Hello…Anyone Listening?

Last night at church we talked about the first commandment–thou shall have no other God’s before Me. Then we talked about how rarely we live this one out. No, we don’t have images made from stone or wood, but we have our idols none the less–those things we hold so tightly, they’ve subtly gained control of our heart. Sometimes even good things can become bad, when gripped too tightly. For me, it’s a constant battle, requiring a constant heart check. Where does my obedience truly lie? Am I really living for Christ and Christ alone, or am I straddling two worlds hoping they’ll somehow merge?

So how do you know when that thing’s become the Thing? When you can’t let it go. When it dominates your thoughts and becomes the central reason for your actions. How do you make the Thing a thing? I’m not sure of that one. I know in my life, my heart, if left alone, quickly darkens. Each day I have to pray for God’s purifying intervention. I pray that He draws my heart toward Him, softens it to the things of Him, and removes anything in me that does not bring Him glory. But quite honestly, the praying’s easy. It’s the doing that gets tough, because inevitably, God shows me something that needs changing, dropping, adding, confessing. And anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it sins. There’s no self-justification here. No, “Well, I wasn’t sure if that was God’s will for me.” God’s not buying it. More often than not, the question is not do we know God’s will, but do we have the courage to obey, even if it doesn’t make sense or means giving up something we hold dear.

Today’s devo first appeared on Ashley Clark’s blog, Everydays.

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The original title: God May Be Calling, But What IF the Line’s Busy?

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what happens when God places a call on our lives, but we’re a little too busy with all our good efforts to pick up. Who’s on the other line? Well, it’s probably not Satan incarnate, unless you are really outside my typical blog audience.
 


More likely, it’s those nice folks at church, asking if you can volunteer for a few more service projects. Or maybe it’s a coworker who wants to know if you can pick up a few extra hours.

Or if you’re like me, maybe it’s yourself. And no, I’m not schizophrenic.

I’ve seen this happen to friends who hold the idea of their “ministry” so close to their hearts that they are inflexible when God Himself brings a change to their plans, and I’ve done this many times personally when God is telling me to relax and I feel the need to explain how concerning and significant my efforts are.

The conversation goes something like this, “God, I know You’re listening, and I know you care, but this stuff I’m doing here is pretty important, so please help it work out the best way it possibly can, and please give me strength as I work so hard to exhaust every possible avenue to make this happen.”

When really, the prayer should be more like this: “God, I’m listening. And I’ll follow.”

The. End.

I challenge you today to live in faith rather than in a form of faith that’s really driven by self-imposed, false humility and a legalistic, works-based salvation structure. Remember that it is by grace and grace alone we are redeemed, and all we are that is good is because of Christ’s work in us.

So stop trying too hard to BE that person, whatever he or she looks like in your mind, and realize you already ARE if Christ is at work, living within you.
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Ashley Clark writes romantic comedy with Southern grace. She’s currently working on her master’s in English with an anticipated spring 2011 graduation date. When she’s not writing, she enjoys teaching English Composition I and Introduction to Literature. She lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband and two rescued Cocker Spaniels. You can find out more about her and her writing at Everydays and Kaitlyn’s Reply.

And remember, if you loved today’s devo, fb share it, “like” it, tweet it, or leave a comment. And, take a few moments to visit Ashley’s blog. She’s a wonderful sister in Christ who has a fun way with words! And a heart that spills grace and joy on all she meets.

(You might also enjoy reading my interview of Dr. Senske, author of The Calling: Live a Life of Significance on Reflections today.)

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5 thoughts on “Hello…Anyone Listening?

  1. Pingback: Meet Dr. Senske, Author of The Calling: Live a Life of Significance « Reflections In Hindsight

  2. Ashley, thank you for an inspiring blog. Maybe we all need to get God’s “Call Waiting” in our busy lives and not be afraid to put the present caller on hold, at least temporarily. Makes me want to REALLY pray for wisdom. Thanks. And Merry Christmas!

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