Thursday, April 26, 2012

feeling the pull of the Holy Spirit


Tuesday was such an emotional day for me, and the rest of the week has proven to be no different. My heart is heavy still, and even more so for those of you who are struggling right now with these things. I love you all so dearly, and I'm aching and praying with you.

And I can't say how thankful I am for you guys, and for your sweet responses in discussion.

I know that we all come from different backgrounds, and that for some of you, what I said in that post was something entirely new to you, and for some, not something you agree with at all. I appreciate you all for keeping a kind spirit through it all, and I'm thankful that we can examine the Word of God as the source of truth for all. Isn't He so good to us to give us the Word {and it made flesh! amen?}.

I know that many of you long to know God, and that the drifting that you feel right now is not what you want. That seed- that little longing in the back of your mind that wishes you could experience God- that is a very, very good thing, my friends. It is exciting, in fact! :)

He is drawing you to Him! He wants your heart, and the light that you are drawn to is Him! I want to encourage you to not let it go- don't push it aside- don't let yourself forget again. Satan would love nothing more than to distract you from the pull of the Holy Spirit!

Some of you have experienced God- you truly and honestly felt the Holy Spirit working in your life, and so you know what you are missing right now. And you might not even know why you feel so alone, so without Him.

I want to bring up something that has happened in my life. This is just my experience, of course; what's happened in my almost 25 years of life in Christ.

I believe that God saved me at the age of 5. I remember being 4 years old, and I kid you not, I remember putting off salvation. My dad would talk about it with me in the car or at home, and I remember telling him that I wanted to wait until I was 7. What? 7 must have been the magic age. Oh, how that makes me laugh now. :)

But I knew- I understood. I believed in Jesus with all my heart- I knew He was God and I believed He was alive and had risen from the dead for my sins. I knew I was a sinner- I knew I disobeyed my parents, and that I disobeyed God's command to obey your parents {and many commands}, and that I deserved to be separated from God for eternity because of my sin.

I knew- I believed- but I was waiting to be older for such a big commitment. But one night a few months later {at 5}, I knew I couldn't wait- I knew I was being stubborn because I already believed it, I just didn't want to give my heart to Jesus.

Weird, I know, to think that a 5-year-old had these thoughts, but I did.  I told my parents that night after church that I wanted to ask Jesus to live in my heart, and I believed in Him.

We prayed, and ever since that night Jesus has been with me. He has had my heart- even when I went on my own way for a time, He was gracious enough to draw me back to Him.

I was so close to him in junior high- I loved Him with all my heart, and I wanted to follow Him with all of my life.

But as I entered my late teens, I started to catch a whiff of culture- I wanted it all. I dreamed of graduating from college and driving a bright red Jeep Liberty, and having nice stuff, and an awesome job.

I totally started leaving Jesus behind as just part of my life- but I convinced myself that I was supposed to be where I was supposed to be, and I let sin start to reign in my heart and life. I wanted what I wanted.

I knew in my heart that I wasn't where I needed to be, but I can tell you it was an easy thought to push aside when you are working part-time, engaged, and trying to graduate from college in three years. I even stopped going to church, because I had to wait tables on the weekends.

The worst part of doing what I wanted was that I couldn't talk to God anymore. I tried, but my prayers felt empty. My heart felt cold in worship, and I sang the songs but they didn't mean what they used to. I felt lost without Him, and I absolutely knew why {it was my own sin}, but I kept moving- there was plenty to distract me.

My last year of college, at age 19, I married my husband, and God was so gracious and so merciful to pull me back in- to deliver me from my sinfulness. In five months, he broke my heart completely and brought me back to Him.

I studied the Bible again- I poured over it. I could talk to Him again, I could worship again.

There's even more to the story, but I will have to save that for next time.

My heart goes out to those of you who have experienced God before, and are walking through this dry time right now. You know you met Jesus, but right now you're in a lonely and weary land. I've been right there with you.

I want to encourage you- seek out His goodness. Whether you knew Jesus before, whether you've never known Him at all- when you feel that pull of desire for Him, that is the Holy Spirit calling you, my friend!

He is drawing you to Him- I want to encourage you not to worry what to say to Him. It doesn't matter when you were saved at five or never saved, or once saved, always saved, or any of that. It really doesn't matter right now, does it? 

We can so easily get caught up in terminology, and get bogged down in defining ourselves in the right language or finding the right theology that describes us. Don't worry about that- now is the time He is pulling you to Him. Now is the time.

Go to Him! Find a quiet place if you can- get away from the noise, the phone, the kids, the tv- get away and fall on your knees, fall on your face, and beg the Lord to answer you- to show you what is keeping your heart from His right now. He wants to bring you back into obedience to Him, and if you seek Him with all your heart, He will answer you.

He doesn't wish for any to perish but that all should come to repentance.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 1 Peter 3:9

He wants you to confess your sins to Him- to stop holding on to what you are seeking that is outside of Him. He wants every single part of your heart. Are you keeping something that you don't want Him to have? Anger? Bitterness? An idol? A sin you know that you love too much to give up? I was there, too, and He was kind enough to bring me back to Him.

I don't know what your situation is, but He does, sweet friend! Don't stop seeking Him. Don't let go- keep knocking, begging for Him to change your heart- to shape it to become like His. Open His Word and let Him speak to your heart.

Like it says in Hebrews 4:6: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

He loves you more than you will ever know, and He is drawing you to Him. If you feel the pull- don't resist. Please don't resist Him. He wants to comfort you, He wants your heart. He wants to hold you and take your burdens. They are so heavy, but when you give them to Him, your heart becomes light again.

Oh, please listen to Him. Nothing this world can offer is more important than Him.

If you need prayer or want to talk, please email me at mandy @ - I would love, love, love to pray with you and walk with you through this. Sweet friend, you are not alone. He is there waiting. :)

Oh, how He loves you. Thank you Lord for your goodness to us- for your salvation- for your heart of mercy that is so gracious to wait for us. Thank you, sweet Jesus.

Hebrews 4:

1Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.a 3For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
“As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5And again in this passage he said,
“They shall not enter my rest.”
6Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience,7again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
8For if Joshua had given them rest, Godb would not have spoken of another day later on. 9So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
11Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Jesus the Great High Priest
14Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

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