Monday, January 9, 2012

Meeting God just as I am.

Today starts my 2012 January fast. It feels different from last year when I felt like I had prepared and gotten myself to a good place, spiritually, to begin a fast. Even as I write that sentence I'm noticing something right away.

First, I used the words 'feels' and 'felt'.

Second, I said 'gotten myself to a good place, spiritually'.

It was a wonderful experience, but I'm amazed at how easy it is to slip into the practice of wanting to 'feel' right, and wanting to do something for myself. I do believe in praying and getting in the word to prepare, but if I'm not careful I can make myself totally responsible for the outcome - and that's not good.

One of the insights that I gained from my fast last year is that it really isn't about me or my feelings. Now I've known that for a long time - in my head. I never really lived that way, though. I would let feelings of frustration or anger or disappointment make me 'feel' far away from God. Not worthy. Without the right to pray.

How happy did that make the devil?!!

I started praying anyway - just laying it all out before God, and you know what happened? Prayers were answered, I could feel angry or frustrated and still know that God was close and working. It was such an amazingly simple thing!

Fast forward to 2012. I'm not 'feeling' the fast thing. Not like I did last year and it is a little disheartening until I remember that God is not at the mercy of my feelings -good or bad.

Just like he is not far away when I feel frustrated or lonely he is also not closer just because I'm feeling that 'spiritual high'.

He is who he is. Yesterday, today, and forever. I'm so glad to have that assurance deep in my heart, because any god that can be bounced around by my emotions and thoughts, or pushed away because I'm struggling is NOT a big enough god for me.

I need someone who never changes, who holds me to him when I run and seek, who gets right into the middle of my mess and never gets confused by it. I have that in the God of scripture. Jehovah. My Savior, Comforter, Teacher, Equipper, Friend.

This is the God I will be seeking as I fast. I will come to Him just as I am. He knows me better than I know myself, and He sees through all my attempts to put my pretty church clothes on before I come to Him.

If I can make myself presentable to God all on my own, then what do I really need him for? My purpose in fasting again this year is to meet Him and know Him in a deeper way. I want to seek guidance for the coming year:
  • what he wants me to do
  • how I can become more like him
  • what I need to change
  • how I can be his light in the mission field where he has placed me
  • what I need to let him get hold of and change
  • what I need to walk away from
  • how I can praise and worship him better
I'm not sure I've ever really come to Him that honestly. I've tried, and maybe I will do it a little better this time - with his help and by his Spirit.

Any encounter with Him is life-changing. That is what I want. Next year at this time, I want to be able to read through my journal and see the hand of God working in my life. I want to experience it everyday this year.

Your turn: How do you want to meet God today? What are you waiting for? Leave a comment below and share your journey.

I am praying for you today.


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