Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Where the Spirit Leads

Well its very appropriate that our church has been doing a series on the Holy Spirit while I was in Uganda, because that was a lesson I got big time on the frontlines while I wasn't home to hear it.  Probably one of my biggest takeaways from my time there was the way the Lord yearns for me to live by the Spirit.  Watching the Ugandan people, I couldn't help but feel inadequate in my prayers or the way I asked expectantly of the Holy Spirit to enlighten, protect, lead or provide.  Every day there was a new situation where one of the families/ministries had prayed specifically and then we ended up showing up unknowingly with exactly what they had asked God for.
In America, I feel like we are at such the disadvantage because typically, we can get by without a desperate dependence on God.  Our faiths suffer because all in all, we can typically do life without God.
Sure we give him his 5 or 10 minutes a day, 1 minute before mealtimes, and sunday mornings. But aside from that, we as Christians here don't typically live like we actually need God.
As I watched these people in Uganda ask God for big things, specific things, things I would be afraid to ask for, I was continually humbled time and time again as God showed up.  I read through John 14-17 one morning and God kept hitting me in the face with the same concept each chapter, sometimes twice a chapter.

John 14:13- And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 

John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be given to you. This is to my father's glory. 

John 15:16 You did not choose me, but i chose you, and appointed you to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last. Then the father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.

Now in America, we would want to twist this into a prayer to bring us stuff, bigger paychecks, nicer jobs, etc.  These Ugandans were asking children to be taken care of, food for their families so they could eat a meal that day, pain medicine to bring down the fever of a near death HIV+ child, someone to just encourage them, healing, land so that they could build a farm to sustain a community, a bigger house so they could bring in even more orphaned children, their church attendance to grow and reach the Muslim neighbors that are sacrificing their children and killing their wives.
Time and time again I watched God answer specific prayers in Uganda: small prayers, huge prayers, prayers we didn't even know we were praying.  People laid hands over me and prayed, we prayed over children, cast out demons, prayed for healing, prayed for our plans.  We were literally "living on a prayer" there.
It really challenged me. Rarely do I just stop and pray for someone, ask God for huge things, ask God for specific things and then ask him again the next day, and the next until he answers. Our family has gotten in better practice of this over the last year, but nothing like we did as a team in Uganda. I want to NEED God as if I didn't know where my next meal was coming from, I want to BEG God for things as if my children's lives depended on it. Because let's face it, they do. My life is just padded in American comfort that makes me think it doesn't matter as much or it is not as urgent and necessary.

Prayer is not just an advice helpline or a grocery list of wants and dreams, it is our connection with the father. Just like in my marriage- I cannot expect 5-10 minutes of one way communication to hold us over and keep us connected week by week, month to month. It takes deep communication, heartfelt pouring out, intense listening, time. Who am I to say I don't have time to give to the Creator that made me, gave me my husband and kids, led me to the life I am leading.
So this is where the rubber meets the road yet again for me. I am trying to be intentional in listening to the Spirit's leading and spending time in communion with my Jesus. Not because it is a good thing to do, not because it is an item on my to do list, but because I am privileged to spend time with the creator of the universe, because life DOES depend on it, because I don't want to miss what He has for this story he is writing for us, because I don't want to go through life, patting people on the back, knocking out my to do list, and realize I could have spoken the words he wanted me to speak, done the things he wished I would have done, reached out to others that God wanted to touch through me.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this reminder. Not a reminder so much as a calling out and a calling to something greater. I want to learn how to really walk by faith.