Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What to say, Lord?

It's You who gave me life, and I,
Can't explain just how
Much You mean to me now
That You have saved me, Lord
I give all that I am to You
That everyday I could
Be a light that shines Your name!

Do you know that feeling, the one where no matter how hard you try, you cannot help but smile... you can't compress the feeling into words... it's almost like words cheat the feeling somehow, cheapens it in a way. It's this glow that settles in on your soul, heart, mind, and entire being!! It's this inexplicable joy, incomprehensible love, unfathomable depth of reason and emotion mixed into one, everything makes sense in the most perfect way, colors seem more vibrant, the song of life is perfectly in tune, it's like walking outside and there is a perfect breeze but just enough sunlight to warm the outer layers yet cool enough to caress the skin... it's like realizing everything you hoped for, dreamed about, yearned for, longed for, cried out for... all of it was true!

That feeling, those imperfect descriptions... multiply by oh, I don't know... infinity? And then maybe you'll get a glimpse of what I'm trying to describe.

God's love. His grace. His peace. Just, Him!!

Ah!! Everything in me wants to sing, shout, cry, laugh, jump up, stand up, sit in awe, bow down, dance madly, and let my every breathe worship WHO He is, and WHAT He does! I want to ponder the depths of Him. I want to spend every waking moment of every day loving Him, glorifying Him, and honoring Him! Why? Because of His love!! His love for me, His love for you, His love that is so perfect and unfailing!!

I'm caught up in two things: One, I don't want to go to sleep because I want to pray, read His word, worship Him, think of Him, listen to Him, and experience His unending mercies!-and Two, I can't wait to wake up and begin a new day living out this life He has for me.. to grow ever closer to His heart and learn more, love more, change more, and be like Him more!!

And that's when it hits me. I'm 19, most people live to be older than 70... I've got 50 years+ to live... multiply by 365 and that's 18,250 days to wake up and live for Him every day! OH MY GOODNESS! I can barely even comprehend His love today... I've got like 20,000 more days to live in His love!!! My heart is going to explode! And then there's always the possibility He'll call me home sooner... what a sweet remarkable day that will be. Like Paul says:

Philippians 1:21-24"For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better. Yet if I live, that means fruitful service for Christ. I really don't know which is better. I'm torn between two desires: Sometimes I want to live, and sometimes I long to go and be with Christ. That would be far better for me, but it is better for you that I live." (NLT)

Woahh. Intense. So true! That is my very heartbeat. I long to be in heaven with Christ!! But if it is His will to stay here and live to minister to others and live for His glory, then by golly I am going to pour all that I am out to do that!! I used to not understand that verse.. it seemed crazy and impossible to feel that way. I really wondered what christian I knew actually felt that way... it seemed so far fetched, unreal, distant, too.. bible-y! Yet here I stand and I will proclaim louder than every before, that is the essence of my heart's beat! Really? Really! I used to be like, but first God, I want to fall in love with a wonderful man and get married. But I'm pretty sure that is super selfish. And I'm also pretty sure He is the most perfect lover EVER and He satisfies my longings like nothing else!! I still long for an earthly romance, but I long for Christ MORE!

Then of course, one may think, yeah but is it really possible live every day out in this kind of joy? With that kind of passion? I mean, everyone has their off days... when things go wrong, or life kind of stinks. There must be exceptions, right? There must be times when life just sucks and you deal with it... yea? NO!!!!

That's the whole point!!! I'll be completely honest, I cried twice today. Today was hard in the natural. I had to relinquish selfish desires and lay all my longing before the Lord... and THAT made me press closer into Him, that made me draw even more near the throne of God. Hard things, trials, bad days, satan being a jerk... it really doesn't matter... because we have the joy of the Lord! And if bad things slash trials bring us closer to the Lord... how is that bad?! It shouldn't be! And when the Lord pours out His blessings, we shouldn't settle in and forget who gave us the blessings, we should turn our eyes toward heaven and proclaim how great our God is!

Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (NIV)

It says ALWAYS. Good or bad. Happy or sad. Joy is not dependent on situations, it's dependent on Christ. And last time I checked He never leaves or forsakes us, oh and His love is unfailing. Sounds like a win win deal to me!

But how? Honestly, it's like it says in John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease." (NASB) And bam. I promise the floodgates of heaven and all its blessings will be poured out in your life when you live like this. I can safely say it has happened to me, and continues to every day!

