So there are three things I want to talk about today, not necessarily alot of verses, though there will be a few. To start off with, I want to add a disclaimer to all of my notes, written previously and yet to be written. I am not writing to come off as "holier than thou" or to talk down to you. When I tag someone in a note it's because I want them to read it, and leave some input if they get something out of it. I would also love it, if I don't tag you, for you to still read and leave input.
(WARNING: If you haven't been tagged, and you leave input, you will more than likely be tagged in notes thereafter)
Psalm 115:1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us; but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
These notes are not my ideas, but what the Lord has planted in my heart, and so to Him be all the glory not me. These things that I write about are things that I struggle with also. "I am not what you see" fits this so perfectly. Just because I talk about what we should do in certain situations doesn't mean that I am not currently struggling with it myself.
Matthew 7:4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
Luke 6:41"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
Matthew and Luke both talk about this, how can I push this off to you as readers, if I am not following it myself? The reason why I write these is because I am struggling with it, and I write in hopes of gaining understanding from you readers as peers, and that through it also if anyone reads and needs help with the same issue they will be able to gain it.
These things that are revealed to me through the Lord actually have a name, that is epiphany.
1. (initial capital letter) a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
2. an appearance or manifestation, esp. of a deity.
3. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
I have only know epiphany as the third definition, imagine my surprise last night when I was considering putting the word in this note, and looked it up, and saw definitions 1 and 2.
Anyway, So these two epiphanies that I am writing about today happened over the course of the past two weeks, during the worship sessions at FUEL.
The first one, prayer is a conversation with God. Honestly, we hear this all the time, but do we really think of it that way?
Matthew 6:5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
I know most people have heard these verses before, and then the Lord's Prayer follows this. I also know that most of us don't go out on street corners and pray, but what we do have a tendency of doing, is babble, like none other, and repeat things (I know Darrel has already covered this once this year, but for some reason it just now hit me) such as God, Lord, and other "holy" words. It really hit me that when I pray, that I should just be talking to Him, I already do it some, but not near enough, I need to work to where I'm in constant conversation. I never really understood the whole "praying while driving" thing until this past month or so, in which I find myself in prayer anytime I think of something...It's pretty great! I also think (which this is more personal preference than anything) that when we pray we should be talking to Abba (the Aramaic word for Father) or Father if that "sounds" better to you. But that is just my personal thoughts.
Moving on to my second epiphany. This lines up with both things I have talked about in previous. It also ties into a certain day that is at the end of the week.....
Here is how the epiphany came to me, we were singing a certain song and in this song there is a line that says "Jesus you're all this heart is living for." Now back in the day (ha makes me sound old) as in like over the past two years, I'll be honest, when we'd sing this song in church, I would not sing this line. Because I felt horrible and like a hypocrite for doing so, which in all truth I was. I was always reminded of a verse that I mentioned in the last note, and one that Darrel mentioned last night.
Revelation 3:15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
I did not want to be lukewarm, so to me, by not singing that line, that was my attempt at being "cold" but what I found, was that in just avoiding that song, I couldn't escape, I would have to leave the church completely to be "cold" and I did not want to do this, so I remained lukewarm until about October/November of last year.
The reason why this hit me so hard, was because I had practically spent all day Monday talking to God about whether or not I would have someone for Valentines Day. (pathetic right?) Now I had seriously spent all day Monday talking to Him about it. Most of the day Tuesday was consumed in it also, but then when I got to FUEL and we sang that song, it hit me, hit me hard. Yes my life may be different from the way it was when I moved here, but Monday and Tuesday, I was not living for God, I was talking to God about what I wanted. This doesn't fly with God. We need to be seeking Him, praying to Him for what he wants in our lives. I know I wrote a note about what I wanted in a girl, and last night I came to the stark realization that what I want in future spouse, and what God wants for me in a future spouse may be two utterly different things. For all I know God could call me to be like Hosea, which would be in stark contrast to anything I would ever want. But it could happen.
(Title from Not What You See by Kutless)