Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sing a New Song. Thoughts from a 7 Minute Sabbath

Our Connect Group lessons this past week were on the Sabbath.  I was convicted that I was not being intentional about taking a Sabbath.  Over the past two years, I have heard several Bible teachers/pastors speak on Sabbath and the importance of taking a Sabbath. I KNOW what God’s word says, but in this area, I have not been a doer of that word.  That changed this week. 

This week, instead of taking an entire day as a Sabbath rest, I have incorporated a daily Sabbath into my routine.  I call it my 7 Minute Sabbath. For the most part, I end my quiet time with this. The 7 Minute Sabbath is simply about being still and listening.

This morning was one of those moments when a very familiar scripture seemed to come off the page during my Bible study, but it was during that 7 minute Sabbath that I felt God make it personal for me. 

Psalm 33: 3

                Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings with loud shouts.

I have loved this particular verse for years.  It was my justification for practicing piano before doing homework in high school.  However, today it was the first part of the verse that absolutely tugged at my heart. 

                Sing to him a NEW SONG.

What God impressed in me this morning was that a “new song” doesn’t always mean NEW lyric, NEW style, or NEW as in just written or freshly composed.  Those are great and I am a firm believer in using freshly composed music!! 

But sometimes, in our personal life, we sing the same song over and over.

Have you been there?  God delivers or heals you in one area and it is incredible! That particular time becomes a spiritual milestone, a building block of faith.  You sing that song of deliverance or healing over and over.  AS YOU SHOULD! 

BUT…sometimes we take those milestones and building blocks of faith and just set up camp. We glorify the THING we were delivered from MORE than we glorify the ONE who did the delivering.

There are mile markers on this journey that we miss because we are so focused on what he has done in the past that we miss what he is doing today.

Please hear me, we should never forget what God has done. We SHOULD look back with thanksgiving and celebration and say look how far he has brought us.

BUT, looking back for extended periods of time and not fixing our eyes on Jesus TODAY, is dangerous.  I believe with all my heart constant focus on the past keeps you from seeing the hand of God working in your life TODAY. 

What is he doing today?  Where is he taking you in this season of life? What area is he teaching you to trust him more? 

At the end of this week, will you have a new song to sing? 



Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

Hope. It has been my word since October of 2012.  Last year especially, God gave me ample opportunity to bask in hope as well as share hope. I feel like it is "my" word. :)  My theme.  Who knows, maybe a song will come from this.

As we ended 2013, I began to ask the Lord if HOPE would be my theme/word for 2014 or was there something different.  Over the last weeks of the year, the word TRANSFORMATION slapped me across the heart. Clearly, this was my theme for 2014. 

I'm journaling my thoughts on my neglected blog this year simply calling them Transformation Thoughts. All will be based on what God is showing me in through his word.  Most of it, like today's will simply be raw nuggets of what God is teaching me. 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Transformation Thoughts #1

          Proverbs 3:3-4 (from ESV) tells us:

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.  So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.

It is January.   A new year. A fresh start. I have some goals set for this year.  I bet you do too. For me, this is the year of transformation.  Transformation in health, business, and my spiritual life.  If we were together, you would probably share something similar. 

As I read the above verses in Proverbs this morning, I was struck with verse 4. It says, So you will find favor and success with GOD and MAN.

Favor and good success with God and man are the result or consequence of two things:
Steadfast Love.

Steadfast love. Faithfulness. Those things, at least for me, are hardest in the everyday. In the routine. The bed making. The laundry. The dishes. And for me, feeding the dog. (Sorry, just being honest)

Steadfast love and Faithfulness. In relationships where you just aren't sure where you stand. 

Steadfast love and Faithfulness when each day presents a new challenge. 

Steadfast love and faithfulness when it would be so very easy to simply wimp out, stay in bed and watch reality t.v. 

Why bind it around our neck and write it on the tablet of our hearts?

Favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Reminds me of Luke 2:52
And Jesus increased in wisdom, and in stature, and in favor with God and man.

Here was my question from this morning:

Do I want to accomplish my goals for this year? Well, yes! Of course I do!

Then I MUST STEADFASTLY love God and THEN love others with that unwavering, steady constant love. Even when rejected....choose LOVE.

I MUST be faithful (consistent, reliable, available) in relationships.  This will come from an overflow of my relationship with God.

Overtime I will see that my perception of "good success" will change.  It will be transformed into God's plan. He WILL transform my heart, my mind, my desires bringing them into complete obedience to his plan.  (That by the way, is when he will give me the desires of my heart.)

Even as I studied this passage...the term success is not what my American,goal oriented mind wanted it to mean!  (Financial accomplishment; achievement; promotion. WINNING!)

Nope it is talking about gaining a good name. Good repute. Being held in high regard. The Hebrew word literally talks about being WISE.  Gaining WISDOM.  Knowledge, understanding, discretion. See how God changed my perception in this?  My human thoughts went straight for the tangible...while God was saying dig deeper there is more!

My nugget for today:

Ask God to transform the way I love. Love steadfastly and be faithful.

Success may not look like what I thought it would.  BUT...when my perception has been transformed by Jesus, success is better than anything I could imagine.