Friday, July 1, 2011

The Recurring Verse

Have you ever had a recurring nightmare or dream?  You know, one that keeps coming back over and over.  I remember as a child, especially, I had a couple, (none that I would care to share for fear of the men in white coats! Ha!).  As an adult, over the years, I've had one where I find myselft back in school. At first all is well until I realize I haven't been to math class in quite sometime and now I'm going to fail!!!  Analyze that one...UNRESOLVED GUILT from skipping class, maybe! Well, I'm not here today to actually talk about recurring nightmares, nor to analyze them.  But I wanted to get my point across about what a recurrence is.  It is something which comes back over and over again; a repetitive theme or experience.

As a Christian, I have also had the experience of recurrence in my journey with the Lord.  Let me attempt to explain.  When I became a Christ follower at the age of 19, I found out early on that my relationship with Christ was just that...a RELATIONSHIP.  For much of my life, Christianity had been a religion - a series of do's & don'ts, rituals & traditions, listening to "boring" sermons which had no real bearing on my life other than the guilt I felt every now & again over misconduct!  The Bible was just a book that I opened at church or school and although I believed it was true, it never meant more to me than any other history book, which by the way, I also believed was true.  Prayer was something I only did when I felt afraid and needed to put in my order to the "power" on the the other end of my spiritual 911 call.  There was NOTHING relational about it!  But, God...! (Just a side note - I challenge you to look up all the times in Scripture it says, "But, God...")  You see, even though my side of the experience was ALL about RELIGION, God's side of it was NEVER about religion!  The entire time, I was growing up attending Sunday School, church services & Christian school, God was at work!  (In fact, even before then according to Jeremiah 1:5 & Psalm 139:13.)  The entire time He was wooing me into a relationship with Him, (John 15:16). In fact His entire purpose for creating us all is for RELATIONSHIP with Him! 

So what does this snippet of my testimony have to do with recurrence, todays recurring theme? Well, it does in fact have everything to do with it!  You see, God in His GREAT LOVE for us, never stops pursuing us!  If you have been married very long and especially if you have had children in that marriage, you know that it doesn't take long for the "honeymoon" period to subside.  The marriage RELATIONSHIP requires attention!  To remain vibrant, it takes a continual pursuit or courting of that person to show them their importance to you! Commitment & faithfulness are key, but intimacy is at the heart of it all!  Without that time of continually getting to know the other person, you become entangled in all of the pressures, distractions & disillusions that life in this world will throw at you!  You have to make it a priority to spend time with that RELATE to them!  In my relationship to my Lord, Jesus Christ, I have to make it a priority to spend time with RELATE to Him!  I have to intentionally set aside time to study diligently the TRUTHS of His Word.  The Bible is no longer a history book, but is the Living, Breathing Word of God that cuts away the parts of me that are harmful and produces the fruit of His love, His peace, His joy and so much more!  He speaks to me through it!  Not audibly, but His Spirit to my spirit!  He CHANGES me! (Thank you, Lord!)  Prayer is no longer just a distress call, although I know that He SO cares for me that when I do need Him He is always there bending His ear to me like a Father to His child, ready to supply my every need (Phillipians 4:19).  Prayer is a continual conversation.  An expression of love and thankfulness and gratitude to Him Who has SO greatly expressed His love for me (John 3:16).

I know you are wondering..."Is she ever going to get around to recurrence?"  So, here it is.  You see, as much as I seek Him, it is not my side of the experience that is SO amazing!  I fail every day in my relationship to Him!  I rebel by making a conscious decision to make something else a priority!  I get busy with my responsibilities of life! {If Satan cannot make you bad, He will make you busy - that's just a free side note! :)}  I let other affections take priority in my life!  And the list of my unfaithfulness goes on & on...BUT, GOD!...God in His GREAT MERCY & GRACE continues to pursue me!!!  He knows in His omniscience that I will never be perfect in my pursuit of Him and He looks down on me in love and throws me a line...a RECURRING VERSE!  You see, He never tires in His pursuit of calling me back to Himself!  He shows me over and over again through the same scriptures how much He loves me, (Romans 8:38-39)!  How much He is FOR ME, (Romans 8:31; Psalm 34:6)!  How much He desires to RELATE to me (John 1:14 - "So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us.  He was FULL of UNFAILING LOVE & FAITHFULNESS!" NLT) 

As I have referenced in my last post, I am in a season of testing & waiting on the Lord right now.  And it has been hard, to say the least!  But can I tell you that I am confident that in His perfect will and plan for my life, He has not forgotten me!  He has used this time to draw me closer to His side and to remind me of His UNFAILING LOVE & FAITHFULNESS to me!  And in it, I am learning to TRUST Him more & more!!!  My recurring verse lately has been Psalm 5.  I'd like to share it with you here quoting from the New Living Translation (NLT):

"O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I will never pray to anyone but You!
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.  Each morning I bring my requests to You and wait expectantly.
O God, You take no pleasure in wickedness; You cannot tolerate the slightest sin.
Therefore, the proud will not be allowed to stand in Your presence, for You hate all who do evil.
You will destroy those who tell lies.  The Lord detests murderers & deceivers.
Because of Your UNFAILING LOVE, I can enter Your house; with deepest awe I will worship at Your Temple.
Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me.  Tell me clearly what to do, and show me which way to turn.
My enemies cannot speak one truthful word.  Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their speech is filled with flattery.   God, declare them guilty!  Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins, for they rebel against You.
BUT, let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever.
Protect them, so all who love Your name may be filled with joy.

My friends, are you in need of His RECURRING LOVE today?  Seek Him with ALL of your heart!  Call out to Him and look for Him in His Word!  You will find Him, (Jeremiah 29:13) and He will give YOU a RECURRING VERSE!


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