So there is this “thing” I have been struggling with lately. It is not branded in the physical “I want this but can’t” or “I wish I could do this but won’t” categories. It has to do with my heart. It has to do with my heart of obedience. My brother and sister in law were in town this last weekend and we joked about how even though we are “better” than we use to be, we still tend to avoid continuing certain conversations with God. The trouble is that the older I get and the more my relationship grows with the Lord, the more awake I am to the conversations I stop with Him.
There are always going to be those physical things that I will struggle with: greed, fear, marriage, parenting, comparison, busyness, body issues, etc… Those seem to be the ones that although attack at full force at the worst possible moments, do however for me at least, tend to cower down with a quick defensive strategy. Like my favorite game at Chuckie Cheese (Don’t shake your head. If you haven’t been your day is coming). The one where you stand ready with your padded mallet and wham down the heads of the bad guys who pop up from under the table. I know they are coming and am not surprised when they do. And when ready, I am able to quickly “wham” them by speaking truth, talking to the Lord, calling a friend for prayer, listening to worship music, or stopping a thought.
But then there are those slow brewing type heart issues. The ones where simply “whamming down” is by no means sufficient. These require true submission to the very heart of our Father. They are all hard, but these instantly revert me into my 5 year old self. I can actually hear my voice change in my thoughts. I become whiney, my eyes begin to roll, and body starts to squirm. I either go into an all-out whine fest whenever I think God is looking, or I huff and puff my way down the hall closing my door loud enough so that I know He can hear.
I usually don’t have a good reason for my reaction. I just simply DON’T WANT TO DO whatever it is He is asking me to do. And I want to be 5 years old again. I want to pout and cry and scream and kick. And I want to do it the very second I feel it coming. But I am not 5 years old anymore. I am 35 years old. And once again God shows me my own heart through parenting my own children.
I am not sure what your “thing” is in this particular season of your life. For me, it is writing. There I said it. I really don’t have a great reason, like normal. It is just hard. It has always been hard. I struggled with it in school during my elementary years. I was always in the lowest reading and writing groups. And even when I did finally get to the point in High School where I was a pretty average writer, I wouldn’t dare turn in a paper not proof read by one or both of my parents.
As I sat with this temper tantrum waiting to happen or happen again, I finally had the “Fine, you want to talk about it, let’s talk about it” discussion with the Lord. Seriously. And we have the audacity to ask ourselves why Adam and Eve sinned or why the Israelites complained after they were rescued from Egypt. My heart can be sheer ridiculousness at times.
I began to groan to the Lord about how hard writing was, that I wasn’t very good at it, and that I didn’t like it at all. And then I said it out loud “Lord, you do know that if you give me this gift of writing that it will never be good enough. I will never be good enough.”
I paused. My temper tantrum had run out of words. The awkward moment where I began to hear what I had been saying over the last few minutes happened. And as the words began to sink in, so my body began to sink in my chair.
The Holy Spirit reminded me of Habakkuk 2:1: “I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart and watch to see what He will say to me and what I will answer when I am corrected.”
I knew that correction was needed, but I do not believe you would call what I was doing “standing my watch”. Like a child, I awaited my punishment. But I had asked Him a question. He responded.
I began to hear his “amar” over me. His spoken word to my heart.
I could feel Him saying that I was finally making sense. Would I expect Him to work in my life in any other way? That He is helping me get ready to get ready.
He reminded me of Moses in Exodus 3 and 4. When he stops at the burning bush in the wilderness and encounters the very voice and presence of God. For verses upon verses God speaks. But Moses could not begin to imagine how the Lord would not only use his present, but his very past. He begins to give excuses as to why he is not the best man for the job. In Exodus 4: 13 Moses says “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.” In this verse the Hebrew word “Lord” is “donay”. It means Sovereign Lord, Supreme Authority. He is using the very word “Lord” to describe His majestic, all powerful, all knowing, rule over his life AND YET he cannot submit to that very aspect of God’s character.
God provides. He gets a bit angry. But through Moses’s brother Aaron, God makes a way for his 5 year old mind set to understand how He could accomplish what He had spoken.
In Luke 6:46 Jesus asks the multitude why do you call me “Lord, Lord and do not do the things which I say?” The Greek word for “Lord” in this passage is “kyrios” meaning God, Lord, Master, Supreme Authority.
Why do I call you Lord, Master, the God Who Owns It All, Adonai, my Supreme Authority when my thoughts and actions do not testify of knowing and believing what your authority means in my life?
Right after the passage in Luke 6:46, it goes straight to the story of Jesus healing the centurion’s servant. Now here is a man who understands authority. If the Roman culture taught him anything, it was the power of authority. In Luke 7:1-10, the centurion sends for Jesus and asks that He come to his house to heal a beloved servant. A little while later he sends word again to tell Jesus “Lord do not trouble Yourself for I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…for I also am a man placed under authority having soldiers under me. And I say one “Go” and he goes, and to another “Come” and he comes and to my servant “Do” this and he does it.” He is telling Jesus that I get it. You do not even have to come to my home to heal my friend. You just have to say the word and it will be done.
The centurion uses the same word “Lord” as spoke of in Luke 4:64. He says “Kyrios”, Lord, Master, Supreme Authority. He was a man who knew the power of authority. He was a man who knew how to submit under authority. He was a man who witnessed a healing.
In my cries to the Lord, I say “KYRIOS” “KYRIOS”, but I still ask for the Aarons in my life. I do not do what He tell me to do.
My father preached a sermon recently about the name “Adonai” for God. It means Master, Lord, Owner. He asked the question why would a God who calls Himself our Father also call Himself our Master? With great detail he gave 2 reasons for that question. One, so that God can be the one who establishes our value. Second, so that God can establish His covenant with us and allow for relationship. If He was not our Master, our Supreme Authority, our Adonai, our “Kyrios”, or “Donay”, he could not have protected, cherished, or saved.
So here is my confession of hope. That God loves to work in my weaknesses. And I am not afraid to be weak. That God loves to work in my foolishness. And I am not afraid to be wrong or even undignified. That God works as my Supreme Authority, as my Master so that He can set my value and save me for relationship with Him. And I am not afraid to be owned by the one who loves me. So here I am Lord. I choose to submit to you. My heart’s cry is to call you my Adonai. And do what it is that you tell me to do. Even if You tell me to write. For what better way would I know that it was all by Your hand. Lord, Lord…all for your glory.