Sometimes I catch myself drifting back to a time when my “relationship with God grass” was greener. I remember being a young, 14 year old girl who was head over heals in love with Jesus. I would wake up with a smile on my face just thinking about the Lord and I would devour His word for hours as though my very life depended on it (and honestly, at that time in my life, it probably did). I would turn music up and the lights down and spend intimate time worshipping my God. My days were filled with thoughts of how to reach the world, starting with those right in front of me. I sought out people just to love on them and spent the majority of my time with my friends, talking about the deep things of God.
I often think back to this time: my steadfast commitment to honoring and glorifying God in ALL that I did, from cleaning the toilet to simply being a friend. My life circumstances are drastically different now. I’m still that girl inside but I’m now a woman, a wife…a mother of 4 children! My daily tasks sometimes can leave me completely depleted and wondering where the day went. Instead of waking with a smile on my face – I tend to wake with my “to do” list front and center. “Hit the floor running,” as my mom used to say.
I’m lucky to “vox” (it’s an app called voxer, it’s great, try it!) with my friends for a few minutes a day, much less have conversations about the deep things of God! Sometimes my prayer and worship time consists of the second by second, moment-by-moment abiding types of prayers. You know, the kind of prayer you say as your doing the dishes or praying for help while dealing with a difficult parenting moment? Or 10 minute spontaneous worship sessions in the car when you’re on your way to grocery shop.
It’s not that I love God any less – matter of fact, I know the depth of my need for him all the more NOW and am even MORE grateful for GRACE and the price that has been paid for my life. My passion is all the more burning for the advancement of the Kingdom of God here on earth. The reality is that my circumstances have changed and my relationship with God doesn’t look like what it used to and that makes me uncomfortable. At times I find myself looking back and trying to align who I am with that version of me, but here I am, in completely different circumstances.
Today I was driving in the car and one of my favorite songs from when I was a teenager came on. Switchfoot: Dare You to Move. That song still gets me, stirs my spirit, and drives me to Jesus and to action. As I listened, many things happened, one of which was a trip down memory lane and I found myself there again – comparing my current self to that 14 year old girl, feeling as though I am lacking. Thinking that, in some way, I’m not doing enough…not being enough…just simply, NOT ENOUGH.
God began to speak to me and I realized that I am desiring to align myself back to a point in my life that was attained through Jesus. It wasn’t attained by my actions or my will, but by an inner working that produced that place spiritually. What I truly longed for was not the actions of spending hours in the Word, it was that I had associated those hours in the Word with closeness and intimacy with God.
God began to remind me: “That’s not what I’ve asked you to do. The only place you are to align yourself is in me, through me. I am your true north. You have to align yourself in me, now, in these circumstances.”
Whew, hot tears welled up in my eyes as I drove. God is it for me guys. From the moment I first believed, I’ve never been able to look back because He changed me and left His mark on me. I will never be the same. I’m forever His. So now in these new circumstances I have to continue to focus on Him and align ALL of myself to Him.
Let me take a moment to explain what I mean by “align myself to Him” because it could easily be taken wrong. My spirit is already His. I’m not out of alignment with God in spirit – I’ve been made new and my spirit has been made right before God. (Ephesians 1:4, Romans 5:17) My flesh/my emotions and my mind do not always reflect what’s going on in my spirit though.
When I say I’ve got to align myself with Him – I’m speaking of aligning my flesh/emotions/mind with what is true of my spirit. My spirit has been redeemed and God says that I’m MORE than a conqueror but even better than that, 2 Corinthians 5:21 says:
“21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
We are the righteousness of God – that’s who we are in spirit and it’s our task, as Kingdom people, to align our flesh/emotions, by the renewing of our mind, to this truth.
I hope I didn’t lose you there. The point is this: don’t compare yourself to older versions of you. Don’t long for a different moment in time. Be present and let God work in and through you, as you align ALL of you with Him.
I love what Paul wrote in Phillipians 12:13-14:
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
Paul was a man who truly lived through dire circumstances but yet he grasped a secret: I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
No matter what your circumstances are – God has called you to align your “everything” with Him. No “circumstance” is a game changer or a Word changer for that matter. God’s Word is true – no matter what the circumstances are. Align your flesh/emotions/thoughts with the truth of God’s Word, that right where you are, in spirit, YOU are WHOLE, LOVED, capable and CHOSEN.