There is nothing like an early morning fire alarm.
Last night was a rough one. We have an alarm system in our home that decided to freak out during the night. It kept sounding off every few minutes beginning at about 11 pm. By about 12:30 I had my head covered by a pillow and was whining to no-one, that I couldn’t bear it any longer. After about 4 calls to the alarm company my honey, who is more brain than mechanic, finally figured it out and ripped something painful out of the operating system.
It finally shut up!!
This morning, as I groggily dove into my “Prayer Chair”…an alarm of another kind began to sound. This time it was only heard in my own head and heart and the only “ripping” that was going to shut it up was my own “SELF”.
I have been journaling during my prayer time for over 25 years. My journals are generally random self talk, laying my days and challenges before the Lord and lot’s of prayers. They were never meant to be published or even read by another human being. Last month, I decided that I would begin with Genesis and JOURNAL my way through the entire Bible. This time, my hope is to Leave a Legacy for my children and grandchildren of what the Word of God means, to me and how I desire to apply it to my daily life. Little did I know what I might be jumping into. I imagined these journal entries to be all “spiritually mature” with angelic choirs sounding off in the background. After all, I have been a Christian…LEADER none-the-less…for close to half my life now. I am a wealth of wisdom and good examples to pass down to my grandchildren. Right??
Today, I read Genesis 10 and 11.
Genesis 10 is one of those books in the Bible I kind of scan over and consider it like “Non-Fat” cookies. Available but not really of any life changing application for the moment. No warm fuzzies. No cold chills.
Then, I hit Genesis 11. The Tower of Babel.
Key words: “Let US build” “Let US make a name for OURSELVES”. I kind of read it the first time with that dangerous mindset of “I have read this lots of times–nothing new here”.
Then, an alarm sounded.
I have been praying about a particular ministry activity I served in last year and whether or not God wants me to continue into next year. I have learned that some things are just for a season.
I PRIDE MYSELF 🙂 on obediance to God and Faith in God sized BHAG’s (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) !
I am good at those.
In a single instant, like when someone moves in our house when the alarm is set, I heard God speak in my heart.
There are desires of my heart that I know God placed inside of me. A desire to serve and minister to women. A desire to write. A desire to mentor and help other women step into the purposes and callings God has for them. A desire to see women embrace complete FREEDOM and the Full/Abundant life Jesus died to provide for THEM.
However, as I began to pray and to journal, I began to clearly see some recent times when I have stepped into the dangerous territory of using God as my platform instead of allowing God to use ME as HIS platform. I have, completely innocently, (OF COURSE 🙂 been more focused on “making a name for myself”, even if I sincerely felt that My name would help me get HIS name out into the world. I am sometimes guilty of stepping out with my own agenda and plans rather than taking more time to seek HIS.
Have you ever done that? Have you ever been more concerned about how you were perceived, received, believed..than how God was?
Have you ever been more concerned about building a ministry, or a business, or a program than simply BEING who God created you to be FOR HIS NAME SAKE??
Maybe my morning prayer will sound off in your heart as well:
Father forgive me. I realize as I read your Word that I have been guilty of building a few “towers” in my own name. Lord, thank you for your faithful alarm. I have heard you Lord and confess my self-serving ideas. Thank you that you are faithful to forgive me and that you will complete the work you have begun in me. Thank you that nothing can steal me out of your hand and that your grip on my life is firm and steady. Holy Spirit, continue to shine your created light into my created heart. Mold me Lord, into a woman who pleases and honors you in everything I do. Shape me into a “platform” for YOUR Glory, YOUR Name, and YOUR purposes alone to stand upon. Amen.
Hey, don’t forget my November giveaway. Every time you make a comment ALL MONTH your name goes into a Cookie Jar to win one of these!!
Rita Schrimpf says
Wow! That’s a deep topic! Unfortunately, I’m guilty most of the time. But I’m getting better with God’s help to focus more on Him and less on me. Little by little.
Although I understand the concept, I find myself DOING stuff all the time, and focus little on BEING. I’m learning to focus more on BEING.
Silvia Arvelo says
Wow, Pat this is deep. Thank you for your transparency and honesty. I must admit that I too have been there but God has been nudging me to search deeper. You see my husband has been sticken with MS for over 24 years. It’s so easy for me to get on my soap box of why me….why him…why our family BUT lately I’ve been asking God what do you want me to do for your kingdom with this experience that you are allowing us to go through? You see I know that God doesn’t waste a single moment of our lives so I don’t want to miss His desire throughout this process. I hope I am making sense becuase I am still trying to process all of this… Thanks again! Silvia
Cynthia Chinn-Headen says
I have been down this road a time or two myself. It is such a subtle manifestation of pride that only the Holy Spirit can reveal in the sweet gentle way He does. I’m so thankful to God that He has, for the most part, confronted me privately, rather than publicly when I have tread on this forbidden pathway. I would consider my reading your “…eternal truth…” message today as Him confronting me privately. Thank you, for your continued obedience in service to HIM and blessing us as a result.
Good Evening ladies!
I have really continued to meditate on these scriptures all day. I am grateful to God for, as Cynthia says “sweet, gentle way”.
Rita..I love your words about FOCUS!
Silvia..I am living proof that God uses the biggest messes of our lives to advance His Kingdom and bless us more than we can imagine. I have prayed for you tonight.
My desire is to always been sensitive to God’s correction, RE-direction and AFFECTION!!!
All have embraced my heart today.
Rucelis Lopez says
Hi, I am in my 4th session of the STS group and even though the Lord healed me and I was able to release my secret about my 2 abortions 20 yrs ago I can not contain my excitement! I feel such a deep and hot fire in my heart to share this workshops with my spanish speaking sisters and friends back in Puerto Rico or anywhere here in Florida or the whole world, LOL. But then I stopped and realized about who is who I really wanted to glorify me or God? Then I bumped into your website and from there to here, and God confirmed my thoughts through you. God Bless u and may his Name be always glorified. But I do really would like to get involved but I want to do God’s will not mine. Please Pat pray for me and if its God’s will for a spanish ministry to be born, I would love to be part of it. Amen!
Jean Chennault says
Pat, recently I attended a prayer conference at my church where I was reminded that confession is mandatory to power in our prayers. So often I am guilty of praising then suplication, without listening to God to remind me of my fresh sins. Look out for answered prayer!!! Thanks for your example.
My husband, Glenn has one more session in a men’s abortion recovery study. I have been waiting and watching him as he did me last Feb. when I went through STS the first time. I have been hoping he would be open about his feelings with me. I know we have much to overcome, as our abortion was 42 years ago. Please pray for this time of healing between us. I have 3 more sessions in the STS study that I am leading on the same night as his men’s study.