I had such a good time this morning. I woke up early (not as early as I should have), made some coffee, turned on the fireplace and opened my KLOVE devotional book. Today's devotion pointed me in the direction of a passage of scripture that just spoke volumes to me. What a great feeling.
I've already mentioned that due to some busyness in my life, I've gotten away from my quiet time alone with God each day. Slowly, though, I am getting back into the groove. And today's time with Him was so encouraging.
I've confessed neglecting not only my prayer time but also time spent in the Word. (after all, they should go hand in hand!) And recently I blogged about how things seem to fall apart in my life when I am not regularly studying my bible. I stop reading and meditating on scripture and then forget how God instructs me to live my life! For instance, maybe someone wrongs me and I get my feelings hurt. When I don't have God's Word hidden in my heart, I'm tempted to respond in a way that hurts that other person, hurts me, and pretty much dishonors God. Without God's Word in my heart, I try to do things in my own strength and it just doesn't work. It sounds strange to say, but I am realizing that God loves me so much, He allows me to experience trials so I can be reminded of my desperate need for Him! What a true blessing that is.
Another sign of His love for me? When I am feeling disconnected from Him and yet seeking Him, He has always been faithful to show me "the way back". You know what I mean? Tell me you can relate to this: you go through something hard, you cry out to God, and He seems to give you answers. He teaches you something about why you are experiencing your trial. Maybe you're not quite certain you understand the lesson, so you keep praying and He shows you a little more! He shines a little more light on the answer for you. A great example of this is my recent post about my pastor's message and how the scriptures he used spoke directly to my heart and sort of confirmed some things I was already thinking. And then I listened yesterday to Nancy Leigh DeMoss' radio program called "Revive Our Hearts" and she is talking about what I JUST blogged about--needing to stay in the Word. (not just reading it, but also applying it to your life). That really got me thinking. So here's where it gets even better...
This morning my KLOVE devotional was on the exact same topic! And the passage of scripture used in the devotion that was a real eye-opener for me was this:
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a crash." Matthew 7:24-27
I guarantee you I have read those verses like fifty times. But this morning it was different. They made much more sense to me today. I thought about how depressed I had been when we were on vacation and even through the holidays while we moved into our new house. I thought about the tension in my home recently that caught me off guard and made me feel so hopeless. I even recalled just this past Sunday, when literally every single time I opened my mouth I bit my husband's head off! And most of the time for no reason! It was like hateful words were just flying out of my mouth before I could catch them! :0
Mostly I thought about how distant I have felt from God for some time now. I read back over Matthew 7:24-27 and really thought about it. And I realized this point that God has obviously been trying to drive home with me...that I can read every translation there is of the bible...I can attend every bible study offered...I can listen to messages spoken by great pastors and other godly speakers and authors...but if all I am doing is reading or listening and not DOING, then I am that foolish man that the bible speaks of, trying to build my house on the sand.
So after reading today's devotion and the related scripture, I literally wrote in my journal "This explains a lot about my life." It's easy to see why I experience such highs and lows...I love to read and study and listen to the Word of God--which is great--but the most important part is to DO what God's Word says. (And is it just me or is that part a little harder?!) Yet that is what it means to build your house on the Rock. And I think it's worth reminding myself that God's Word says:
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." John 14:21 (NIV)
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does." James 1:22-25