Making God Sing

The following is a Journal Entry from March, 2011:

I awoke to the Spirit singing to me this morning….a joyful song about dancing, and sadness fleeing away. I’ve awakened with music in my spirit before, but usually it is clear that MY spirit is singing to the Lord. But this feels really different, especially in light of the lyrics. Lord, can you really be singing that to me, about me? Usually I sing that about you. Can it be true that you were sad, and that I did something that turned your sorrow into joy?

The answer comes without hesitation, “Yes.”  

Then immediately to my mind comes a moment from the day before when my heart was pondering choices, and I quietly made a choice to trust God in something.

And I saw that in that moment I had turned from the Tree of Knowledge to the Tree of Life….for it is increasingly clear to me that we continually live in the presence of these two trees, or what they represent.

And I remembered also that there had been a noticeable strength present in me the rest of that day, a quiet strength of discipline. It led to some good choices, and I awoke happy about them. And that happiness overflowed to how I embraced my husband and how I looked forward into the day. And best of all, it made my God happy in me.

My pondering had been about some upcoming ministry time, and how, when I saw that I was reverting to old patterns of preparation — which looked like study, study, study, write, write, write, think, think, think — and then I remembered that when I had asked the Father how to prepare He gave me two simple instructions. I had been following them, though in a little sluggardly fashion — but then ADDING all that other stuff, stuff, stuff! And then I said quietly in my heart, NO. This time (because I’ve been here before, how many times?) I will simply trust and obey my Lord, and rest in His words.” It was a little quiet vow, made while dressing to go to a funeral, and then I walked out the door to attend that funeral and left that all behind to immerse myself in that occasion.

Here’s the cycle as I see it:

  • I make a little quiet choice to do it God’s way.
  • When He sees this, He undergirds me, filling me with strength to carry out His will.
  • In that strength, I go forward doing things that I ordinarily could not do, in my weakness.

I tell my disciples often, “I’m as weak as they come.” And it is true.  I make better choices when I walk with my God in His ways and abandon mine. More life comes. Rest comes to my spirit as internal struggle fades away. And I’m nicer to my guy. Everybody wins. And maybe, just maybe, God sings a happy song to me later to celebrate. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned about this God, it is that He is into celebration.

Freedom

It took me awhile to figure out that God will bless me more with my freedom than I can.

I used to guard my freedom carefully. To begin with, I avoided trying God for years because I feared it would mean the loss of all freedom. Then when I surrendered to God’s love, I quickly saw that he blessed me way more in exercising his freedom to direct my life than I could ever imagine or accomplish.

Yet even after years of knowing God, and with a history of being blessed by him, I STILL wrestle with giving up my freedom; I am sometimes slow to exchange it for his choice for me. How foolish, how futile…. and the most effective way to rob oneself. Without exception, I have always regretted choosing my way over his; and I have NEVER regretted choosing his choice for me.

Jesus knew we would face this struggle. Indeed, as a man in a flesh suit like us, I believe he experienced this struggle as well, which could well be one reason why he carefully said to his disciples before going to the cross:

“Remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love.”  John 15:9-10

When he says, “you will remain in my love,” he isn’t saying he will keep loving you because you obey him! He is saying, “I want you to experience all the fullness of my love for you. I want my love to be the foundation and definition of your life. I want you to LIVE there.”

I can identify with something of this in how I feel about my own children. I loved them way more than I could effectively put into action, because as they grew up they increasingly had freedom of choice, and sometimes they made choices that subtracted from all that I wanted for them out of the fullness of my love. Of course, my choices would admittedly be imperfect and perhaps not all wise or even best for them, but we can be sure that the Lord’s choices for us are always those things. I say it often: God’s will is His love coming to you.

You couldn’t spend your freedom on anything better than that.