Either way, I’m not doing a very good job.
I decide I will not read any further today. I need to chew on this ambassador thing. I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to be a theme God speaks to me throughout the week.
As I lay aside my bible and begin to pray for my family and my health,I remember in church on Sunday, my pastor sharing some scriptures on fear. God reminds me that I never have to be afraid, because fear does not come from Him.
Fear NEVER comes from Him.
I’m in the midst of making some decisions about my health and medications. If I talk to too many people or do too many Google searches, it generates a lot of fear. This is just what I needed to hear from God at the moment. God has not given me the spirit of fear, but of power, of love and a sound mind (or self discipline, depending on the translation.) Today, I need to know God has given me a sound mind. Thank you, Lord for speaking so clearly today.
Now, about this reconciliation thing…
What is God saying to you today? Comment or link up!
I think Blogger is having a problem with comments showing up. If you leave a comment and it doesn’t show up, don’t worry. I’m still getting them over e-mail.
Thank you for sharing! In my time with the Lord, I am trying to wrap my head around the concept of God's grace. Like when Paul says that God's grace is sufficient…what does that really mean? There are things that I struggle with where let's face it, God's grace isn't cutting it. And maybe it's not that God's grace isn't cutting it but that I have not fully understood what that means.
Do I pretend that things that matter to me, don't. Do I stuff them deep down in the far crevaces of my heart hoping that if I don't think about and cover it with spirtual talk that that is God's grace and it's enough because it's supposed to be?
When the prodigal son came to his senses, he rehearsed his speech to his dad — something I do often; the reherasal. And he said he was not worthy to be called his son but would gladly be a servant. The Father's reaction was not that of someone seeing their servant etc. But I get where the prodigal was coming from. And I suppose even though I had my prodigal return for 10 years, I've sort of lived with that thought that I am not worthy– forgiven, yes, but worthy of the blessings, no. Pressed it down, pushed it aside,s spiritualized it, wished it away, ignored it, but it pops up when I least expect it.
So in my time with the Lord, I have been asking about this. And so we are on this journey to understand how His grace is sufficient….
I've been journaling through a lot of emotional conflict lately, kinda like a therapy to get the mess out of my head and on paper so I could sort through it all… it has taken the place of my time with God. It's been all me pouring out and not allowing room for a response. So I sat down last night and instead of "journaling my thoughts" I began my prayer on paper instead and found myself alone in silence. After waiting in His presence, I found some areas of sin which had caused some separation. Those are now taken care of and I'm moving forward. Thanks for the encouragement to return to Him….
I liked what Ana said and that she was so honest….I feel like that too…..also Sandy, I know what you mean about doing your own thing for days….so hard to know where that line is of doing what we do because it's where we are in life – our sermon in church this past Sunday was on Col. 3:1-4 and was called "Holy Living" – how we need to set our minds on things above, not earthly things – sometimes really hard in the dailyness of life!
Ana, As I said in my e-mail to you, I've questioned God about the same thing. I'm so interested in what He shows you this month.
Shanda, I do the exact same thing, with journaling my thoughts until there is no room for response. That's what I'm trying to counteract with starting in the word each day, rather than starting in my journal. What a difference.
Mindy, you're right. It is a fine line. Not a black and white thing, but more of a drifting away. Maybe that's why the Word reminds us to take EVERY thought captive? It's easy to drift.
You guys are BLESSING me with your response to this challenge. I'm eager to see what He says to each of you.
What a great 30 day challenge, Sandy! During my devotional time I've been following a reading schedule that will allow me to finish the Bible in a year. It has helped tremendously to write down what God is saying to me as I go – especially in those difficult books like Ezekiel and Numbers, etc. Today I was struck by a story in 2 Kings about Elisha asking for a 'double portion' of Elijah's spirit. I'm challenged to submit wholly to the Lord and ask Him to use me greatly for His honor and glory! (BTW – I found out about your 30 day challenge over @ Glenda Childers site! 🙂
I did a link (never have done one before, so hope I did it right.) This morning, I was so encouraged to hear from the Lord before I even opened my eyes . . . I tell more on my blog.
Blessings on each of you for sharing. This is an adventure.
During my time with the Lord today, I laid alone in my bed and asked for wisdom in a particular situation. I prayed for a long time expressing my doubts and even fears about it to God, like talking to a good friend who is helping you sort it all out. And then I laid in a thankful silence. I did not get my answer (yet) but I did find some peace in the situation.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful and sweet note on my blog site tonight. It meant a lot.
On a funny note (not sure this will translate well in writing, but my husband and I just had a good laugh.)
I have a busy day tomorrow and Dave was asking me what all I had to do . . . I started out with, "Well, first, I have to get up and hear from God . . ." Then we lost it and I never finished my list.
Thought you might enjoy the humor, as well. I think God did. 🙂
Thanks for leading the charge in encouraging women to hear from the Lord.
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LOL…well sometimes God just makes me laugh! If you read the last two comments I wrote on Days 3 and 2 (yes, I'm doing this backwards!), I think you'll know why! So…do you think God wants me to surrender this fear thing?
"God reminds me that I never have to be afraid, because fear does not come from Him. Fear NEVER comes from Him."
As Beth Moore shares, in every circumstance we always have the choice to be brave.
How does that saying go?…third time's a charm? Well…no charm or coincidence here…but three posts that encourage me to 'fear not'. God wants ALL my fear.
Blessings my friend,