This morning, as I sit at my kitchen table in the dark, I tell the Lord how I need Him. How I want His presence to rest upon my life. I ask His forgiveness for any complacency or negativity I have let in. I just want so much more. Because I have discovered and experienced Jesus now in ways that have changed me, my life, I find I cannot be satisfied with less.
I have been discovering something really amazing over the last few months. For the longest time I lived discouraged because I felt I didn’t know my purpose. I think I knew, deep inside, what God had placed in me to do but I wasn’t doing it and I didn’t know how. Over time God led me to places and points of decision where I had to risk the opinions of others. One of the things born out of that time was this blog. If you had told me 18 months ago I would write a blog and people would actually read it I would have thought “yeah, right!” (I think that was the title of one of my first posts!)
As God has led me down a twisty path over the last year I have discovered something of living out His purposes in my life for each particular season. But what I am discovering over the last few months has kind of stopped me in my tracks: Even the purpose and calling that compels you will not fill you. Jesus is the only One. I find that having God lead me into things I would have never imagined is indeed exciting and fulfilling, but at the end of the day there is no purpose or calling that fills us and satisfies us like His presence.
Recently, as I mentioned in another post, we had a guest Pastor at our church on a Wednesday night. He spoke of God taking you “out of your depth.” He also briefly talked about people who live with a “Holy Spirit Swagger.” It’s the rare person you come across who is simply full of God-confidence…a knowing, a stability, a peace that is far beyond what we can conjure up in our lives but for which we truly all long for. It’s not self confidence. It comes from being with Jesus. Not from the things we do for Jesus. Not from our church attendance. Not from anything else we could come up with on our own. It’s a “swagger” that exudes in the life of someone who is quite emptied of themselves and full of the Holy Spirit. It’s not spiritual pride or a degree from seminary. It’s Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.
This morning as I sit listening to some new worship music from Jesus Culture I cry out because I have tasted a bit of this God-confidence in my life. To such a striking degree that I knew God’s presence and peace was all I could ever need. And today I know that no matter what God does or doesn’t “call” me to do or be with my life it doesn’t matter if I don’t live in His presence. I know as a Christian I have His Spirit inside of me. Being real, I want more. I want His Spirit upon my life. I want to live each day full of God-confidence…full of His supernatural love and wisdom. I want His presence upon my life to change the atmosphere of the room when I come in. I want more…more than a job or title, more than being a better mom, more than nice to my neighbors, more than tolerant of people who don’t know Jesus. I want the Holy Spirit Swagger. I want Jesus’ presence upon my life to cause others to see Him. Not religion. Not a church. Not a moral person or code. I want freedom to be loved by Him and love others in a way that is quite unexpected and shocking. Oh, I think we will all be quite shocked one day to find how much Jesus really loves us. I want to settle down so deeply into His love that it becomes and remains all I can see, taste, touch and feel.
With all of this, you know what I sensed God ask me this morning? In my heart I heard Him say “Are you willing to be set apart? I do not fill words of unbelief and doubt and negativity. I fill your praise, your worship, your words of belief.” I know that He spoke to my heart that being “set apart” for Him means there are conversations I don’t have. It means that I “guard my heart and my eyes and my ears.” I heard Him tell my heart…”I must be the first person you come to and talk things over with…I must be your sounding board…your advice giver. Not your best friend and not even your mother.”
I could sing all the songs in the world about more of God. I could write till my fingers cramped. I could read the books, listen to the sermons and talk the talk. I could do that my whole life! I mean don’t so many of us church-world folks talk about “more of Jesus” in our lives? Today in my heart I know God has spoken to me. All He’s asking me to do is choose Him, really choose Him. If I choose Him then He does the rest. I can’t conjure up the kind of love that is needed to deal with difficult people. I can’t conjure up an honest grace in my life that won’t give up on people. I could try to fake the “swagger” but that becomes obvious and the last thing I want to do is fake anything.
With a tremble of heart I answer Him with a yes. Yes, I am willing to be set apart. I really don’t have a choice because I must be with Him. I must have His presence not only inside my heart but upon my life. My soul will not be satisfied with less. These lyrics play in my kitchen: My soul longs for you…My soul longs for you…He’ll come like the rain…He’ll come like the rain..