A few thoughts I jotted down after a recent time of prayer.
I find that I often pray, “God give me strength…”. Although God is the source of all strength, I think we often confuse God’s promises and our responsibilities. I am convinced that when we pray for God’s strength we are sometimes looking for a fallback if things don’t work out. As if God didn’t meet His end of the bargain. In Judges 6, God calls Gideon to simply “Go in the strength that you have”. Dare I be bold enough to come to God, ready to respond and pray, “God I will…” instead?
God then spoke to me on His unconditional love. I hear followers of Jesus all the time, talking about how they have blown it with God. How they feel worse off than when they first began, because now they know that there is a loving God that longs to transform them –and they still find themselves steeped in sin. God’s heart pressed into mine and it resonated the words “your continued sins do not diminish my love for you one bit.”
An explosion set off inside of me, as I felt the love of God pouring in and erupting out of me because it could no longer fit inside my tiny heart. I took a breath and realized that my very breath was a testimony of God’s great compassion. That each day that I woke was evidence of God’s forgiveness, patience, and purposes in my life.
I did not ask God for more strength, but I declared… I will not let the air in my lungs go to waste. I will not let the precious days He gives me slip by without being seized. I will be a light to those around me. And I will honor Him in all that I do, because He is worthy of it.
One last thought in hindsight… I’m not one to talk about conviction of sin all of the time, but Yvz and I have been challenging each other not to condemn people… we find we do it subtly when we comment on those who have more than us and those who have less than us… it could be financially, spiritually, whatever. This experience affirmed to me that there is no condemnation when we realize we are incredibly loved despite the depths of human depravity within our own hearts
For my fellow Erwin McManus ‘fans’…
Videos at the APU chapels (3 in the archives, and 2 coming in October)
Video service at Onnuri in Korea
WillowCreek 2003 – This one’s an oldie but a goodie that they’ve kept on their site.
Audio Sermon at Richland Hills