Friday, July 12, 2013

Find joy in the growth spurts.....

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
     before you were born I set you apart..."
                             Jeremiah 1:5 NIV



This verse has been one of several that have been showing up, over & over. Each time I see them, I look up & say I know that is You Lord, thank You!! I actually sent this verse to myself to remember it back on July 3....yes I do text myself, I actually have myself listed as "I'm a Child of God" so it's easy to start that name and have it pop up, since I'm not very technically savvy. But I'm old enough to forget things if I don't write them down, so this smartphone really is a blessing. I can even voice text, sometimes the auto correct thing, or word guess choices are hysterical. I've sent some of those texts with out reading them, and well I'm sure you understand. Speaking of losing focus, sorry. I'm sharing this though because it's reminding me of the signs of losing focus. I know that I never say never, but I pray that if I ever lose focus again, I remember as quickly as I am now to revert my  focus back to Him.

One of the biggest areas I'd lost total focus in was relationships. Not my marriage, or even my children, I learned about losing focus in those areas already. Really it was family, friends, or friends family that I was letting steal my focus. I found myself with pretty much my local immediate family, or just me. That was hard, one of the hardest times in my life was realizing I had to step back from a relationship with several very important people in my life. Well what I consider important, see what I consider important is exactly what God's been speaking to me about for quite awhile....I've just been stubborn & unwilling to let go, or let God. He didn't create space between me & these people I love to hurt either me or them. He is working on each of us in His time. His plan is moving us each forward in different directions, or we are standing still & trying to do life in "our" way.

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself.                 
                          John 15:2-4 NIV

Another verse I've been seeing in my daily routine is this one. It is an eye opener for me recently. I've been literally telling myself, "no pain, no gain" which is my way of keeping my focus on Him instead of the pruning going on in my life. I had lost sight of what kind of fruit the relationships in my life were bearing. I hadn't been focusing on Him & letting Him cut off the branches that weren't bearing good fruit in my life. I was focusing on the drama those relationships were stirring up both in my heart & mind. I was the enemy's pawn & didn't even realize it. I thought I was helping, or living to love those people...I had no idea as God tenderly tried several times to get me to let go, I was holding on tighter & tighter.....I was actually feeding into the enemy's plan perfectly trying to do things on my own. With each relationship He cut off, it became easier to give it to Him & each time I handed them over quicker....I finally am learning to remain in Him. I've found remaining in Him, there is always peace, love, hope & truth. He knows all, He has been planning all since before creation......Who better to remain in, right.....of course yes is the easy answer usually, but not in this case. The truth is without Him I can do nothing!!! When I remain in Him, He is in control not me & He sees the whole plan, not just this one part. It never ceases to amaze me how relieved I am each time I run back to Him & He accepts me with open arms, no matter how long it's been, or what I've done. Can you think of one person on this earth who has this capacity of mercy, or grace??? I have to be honest & say I cant. So for me remaining in Him is exactly where I want to be.

The heart is deceitful above all thing and beyond cure.
  Who can understand it?
                                       Jeremiah 17:9

So, this past Sunday at service the Pastor asked us 2 questions. How's your heart? How's your heart with God?? Then he shared a message that spoke loudly to my heart. I've struggled for a few years with the pruning process. I trust God, I honestly do. I'm still made of flesh & bone however. So it hurts when someone who you are so involved with is suddenly, or slowly removed from your life. Our hearts tell us to hold on, we can't let go. It's like when you plan something, work so hard at planning it, getting it ready, doing it all, then the day comes for it to all take place & it seems to fly by.....then there's nothing when it's over. Or it's almost like giving up an addiction if there's a lot to focus on with them, for them, on them....like drama, or excitement, or even because it's better than focusing on ourselves. But God clearly tells us not to put anyone above Him, or to take our eyes off Him. He tells us to remain in Him. That doesn't mean when there's nothing else to do. That means ALWAYS. So, if I'm praying to Him & asking Him to remove anything that isn't bringing Him glory, or I pray that He will create in me a clean Spirit & break my heart for what breaks His. I'm asking Him to prune me & my life. I'm asking Him to chisel away at the things keeping me from focusing on Him. I'm praying for less me, more Him, He's gonna remove all the distractions & chisel at my attention span, to keep my focus on Him & His plan instead of the drama in this world.

I can say honestly today. That I'm finding joy in the chiseling, after losing my focus. He's growing me to be more & more like Him......my Creator. So find joy in the "growth spurts" & don't feed into the enemy's lie, "you can fix it." Our hearts are always deceitful, there is NO cure. If we follow our hearts, we will be led farther away from God.