Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Real Food

Your words were found, and I ate them, 
and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;
 for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.
Jeremiah 15:16

How many times have you heard someone say, "I read the Bible, but I'm just not getting anything out of it" or even "It's kind of boring"? How many times have you said it yourself? I admit these are words I have spoken, or at least thought at times. Today, I came across the above verse, looking through some verse cards I have printed out. It stopped me. Immediately, I thought about one of the books I'm reading The Quest for More by Paul Tripp. It's about living for the Big Kingdom in our everyday life. 

Isn't this where it begins? To take every moment of your every day and turn it from living in our little kingdoms where we reign, and make it mean something for the Kingdom of God, doesn't it start with the Word of God being the joy of our hearts? 

Wait, let's back up a minute. I guess we would have to say it really starts with the statement made at the end of this verse "For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts." We've been called out of our little kingdoms. We've been dethroned. Those who have been called to be followers of Christ, have been called by another name. We have been called by the name of the Lord God, because it is His Spirit which lives within us.

If that is true, then my little kingdom no longer exists. The little kingdom I call my life, my world, my time here on this earth is no longer mine. 

I can try to retain my control, my rule, but to no avail, for I have been dethroned.

This is not a bad thing, in fact, it is just the opposite. You see, I am a terrible ruler. Every decision I make is for my own gain, even those that seem to be for the benefit of others is done only to make me feel good, or to better my reputation. Not only are they made in selfishness, but made with limited knowledge about how to bring about that personal good. When I rule, I feed on my own words, intelligence, strength, feelings. And my heart mourns. It mourns because my kingdom will never be the way I want it. 

But it is not my kingdom any more. A greater King has taken over. He has even taken up residency in my castle. While, I had invited Him in, at times I wasn't sure what was really happening. He began replacing my furniture with His, first one room, then the next. I was glad He was there, yet, I didn't want to give up my reign. So, I refused to let Him into certain rooms, for fear He would take them over as well. Of course, these actions confuse the people in my little kingdom. At times, they aren't sure who is ruling. For there are many times, I am content to allow Him to make decisions and and listen to His word with anticipation. His words are filled with such love, such joy, such peace. But then, there are times when I don't want to listen. I want my kingdom back. I want to make my own decisions and listen to my own words. These times are filled with anger and bitterness and I don't like them. 

I battle with myself, because I know He is a far greater ruler than I. His words are filled to the brim with nourishment for the deepest parts of my soul. His words bring joy and peace because He speaks truth. His kingdom thrives because He keeps every promise and makes decisions knowing not just the past, but the present and future as well. I know all of this, yet, at times I ignore it and go back to thinking that my ideas, my plans, my goals have some value. 

If He is the Lord God of hosts, who has called me, how can I not be nourished by His word? How do they not bring joy and rejoicing to my heart? 

If ever I am reading the very Word of God and my heart is not captured, I must ask the question- who is ruling this kingdom? How can my every day mean anything for the Big Kingdom if His Word does not stir me? How can I possibly know how to live, if I do not listen to His Words? 

Hopefully, His Word does bring joy to your heart, and you are receiving that joy more and more each day as you sit at His feet. While I try very hard, I am not always consistent about reading my Bible. But the more I do it, the more I want to do it and the more I choose to do it. May we continue to sit at His feet and stop trying to get back on the throne. 

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