Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Who do you think you're talking to?!

I heard an excellent sermon tonight at Bible study! Bro. Kyle (my pastor) has started a series on prayer and it is exactly what I need! Tonight he talked about Luke 11:2 where Jesus is teaching his followers how to pray. (Actually, what's interesting is that they didn't ask to be shown how to pray- anyone can word a prayer- but they asked for Jesus to teach them "TO pray". To REALLY pray. And part of doing that is knowing who you're talking to). So in verse 2 he tells them to pray after this manner- "Our Father which art in heaven...." That line was all he focused on tonight. Who knew so much could be said in 6 little words!
Jesus said that when we pray we should remember that we are speaking to our heavenly Father. What is a father? A father is the provider, protector, corrector, life giver, and loving teacher of a family and home. Our heavenly Father, as expressed later in the chapter is so much better even than the best earthly father. I am very thankful for my dad. He is a reliable, trustworthy, hardworking, loving provider for our family and he is so wise! He makes me feel safe. But as much as I love him, he cannot compare to my heavenly Father. He is the ultimate provider (since He owns everything) and protector (since He is the Almighty One). He loves me SO much! This is the Father I pray to.
So often we just utter the phrase "Dear heavenly Father" at the beginning of our prayer and we go on into a ritualistic, routine, dry, empty prayer mostly full of selfish requests. But if we were to truly dwell for just a moment on who we are talking to and why we are able to call Him our Father and what it means to have the King of kings as our Father, it would change the way we come before him.
The verse also says "which art in heaven...". This phrase may seem "Duh- where else would he be." But it helps us to remember that he is SOOOOOO much higher than we are. He is in heaven. Heaven, a perfect, holy place, is his dwelling place. He has to humble himself to even look at earth. This high and lofty One, this Mighty One with so much power and majesty is the one we pray to. The one that we are commanded to pray to. The one that tells us to cast our cares upon Him for He careth for us. WOW! That's humbling and empowering all at the same time. Remembering just the meaning behind that short phrase brings us to God on our knees in a sort of humble boldness. It brings us to him in the right attitude.
"Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed..."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

O yeah! I forgot!...

Wow! It has been sooooooo long since I've written. 2 years! I don't even know if anyone still checks this site. Much has happened over the last couple years. I graduated from Heartland and worked for a year in Arkansas teaching in a Christian daycare and pre-k. It was a great learning experience for me and I learned a lot! But after much prayer I decided that it was not the place for me to stay. I moved to the state of Washington just a couple of months ago. I moved in with my best friend from college. We have a nice apartment and I am currently looking for a job.

I feel bad for not keeping up with this site. Over the past couple of years tho, I really haven't been in a position to write. And when I maybe was at a spiritual point where I could have written, I simply didn't make time to. There have been many ups and downs over the last 2 years...sadly- probably more downs. And in the past week or so I have really grown tired of all the down times. Times when I get discouraged or let sin into my life. Maybe I let the wrong music start to creep back in and let television take over reality. Maybe I start to let my emotions control my life (a constant struggle for me as I am a very emotional person) and therefore get easily discouraged and down in the dumps. When this happens I start questioning God and wondering why I do what I do....why I bother to live the Christian life at all. This was the point I was at a while back. So, as you can see, I didn't feel I had anything to say that would be a help to anyone. I still don't feel like I necessarily do.

But I did realize something this morning that I thought I might share. (Remembered it, is more what I did). Romans 6:11- "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." Reckon means to remember. The reason that so many down times come in my life, the reason that I let sin back in, the reason I get discouraged and start questioning God is because I've forgotten! I have forgotten that I'm dead to those sins. I have forgotten that Jesus broke the power that those things had over my life when He saved me. I do not have to give in to those temptations and I do not have to let those things get me down! If I would just remember that I'm dead to those things and alive to God then I believe there would be a lot more up times. (And therefore, more posting on my blog! lol)

This is why it is so important for us to renew our minds daily with God's Word. It all makes so much sense. We become more forgetful of our redemption from sin when we get away from God's Word. And Psalm 119 tells us that hiding God's Word in our hearts keeps us from sin. It sounds so simple but it's so difficult for me to do. Just daily spend time with God. Lord, help me.

"Of all the things God wants for us, loving Him and focusing on Him are the most important."- Charles Stanley

"We can be tired, weary, and emotionally distraught but after spending time alone with God, we find that he injects into our bodies energry, power, and strength."- Charles Stanley