Marianne’s Notes: Fighting to stay…

I’m fighting to stay in the presence of God…I’m willfully choosing to push ever farther into what’s uncomfortable, unchartered, and beyond me right now.  Why?  Because it’s not uncomfortable, uncharted, or beyond God.  So my growth is deemed necessary by Him and I want to grow deeper.  Last year God began a work in my heart; He started planting the seeds for growth that I’m now beginning to see the scale of.  (Although I’m CONFIDENT His scale is far greater than I am imagining!)  The seeds He began sowing were for the “marginalized”.  Ben and I have been discussing that theme over the past year…how to stand up for, provide for, listen to, speak over…the marginalized.  These are all just thoughts, tips of the icebergs, but they are there…little seedlings starting to sprout.  BLM, COVID, and our current status.  I share this only because it continues to play into all my quiet times…including today: James 4: 8-10, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you doubleminded. Lament and mourn and weep!  Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will life you up.”  There is a flow here, a few verses back remind us to: 1. Submit to God. 2. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 3. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  4. Cleanse your hands. 5. Purify your hearts.  6. Lament, mourn, and weep.  7. Humble yourselves.  8. God will lift you up.

Nothing of value can happen in my heart until and unless I submit to God; completely.  Where what He calls sin, I call sin…where what He esteems, I esteem…where His justice, is my justice…where His form of service, is my form of service.  Then I am to resist, fight, and claw myself away from the devil understanding that he has power but not ultimate power.  I cannot allow myself to be enticed, impressed, or delusional about him or his offers because I have ONE goal and that is to trust and obey God.  I am to run, instead to God…dive deep into His word, chase after Him as I would gold.  I must carve out time, ample time, to sit before Him and His throne: to read, listen, pray, and lament.  Why?  Because from the OT to the NT, God ALWAYS draws near when we draw near; always.  Once I’m there I need to cleanse my hands and purify my heart…confess, ask for forgiveness, call out my sin, by name and repent.  The natural next best step is to lament, mourn, and weep…for myself, for our world, for restoration, and for the destruction of sin.  As a result God is lift up to His rightful place and I am put low into mine and my heart is humbled.  This process is what is required of me as a Christ follower…to continually repeat this process in order to align my heart to His.  He will go before me-that, I can trust. 

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