It started several years ago. After going through a desert time in my relationship with God I came to a point where I wanted more of God. I wanted the life Jesus promised in John 10:10b. So, I aske God to give me a desire for more of Him. He answered! Now when I wake up in the morning there are three things I really want (other than a cup of coffee and another hour of sleep). I really want to see God. I want to allow Christ to live His life in me (Galatians 2:20) and through me. I want to hear Him speak to my heart, and follow His lead. I want to be an expression of His life on earth and in my family. So I pray, "Show me Lord, I'm looking. Speak to me Lord, I'm listening. And lead me Lord, I'm willing." It's my way of abiding in Him all day.
Then I look for God and His activity in my life. I listen for His voice and direction in my spirit, my thoughts and plans. And I try to surrender my heart to His lead in each moment, each conversation, each relationship dynamic, etc. Now I don't do this perfectly. I blow it all the time, and by 5pm I am sure God is thinking, "Renee, you're not listening. You're not looking. You're leading again."
But when I do listen and look and follow, it's amazing how God gives insight and wisdom. My friend Wendy Blight has a neat story about how she's experienced this in her life as a mom, too. Here is what she shared with me recently:
One day after church our family took a drive to the lake. Moments into our ride, my two children morphed into creatures I did not recognize. It began as simple bickering that exploded into an all out brawl. As the volume increased, the distance between the creatures decreased, and they began to push and shove each other. When the female (older by four years) flicked the male creature, my husband completely lost his patience. He gave the female creature one and only one opportunity to apologize and forbid her from speaking another word until we arrived at our destination. She, of course, would not apologize and began to whine and complain why everything was not her fault. With no warning he pulled to the side of the road and ordered her out of the car. I thanked the Lord we were on a deserted road, near the top of a mountain, away from any other human life.
As I saw what was going on between them escalate, I prayed. At that moment, John 10:10 came to me, The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I jumped from the car and asked my husband if I could take a walk with my daughter. He reluctantly acquiesced.
We walked over to a swing overlooking the lake. I began to share with her the verse God had given me. I spoke of Satan’s name, “Diablos,” meaning divider. I explained how Satan desires to divide families, and he commits his life to bringing all out assaults against families who love God and seek to make Him the center of their homes.
I did not want to frighten her, but I warned her how Satan goes after those who love God. I shared how I believed at this moment he was going after her. But then I spoke Truth to her. I shared that her heart belonged to God and had since the moment she accepted Christ as her Savior. I began to pray, praising God for who He is and for our family, standing in the authority we had in Jesus’ name and rebuking Satan and His power in Jesus’ name. As I was praying, I opened my eyes and saw the anger and pride pouring out of my daughter. Her stiff-necked, arched-back body went limp as tears cascaded in a continuous flow down her cheeks. She was broken, humble, and tender. Before my eyes, she morphed back into the beautiful young woman I knew.
It was an incredible moment in our relationship. How did this happen? ABIDING. I had recently committed my mothering to God. I had spent significant time in His Word, praying and studying, claiming promises and claiming Truths. As I invited Him into our family, my mothering changed. I was truly able to speak Truth in Love into situations without raising my voice, without “losing it.” Our home, our family began to change because God changed me.
What a powerful picture of what Jesus tells us in John 14:5, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me." Wendy was able to bear fruit in her relationship with her child because she'd been abiding and seeking, and listening and following Christ.
Win a copy of Wendy's Book
Wendy is a dear friend, author and one of my teammates as a Proverbs 31 speaker. You can find out more about Wendy on her blog. Also, her first book, Hidden Joy in Dark Corner, is being released this month. I would love to give a copy away today so if you'd like a chance to win, please leave a comment below.