Something has been gradually dawning on me the past couple days. I couldn't really understand what it was, couldn't understand why I was feeling the way I was. (And no, I'm not going to come out with an announcement that "I'm in love!")
I have been suffering from a gradual, deadly disease. It threatens to suck the very joy out of my life. It wraps it's ugly hands around my eyes, until I can't even see anymore.
It's name is "going through the motions."
It's so sneaky, because it looks like you're doing all the right things, saying nice things, doing nice things...but inside you're dying for air.
It came upon me so slowly, that I'm not even sure when it began. It could be days or weeks.
My parents gave me several new devotional books for my birthday on Wednesday. The one I decided to start is called "Purity," by Lydia Brownback. As I was reading the first chapter,
"A Pure Woman is Clear-sighted," something niggled at the back of my heart. As I read, A pure heart is one so set on God that it isn't watered down with lesser things, I felt uncomfortable. "I don't feel like I can really see God right now. What this devotional is talking about is not where I am right now. What's wrong with me?"
Then last night, I read the second chapter, "A Pure Woman has One Desire." The theme verse is one that I have memorized, and even spoke on myself.
Psalm 73:25-26 "Whom have I in heaven but You, and there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever."
The thing that bothers me is that I have tasted this kind of passion and desire! I have known it to be true in my heart and life! But I slip, I fall, I grow stagnant in my desire! As I was going to bed, I knew this had to change! I am sick of half-hearted prayers, blah-blah devotions, and being caught up in the dailiness of life!
This morning, I got up with my alarm, and got out my Bible, my spiritual journal, and my coffee and sat on the futon. I looked at the same Bible I had been reading out of every day, and said, "God, I'm sick of the way I've been acting in my soul, like You aren't enough, like You aren't satisfying. Show me SOMETHING that I can cling to!"
I opened my Bible at random, and came to 1 Samuel 12, thinking to myself, "What is Samuel's final address going to teach me right now?" Samuel walks the people of Israel through all their foolishness, their going after other gods, like the people all around them.
"But you have forgotten the Lord your God." I stopped reading. I have forgotten God in the business of life. He has become a small part of my routine, like brushing my teeth. I don't really think about Him after I've done my time!
I cried out, "I'm sick of this! What can I do?"
Then I got to verses 20 and 21.
"And Samuel said to the people, "Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty."
Thank You, LORD! I have done evil. I have done and thought things I should not. I have not done things I should. But I do not have to be afraid! What I need to do is NOT TURN ASIDE FROM FOLLOWING! I can't let even my own failures discourage me from following, from clinging to my GOD with my WHOLE HEART! Serve Him! Follow Him! Worship Him! Love Him! Praise Him!
And DO NOT TURN ASIDE AFTER EMPTY THINGS...for they are empty. They cannot satisfy.
Follow God. Serve Him with your whole heart.
"If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself." 2 Timothy 2:13