Sunday, August 17, 2008

Forty Days

Forty days is a long time! As I finish my Call to Die book today, I am looking back at when I began and it seems like forever ago. It made me even more amazed at the things that people in the Bible endured for 40 days...

* When Noah (and company) were on the ark, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights! Can you imagine? (Genesis 7:4)
* Moses was on the mountain with the Lord for 40 days...and didn't eat or drink the entire time! I'm starving if I skip lunch! (Exodus 34:28)
* For forty days, twice a day, Goliath strutted in front of David and the Israelite army...so scary! (1Samuel 17)
* Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan for 40 days...and he fasted this whole time! He was in such anguish that he sweat blood. My parents and I bought Matt a painting when he played Jesus at church that is a picture of this scripture. It just makes my heart ache to think about what he went through! (Luke 4:2)
*After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared on earth for 40 days...in this case, I bet the 40 days didn't seem long enough! (Acts 1:3)

All of that to say that my little 40 day "blog fast" seems pretty insignificant compared to these things...but, the Lord showed me some pretty awesome things and I really enjoyed my time in this study.

***

Obviously, the book called me to die. And, I feel that I learned so much about what that really means. Dying to myself is not a one time, or even once a day, commitment. It's a constant mindset...one that I don't think I have ever really had before. I know that the Bible calls me to pray constantly, but in order to do that, I have to always be in a Spirit of Worship. I have to always be dying to myself...to my family...to things...so that I can be living to honor Jesus Christ. It's not an easy task. God really showed me (through Matthew 10:37-38) that I often put my hope and trust in my husband and my sweet little Quinn above Him. He reminded me that they can't be my treasure ...that they are rubbish compared to Him. (Not an easy thing to be reminded!) The book often said that we have to "hold things loosely!" How true!!! I am praying that God will help me hold things a little more loosely everyday...which is another call to die to myself! ...

Another thing he showed me is that I often love what He does for me more than I love Him! Since I don't do "bad things," I don't often take much heart in asking for His forgiveness. But, I realized how selfish I am and how I have never been left feeling completely "ruined!" I am wanting God to point out my weaknesses and my sins so that I can truly love Him and appreciate that forgiveness! I feel the closest to Him when he has done something great in my life (healed my husband, blessed us financially, given us a child, etc.)...and I want that to change. I want to feel that intimacy when I come to him, daily, asking for his forgiveness and thanking him for His grace!

One of my favorite quotes from the book is this...
"Be on guard. Be aware of your own heart's wandering,
and rein it back to Christ when it starts getting away!"
That's my prayer! That God will show me when I'm not dying to myself, and that he'll give me the strength to make it happen! Every night, I sing "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" to Quinn...
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the Light of His glory and grace!"
Thanks to these 40 days, it now has a whole new meaning!

2 comments:

Remy said...

So proud of you! You are an encouragement to me to finish it as well! I get more out of it each day! love you!

Jessica & Matt said...

Wow! That's good stuff, BGP. I like that quote from the book, too. I mean, not that I've read the book... just from your post. :) Glad you enjoyed it so much!