This week our home church, CenterPoint, is going Old School. There are lots of changes going on in the near future for our community, therefore a time was needed to make sure our priorities were focused on God! So every night this week CenterPoint is having worship, prayer and different pastors come share; a spiritual renewal week really.
As the time has been approaching, the theme Old School got me thinking about the days when it was a regular occurence to attend worship gatherings several times a week. The whole tent revivals where everyone from all the neighboring towns attended, or the circuit preachers (is that what they were called?). Non the less, I have been looking forward to this week. Not because I am expecting some big revival, more because I am just looking forward to spending a little bit of extra time with my God in community.
The first night, Monday, a pastor from White Plains, New York came to share: Wayne Francis. He shared a good message to start off the week. One I have heard before, however it is a message that we sometimes need to be reminded of, a message I needed to hear. He read out of 1 Samuel 13: 15 – 22 where it shares how the Israelites had no blacksmiths and had to go down to the Philistines in order to have any tools sharpened.(The Philistines didn’t want them to be able to fashion weapons for themselves.) He used this to talk about The Blacksmith in our own lives; how the Blacksmith helps sharpen us and gives us the desire and passion for God.
Francis’s message was a “calling back” to put some things in place, to really prioritize our life. (He didn’t use boring words like prioritize though, that’s just me.) It’s easy to face God when people are watching us, but what about when we are in our own living room where no one can see us? I had to ask myself, how many times do I go to things not from God to be rejuvenated? I should be going TO God when I am empty and weak, but I don’t. I had to be honest with myself about prayer: do I care about prayer, have I lost my desire to pray? I continued to ask myself some tough questions through the night, questions it was high time to face.
You see, I have been feeling this sense of un-fulfillment in my heart recently. Now listen closely, this un-fulfillment is in no way related with my family. My little family fills my heart to overflowing and I am so very thankful for them! It has really been a dis-satisfaction with God. Do you ever hear people say, “there has to be more to life than this?” I believe that was what I had been feeling. I know who God created me to be. I also know that I have not been fulfilling that role. Francis’s message was a BIG reminder of that, a ‘this is how you were meant to live and you are not doing it Rae’! His exact words.
I am thankful for Francis’s challenge and encouragement. It’s easy to get down on myself for failing and expect to wake up the next day ready to fix it all. However, Francis reminded me that being a follower of Jesus takes time and work, it doesn’t happen over night. As Eugene Peterson says, following Christ is “a long obedience in the same direction“. Anything that is worthwhile doesn’t come all at once, it comes in time, after dedication, sacrifice, hard work, maybe a little sweat, tears and joy all mixed in together.
As a wife and mom, I want to live a faith at home. I want to be a woman who unabashedly desires to worship God in daily life. I want to be an example to my family of one following Christ, in consistent obedience towards Him that is full of desire and passion for Him. I am thankful for a God that loves me even when I am not stepping up to the plate and allows me the time to find my way back there.
Francis ended the evening sharing a story about David from 1 Samuel 30. In a response to David’s prayer, God tells him to pursue. I have forgotten to pursue my God, my first love. I have stopped pursuing prayer and intimacy with Him. What would happen to my marriage if I did not pursue my husband. The same applies to Christ and our beautiful, complicated love affair. So I choose to pursue the one who has bestowed abounding Grace in my life! Thankfully, I have plenty of time to head in His direction.
If you would like to hear Francis’s message: click here for the podcast.