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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jesus Met Me ("I Need Jesus part 2)

Thank you for your prayers. Not surprisingly, God met me when I went to Him--confessing my sin and struggle and asking Him to reveal Himself to me again. After praying, I read and prayed through Psalms 1 and 2. The Psalms and the Gospels are some of my favorite places to see God's character. The Psalms are where I often go when I am battling despair. I begin with prayer (acknowledging God, confessing, repenting, asking God for understanding). I often read a Psalm all the way through first to get the big picture. Then, I go back through it, specifically asking God to show Himself to me. I read the Psalm again looking for the character of God in it. I pray conversationally as I do this--I ask God when I don't understand something; I thank Him when He reveals something beautiful about Himself in it; I ask God how He wants His truth to affect my life. I talk to God as my loving Father here. It is a space to be honest and real before my Heavenly Father to whom I have access because Jesus won that for me! For me, this process builds intimacy with God for me. He answers my prayer--He shows me His truth and stirs my passion for Him. This is how it looks like for me:
Psalm 1 says:

1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,nor stands in the way of sinners,nor sits in the seat of scoffers;2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a treeplanted by streams of waterthat yields its fruit in its season,and its leaf does not wither.In all that he does, he prospers.4 The wicked are not so,but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,but the way of the wicked will perish.

Here is how my converstion with God through this Psalm might go:

I might start with...

"Lord, I come before you in worship--acknowledging you as the Holy One, Creator God Almighty, Supreme over all creation, Supreme over my life! I confess that I have taken my eyes off of you. I have attempted to live my life in my own strength. Like you said, it is not working. I need you. Please forgive me and reveal yourself to me. Please fill me with your Spirit. Please meet with me as I read your Word. Open the eyes of my heart to see You and Your Truth in your Word and help me to live by it. Amen"

After reading through the whole Psalm, I will read through it again more prayerfully like this...

"Thank you, God, that we live for what is unseen! Thanks for reminding me not to be distracted by worldly philosophies and worldly definitions of sucesss. Help me to live in this way. I confess that I get distracted and start looking to worldly methods and strivings to gain success. I confess that I get seduced by worldly success and fall into discontentment or despair when I see how following you doesn't necessarily bring worldly success. Forgive me for not always readily opening up your Word, where real truth, joy, and love awaits me! Thank you that your very words delight us and bring us joy! That is amazing. You are loving in everything you do and say. Thank you for sustaining me in the way that water sustains a tree! Like what streams are for a tree, your Holy Spirit is for me. Thank you that you want to fill me. Thank you that as I meditate on your Word, I am being filled with your Holy Spirit and you refresh me and sustain me, Holy Spirit! I see that this filling of the Holy Spirit is what makes me fruitful. I see that I cannot strive my way to fruitfulness. Your Spirit yields fruit in me in your time! Give me patience for this timing and give me endurance in seeking to be filled by you more and more. Thank you that what your Spirit does lasts, unlike what our flesh does. Our fleshly strivings and achievements are chaff that gets blown away eventually. Thank you God, that we are known by you and that is more important to me than being known by anyone else. I desperately want to live for what is unseen--the hope of your glory!"

The way that you might meet with God in His Word may look totally different from the way that I do. We all communicate (listen, learn, process, express) differently. However it looks, I pray that we would earnestly seek Him and that God, in His grace, would deepen our intimacy with Him daily through all the varied methods.

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