Search Me. Search us.
There’s been a lot of processing lately; pensive reflection on what has been, what is and will be. The echoed question from the time of Pentecost rings in my ears, “what then shall we do, brothers?” There are so many voices that it gets hard to discern between our own, the worlds, people we love and most importantly- the Lord’s. These days I have realized my trust capacity has drastically dwindled (including trusting myself!) leaving me a little anxious and lonely. Anyone else? And then I am reminded and find such solace in the One Voice that above all else I can trust. I have increasingly become more comfortable with this option-
“Search me God and know my anxious heart. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
We can trust the Holy Spirit to give us an honest answer: He loves us, knows us. He knows the Kingdom and what is happening behind the scenes. He is not partial to a party, cause or country. He speaks truth that lines up with the Word, Scripture and God’s heart. While we as people are quick to form opinions and align (our) truth to it (to pledge allegiance to an ideal, concept or system) God’s truth has stood the test of time. He is trustworthy in this. Jesus never called us to do things He Himself had not experienced the pain of. He forgave those who beat Him while still hanging on the cross. He said not to fear when you are brought before authorities to be questioned because He knew He would do the same. He said love your neighbor as He bent down to heal those who no one else would touch. We can trust that when His Spirit whispers in our hearts- it is for our good, for the good of others, and for the glory of his kingdom. We might not understand it, but we can come in alignment with it.
Before we seek out answers to so much that is broken in our world, nation and homes from other voices, let’s check with Him personally AND then communally.
1. ASK HIM: Search my heart God. Are any of the ways I’ve been thinking offensive to you? Are any of the ways I have treated people harmful to me, them and your Kingdom? Will you show me, no matter what if I’m missing things? I’m willing to hear it. I know I don’t see it all clearly and I don’t have all the answers. Show me what I’m missing here. I long to confess and repent of any ways of thinking that were man-made and not God-intended and then continue to grow me. (Pause. Be silent. Let Him bring His Truth to mind.) Lead me in healing. I want it. Show me in the Word of God things I’ve missed or assumed about You. Show me things I’ve seen from a human perspective instead of Yours. I acknowledge Your ways are higher than My ways and even when I think I get, I likely don’t. I submit my opinions and thoughts, my leanings and assumptions, my emotions and intellect to Your heart and ask you to align them with YOU. Nothing else will satisfy. Nothing else will work. Then God, would you lead me (action) in ways that line up with your heart.
We can trust that GOD- King of Kings, Lord of Lords (if you have chosen to follow Him) loves when we acknowledge our humanness and express our need to submit our individual ways of thinking and life to His. So, what if we also do that corporately as a body? The idea of doing that with every person that follows Christ might seem daunting or unlikely, so what if we, like the early church did- do that in our small communities that we find ourselves in communion with? What if you gathered 5-10 people (or even 2!) you have chosen to follow Christ with and corporately submitted that body to God’s heart and intentions. You don’t have to wait for the larger community of faith to respond to His heart. The early church was made up of small communities of followers that were submitted to His purposes.
2. MEET WITH HIM: God, we first acknowledge your Kingship over us personally but also as a small body of Christ followers choosing to seek first Your Kingdom like you told us to. Will you search our corporate heart- is there anything between us- issues, hurt, brokenness or ideas that aren’t healthy or don’t line up with the way you long for your body to look? We want to stop and let you share those things with us. (Pause, stop. Be silent. See if God brings up anything in people’s hearts. As it’s shared, ask Him again. God is this an issue or something we need to address or wrestle with? Listen for Scripture and a unified “yes”. Silence is a friend, give it some space.) Lord, we want to bring these things to you and ask you to show us any ways that we have made idols. Show us any systems we have been a part of that look more like a worldly kingdom and less like Your kingdom. We want to submit ourselves as a body to You. We repent of wanting to just hear affirmation and instead long for deep transformation. There’s so much we don’t know, don’t see, don’t understand. We as a body ask you to search our heart and see what has offended you and lead us in Your way. We love you and choose to serve you in whatever you call us to.
While it’s harder to know what people to trust right now, what voices to listen to- we can trust Him. We can trust Him to reveal truth to our hearts both individually and corporately, but He does ask us too seek it out. Jesus says, “SEEK first His kingdom and His righteousness and these things will be added to you.” (Matt 6:33) We have to seek it like we want to find it. Seek it like we aren’t quite sure what or where it is (rejecting the assumption that we already do this in all ways) but we WANT it. Seek it like the only thing that matters is the kingdom of God. God says through the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 29 that when you seek Him with your whole heart, He will be found by you. And that’s a promise we can count on until the end of time- whenever that ends up being.
I have to note at the end of this a huge "Thank you." Thank you to my husband for teaching me to reconsider everything in light of the kingdom of God. Thank you to Gabrielle for helping me see the deep value of communal living, seeking, grieving, interceding. Thank you to ONE ministry, and to the other individuals throughout the years who have taught me to value silence and listening to the heart of God over any other voice. Thank you to my dear international friends that remind me how broad and beautiful His kingdom is. You are my sisters and brothers. Thank you to the hearts that we get to walk with and are willing to ask these hard questions together with us. I long for more. Thanks for growing with me, teaching me, refining me and kneeling before our King with me. SO much more to go...