Over the years, I've become very dependent on my devotional books and bible studies. It's been easy and convenient to use these as my only reading during my time with God. There have been countless books that I've read that have grown me and that God has undoubtedly used to allow me to see Him and know Him more. I know that I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't because of some of the studies I've done. I have learned so much and there are a few that have totally changed my life. I've been in a place recently of being too reliant on other sources rather than simply being in His Word.
You see, I have this thing going on with Jesus right now. I'm learning and being challenged to know Him. More. Deeper. He is calling me and I am following. Some days are easier than others. There are days when I all I want to do is run with reckless abandon. Then there are the days that are filled with little steps. Steps of uncertainty. Questioning and wondering where He is taking me. I often drag my feet too because even though I know I want to follow, it's not something I can do all the time in my own strength.
This walk of faith is hard. Nothing gets me more weary, discouraged, and tired than the way life sneaks in sometimes. Busyness, sick children, and sometimes it's just the routine of the same old stuff. Day in and day out. I love the life God has blessed me with, don't get me wrong. I have so much to be thankful for. He has showered His grace and mercy on me and my family in incredible ways. I'm just a woman who loves Jesus with all of her heart but is attempting to balance family, ministry, and everything in between.
Today, once again, God met me where I was. I said earlier that I began this book, while at the same time knowing God had made it clear to me to let a lot of my reading material go to the wayside for now. This one I was to keep. I also told you that I'm only on the 9th day. I've had it for a couple months now. It's not something I read and journal in everyday. I would like to be more consistent in it because every time I read from it, I come away with so much.
The verses I read for today was from Mark 1:35-39. A little background on what is going is that Jesus' followers are searching for Jesus because He has gone off to a place of solitude. When they find Jesus, they seem a little put out with Him because He wasn't where all the people were. "Everyone is looking for you!" they say.
What happens later is that these followers that were basically chasing Jesus down, came to be a few of His disciples. Peter, James, and John. Jesus singled them out, and took them to an intimate place with Him. There were some lessons that needed to be learned. Beth Moore says, "I wonder if Jesus thought... So, you're not the boundaries types are you? Okay, I'll take you behind some ordinary boundaries, but I'll hold you responsible for what you learn while you're there."
These fellows were in for some major lessons. Right away, Jesus pulled them to the front of the class. Jesus knew what was in them and He was determined to find it. Did they think they were being singled out and becoming the favored Teacher's pet. Could it be perhaps, Jesus saw spiritual immaturity and wanted to teach them some great lessons. Invaluable lessons.
I love that even through God's discipline, it is with love. Jesus saw something in these men. There was a purpose and a plan for these few to follow Him. Closely. To leave everything behind.
After reading this, I realized that there is a place deep inside of me that longs to be the Teacher's pet. I need to sit at the very front so that I'm not distracted. I need my eyes and ears to stay focused on Him. I want to be right in the front row so that His eyes can catch mine. To be up close so that He can give me that little bit of encouragement. Maybe a steady push. To hear Him whisper in my ear, "Atta girl, you are on your way!"
The truth is, as God's children, we are the Teacher's pet. There isn't just one that He has singled out. He sees potential in all of us. He wants to pull us up front- to the head of the class. At times it is because we need His discipline, guidance, and direction. Maybe we need to be that close so that we are reminded of His authority. Other times, it's just so that we can be close. It's that simple.
My daughter, Jessica and I are off to see my sister, Sarah in Tennessee tomorrow. I'll be back Monday with much to share!