Tuesday, November 1, 2011

11/1/11 Eleven Days of Worship Challenge

A week ago, I was asked the question, "Where do I struggle to be obedient to God's promptings?"

My reply was that I struggle to be certain that I am hearing God's voice- and not some internal whim, or the sometimes 'beautiful' voice of the deceiver. I've spent so much of my life learning to be discerning that even when God clearly speaks to me, I hesitate- as if to judge whether He said it right or if this is scriptural.  Now don't get me wrong, those things are SO very important to do- but not as an excuse of not being obedient to what He's calling me too.  It's usually a change of some sort; a behavior, an attitude, a direction.  Change isn't easy, so I use the excuse that I must be sure GOD IS SPEAKING TO ME!

Well, my challenge this week was to just spend time in worship- listening for His voice, learning to recognize it when He speaks to me. (Yes,friends- this is the 20 minute worship challenge again.)  I won't lie! It's been hard. I've sensed a freedom in my corporate worship in the last few months.  But my time spent in private worship has been the most difficult for me since Leisha ran off to heaven.  For a while, it was because I was angry that He allowed her death.  Then it was just hard because it was such an intimate time and I felt too vulnerable in His presence.  I've come to Him, but it's been with thick layers of protection surrounding me.  I'm sure it was as much so that He couldn't see me or my anger (as if that could happen), as my fear of Him.

You know what happens when you put up barriers between you and the one you love- whether that's your husband, or child, or friend, or even the Most High God?  Intimacy is blocked!  Isn't that the one thing we all really crave?  To be fully known and still be loved deeply.  To be heard, but also to be able to hear the voice of our Beloved.  Intimacy means into me see!

Are you seeing your Beloved?  Do you recognize his voice?

Isaiah saw the Lord (Isaiah 6). He was undone!  He was a man who "understood much about God...but he had never been introduced to the presence of the Holy One."

"Looking UPWARD, he encountered the holiness of the Almighty, and this trembling prophet fell to his knees.  Whenever we see the holiness of God, we are forced to look at our own lace of holiness.  Looking INWARD, Isaiah was over come by his own sinfulness.  Graciously, God cleansed Isaiah's heart, and then he was able to look OUTWARD and respond to God's call to 'go'!  (Linda Dillow, Satisfy My Thirsty Soul) 

Isaiah was changed.  I want to be changed!  I want to know my God and  to recognize his voice.

I think we are back to my original question last week.
Where are you struggling to be obedient to God's promptings?
Are you able to hear the voice of God, and recognize it as His voice?
Are you spending time in His presence every day, to develop intimacy in your relationship with Him?

Today is the 1st day of the 11th month of the 11th year of  this decade, or even century. (1/11/11)  What a great day to begin to spend time with Him if you aren't already.

So here's the challenge for you!  Spend the next 11 days in His presence.  I don't know what that looks like for you.  You might use Isaiah 6 or I Chronicles 29:10-14 as a guide.  If you are interested, I could send you an article written by Becky Harling for Discipleship Journal several years ago. (Just send me a note requesting it.) But the focus is to see God and know His voice!

I'm accepting the challenge!  Join me, won't you?  Take the Eleven Days of Worship Challenge.  Let me know that you too are seeking his face! I'd love to hear what He is saying to you when you are with Him! Let's worship Him together!

Psalm 63:1-3 O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you in a dry and weary land.  I have seen you in your sanctuary and beheld your power and glory. Because your love is better than live, my lips will glorify you!

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