I just finished talking to a dear heart friend- Jen. She and her husband and I went through Cross-training together and she is here at OMS Headquarters this week... there are many things that I just love about this couple, a few of them being: their love for the Lord, that they pray with power, their enthusiasm about Jesus and their fearlessness of what other people think (believers or not) in terms of proclaiming their identity in him. It is also very likely that she's the only one to ever, while praying, refer to me as her "sweetest homegirl."
Anyway... deep conversations with Jen are one of my favorites and tonight was no different. It was beautiful to hear about frustrations and joys since their return from the field while sharing some of my own. In all of that, one of the things that came out is how deep emotional investment takes processing time. I told her this is one of the reasons I haven't been blogging even though I have about 10 things on mind that I want to be sharing with you when I know how... She validated and encouraged me in that, before saying that when she finds herself in the same place, she realizes she has to pick just one thing to share and as God continues to grow and unravel things in her heart, then she'll share more things- but one at a time...
So tonight... the one thing I have to share is thankfulness for two things (see how I cheated there :) 1. For your prayers. And 2. For God's Strength.
Thank you for being strong praying arms around me and the ministry in OMS, our house church and community. God has been so Faithful to sustain, heal, mend, provide and stretch in these last few weeks, and it has been in large part, I know because of your faithfulness to pray, so thank YOU!
One morning this week, I found myself up at 4:30am-- not typical for this late sleeper, but God had me wide awake and I knew it was because I needed to be in the Word. So, I found myself in Jeremiah and this is just one of the truths that blew me away...
"I will certainly bring my people back again from all the countries where I will scatter them in my fury. I will bring them back to this very city and let them live in peace and safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land."
Do you know what good news that is??? --I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of their descendants... I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me.--
The first part I love about this is God is promising to create unity in His name-- HE will provide one heart and one purpose... what a beautiful promise. I never cease to find myself with even greater gratitude or amazement when God reminds me that the same restorative and redeeming work He can do in one yucky heart like mine-- He can use to heal, rebuild and redeem a whole group of believers, family or marriage! It is amazing!! The power to transform one heart is amazing- but something involving lots of hearts is even more astounding and I'm thankful we can trust the Lord is strong enough to do this through His resurrection power.
Not only is He promising to give Israel one heart, but also to put a desire in their hearts to worship Him and never leave Him. Oh, how I pray this is a promise He is giving me, too. When I think of times with Him, I know that this is the most valuable promise of all-- to have a heart that never stops loving Him.
This morning, I was reading and came across Psalm 17:10, David is actually describing "the wicked" and his enemies, but I think I can oh too easily fit the description... is this really ever more than a couple of missteps away? He says,
"They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance."
And as my eyes ran across those words, actually looking for another verse... I was struck by a deep desire to remain soft-hearted to the Lord. I'll admit, part of this is out of self-preservation, knowing that callousness to Him leads to pain and suffering and detours, but when my heart is joined to His there is life! But more importantly, He is worthy of a fully devoted heart and whatever Glory that can give Him. He can do so much when our hearts are not calloused... Would you stop and pray that over me and our ministry right now? I'm praying tonight as you read this or go about your night or day, that He will soften the calloused parts of your heart, too.
No heart is too hard for Him to break, but oh, how I want to remain tender to Him and His leading.
"We owe Him every honor that is in our power to give Him. Our everlasting grief lies in giving Him anything less." - A.W. Tozer
Thanks for journeying with me and praying!