Do you know what it is for your heart to sing of the Greatness of the Lord?
Five years ago I was a college student, at a point in my life where I was either going to return to the Lord, and live for him, or keep telling myself that “One day I will go back to church…” One weekend I came back home, to visit my family, and I decided to go and sit in a service at my church. I was at the back of the sanctuary, minding my own business when a blue eyed, spiky haired, “arrogant” guy came and plopped himself beside me. With out really knowing him, I tried to be polite, and make small talk. I figured he had already made his mind up about me, because I wasn’t “fake” like a lot of other people I knew at the time. Out of nowhere, he looked at me and said, “You know you need to get your life straight, right? You aren’t living the way that you should be, and there are consequences for that…” If you know me at all, you would be able to see this scene in your head- a defensive 20 year old, who thought she had it all together, and this loser had no right to tell me how I should be living; after all, he was just another religious person, right? He probably did half of the things that I did, only I was willing to ADMIT that I did them!
I returned back to school that week, and I remember lying awake in my bed, and having to turn the TV on at night, because I couldn’t sleep without noise. His words would run over and over in my mind, and it would just remind me of the truth that I already knew in my heart. I knew he was right, and I had just been making excuses for what I wanted to do, instead.
I am thankful for that blue eyed, spiky haired, “arrogant”, man today! He is my husband, and I know that if he hadn’t of taken the chance to confront me, when nobody else would, I could still be walking on the fence, with out ever really making the choice to live for Christ. I now know that he wasn’t arrogant, he was so confident in his faith, and knew that the Word of God would not return void, if he would take the chance to speak into my life.
Up until I was 20 I thought that being a Christian meant going to church, attending youth events, singing sometimes, participating in plays, and occasionally bringing some friends along with me. It honestly wasn’t until that winter, when I re-committed my life, that I learned that being a Christian was about a relationship with God, and not just how many times I attended my church’s events.
Just after Matt and I got married, I remember reading the passage about trials in James 1:
“When troubles come your way, consider it great joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow, so let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect, needing nothing.”
Without knowing the power of prayer, and the power that words have, I prayed this passage over and over. If it meant that trials were going to bring me closer to God, and have true joy, and know His heart and power; then I wanted trials. I will warn you, that if you aren’t serious about this, do not pray it; because it will break you, and God will answer; He knows the benefits. I didn’t know how serious my words were, and I can say that through out some of the things He has taken me through, I haven’t done them with a smile on my face. At some points, I have had to go around the same mountain a few times, because I wouldn't learn what he was trying to teach me, with an accepting heart!
To be honest, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I realized the process that has been occurring in me, and what the Lord has done in my life.
If you run in Christian circles, it is no doubt that you know the song “How Great is Our God”. For years I have loved this song because of the words, and the impact that they can have in a worship service. It is a big “hit” at my church, and the power of the congregation singing it together, always gave me an emotional experience. I remember reading the words over and over, trying to get them into my spirit, so that I could sing them with conviction, and whole heartedly mean the words that I was singing. I can tell you today, that I can’t even hear this song with out my heart aching for the Lord. I am so in love with Him, and His word, half he day I catch myself sitting around and thinking about Him and His power.
Lately I have heard the words “My heart will sing, how GREAT is our God…” over and over in my mind, while my heart simultaneously feels like it is going to burst at the seams. I have never felt so close to the Lord, as I do today. He has taught me so much, and has so much more to teach me. He has answered my prayer to know him more, and experience Who he is; even if it is just a small glimpse. He has shown me that nothing else matters, but Him and His word; that what matters most is what He thinks of me; that His opinion and approval are more important then mans; that He is in control, and has great things in store for those who are devoted to Him, and His purposes.
I encourage you that if you want to know the Lord more, and who He is, you should ask him. It may not happen quickly, or you may feel like you are getting nowhere- but over time, little by little, He will reveal himself to you, and because of that, you cannot help but be changed.