Wednesday, February 3, 2010

belonging to the Lord

Isaiah 44:3-5, "I will pour out water on the thirsty…I will pour out my Spirit on our offspring…they will spring up like poplars by streams…one will say, 'I am the Lord's'…and another will write on his hand,
'Belonging to the Lord'…"

Whether we are struggling or at our greatest potential, He is always Lord. We usually make Him Lord when things in our life are going good, but it's even a greater challenge to make Him Lord when we are struggling.

I've been thinking a lot about this verse, "belonging to the Lord". What does it mean? What would my life look like if I lived it as if it belonged to the Lord? My thoughts toward this convicting challenge have literally shaken me. Its confronted everything I do and don't do. It confronts ever sort of reasoning I could have and every part of my being that fights against the will of the Spirit.

I felt I heard the Lord say, "Don't settle. Don't settle Crystal. - not for the American dream with the Christian stamp. don't settle for your position as wife and mother or even friend. Desire more! - because even I desire that you would know Me beyond that stewardship." I hear a lot of women say they are called to be a mother -'s true, that even I have claimed those words. But God does not expect "calling" to stop there. In fact, I see that more as an entrustment than a calling. God has entrusted you with His very own, so we may lead our children to the cross and our journey may also make us more like Christ. But calling has little to do with what we do and more to do with who we are. We belong to the Lord. Since the time of Adam and Eve, our purpose was to be in relationship with God, intimately and passionately in love with our Creator and through that, reign and rule over the earth. There was no sense of defeat in that calling. It was experiencing ALL of God without any hindrances (sin). Adam and Eve had no titles. They had no ministries they headed up. They had yet to have children. They had no work they were paid for because everything was provided for them. They never distrusted God and the security of their relationship with Him (until the Fall, that is). they were glorifying God by doing nothing but enjoying Him. - connecting with Him, walking with Him. They belonged to the Lord. They were created for an audience of One and they experienced the glory of God in ways unimaginable. That's what I want. I know there's more to God than I've experienced. my journey doesn't stop with my marriage, or when I have children, or when I start a ministry, or when I get my Christian credentials or even after I experience revival. There is no means-to-an-end when pursuing God and falling in love with Him! Yet, so many of us so easily settle.

why is going to church so unattractive for even believers and nonbelievers? It's because we settle - we look no different than the rest of the world. sometimes it's not hypocrisy that keep people away from the church, sometimes its the very fact that we have nothing special to offer beyond what anyone else can have without God. People don't live in the reality that God desires to be in love relationship with everyone of us for the very purpose of bringing heaven on earth. after the cross of Christ and through His resurrection, we were given an open heaven - access to the glory of God in ways unimaginable. we can have the garden experience. It would be the very thing that would fill the void and search for Truth that we all have inside.

Do you want break-through?
I do. When I remind myself of my true calling - I become so desperate for more of God. There are no formulas for break-through. everyone's break-through will look different and come differently. I can only share what God has done with me. I offer these ideas because, for many, we want more of God but have no idea where to start.

i believe the first help in getting to know God is getting rid of religious mind sets.

Religion is like kryptonite to superman. Religion can conform the most righteous, reigning saints into mindless zombies, puppets repeating someone else's convictions they don't even understand themselves. - Developing a Supernatural Lifestyle by Kris Vallotton

religion can literally choke our relationship with God. The best way I know to beat religious games is through humility. see yourself without God. the truth - we are ragamuffins...scum. the word of God says our hearts are deceitful and filled with darkness. we are capable of nothing without Him. when we see ourselves without God, pride and arrogance within ourselves will dissolve. It's then we can make a true commitment to make God Lord of our lives. Humility gives open opportunity for God to be Himself in and through you, without the limitation of self. Humility also brings us to a place of being broken and desperate for God. God likes it when we're at that point. ("broken and contrite heart, He will not despise.." "...He gives grace to the humble...")

in your brokenness, connect with God. it's wonderful to have a set time aside to connect with God (and I recommend it), but most of us have a life filled with responsibilities. So how so we connect with God as we're going about our day? I know in our home we have ihop streamed 24-7 on our computer. it's a constant reminder to connect with God. we make praying so complicated sometimes. prayer is as easy as talking to a good friend - just open your mouth and be real and honest with God. it's the best place to start. if you don't have access to the ihop stream, try playing 24-7 worship on a CD player in your home. But remember, the worship playing is only a tool. it's used as a reminder to connect with God - it doesn't do it for you. I know a lot of people who play worship all day, but never connect with God. it has to be purposed. i am constantly implementing the Lord into the things about my day. "...Lord, give me grace...Lord, help me be patient...Lord, how should I discipline Abigail?... Lord, you are good...Lord, give me strength to clean my house before Brandon gets home...restore energy in my lack of sleep, Lord...more of you, Lord..." Learning to pray can come as easy as breathing, but in the beginning it starts as a discipline.

these are just some ideas to jump-start break-through. i know there is also much more involved when over-coming certain obstacles. i could go on and on about how insecurities and fear of man keep us from entering into God's destiny for our lives. but i believe as we connect more with God, those fears have less of a hold because the faithfulness, His promises and experiences with God become more of a sobering truth.

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