Thursday, May 07, 2009

Set Me Afire

Deuteronomy 8:3 – So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
I have in the past occasionally picked a scripture in January to meditate on through the year. This year I chose the above verse. I suspect a quote I'd written down from the Daily Bread in December may have guided that choice. On December 2nd part of the reading was --
Set us a fire Lord, stir us we pray!
While the world perishes we go our way
Purposeless, passionless, day after day;
Set us a fire Lord, stir us we pray!
-- Cushman
This convicted me and I started seeking to be more aware of God in my life each moment, desiring to be led by His Spirit, instead of being in my own little world. I have learned that simply reading my Bible more is the best way to become more conscious of the Lord. When I did this, I began to realize things about my relationship with Him. Yes, I'd been praying and reading my Bible, but more and more it was done quickly, not with delight and joy. It was easy to drift away from that close relationship, and instead do these things from a sense of duty. When I approached God because I thought I should, and not to spend time with Him, I was neither growing in Christ nor was I reaching out to the needy around me.
Thankfully God is a good and forgiving God, who continually reaches out to us and draws us back to Him time and again. Some of the Scriptures that drew me back:
Matthew 11:28-30 – Come to Me, all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
John 6:35 – And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
Matthew 19:26 – But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
In the first two Scriptures, the important word to me was come, I'm the one who'd moved in the first place and the need was for me to again draw near to Him. I did this by setting aside time to get into His word without hurry. As I did this I prayed about things I didn't understand, listened to (obeyed) the commands, and thanked Him for the blessings in my life. These Scriptures contained promises I embraced and clung to. It says He gives us rest (peace) and nourishment, when we make our relationship to Him a priority. By setting aside a little more time, I showed He is important to me.
I found the last verse comforting because it seems this has been an all too common occurrence, me drifting away from that closeness. He says it's impossible for me to live the life of faith on my own, but thank God, with Him all things are possible. I can trust His faithfulness and keeping power. With Him guiding directing and empowering me, I will make it.