Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Duty or Delight Weeks 5 and 6

The last week of Bible study is always a little bittersweet. This one was especially difficult for me.

Week 5 continued a theme that God has been working in me long before we began the journey from Duty to Delight. The theme or concept that God was working into me was basically loving Him first and then loving others. I mean REALLY loving others. Nothing new or incredibly "deep". Just basically getting back to what is most important. And don't you know that there has been quite a bit of practical application during that process! :)

One day last week I found myself hanging up the phone and saying, "I am done." Everything in me wanted to just walk away from a particular relationship. Close the door, lock it,move a dresser in front of it kind of done! As soon as I got through telling God how done I was...He was faithful to remind of 1 Corinthians 13. Love is not easily angered and keeps no records of wrongs. Yikes.

Forgive. Again. Move forward in love. Set some boundaries, but as far as it depends on me, I will choose to live in peace (Romans 12) and yes, LOVE. Sincere Love. (Didn't you love learning that the definition of the Greek word used for sincerity in Romans 12:9 was inexperienced in the art of acting?! LOVED THAT)

Week 5 was a difficult one, but at the same time it was just like God to speak tenderly to this hurting heart. He is so faithful.

How did week 5 speak to your heart? Did you have a light bulb moment like I did?

Week 6. Oh week 6. P.O.W.E.R.F.U.L. BUT, what amazed me was that as hard as last week was for me, God spoke so many things to my heart. SO many times He would bring scripture to my mind that was "just right" to what I was feeling. Sometimes for me and sometimes to share with the person standing in front of me. Everything we have been learning and focusing on had taken root and was living in me. Amazing.

Monday evening I was sitting on the front porch going over week 6 and preparing for our Tuesday morning group. Emma was riding her bike up and down the street. She was FLYING around the cul-de-sac and down our driveway with the biggest grin on her face! She and Pixie (what she calls her bike) were quite a show. Emma's laugh is contagious and she was LOVING life. It was my delight to watch her.

After all that riding, she parked Pixie and began to "decorate" our driveway with sidewalk chalk. After a few minutes she called me over to check out what she had done.

I looked down and saw that she had written in LARGE letters J E S U S on our driveway. In her words "So the people in airplanes can see His name written on our driveway". I thought it was cool, but what she said next was straight from God's mouth to me.

I told her how awesome I thought her project was and she said,

"Well..if you look at it right now, it's okay. Really, it's kind of just flat Not really very exciting It's just a name."

My response, "Well, okay...but it is still pretty cool, Em"

"BUT MOM. When I put on these glasses it TOTALLY CHANGES the picture. These glasses make Jesus just pop off the driveway. It's 3-D chalk and 3-D glasses, MOM! If you don't have them both, then you only get part of the picture. You miss the best part!"

Oh my sweet friend that is exactly what Duty or Delight taught me. Going through the motions of reading my Bible, serving, being a wife and mother, writing music, leading Bible study.... all that stuff is completely flat and dead until...

I "put the glasses on" :) Until the Holy Spirit (My To-Be-Able) makes it POP off the page and changes my perspective.

Duty or Delight was like putting on 3D glasses and seeing my relationship with God in a totally different dimension. Why? Because I finally "got" that God Almighty, The One and Only, delights in me. Not because He "has to", but because He LONGS TO. From before the foundation of the world...He chose me. (Ephesians 1:4) He rescued me!Why? Because He Delights in me! (Psalm 18:19 and 2 Sam. 22:20)

I thought I loved Him before, but I am overwhelmed at the extravagance of His love and I can't help but pray "Oh God, help me love you more."

As we close this season of Bible study, how has Duty or Delight changed your perspective? What have you learned and how will you apply it to life?

This song is at the top of my playlist right now. I challenge you to not just watch, but worship the One who not only loves you, but delights in you.

YOU are precious to Him and to me. Thank you for taking this journey with us! Your e-mails, facebook messages and responses have been incredible. I know this was an intensely personal journey at times and I am so thankful you were on it with me!


Sheryl said...

Love that song my friend!