mommy, birdies cant sit in the trees if you cut them down -Grace Lyons
Well here I am in the middle of being still. The last few months I have chosen to be obedient instead of sacrificing. This month I have chosen to keep the trees and build them up, instead of tear them down.
And I am going a little crazy sometimes. Because when you choose to be obedient to God, you might feel a little small, a little incapable, a little fearful because being obedient to God means just that.
YOU ARE TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON HIM.
I am used to being dependent on my bank account, my dads credit card, my husband, the weather, my normal foods, my routine...everything that seems normal is the most comfortable place for me to be. And my head comes up with so many ways that I can justify living comfortably.
Don't spend most of what you earned last month on supplies because you need to grab and keep hold of every dollar just in case you have an emergency...
Don't push yourself outside of your comfort zone, because God would want you to be comfortable...he wouldn't want you to feel like this.
Don't branch out, venture out, try new things because God would want you to be safe...
I have no fancy words to write here or scripture to show, except these two..
1 Samuel 15:22 (NKJV) So Samuel said: Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
Isaiah 1:11-17 (NLT) “What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the LORD. “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting—they are all sinful and false. I want no more of your pious meetings.I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them! When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims. Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways.Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
Over a year ago, I brought the art to the Lord at the altar of my church and gave it to him. I laid it down so that God would know that if he desired for me to watch kids in my home instead, I would do it. And that's when he started making things happen. I was willing to lay it all down for him. But that included my joy. I really find no joy in watching kids for a living...and he knew that.
Its not what he created me to do. He did not want me to start a daycare. He wants me to paint.
And he just began to speak to me this month, I have things planned for you so big that they never would have happened if you sacrificed your joy on my behalf. I want you to feel joy, purpose, drive and a clear vision. I want you to want to live. I want you to want to wake up every morning...
And that right there makes me want to obey him even more.
So then here it is and I am still learning to be still. Learning to understand and grasp just a tiny bit of how much he loves me, you. Just how much he really wants us to live.
Im learning to how listen to him. I am learning how to pull from and lean on his strength to do the very things I cant, or couldn't without him. And trust him to make it all happen.
Grace just said to me, "mommy, the birdies cant sit in the trees if you cut them down."
She speaks right to me, from the holy spirit. You cant lead people to Christ, you cant testify of his goodness if you have never tasted it for yourself. You cant be a witness to something that hasn't happened...which is why Gods love is too bright for me sometimes. Its too much. I cant handle in a world so full of judgement and bullies, how merciful and graceful he really is.
And now I know that my deepest joy, my greatest joy I have ever felt is in my obedience to him. I thought taking up my cross and following Jesus would mean a life of sacrifice and rules but now I know that he doesn't want me to sacrifice the trees in his name, they would never be enough. He wants me to build them up so high that there seems to be no end to them, like they would touch the heavens if you made it up high enough...
Listening to him, to his soft, beautiful voice will always lead to building up the trees, making them grow...his voice will always lead you to the heavens.