Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's Okay to Seek Him with Desperation

Jeremiah 29:11-13
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

According to a commentary on this text, implied in these passages is a quest for God that includes a level of intensity beyond what might be termed ordinary prayer. "Search" and "with all your heart" suggests an earnestness of desperation. It's a close pursuit of a desired objective. It also implies diligence in the searching process - "seek" after Him - God's emphasis on intensity and diligence in prayer.

We're told that we're selfish if we pray a whole lot for ourselves. Which I think is true, to a line. This text seems to say something else. Here it says God has PLANS to give us a future and a hope. Then right after that he says, seek me, you will find me, pray, I will listen. You don't seek something you already have, right? So I think this is saying that if I don't know what God's PLANS are, it's okay to seek him out about it. And apparently, it's okay to desperately seek him out. Like, hey God, I know you said you have good plans, but I don't really know what they are yet, and I really need some direction here. It's okay to cry out to him, to ask in earnest, and then expect him to answer! He says he will listen to you, and you will find what you're searching for.

Are you in need of God's direction for your life? Desperately cry out to him, pray to him, seek him. It's okay, don't feel guilty. He wants you to come to him, and he desires that you know the good plans he has for your life.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Psalm 21:1-7, the New Stephanie Version

(Stephanie) shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord; and in Your salvation how greatly shall (she) rejoice!
You have given (Stephanie) (her) heart's desire, and have not withheld the request of (her) lips.
For You meet (her) with the blessings of goodness; You set a crown of pure gold upon (her) head.
(She) asked life from You, and You gave it to (her) - length of days forever and ever.
(Her) glory is great in Your salvation; honor and majesty You have placed upon (her).
For You have made (her) most blessed forever; You have made (her) exceedingly glad with Your presence.
For (Stephanie) trusts in the Lord. And through the mercy of the Most High (she) shall not be moved.
Lately I've found myself doing a TON of journaling. It's probably because I have 3 hours to sit in the teacher's lounge at Jessica's school while she is there (yes, that's my job by the way...I'm a contract worker for a 13 year old foster girl). Side note - last year, or well, all of my time at Teen Mania I never felt like I had enough time in my day to devote just to spending with God. Now I have 3 hours every morning. It's awesome!

Anyways, so there have been MANY things God has been teaching and showing me (and Rob!) here recently. Shandi Bradley, my Graduate Intern year, always told me to speak up more often about what God was showing me, so here I am to share some things :-)

The past few weeks I've been in a situation that caused true and raw desperation for God. There were things going on that I didn't understand, were far out of my control, and it was, well, quite difficult. This situation made me SO eager for God's word, to know what He said, to know His heart, to search out His promises. I like that place of desperation, of knowing how much I need God. I think I get too comfortable too quickly, forget too soon, become unthankful. Or it's not necessarily that I'm unthankful, but I take things for granted and forget to thank God. For example, I was sick after we got back from our honeymoon. But I got better (and gosh, don't we all know that we are so thankful for good health after we've been sick!)...then it's like, after that I forgot all about it, I took my good health for granted. Pride set in, I said "I'm not sick, I've already been sick so it won't happen again." (I think I said that yesterday to myself actually). Haha and WHAM! I woke up this morning sick with some kind of awful sinus thing. Funny isn't it? But thank you God, for reminding me once again that I need you, that all goodness comes from you. Thank you for good health, for being everything that I need. Thank you for Your good plans and Your faithfulness. Blessed is he who hungers and thirsts for righteousness, for he shall be filled.