Today is my birthday. I am 48 years old.
I started my day my favorite way with coffee and devotions. Since about 2005 I’ve had devotion time about 4-6 days per week. I’d say that on average it is about 45 minutes. I treasure this time and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve learned, changed and grown. Time in God’s word and in prayer is nothing short of transformational. Lately, though, for the past month to 6 weeks, the devotional time has been scarce. Certainly not because I don’t want to but, my life and routine have just been different. Truthfully, it kind of scared me. I know that I need to stay close to God or I tend to drift back to my former self, my former thinking and my former ways. This is NOT a good thing; trust me.
During this recent devotional dry spell, I prayed and told God to stay by my side! The verse that kept coming to mind was Isaiah 43:19 which says: Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
This relieved some of my fears. God doing a new thing? I’m on board. I’m excited. Bring it.
Today, I got a feel for where He is leading and what He is doing. Let me share.
I was in SLC recently for a YMCA conference. The final speaker was a gentlemen named Keith Harrell. A former pro basketball player and a Christian man with more energy than 1 person probably ought to have. He spoke of his career path as a speaker and it is nothing short of amazing. He spoke of releasing his faith. Releasing his faith. My ears perked up and I started to think and listen about this. There was 1 story of released faith that clenched the concept for me. Four years ago, he spoke at this same YMCA conference. He was one of the speakers in a small room in what you might call a “break out session”. He was not one of 4 keynote speakers in a big auditorium with all the conference attendees. After the conference, he prayed and said that the next conference he would be one of the key note speakers. As he told this story, he was sure to tell us, this wasn’t ego or pride. This was just him releasing his faith. Wow. Our words are powerful and our thoughts are powerful – we know that. Our God is powerful and we know that too right?
So, I thought, “hmmphf. I want to release MY faith !”
Recently I wrote about winning a slot to the 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, Fl. Last August, without knowing it, I released my faith. I followed a lead of the Holy Spirit that planted the seed, the desire, the crazy dream. Lo and behold, I am going to race at WC 70.3 on November 13, 2010.
Well, ok. I didn’t know that was releasing my faith. Now I do. Now what? Well, for heaven’s sake and holy Wow..let’s release some more shall we? Do I hear a resounding yes? I believe I do. (btw, if my hip weren’t so sore from hurting from a bike fall I took earlier today, I’d be typing standing up…hey, this IS exciting..do you feel it?)
Behold…I am doing a NEW thing…
See, God tells us that He will give us the desires of our heart. Psalms 37:4 says: Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
The key to this is to let God plant the desires of your heart. God planted a desire in Keith Harrell to be a keynote speaker at the next Y conference. God certainly granted that desire and Keith was the best speaker of the entire conference (in my humble opinion).
So, today. My 48th birthday. I had devotional time and I asked God about this releasing of faith. In a sort of seasonal fashion, I write big prayer requests on a 4 x 6 index card and pray over the stuff listed on them. I asked God to lead me to put the right stuff on the card.
Now, I’m an optimist. But, I’m also a practical person. I think big but I only think so big. Know what I mean? Can you relate?
I have to tell you the stuff on my card is big. It is bigger than me. It is big enough to require faith and that the faith be released. In the past, I would have had trouble even putting this stuff on the card. Why? Oh, not because I don’t believe that God can do anything; I believe He can. I just wouldn’t want to write it down and be disappointed or it be a Kimberly desire and not a God desire and I wouldn’t have trusted the leading of the Holy Spirit enough to be certain of the difference. Does this make sense? Can you relate at all? I sure hope so or you are going to go check and see what’s new on facebook or twitter.
Hebrews 11:1 says: Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we can not see.
Erwin McManus in his book Wide Awake (this may be my all time most favorite book by the way) says the following on faith and hope:
A life of expectation is the result of living in the dynamic tension that exists between faith and hope. Faith is about knowing what has not happened will certainly happen. Not because you will make it happen but because God has promised it will be so. Faith is about conviction, while hope is about confidence. Faith grounds us in the CERTAINTY of God’s faithfulness and hope PULLS us into the mystery of God’s future.
So, what’s the Behold I’m doing a new thing? The new thing is God is teaching me how to have faith. Bigger faith. He’s had to start with me at square one. Faith is tough. Waiting on God is tough. And now, He is taking me to a new level.
The winning of the World Championship slot to go race taught me that when God places a desire in our heart, He WILL gives us that desire. When and how..that’s up to Him. In the meantime, my role is to do my best everyday to do what I can to make that desire a reality. The gap between what I can do and what needs to be done to make a dream a reality – that is God’s job!!
Oh, stay with me..this is the good stuff.
Earlier today, my training partner asked me how it felt to see other people acquire a certain desire of my heart. Was I jealous? Did it bother me? Did it seem unfair? In all honesty, I had been jealous for about 10 minutes. I was bothered for the same 10 minutes. It did seem unfair for those same 10 minutes. Then, I remembered winning the opportunity for World Championships. And the jealousy, being bothered and the unfairness melted away. She was kind of shocked that I really was not jealous, bothered or feeling jipped. Here’s how I explained it to her: “You are a Mom. One day, there will be a gift perhaps a Christmas or birthday gift, that you really want to give your kid. So, you save, you get it, you wrap it and you can’t wait for the day to come so you can give her this gift. A few days before, your kid comes running into the house and shows you the EXACT gift you are planning to give her. Someone else has given it to her. How do you feel?” Devastated? Disappointed? Perhaps even a bit broken hearted that you were not the one able to give your kid that gift and see the JOY the gift brought.
When we go grab the desires of our heart in our own effort; we don’t get total peace and happiness and we cheat God from providing. That’s the truth. Really.
So, I can wait. I want God, my Heavenly Father, to give me the gifts of my heart. I want to see Him work in my life. I want the promises He gives in the Bible to be true in my life. I don’t want to cheat God – He wants to give me the desires of my heart – I just need to have faith and patience to see when and how He will do it. Notice I didn’t say if!!
In order release our faith and receive the desires of our heart from God, this is what we need to do:
Step 1 – let God place desires in your heart
Ste 2 – Believe that these desires will be given to you
Step 3 – Do your part every day to make the desire happen
Step 4 – Be patient and watch and see how God will give you the desires of your heart
Step 5 – When you receive the desire of your heart – give God the credit. Tell everyone about it. And of course, ENJOY it!!
Matthew 7: 7 says: Keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.
Notice the Keep on..Keep on tells us that God is not about the immediate. Joyce Meyer’s say, “God is rarely early but he is never late.” Also, the Keep on tells us we need to be busy doing our part. Action..not just prayer are required!!
Stay tuned. There’s some big stuff on my list. I’m committed to doing my part and I know that God will do His part. I’m not sure how or when. But I am sure and I will absolutely share and keep you updated.
Go ahead, pray, ask God to put desires in your heart. And of course, I’d love it if you shared your journey with me. You can write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.