Thursday, January 6, 2011

A challenge for the New Year...

Two years ago, I read along with my high school friend and fellow blogger, Kristin, as she took on the challenge of putting to memory 24 Scriptures from God's Word in a year. I was intrigued by the process and thought it was an amazing idea. But I didn't join in. I just watched from afar.

This year, she's at it again. When I read her post the other day about her first verse, I felt that little tug on my soul... do you know what I'm talking about? I heard this voice in me saying, "You should do that... you can... what a way to get deeper in the Word... do it... come on..." And then yesterday, Kristin posted the link on Facebook to give my other friend, Erika, the info on the program. So I dug a little deeper, read the information, felt more of an urge, and was eventually led to commit.

Commit. That's a tough word for me. Well, when it comes to anything that deepens me. I am great at committing to my kids' endeavors and have them at all the functions and practices and parties they agree to attending. I commit myself to this household and keeping it fully functional. I have committed myself to my marriage for eleven years now, and that's no faint kind of commitment. But when it comes to something that is solely for me, incredibly personal, extremely internal - well, that's where I falter. That's where I let myself down. And when I read Beth Moore's words about making excuses for not participating, it convicted me. She said, and I am strongly paraphrasing here, that maybe that's the lesson the Holy Spirit can teach you ~ that He can provide that for you. Pierced me right through the heart, I tell you. My lack of commitment is a direct result of my lack of confidence that God will provide...

So, I am going to be a part of the 2011 Siesta Scripture Memory Verse Team, and I am beyond excited about it! I am looking forward to seeing what my Lord teaches me through His Word this year. So, here's my first selection...

Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. Isaiah 60:1

No doubt, Isaiah touched my soul more than any book of the Bible ever has. I have this opinion, and it's a completely uneducated and personal one, I must admit. Here's how I feel about the Scriptures: God is talking directly to me. When I pick up the Bible and read, it is my time with Him. It really makes no difference to my soul if He was talking to the people of Israel way back in the day or to the Apostles in the New Testament; I fully believe the Words I read are from God and are meant for me to read. I felt it the very first time I sat down and opened my Bible on my own accord (not to memorize a verse for my high school Bible teacher or to cram in what was supposed to be read for a Sunday school class) to discover who God is and the gifts He has given me. I felt Him speaking to me, showing me things, pointing out places inside of me that need to be cleaned up, and pushing me to develop myself. I felt it then at the age of 25, I feel it still each time I open the Word, and it's real to me.

When I read Isaiah 60:1 for the first time, it made my heart swell. It's a direct command ~ ARISE, SHINE. Arise. Wake up. Get up off your backside. Stand tall. Shine. Glow. Emit the light from within. There's no doubt in His command. He doesn't say, "If you feel up to it, honey, get up and light that candle." It's just, "Get up and show what's already there."

Then He carries it further, as the Good Lord always does. Your light has come. Sweet Jesus has already saved you, dear. He's been here quite a long time. When the prophet Isaiah wrote the words, he had no New Testament with red letters. He had a big faith in God that was mighty enough to provide and nothing but hope for the future. Now, I have it all in front of me, and my faith is weak. Doesn't really make much sense, does it? The glory of the LORD rises upon you. God's glory rises upon me. He bestows his honor and splendor upon me. Wow.

That verse was written just for me. And you, too, of course, and for many others out there. It's for any and all who so desire. What a beautiful command. What beautiful words. And I think they are forever written on my heart now...

1 comment:

Chelle said...

"He doesn't say, "If you feel up to it, honey, get up and light that candle." It's just, "Get up and show what's already there."...

WOW. That spoke to me.

Thank you, I needed that.