Friday, May 21, 2010

A New Journey

My wonderful pastor's wife moved upon a call of God to pass on a book to me entitled "Give me 40 Days" by Freeda Bowers. The premise of the book is it is a 40 day devotional where you spend each day praying for OTHERS as you watch God meet YOUR needs.

I started the devotional today and it had a list of things that I could choose to commit too. All of them seemed pretty simple, save one. I read "Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength." Most people would just check off yes, but in my mind I though "Wow a commitment to the Lord is a big deal, can I really commit to this? I am not even really sure what it means."

Since I didn't understand, naturally I asked someone who would; God himself. "God how can I love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength?" He began to patiently teach me what each of those words meant.

The word heart brought me back to a time when I was on my high school track team and there was a guy on the team that everyone said had such a heart. He gave it his absolute all, even though he wasn't the best runner and rarely finished better than last place. In order to love the Lord with all my heart, I had to have enthusiasm. I had to be sincere. I had to put forth, time, energy and effort into my relationship with him. I had to be devoted to him. Could I do those things? Could I really love the Lord with all my heart? Yes, I believe I could do that.

Our soul houses our mind and our will. This wasn't to difficult to understand, but perhaps pretty difficult to put into practice. I had to choose to love God. That seems pretty simple, except when I think back on rough times I have had with my imperfect, earthly husband. There are times when I am pretty angry with him (like when he eats all the taco meat for my salad!) and to be honest there are times I am pretty upset with God. I am not upset because of circumstances or injustices in life, but usually I become upset when it comes to being patient. I want to change quicker, i want my blessing quicker, I want my revelation quicker. I become impatient with God and want to turn my back on him. But I have yet to turn my back on my husband and regardless of all his faults, I choose to love him every single day. If I can love my husband, can I choose to love a perfect God? Yes, I can.

Our mind is where we think (Well duh!) so loving God with all my mind means I think about him, a lot. When I think about him, it makes me want to serve him, to nurture my relationship with him, to spend time with him. When I first started dating my husband, I thought about him a lot, probably too much. I wanted to spend every minute I could with him and when I couldn't I thought about all I would do when I did see him again. I thought about how wonderful he was and how much I missed him. The wonderful thing about God is he is always accessible, I never have to wait to be with him. I just call his name and he is there. All I have to do is to set my mind on him, and that is no problem. To keep my mind set on him is a struggle, with all the worldly distractions and tasks and to do's in my day. I believe the more time I spend with him and the more I streamline my life, the easier I can accomplish this.

This was the toughest one to understand, it came to me as this: "the force of an expression." What on earth does that mean? I think of it as the potency of something, so the force of an expression is how "strong" something is. Juice concentrate has a higher strength than regular juice. So how does this relate to loving God? The way I express my love is with actions. The force of my expression is the intensity in which I do them. I think of it this way, my husband could buy me a bouquet of half dead flowers and plop them on the counter and say "Love ya," not very intense expression of love. But what if he got on one knee and presented a huge bouquet of the most wonderful flowers I had ever seen and said, "Honey, you are the love of my life, and you bring me so much joy. Please accept this token of my devotion to you, darling, I love you." Now THAT is a more intense expression of love. In the same way, are my acts of devotion to the Lord done with sincerity or am I just plodding along half-heartedly, doing what he asks of me out of obligation? I definitely need to work on this one, but I could definitely commit to try my best, I know the Lord would honor my efforts.

In the end I did put a little check in the box next to this one. I could see all the ways which I have loved my husband with my heart, soul, mind, and strength over the years, so applying that to one who loved me so much he gave his own life for me, is a big no-brainer. In the end, I know I will only benefit from my commitment because who can be wholly devoted the the Lord and not be changed by him?

Not one.


Tracy:D said...

LOL I checked the boxes in faith that God will accept my levels of commitment for each day as long as I just make a point of meeting with him.

I really like your revelation of strength. That will help me.