I’ve been telling Robin for months now that I wanted to “guest post” on her blog and try to keep on posting from time to time. To which she said, “You mean OUR blog?” Well…yes…I suppose it is called “Russell’s Adventures.” So, I guess what I’ve been wanting to do was start contributing to my own blog. There’s a nice thought: “If your going to have a blog it might be a good idea to write on it.”
The problem is, as I’ve been telling Robin I want to write, I’ve been finding that no ideas, topics, thoughts, or anything specific was coming to mind. I eventually had a few ideas, but the only one I really entertained was just to add some levity to the deep, heartwarming, soul searching, posts that we have all come to love from Robin. Yet, Robin’s gift for word pictures and elegantly “spewing” the work God has been doing in our lives has set the bar so high for what I felt like I should write that I didn’t really think my levity would be appropriate. Finally I started to seek God. At first, I asked Him to just get me back into the practice of regularly writing…especially writing in my personal journal that I had only used recently because I, more or less, had to.
Shortly after I asked God that, through some circumstances too detailed to mention here, God gave me some words to write. I promptly began to record those words as part of my devotions with God and He has begun to reveal to me what He wants me to write on our blog. Some future posts may end up having a lot to do with what I’ve been writing during my devotional time with God, but one of my favorite things about Abba is that He REALLY does have a great sense of humor. So here I am looking for a specific topic, trying to do some soul searching, praying for something deep to convey, and He said, “Mark, just start writing something and I will give you the words.”
Now, there are MANY lessons that can be applied/learned from just starting to do what God has asked you to do and trusting that He will provide all along the way, but the main lesson, the ONLY take-away that God has been laying on my heart recently through pointing out that I need this type of attitude recently is ASK: Always Seek the King. You see what God has been trying to convey to me, even in me not being able to come up with a good topic to write about, was that I hadn’t asked Him.
This turns out to address two issues in my life that God is really working on right now. One being that I need to ask Him about everything, with emphasis on the “EVERY” part. It’s not that I don’t pray. I talk to God all the time. The issue is that I neglect to ask Him if what I’m wanting an answer to is something He even wants me to ask about in the first place. I’m not talking about finding the right question to ask God, or having some magical formula that will always produce answers from God. What I’m saying is that God was telling me that I need to ask Him about EVERY detail of my life. I have had the head knowledge that I rely on God for everything, but what God is helping me to EXPERIENCE, so much deeper than just knowledge, is that I rely on Him for infinitely more than I can even imagine.
This is the second issue that this concept of ASK has brought up in my life: that in relying on God for everything I have to let go of all the false senses of control that I think I have in all areas of my life. Many of these areas I don’t even realize I am trying to control. For instance, I have gastritis. Over the last few years I have had symptoms of it and in the most recent year or two I have had it diagnosed by tests and doctors. I’ve subsequently been praying about it and seeking emotional, spiritual, and physical healing to try to address it. The one thing I didn’t do that I should have done right away was ask God how He wants me to address it. So, thinking I was doing “good” things by not eating certain foods and drinks and trying medicines and seeking emotional healing, I tried to take care of my problem. These things are of great value and I am not trying to discredit any of them, but the only time I have REALLY began to feel any real healing was when God showed me that I need to stop seeing it as “MY” problem. My problem wasn’t the gastritis, it was that I was getting in the way of God healing me. I didn’t realize that I was still holding on to a false sense of control and that I needed to give my problem to God and allow Him to have the control that was already His in the first place.
As I have started practicing this with my gastritis God has been showing me that false senses of control are in many areas of my life and they even adversely affect my gastritis. I have to admit, I have not experienced complete healing. I still feel some pain in my gut even as I write this, but the more I realize those false senses of control and get in line with God’s control, the less stress I began to feel and the more healing I begin to gain.
“Strength will rise as we wait upon the LORD,” AND “The name of the LORD is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and they are safe.” God gave me those words over the last few weeks and both have become not just words, but real life, tangible experiences in my daily life as I continue to learn to remove myself from any sense of control that has always been God’s anyways. This peace that surpasses all understanding, that I am beginning to experience greater every day, I pray He gives you as well.