Thursday, February 13, 2014

What if? Lessons from Luke

Marriage and parenting.

Two areas that can get messy quickly. 

Two areas that we MUST surrender to God on a daily basis.  Some days it seems like a minute to minute basis. 

We can do neither area well without Christ living in us.

In both areas, I can feel how very incapable I am on my own.  Quickly. Repeatedly.

These are two areas that can AND should drive us to our knees.

It's where God can shape us the most, require the most of us, and reveal to us Himself in the most powerful ways.

Last night I felt like I hit a wall with both areas.

It's crazy how a little issue can quickly become big.  If you've been married more than a few days or been parents for any amount of time, you KNOW first hand that is true!

Fortunately, forgiveness, grace, and mercy (and stubbornness and relentless pursuit!) can pull things back in to order when we need it most. 

This morning, needing to clear the cobwebs after a hard night and needing to redirect my focus back to where it needed to be, I spent time back in His word.  To refuel.  To refocus.  To find those new mercies. 

In recent months, I've been praying for Him to SPEAK through His word.  To open my eyes and ears before I ever see one word.  That prayer has been making a PROFOUND difference.  It's taken me from reading "clinically" or from habit, to reading with purpose and expectation.  Forcing me to slow down and read word for word. (I read very quickly and see a full line instead of just one word...which is how I can read so many books a year and a typical book in an hour or two.)

This morning, after feeling beat down from a rough situation....

He met me.
In His word.
Speaking to my heart.

I was mostly focused on reading in Luke.

1:6 both convicted and encouraged me in such a new way. 

"Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly."

It made me stop and get real.  Get raw.  Pull of the masks.  Get transparent. 

What would have to change in our lives for Kevin and I to have those words describing Zechariah and Elizabeth describe us?  If those were to describe us, wouldn't that leave such a legacy?  Wouldn't that be an incredible way to describe an individual and especially a couple?

I know this. 

There's a big gap.  MUCH area to grow in. 

But to be considered UPRIGHT in the sight of God.  Wow.

Though I also marked several more powerful verses, it was 2:40 that went deep in my heart the most.

"And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him."

What if...

What if we were to begin praying that for our children?  What if we inserted their names and personalized that on their behalf? What if we even prayed it for ourselves since we are still growing and learning (no matter how old!)?

Is there anything greater that we want to know for our children than for them to have wisdom and have the grace of God upon them? They will be strong with those two attributes. With those two characteristics, they will grow in Christ.

What if...

we applied both of these verses to our lives. 

Would it transform our families? (yes)
Would it allow God to change us in such a way that He could use us more and more? (yes)
Would it require some changes? (definitely yes)

Thankful this morning that God met me in His word.  Redirecting my focus.  Teaching me.  Stretching me. 

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