But not worldly blessings... those are nice and a bonus, but the blessings I long for are of heavenly value. And I could care less about my crown or rewards in heaven... because CHRIST is all the reward I need!! Like, AH! How do I explain this?! The joy I have is because the intimacy I have with God. The kind of blessings I want are wisdom, insight, discernment, a heart for others, kindness, goodness, greater faith, deeper intimacy with the one who loves me!

Tozer explains it perfectly: "The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for now he has it all in One and he has it purely, legitimately, and forever."



My heart is so clearly written out in this wise man's words.

And the craziest thing? To see how far I've come. To see the state of apathy I used to be in. To see how much joy I was missing because I wasn't living a pure life for Christ. What do I mean? I lived half for myself half for the Lord. I never did any big bad sins, in fact a lot of people who knew me in highschool would probably tell you I was a super Christian or something dumb like that haha.

I loved the Lord, but I lived steeped in selfishness. But I didn't even realize most of what I did was selfish! It's like a little kid with crumbs all over his mouth and a half eaten cookie in his hand he was supposed to give to his brother... yet he stole half of it, thinking nothing was wrong and he was doing a good thing sharing. HA!

Once the Lord opened my eyes to how selfish I was... I began to pray and just ask the Lord to relinquish ALL selfishness, to root it out at the core. It's been so painful, but so worth it. And it's not like it was over night, and it's not like the process is done! But the more I give up, the more I see Christ. The more I lay my life down, the more I see Christ in me. The more I radically change my ways to be the way the bible tells me it ought to be... the more I find my old self so pitiful. I cannot live like the world even when it tries to pull me back... I long for my Lord too much. And yeah, I definitely mess up and sin and I'm not always living right (though I strive to be perfect just like my heavenly Father is perfect!!! Matthews 5:48) but that's the beauty of it, Christ's redemption redeemed me(what a concept!). When I fall, He picks me up, when I stumble, He steadies my balance, when I despair, He lifts me up on eagles wings!

Like it says in Ephesians 4:1 "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,"(NASB) I want to walk worthy of His calling. That means picking up my cross DAILY, even when I don't feel like it. That means each day saying adios to selfish whims, and hello to an exciting abundant life Christ offers! I want to live in such a way that is blameless in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. And part of walking worthy is realizing, hey I'm NOT a super human being who won't ever mess up, so I need forgiveness like everyone else.. however I DO have the Holy Spirit of God living in me to guide me... and I pray evermore for the Spirit to lead me and guide me in the ways of God's holy word.

I just can't stress enough... how much I love this incredibly just and merciful God I serve!!!

It literally blows my mind every single day!

Words don't even begin to cover it... this little post doesn't even give you but a glimpse of this passion welled up inside of me!! Christ is my all-consuming passion and it may sound boring to those who don't understand... but it's like watching a tiny black and white t.v. for so long, you get the picture, you see it and enjoy it... but with Christ at the center of my life... life is suddenly like watching a 150" high def plasma screen tv (idk if that is still the largest...)... it's like life has this HUGE burst of color and fine details, I see everything crisply and WAY more clearly than before; everything is sweeter and altogether a million times more amazing with Him!!

Oh my goodness... His love is crazy!! And I am crazy for Him... and I seriously need to do some homework! After all, 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (NIV) Sooo I'm not going to slack off on school because I'm super excited about God and all that encompasses... no I want to glorify Him even in the things I don't LIKE but still somehow find JOY doing because I love Him so much! I want to excel so I can bring Him glory through school too. And trust me, I've never been an academically driven person ha.

So goodnight?(: (and I noticed this post is lacking smileys... so here this will make up for it)

:D :D :D :D :D (:(:(:(:(:(:(: x85969586(:


Anonymous said...

Wow Leah!!! :) You should see my journal this morning. It's a bunch of ramblings about how amazing Jesus is. I think I said it in like 50 different ways! I love how every time I read your blog, I feel like you've expounded upon all the things that have been on my mind! :) Love ya!

PS your blog is now bookmarked on the top of my internet page Ha, there's a little Leah Matthews button. :)

LMM said...

I'm terrible at commenting back on this thing!!!! Loved your other comments. I vote we skype soon and talk about Jesus! Yes? Yes.

He blows my mind! Sometimes I look back at what I wrote and wonder how I even explained it... He is so good(:

P.s. that makes me really happy!!! A Leah Button! Woo!

And I love you. Skype soon seriously.