An introvert’s dream: cooking, cats, and worship. I really love You right now.
In scripture, Jesus is constantly instructing us to eat Him. It’s overwhelming to take in His longing for us to consume and delight in every aspect of His being.
Hunger: an indication of a need for substance.
“Come to me, and you’ll never be thirsty again,” He promises.
Hunger is not an end of itself; temporarily easing our hunger is a means to an end. Being filled is our goal, and only He can fully fill and eternally satisfy us.
"All you who are thirsty, come to the water!, You without money, come, buy, and eat!
Yes, come! Buy wine and milk without money — it’s free!
Why spend money for what isn’t food, your wages for what doesn’t satisfy?” (Isaiah 55)
When I read the above passage, I imagine Jesus saying, "Stop ‘curing’ your hunger with earthly things. That’s temporary. Come to MY water. It’s free. It’s authentic. It’s eternal. This is the good stuff."
Jesus says, “Bring me ALL your cravings and desires. I want to fully satisfy and fill you. I will transform your desires.”
This past year was one of me re-directing my hunger towards Him. Our appetite = our desires. Through sitting in the lonely place with Him, fasting, and changing my “mental diet,” (bad feeds on itself & wants more bad, good feeds on itself & wants more good, etc.), my desires have truly shifted to simply wanting to live in accordance with His will for my life.
I think we would all agree that about three times a day (more for some people!), we need to eat. We’re irritable. We’re tired. We’re hungry. What if God gave us food and meals just to give us asmall taste of how much we really need Jesus? He is our Life Source. It’s not food we’re hungry for — it’s Jesus!!
Pat sung some amazing lyrics this past week (as always), ones that really convicted me to check where my hunger was directed. What am I hungry for? What do I burn for? He sang:
"My heart is the wick
Your Love is the flame
And I want to burn for Your Name.”
I’m saying yes to You
And no to my desires
I’ll leave myself behind and follow You
I’ll walk the narrow road cause it leads me to You
I’ll fall but grace will pick me up again
I’ve counted up the cost
Yes I’ve counted up the cost
And You’re worth everything.
"God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful. But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”
This summer was my desert. But this fall, I am sinking in to His peaceful harvest. Lord, bring the fruit!
It was honoring to be able to participate in 24 hours of worship + prayer for our city this weekend. My heart floods at the reality of being part of a community that chooses to spend their Friday + Saturday nights worshipping an invisible King.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.
A picture of Redemption //
I let it go and let Him take my bad in exchange for all His good. A deep, inner-heart sigh, and I release the struggle from my clamped grip. He replaces my heart of stone with one of flesh, and I sense a grittiness within me soften. I give it all up so He can give so much more back.
When not polluted, this desire for transformation can be a beautiful reflection of God’s nature inside us. It’s evidence left on our hearts by His fingerprints.
He is perfect and in Him all things flourish; It’s Him we really long for.
This persistent goal of ours to transform the better into the best is surely a piece of God’s character within us. It’s His promise of transformation that we relish, how He gives a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (Isaiah 61:3)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
As I reflect back on my walk with Christ over the past year, I’m overwhelmed with His Faithfulness, His redemption, and His fingerprints on my heart.
// Once oppressed from the memories of past relationships, He has clothed me in righteousness and equipped me with the tools I need to be a light to others at BeLoved ATL.
// He’s given me a beautiful, perfect, amazing, HOME, a new JOB that connects with the Body of Christ half way around the world, and even a sweet little CAT… as someone who held tight to my fears that having a pet that would disrupt my quiet, chill lifestyle, He’s broken me of that illusion & given me a heart for new life!
// He’s given me the boldness to write and blog more! I’m very private, so this is big for me, and also a great outlet. For the record, I’m very content with the small Tumblr readership of 6 that I have here :)
// He has given me a true, loyal, fierce community of amazing believers and leaders to do life with… I was so hungry for this, and am so, so blessed to call these people family.
// He has healed my broken heart, and brought fruit out of seemingly dead situations.
// No longer captive to the social pressures to be seen out on weekends, He’s given me the freedom to fully embrace my natural introvert nature, and I find sooo much joy in staying in Saturday nights, journaling, reading, and listening to records.
// He has transformed my life, my desires, my priorities. He has given me such a deep craving for Jesus that only He can satisfy. He has given me a new heart.
// He has given me a rich and full, simple life.
This is the good news: We are the wine, the butterflies, the new blooms. We are the crowns of beauty, the oil of joy, the garments of praise. Because He is the Great Improver, every day we are made into the better we’ve been hoping for. My life is a testament to this.
We are becoming the transformed.
Our fields of hope in Heaven //
This past Sunday in church, as we sang the familiar tune of a comforting song, God gently pricked my heart with a poetic lyric I’d never noticed before.
“The fields of hope in which I sow are harvested in Heaven.” (from Psalm 62, a song by Aaron Keyes.)
It stopped me still. My mind was suddenly filled with a beautiful picture of a yellow field, warmed by amber light, with crops of glimmering gold harvesting row by row. It was so peaceful and warm; I wanted to stay there a while. In my mind, I watched as a gentle breeze rustled the golden crops.
And then the realization washed over me lovingly, warmly, like it always does when God is trying to show me something.
Do those represent MY fields that I am sowing my hope into, God, that you are so graciously harvesting in Heaven?
I didn’t even need Him to answer; He confirmed it deep in my heart.
And suddenly, I felt relieved. Trusting. Assured. A heavy burden lifted from my heart, as I realized that all the seeds of hope I diligently plant through prayer… my prayers, hopes, dreams and intercessions, are harvesting in the fields of a very capable Farmer who is watering them, growing them, cultivating and pruning them… multiplying them.
I began to think of all the things I’ve been sowing in hope lately… my still-lingering, not-yet-answered prayers that at times feel so burned into my heart that surely they have become a part of me. The prayers that at times feel unanswerable, but our hope in God always leads us back to praying them. Even if I don’t see fruit from those seeds just yet, it doesn’t mean they aren’t fruitful in Heaven.
Jesus lived to open up the realms of Heaven to us here on earth. He gave us access to these fields in Heaven, so that we can be one with God in our prayers. We work together: We offer the seeds from Earth; He sows them in Heaven.
“I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven.” (Matt 16:19)
God has an impressive field in Heaven where He is harvesting all our prayers. They are multiplying and producing fruit in the spiritual realm, even though I can’t see them yet in the physical. THERE IS GROWTH WHEN WE PRAY.
God hears all of our prayers, and though we feel powerless, and our prayers can sometimes feel like ineffectual, empty little words, He is MIGHTY to HEAR them, and POWERFUL to plant and make them grow. We can TRUST that He is doing this simultaneously as we pray.
God is the Great Harvester of our prayers, and He is laboring in Heaven to make our seeds of hope turn into FRUIT. And we have faith that even if we never see the fruit, we know that the fruit IS in Heaven, in the hands of a Loving Farmer. The fruit will always exist, even if we never see it on earth.
“And HOPE does not disappoint us, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5.
Because our seeds of hope are planted in the field of the Lord; the most capable Harvester of all our Hopes and Prayers, we will never be disappointed. He does not disappoint.