songforanewday

Knowing You, Meeting Me

Moving Past the Mountain

I love my church. I belong to an incredible community of Christ-following believers who are loving, compassionate and the real deal. Our pastor is an amazing man of God and he and his wife go out of their way to make everyone feel like a necessary piece of our puzzle. Two thumbs up for the House of God!

Lately, he’s been preaching about the Israelites wilderness experience – kinda funny, because I’m writing a book on worship in the wilderness. He’s been talking a lot about the way that God loves you enough to let you go around your mountain and keep walking around it until you’ve dealt with your stuff and are ready to go through to the Promise Land. This has been so timely for me because I feel like I’ve been in my wildnerness for a very long time. There’s only one problem and it occurred to me while talking to my best friend this morning.

You ever have one of those moments where you start talking and then you say something that shocks even you? Yep, Jehovah Sneaky (I stole that one…but you know you feel that way sometimes. Haha) pulled one of those on me this morning. “It’s almost like because I’m so stuck in the shame and the guilt of what could have been and what didn’t happen that I keep walking around my own mountain while God just stands there pointing to the door going, ‘anytime now…you can go through aaaannnnnyyyytime now!’”

At which point this gets whispered into my spirit: “As a matter of fact, that’s EXACTLY what it’s like!”

 

….opps….

But, how many of us do that? We forget that, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  (Romans 8:1) We forget that God’s plans for our lives don’t stop when we forget to walk through the door the first time….or the second….or the third. We believe that God will put us on the shelf of unusable things if we’ve messed up too many times so we punish ourselves and try to reach that next phase of perfection before we’ll allow ourselves to be used by God.

The first problem with that is that we in our own strength can’t do that anyway. The second is that we’re not supposed to wait. Paul put’s it like this:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14 – emphasis mine)

I am the first to admit, I’m not the best example at forgetting my own mistakes – past or present. I want to present the best version of myself to God to be used by Him mightily when all He’s saying is “Come as you are and let Me do the rest!!”

So, that’s why the song of the day is Israel Houghton’s Moving Forward. There is a door right in front of me and a mountain behind me. I’ve punished myself too long and this is a wilderness I have grown tired of walking around. It’s time for me to take the next step and walk through the door. Even if I’m dusty, even if my shoes are dirty, even if I don’t look the best, God can fix the rest when I get there. We can work on the rest on our way. Time to forget what lies behind and press towards the goal – I have a lot of goals and being stuck here won’t get any of them accomplished.

One. Two. Three…and GO!

 

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You the First

I’ve been absent for a whole month. For most of that time, I’ve had a pretty clear picture of what I wanted to say, I just didn’t feel I could say it. I don’t like to write about things I want to feel as though I’ve already mastered the task – that feels disingenuous to me. So, I knew I had to wait. I didn’t know what I was waiting for, but I knew I would know when I did.

Today, I found out.

I’ve mentioned before that my husband and I have four kids. I like watching TV with them because it lets me keep an eye on what they’re taking in and gives us something to talk about. One of their favorite shows as of late is the ADORABLE Disney Junior show, Sophia the First. It’s about a little girl who lived with her mom in the village until a (presumably widowed) king met her mom, fell in love and married her. The king had two kids of his own and the blended family decided to forego the “step” formality and move right into the happily ever after (I’m skipping over a lot of stuff that really isn’t pertinent…just stick with me for a sec).

King Roland gave Sophia a special gift (an amulet that allows her to talk to animals) and constantly reminds her that she is a princess because He – oh, I’m sorry – he is the king and she is his daughter. Sophia worries a lot about fitting in and getting the princess thing right, but seems to do ok with the support of her friends and family.

Ok – background….

For the past while, I’ve been feeling like I’m getting this whole “Child of the King” thing wrong. I know a lot of Scripture and I can “do” a lot of the “right” things, but sometimes, it feels like fluff. I feel like there’s a place I’m supposed to get to and it’s a place I should be already. Maybe if I read my Bible more or spent more time listening to Christian music (btw, I don’t really have the time to listen to ANY music other than the Sophia the First soundtrack and a steady stream of Wiggles. I don’t really listen to any secular music…so this shouldn’t even bother me, but it does.). Maybe if I did this differently or did that more…maybe, maybe, maybe….

Maybe, if I were just better…

*back to our originally scheduled cartoon…*

So, today, the kids and I are watching Sophia the First. I’ve had a Sophia the First song (from an episode that, until today, I had never seen) stuck in my head all day (and actually, for the past two or so weeks). She sings about trying to prove that she belongs as a princess and is good enough. She has the right “look” to make her a princess, but isn’t sure that’s enough. So, in this episode, she has to take a princess exam. All the other princesses are telling her to make sure her dress is clean and her fan is flitted just right and everything is just perfect. On the way into the building, they all meet Mrs. Higgins who asks for help getting back to her house with some books after her wagon broke down. Out of all the girls, Sophia alone stopped to help.

There were a lot of hang ups on the way to the cottage and on the way, everything Sophia was supposed to “get right” was destroyed. She fell in the mud. she lost her fan and looked absolutely awful by the end of it. She got Mrs. Higgins home, as promised, but missed her test completely…except that she didn’t. Mrs. Higgins wasn’t Mrs. Higgins at all – but her fairy teacher in disguise. The cottage melted away to reveal the examination hall. The princess that showed up for the test received silver stars for their work. Muddied, exasperated, broken Sophia alone was honored with a golden trophy because she showed what was most important of a princess – a heart filled with kindness and love.

So…what was the point?

1 Samuel 16:7 says, But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” furthermore, Galatians 2:16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”

Are works, acts, and the law important? Of course. But, as I’m sure King Roland would tell Sophia, we are not children of the King because we go to the royal school, we go to the royal school because we are children of the King. It is the relationship that comes first. Out of that relationship comes the natural fruit of obedience because of the love that is there. That’s what God has been spending MONTHS (I can hear my husband yelling “YEEEAAAARRRS!!!!” behind me) trying to teach me. Number One – I’m His daughter. Period. End of story. Everything else falls under that.

I don’t know who, needed to read that. I know I needed to see it. Funny how it took a children’s program to make me understand something God has been whispering to me for a long time. Maybe He’s whispering to you. Either way it looks like I need to reconfigure the way I see things…

do you?

Until next time…

Mo

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