Friday, September 3, 2010

Delighting and desiring

I'm sure you guys didn't notice, but I didn't write much (or anything) about the Beth Moore conference last weekend. But I think I've slowly been digesting what God was saying to me.

The only photo I have is this one from a cell phone camera:


Despite the lack of photos, it was a lot of fun and such a sweet time with friends, both old and new. I had one of those weird experiences where I didn't know how to introduce myself. I went with friends who know me by my full name (which I purposely don't use here, Google is a powerful tool), but we met up with my best friend from high school and one of my youth leaders from high school who have both always called me Lizzie. As I was meeting their friends, I literally found myself caught between two worlds, but it was actually really fun to see those worlds come together. And it's pretty incredible that in an arena with 9,000 women, we were able to find each other and sit together.

Beth Moore did an amazing job as usual, and it was fun to see my friends who had never seen her live respond to her teaching.  This was the third time I've heard her live
(there was no personal interaction this time, but I'm starting to feel like I know her personally!), but every message has been different and spoken to me right where I am. The message was on John chapter 1, and it was a lot about returning to the Word and going back to the beginning. She touched on grace and truth, which God has been teaching me a lot about, but what stuck with me is the idea of returning to the foundation, God Himself.

God clearly had a hand in my weekend because on Sunday morning, my church started a new sermon series on — can you guess? — the book of John. So Sunday's sermon was also on John 1. It correlated very closely with Beth's messages and cemented what God was telling me: "Draw near to Me."

The study on Galatians changed my view of God and helped me see how much I was putting between myself and God — between my idols and my goal of manipulating Him. I'm still trying to grasp the full amount of grace God has for me and will continue to for the rest of my life, but I see that it has opened the door for a change in how I relate to Him.

The verse, "Delight yourself in the Lord..." (Psalm 37:4) has been coming up in a number of ways for me. (I stop it there because that is what I need to focus on.) And I think for so long I've struggled with that because I either felt too sinful or I was seeking God out of my sinful desires and hopes to manipulate Him in some way. But I'm seeing that because of the truth and grace of the Gospel, I am beautiful before Him and that trying to "use" God takes me farther away from Him. So my focus is on getting "back to the Word" and finding that place of delighting in Him — not because my circumstances are perfect or because I'm trying to get Him to change them — but because He's God and is the only one who can fulfill me.

But then there's another point God showed me this week. It's not only that I need Him, but that He delights in us (Zephaniah 3:17). The theme of the sermon series is "How does God dwell with us?" And the answer in Sunday's sermon was "by His desire." He desires to dwell with me! Someone linked to this blog post (it's worth clicking through) that gives a great picture of God delighting in us as His daughters who desire to twirl before Him.

Beth Moore also provided a visual that has stuck with me from John 13:25: "So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, 'Lord who is it?'" The disciple John was so close to Jesus that he was actually leaning his head against Him at the Passover table. How I desire to lean against Jesus and just know Him better.

This post is more for me to just process what God has been saying to me but figured I'd post anyway. I'm looking forward to cooler weather and the three-day weekend!

3 comments:

  1. Love it -- thank you for sharing. Shocked how good a cell pic turned out. bt

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  2. Lovely. And so is the picture!

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  3. Thanks for posting this. It is amazing how God weaves themes throughout everything we encounter. I read those Zephaniah verses a couple of weeks ago (perfect timing!) and just loved them. I love the idea that the little girl is not delighted in because she is good at twirling, but because she IS twirling, enjoying her Father and his affection. We can never perform for God. We just need to delight in Him, rest in Him, focus on Him, twirl for Him. Love it!

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