Tuesday, September 17, 2013

God is Real

God is real. This thought captivates my heart as I sit in my quiet house this morning. God is real. Oh sure, I know this intellectually. I know this in my heart. But I really do not know that I know this fully. If I did, how differently I would live and think. Move and breathe. 

Last week, my husband said to me, “I’m learning to look at things from Heaven’s throne rather than my perspective.” I’ve been thinking about that. And this reality, God is Real, is invading me. You see, I struggle. I struggle with “being in the ministry” being enough. I’ve sacrificed enough. Given enough. Believe me, I have my laundry list of what I’ve given up, so I’m not willing to give up more. More comfort. More strongholds. More idols. More other than Him affections. More sacrifice. I’ve gone far enough with Him. And I’ve stopped Him from asking more of me. I like my comforts and my control. But I’m learning I have none. Because of this thought. God is real. Every hero I have in His Word knew this. It occurs to me, they were no hero’s at all. They simply knew this one thing. God is real. Abraham left and sacrificed. Joseph. Moses. Nehemiah. David. Hannah. Daniel. Ruth. Mary. Peter. Paul. Matthew. John. They didn’t need to know anything else because this one reality removes everything else from our hearts. Every fear. Every doubt. Every limitation and stipulation we put on Him. Everything. God asked of them what was most dear to them and they said yes to Him.

God is real. In my gut, I know it. For some reason this, real as the chair I’m sitting in, reality changes everything. Suddenly, I see the places of my heart I’m holding. And He’s not reigning. And it overwhelms me to realize that I really don’t believe He is real. If I did, I would hold on to nothing. Nothing but Him. The control I want to have of my life. From the throne of this Real God, that is stripped away. And the status and success and approval and validation I seek, they are merely dead idols created by my human hands. In my church going, ministry living, good girl life, how have I missed this? How am I just learning this? Of course, this pastors’ wife knows God is real. I’ve given up my life for Him. But for the first time, I see that in my own heart, I do not live as if He really were real. Because in my heart, there is still dead. There is still comfortable captivity. My soul has been saved but my heart has not been whole. In my heart, I’ve been the rich young ruler. Those things that I hold most dearly. I’ve let those other things reign where only He should. He has said to my heart, let it go. You know so much about Me, have lived for Me, given up for Me, but I am not fully Lord. So these other than Me things that you most treasure, give them up. And I’ve said no. Just like the rich young ruler whom I’ve chastised so many times. In the depths of my heart, I have not believed that He is real. Otherwise, I would let go. I would walk away. I would give it up because this is Christ, the real God, calling me. But I’d rather have my dead gods. 

Just. Stop. God is real. Can you even begin to wrap your mind around that?  The God who spoke and it was. The God who died so you could live. He is real. The most real thing that exists. Of course He is, but do you really live that way in your heart? Where you worry and fear? Where you have stones of anger and rocks of bitterness? Where you try to control or impress? Where you still seek the approval and the favor of others? Where it matters to you how you measure up to the success and status of those around you? Where opinions dictate your decisions? Because if He really is real, in your gut, that all becomes dead. This one reality makes your heart whole and wholly set on Him. He is real. And this throne view of life changes how I live. If He says go, I go. Because He is God and He is real and I see life from His view not my own. Staying would be death and going is life. I cannot stay. If He says give. Serve. Sell. Sacrifice. Get into the mess of others. Love to the death of self. Comfort becomes uncomfortable. Safe becomes dangerous because He is not Lord of safe.   

In my mind, surrender has been to a circumstance. I’ve lived in fear of what that circumstance might be. So I’ve said No. Enough. But surrender is to Him. This real God. That’s what I’ve missed. The rich young ruler walked away because He did not know that He is real. Surrender was about a thing not the real God. When surrender is to Him, our response is never, No. It’s never, I won’t go that far. I won’t give up that attitude. That sin. That desire. That approval. That comfort. Even the good things, the things I think I’m supposed to do as a good girl, if they have dethroned Him and become my comfort, my security, my focus, my pride, are dead gods reigning the throne of my heart. When those other than Him things matter more, He is not really real to me. But when He truly comes alive in my heart, all else dies. And my answer is Yes. Because He is real.

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