Today's reading: 1 Samuel 28
Good morning, SHINE! Didn't y'all just love Beth's story?
Yes, me too. And, I have to admit, my husband , being the golf fan that he is, loved her story too. :)
Thank you, again, Beth for sharing your beautiful story with us. We are so grateful and blessed.
Okay, God really does have a sense of humor. Sometimes it feels like HE is the only one laughing though.
|here's a little visual of my sweet Lem before I go and rat him out.|
(love you, honey!)
(we like to have fun--just one of the million reasons i love him!)
So, here's what happened.....
Monday morning, I got up at my usual dark and early time. I was snuggled on the couch, coffee in one hand, bible in the other hand.
Just me and God.
I was just soaking up His word and our time together. This is my absolute favorite part of the day.
Suddenly, I hear some scrambling in the kitchen.
Oh no. One of the kids had gotten up early.
"Hey, darlin!'", comes a voice around the corner.
Startled, I look up to see my husband, Lem.
"Ohhhh, hey! I thought you were one of the kids. Whatcha doin' up so early?" I asked him.
"Just thought we could read the Bible together, honey. Won't that be cool?" he asked me.
I was not happy. Lem had single-handedly interrupted my date with God. I mean, seriously? This is the ONLY time of the day that belongs to just me and God. (or so it seems)
I squirmed a bit and pasted on my best fake smile, and said, "Sure!".
Okay, girls...this is not the worst part of the story. The worst part is that he wanted to catch up to where we are with our reading here on SHINE. Which meant he wanted me to read with him from 1 Samuel 1 until the chapter we were on that day...which was 26! Yes, 26!!
Seriously? Read it again? 26 chapters?? With you?
(I said all this to myself.)
Oh, it gets better. Not only does he want to read it together, but he wants to read it aloud to me.
Okay, I don't know about you, but if I am going to read something, let ME read it. Don't read it to me.
(I know my attitude stinks doesn't it. )
As this is happening, I am hearing the Holy Spirit whispering to me to be quiet and just go with it.
(the irony of this story is that I have been trying--no, begging--Lem to wake up and have quiet time with me for the entire 13 years of our marriage. now that he is getting up with me...I am missing my alone time. ha! God, you crack me up.)
I shut my mouth and listened to Lem read (aloud) for 8 chapters. (yes, EIGHT!)
The next morning, I tried my best to sneak out of bed and tip-toe to the den without him hearing me.
He came right in there about 5 minutes into my reading.
He then continued to read 1 Samuel for about 7 more chapters.
After reading, he put the book down and said, "Saul is not that bad. I don't get it. Why do you think he is so bad?"
Lem had heard me talking about Saul and how I didn't want to make the same mistakes he did, so he was confused why I thought we was so bad. (he hasn't got to the part about him trying to kill David yet)
I thought for a second...then something hit me like a ton of big red bricks. Saul wasn't so bad...Saul was disobedient.
Disobedience is what led to Saul's downfall.
Okay, let me make this a little clearer for us. How many times have we been disobedient in our walk with the Lord?
Ummm, almost daily for me, if I am being completely honest.
Even if it is just a teeny tiny thing that we are being disobedient about, what is God showing us through the life of Saul that happens?
Yep, you guessed it...big, big sin. Not just sin, but even death.
So, God, you are telling us that this is why obedience is so important to you, right? Saul wasn't necessarily a bad dude...he was just disobedient in a few little areas.
But, guess what? Those teeny tiny areas turned into big, gaping holes of sin.
Not sure about you, but I can think of a MILLION examples of how something seemingly tiny on my part turned into something way out of my control.
For example, my love walk. I had sown a little bitty seed of bitterness into my heart over a friend. So little, that nobody even knew about it...but me. (and God.)
However, as time went on, that seed grew and grew and grew until before long, I had NO idea what was going on. I just knew that I had lost my peace and lost my connection with the Lord.
If I would have been obedient from the get-go about this little seed of bitterness, it would have never been planted.
I felt justified for hanging on to this little seed. It just made me feel better, like I had won...or had a little control.
Did I just hear you gasp? Or maybe that was just me gasping again at what the Lord is showing me.
Girls! What's going on with our obedience? What are we doing that seems little bitty to us, but not so little bitty to the Lord?
Let me give a few more examples of the disobedient paths I have taken over my thirty-something years...
- not going to church,
- not forgiving someone--completely,
- not showing love--especially to the unlovables in my life
- not stopping myself from gossiping when I KNOW it's headed down that path
- wanting to be "right" instead of just keeping the peace
- being judgemental
- being envious
- feeling justified for holding back just a little part of the truth
- little white lies
- stretching the truth
- not praying
- telling people what they want to hear instead of the truth
- people-pleasing instead of God-pleasing
- self-pity--which leads to feeling justified for disobedience.
- cheating ( just a little ) on my taxes
- not giving(when i know i should)
- giving--just because someone is looking and i want the recognition
- self-promotion instead of promoting others
- being unkind
- harboring anger towards my husband because he is not doing what i want him to, or what i think he needs to be doing.
- harboring anger towards a loved one because they have said or done some hurtful things to me
- letting my JOY be dependent on my circumstances--instead of letting my JOY be because of the Lord.
- comparing myself to others constantly instead of embracing what the Lord has given me and the gifts He has given me.
- wanting to be liked, instead of wanting to serve the Lord.
- putting myself first, instead of last.
- being quick to speak and slow to listen--instead of quick to listen and slow to speak.
- quick to point out someone else's faults instead of seeing and working on my own big fat ugly faults.
- judging others by their actions and judging myself by my good intentions. ouch.
Oh, man...it's gettin' hot in here!
Not only have I taken off my winter coat, but I have stripped down to my unmentionables with that list.
Good thing y'all love me, right??
Through the Father, I am cleansed.
How do I stay cleansed and safe from harm? How do I stay safe from my itty bitty act of disobedience growing and growing until before long I am in the biggest mess of my life?
Yep, the big O.
So, Lem was right. Saul wasn't such a bad dude. Saul was just like me....disobedient.
I want my ending to be different than Saul's though.
How about you?
Let's start today.
Let's pray for God to show us any areas that we are being disobedient.
It may not feel good when He shows us. It may pinch a bit. Or, maybe even a lot.
However, the pruning is worth it, friends.
Through the pruning comes the beauty that reflects Him.
What are y'all learning through our reading? Won't you share?
seeing your beauty from here,
"Look, today I have set before you life and death, depending on whether you obey or disobey. I have commanded you today to love the Lord your God and to follow His paths and to keep His laws, so that you will live and become a great nation, and so that the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to possess." Deuteronomy 30:15-16,