I am reading this AMAZING book called, Compelled by Love, by Heidi Baker. She and her husband are lovers of Jesus and they pour out their lives to orphans in Mozambique, Africa. She says the poor and orphaned have taught her how to love. Talk about a paradigm shift.
Beyond her degrees, Powerpoints, and fundraising back up plans, she said that they have entered into the Life of Jesus — only. If God doesn’t show up, there is no food. If God doesn’t show up, there is no healing. If God doesn’t show up, they have no protection. So they worship… in everything. And God often responds in miracles and wonderful outpourings that many of us would have trouble believing. But her first goal, her first action, her first response is worship. She knows that the Presence of God is the only way she can live in the pressing need all around her.
Last night, I sat on my bed reading her God stories and just cried. Cried over the goodness of God. Cried over the way I get distracted and faithless. Cried over the groan and ache I have for more of Jesus, and yet –I still want my stuff, my way, my comfort.
Then I turned the page and saw a quote from Mother Teresa. She was asked how she managed to face the overwhelming needs day after day. She said:
“My secret is very simple: I pray. Through prayer I become one in love with Christ.
Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depths of our heart.”
At first I read this and was so comforted. But then I looked at the “overwhelming needs” of my day. And I wanted to throw up.
Am I feeding the poor? Caring for orphans? Am I doing something besides being distracted by the lies of my culture (more stuff, more bills, more beauty products) and seeking entertainment? (Do I even pray about my “friends” on Facebook? )
Will I invest even one honest season of worship in His presence without all the Christian trappings and just look for His face?
I would love to tell you, Yes, Yes, Yes. But I’m not so sure I can. What I can tell you is that I closed the book and began to pray. First I confessed my willingness to settle for the “pressure of the world” rather than seeking His power in my world. I thanked Him for the blessings of food, shelter, and abundance. When compared to most of the world, I live like a queen. And I can be as demanding and as ungrateful as a queen also. So I thanked Him for His grace and patience with me.
Then I began to pray for the poor and orphaned— in my life. Men and women who are poor in spirit, the people who in live life without the Father’s assurance. They (we) all need to be fed and comforted just like the abandoned ones in countries thousands of mile away. Then my heart turned to just speaking who He is, and how much I need Him and love Him, that He is the answer to all.
He is our greatest ache and groan.
Finally, I just sat in silence. And His presence came.
What did it feel like? Peace. Enveloping, warm, full of light. Peace. Peace that doesn’t always make sense or add up. “Peace that transcends understanding.” But a blanket of “I love you” just draped around me.
His Presence changes things. Our worship stirs His heart and then He stirs ours. He rights our view of our little world when we are reminded, again, it is His world. He is the loving King of all with not only the power but the desire to be God to us and for us.
Today, don’t plan a little more or work a little harder. Worship a little more. And watch God move.