January 25, 2008

 

The Song of My Rag Tag Soul

By Lysa TerKeurst

 

“…And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together will all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled up to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV)

         

Devotion:

God has had me on such an amazing journey for the past seven years.

You see it was 7 years ago that I knelt beside my bed in a hotel room and told God that I wanted to live a life completely and utterly surrendered to Him. Through my tears I asked Him to reveal to me what He required of me? His reply, "Radical Obedience."

I had been obedient but only to a certain point. I was good but I was not holy. I had faith but had no desire to be put in a position to really have to practice it.

So, I pulled out my Bible and read it with fresh eyes. Eyes that desired to see more than just words. Eyes that desired to see God Himself. I wanted to walk, breathe, live, and maybe even have parts of me die in order to get past just being a good Bible study girl. I was so full of knowledge and yet completely starved of experiencing God Himself.

Francis Frangipane wrote about this condition, "Right knowledge is vital, but we want more than just knowledge. We want the Presence of the Almighty to fill the vacuum of our doctrines with substance, the very substance of Himself."

So, the adventure started. I began praying the dangerous prayers and asking the unsafe questions. I shifted from “bless me” to “expose me.” I admitted my ugliness and confessed my unwillingness. And I dared to admit that I was not a woman of faith. For if I was completely honest, I lived a life that required no faith at all.

 

I cried. I hurt. Finally, finally the Lysa that so desperately wanted the world's acceptance, accolades, ease, answers, cover-ups, and half-hearted faith, died.

For the first time ever, I tasted life. God Himself was there. The more I saw Him, the more I was compelled to give Him everything. Francis also says, "The more we see God as He is, the more compelled we are to give Him our all."

My friend, giving my all has found me many days in the very fibers of my carpet crying puddles of tears while asking, "Are you sure God? I am scared. I am so not capable. If I were You, I'm not sure I would trust me with this."

Passionately pursuing God in absolute obedience led me to pull away from some friendships. It led me to a fast from TV for over 2 years. It led me to come to know about a war-torn nation full of crying orphans. It led me to hearing "mom" said with an African accent. It led me to deep places of questioning. It led me to be on the Oprah show. It led me to endure some of the harshest criticism I've ever known by people who don't understand. It led me Hollywood. It led me to understand that even having a national platform is very empty in and of itself. It led me to a place of desperation for God.

Now, after seven years of radical obedience, I wish I could give myself an “A” on this lesson and move on. But I must be honest. I find myself again in the midst of God's sweet presence saying, "I have been obedient but only to a certain point. I have been good but I am not holy. I have faith but still struggle with the desire to be put in a position to really have to practice it." And so the journey continues.

One thing I do know is that a few years ago the world was asking, “Is Jesus real?” That's not the question any longer. I'm convinced the question the world now asks is: "Does Jesus work?" Oh God, that my life could answer this question with a resounding yes, is the very beat of my fragile heart, and the song of my rag tag soul.

 

Dear Lord, help me know You in the deepest ways and taste and see that You are good and can be trusted in every way. Give me courage to live the life my soul was designed to live. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Do You Know Jesus?

 

Visit Lysa’s blog

 

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

 

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

 

Application Steps: 

In your journal, write about something that God has been asking you to give up in order to spend a little more time with Him.

 

Reflections: 

Ask the Lord to help you see the joy beyond your sacrifice.

 

If any part of this resonates with you, post a comment on my blog and let me know about it.

 

Power Verses:

Psalm 36:5, “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” (NIV) 

 

John 5: 39-40, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (NIV)

 

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

www.Proverbs31.org