How do you take that mountaintop experience down to the valley with you? And sustain it? How do you keep that fire that burned so hot, from cooling down? How do you live IN the world, and not of it?
I’ve been asking myself that question a lot this weekend. I had 2 different experiences with 2 separate people that made me think of it. And I found it really odd that both came on the same weekend. 2 different people that have experienced God in a supernatural way. Felt His presence everywhere they went and had some AWESOME experiences and opportunities to share Christ with people. One has lost it entirely. She has thrown it ALL away and actually said the words of rejecting Christ. That floored me. Absolute SHOCK! How does something like that HAPPEN?
I have experienced God like NO OTHER time in my life, and I don’t ever want to go back. I am excited to see where God is taking me and what He is going to do through my family! That alone is enough to keep me on the straight and narrow! I wasn’t bad before by any means, but like so many Christians I see and know, lived a mediocre Christian life. I did all the things I knew I should do, but all the BIG stuff that actually made a difference, I was too lazy, it took too much time and energy to do it, I’m good. I can get by with this. There were things in my life that I just simply didn’t want to give up. No, not anything like drinking and partying or stealing….but little things that hampered my relationship with Christ. Things that I knew He had told me NOT to do, like gossiping and reading those terrible romance novels, I just didn’t WANT to stop doing them! The whole “going against authority” thing I guess, and it was decidely stupid. Something so minor in my eyes, but things that I knew God had TOLD me not to do, and I couldn’t be bothered to quit doing them.
But it was flat-out disobedience on MY part. I would NOT have tolerated that kind of behavior in my children, and here I was, doing the same thing to the Creator of the Universe! Really not smart!
And it was only when I made that effort to BE obedient that I felt that change. I made the extra effort to actually READ my Bible daily, converse with God regularly, and live a better life according to HIS standard and not mine, and I have reaped the benefits! I am DONE with mediocrity! I wanted that change for myself, and in the process, my family is better. Mike and I made the decision at the same time, but separately and our entire family has gone along for the ride! That’s pretty cool!
So WHY would I want to give that up??? Why would I WANT anything LESS for myself?? How could I give that up….that EXCITEMENT to know I’m created for something MORE?? That I can be different, set apart, and can be used to do GREAT and MIGHTY things?? Why would I want to let go of God’s hand for anything less than what He’s given me? There’s nothing in any book that can give me better than what God is giving me. There is NO juicy news of any kind that anyone can tell me, that is better than what God has given me. There just simply isn’t. Gosh, I even did the unthinkable and GAVE away bags and BAGS of Gymboree!! And the earth never once rocked on it’s axis. It kept going just fine even though Brooklyn had LESS Gymboree. How dumb. Why would I waste my time on my daughter’s wardrobe and risk giving up what God has given me? Why would I waste my time focusing on ANYTHING less? Now dont’ get me wrong, I still LOVE me some Gymboree and she will still wear it, but I am not defined by what my daughter is wearing. God put that to the test, and I accepted that challenge, and won. And I am so much better for it.
It was my GOAL to be closer to God. It was my CHOICE to make that extra effort to be more and to see just what the Almighty God could do with a homely wife and mother. And OH is the excitement there! It’s building all the time. I don’t want to be lukewarm! I don’t want God to spit me out! I don’t want to be average! I want to be GREAT! But gosh, even DAVID, a man after God’s own heart, lost it too! We have the book of Psalms full of lamentings from David after he felt the distance from God! He had GREATNESS and gave it up to dabble with Bathsheba! I don’t care how good-lookin she may have been…..it wasn’t worth damaging his relationship with God, which is exactly what he did. Stupid stupid David…
I LOVE our pastor! I hope he doesn’t mind me putting his name here….but GORDON SMALL is probably the best pastor I have ever had! He is a HUMBLE man! Not pompous and arrogant…he knows that he is WHO he is because of God. And his sermon yesterday was simply WONDERFUL! He talked about being filled with the Holy Spirit. (See, Gordon? We listen! LOL) He said “being filled with the Spirit causes us to do things outside of ourselves. God gave us a supernatural task that is IMPOSSIBLE to do without Him. We NEED Him to do that job. And the hardest thing for a lot of us to do is to SET ASIDE ourselves and let God take over and us do His will.” Even if it’s setting aside those stupid little things like romance novels and our gossiping tongues….and he DID mention gossiping which I almost laughed OUTLOUD in church over because we had JUST talked about that in Sunday School right before church! LOL I had admitted my “former” love of gossip to the girls and how I CHOOSE to do better! And Gordon encouraged that in church! Funny, how he said that, and ALL the youth girls turn and look at ME! BAHAHAHA! Now I see that THEY are listening in church too. LOL
Lord, help me NEVER to settle for less than YOUR greatness! Help me to always be useful and willing! Keep me STRONG when temptations come, BOLD when opportunites arise, and always HUNGRY for more of You! Don’t let me outlive my usefulness. And help me encourage others to do the same. I want to see You shine in myself and in others! I ask Your forgiveness for my disobediance and laziness. Teach me a better way. Keep me accountable, Lord! I love You more than anything else! In Jesus name…..