Monday, November 30, 2009

After Our Hearts

I have long been fascinated with a scripture out of the book of Hosea chapter 6 verse 6. It says “For I delight in faithfulness, not simply sacrifice; I delight in acknowledging God, not simply whole burnt offerings.” I found this scripture my freshman year of college while I was writing a devotional for my home Church. I was reminded of this scripture again on my drive back here to Artesia on this past Saturday night. At times in my life I think that if I do enough and give sacrifices to God that my duties are done and all the items on my check list have a check by them. I think that the things I am doing for God are all that I need to do, and I forget that the base of a relationship with God is more than just doing things but it is truly knowing God it is loving God it is allowing God to have your heart! In the book of Luke chapter 11, Jesus speaks against the Pharisees. Not because of them not doing things but because of the position of their hearts. Jesus puts it like his “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.” Christ goes on to call them unmarked graves (in other gospels he calls them white washed tombs) Again, Jesus doesn't say that their gifts or the things they give to God aren't important He is challenging them that our love for God should be more important to us and should be our focus. The other things are important as well though; Jesus highlighted that as well as the prophet Hosea!! But when you get down to the nitty gritty, us knowing God and being known by Him is far more important than the things we do. Sacrifice is good, but faithfulness is better! Sacrifice is good, but knowing God is much better!! You see God in His infinite wisdom knows that if we allow Him to have our hearts that those other things will follow. Yesterday I posted a tweet saying “It's our heart He is after! God knows that if He has our hearts our gifts and talents will follow!". I said that it was the thought of the day, well I believe more than that God desires for it to be the thought of every day! As it says in Hosea 6:6 “For I delight in faithfulness, not simply sacrifice; I delight in acknowledging God, not simply whole burnt offerings.” God is after our hearts!!

Tired of just going through the motions, ready for faithfulness and acknowledgement of God


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why Do You Want That?

A few weeks ago I started reading the book "Forgotten God, Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit" by Francis Chan, it has been a blessed read so far!  (Im just in the beginning of the 4th Chapter, but would definitely recommend it) The fourth chapter is titled "Why Do You Want Him?" referring to the Holy Spirit.  He starts off the chapter with a great story and the story hit home and made me began to think about my walk with God and about the things I have asked God for in my life.  After reading that first page of that chapter the question "Why do/did you want that?".  The that has ranged from anything from maybe a good grade on a paper, that some girl would date me,  to getting a truck, to finding a job, or that God would heal a family member, and the list goes on.... I am reminded of Christ's prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Christ prays in Chapter 26 of Matthew in verse 39 "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."Christ is asking His Father in Heaven for something, but knowing that there is a good chance of what He is asking wont happen.  He asked for this knowing what would be ahead of Him in the coming day, but also knowing that it was more important for God to be glorified in Him than for His human desires to be filled.  The end of His prayer "Yet not as I will, but as you will." I am sure has been repeated and prayed a couple million times after Christ prayed this, heck I bet I have even prayed it a few times in my life. Most of the time I pray it though, I prayed it just following a learned prayer from others.  Not actually meaning what I said.  Praying hoping that my will would be done, not His.  There have been a few times distinctly where I truly meant it when I said, "yet not my will, but Your will be done." Most of the time I have prayed that I have been at the end of my rope, and was tired of trying to do things my own way.  One specific time was when I was looking for a job after graduating from college.  I had a few disappointments in the job hunting process.  I was tired of trying to impress people, because obviously a young and single guy applying for a job to work with kids wasn't appealing for too many churches.  I remember on my drive to Artesia I prayed to God and pretty much said, "God, apparently I am not doing the right things to get hired by a church so you know what, I'm just gonna go to the interview answer their questions as open and as honestly as I could then leave and go back to Texas and God if you want me here, then You do what you need to do."  He did what He needed to do, in fact He had been doing what He needed to do way before I even knew about the job!  But, there have been many other times though.  Times when I have prayed out of nothing more than selfish reasons.  I prayed "yet not my will, but your will be done", but lived out a life that shouted I will do things my way no matter the cost.  These thoughts have made me seriously re-evaluate the things I am currently asking God for.  It has made me stop and think about why I want what I am asking for.  Do I want them in order to serve my own selfish reasons, or do I desire to glorify God with what I am asking for?  I am striving to pray and ask for only the things that will ultimately glorify God.  Pray for me as God is once again blowing up the way I think about things in order that He might put them back in the order He desires!

not ok with just ok,