Sunday, June 8, 2014

Giving Up the Good for the Best

While I was in Florida in April, I woke up one morning, about three weeks into my stay there, with my right ear plugged.  You know that sound you hear when you hold a seashell up to your ear? 
Yeah, well that's what I was hearing in my ear.  Gives a whole new meaning to the concept of "taking the ocean home with me!"  I kept feeling like I needed to yawn to "pop open" my ear.  It didn't work.
I was hoping that when I flew home the following week that the high altitude would help to pop open my ear.  It didn't!  Here I am now - almost 7 weeks, 2 doctor's appointments, 1 ear wash, and 2 medications later and it still hasn't popped open!!
I have been prayed with, for and over, to no avail. 
As I have been seeking the Lord, I kept getting the sense that He was trying to show me that I was not just not hearing in the natural, but that I was not hearing Him speaking to me in the Spirit.
"Speak, Lord;  for thy servant heareth."
1 Samuel 3:9c
Give me ears to hear what you are saying, Lord!
Before I went to Florida, I was feeling extremely exhausted and overwhelmed with all that was on my plate and constantly wondering how I could continue to keep up the pace. I expected to get some much needed rest and refreshment while there (and to some extent, I did) and truly believed I would come home with renewed perspective and be ready to "dive back in."  I spent some time in Florida seeking the Lord as to direction for my life and felt that God was speaking to me about things - duties, responsibilities, etc - that I was to "let go of."   But I just couldn't figure out what they were and how I was to do that.
So, instead of coming home refreshed and ready to "jump back" into life, I just grew more weary and tired and totally felt like I just wanted to "give up."  In fact, I do think, in some ways, I did give up.
As I kept going back to God's original word to me, I was constantly stymied because I still didn't see those things in my daily life that I could let go of and I still wasn't hearing Him clearly.  I kept going over and over my schedule and responsibilities only to come back to the fact that there just didn't seem to be anything I could eliminate. 
I mean, what excuse do you give to stop going to Intercessory Prayer? 
I couldn't stop the care and visitation of my father and I have a job to go to two days a week.  
Can I stop going to my weekly Home Group knowing that Scripture says not to "forsake the assembling together?"
The one thing that continually nagged at me was the fact that I have felt for some time that God was calling me to write - not just this blog, but another book or maybe books - and I just never seem to have the time.  My writing is usually the last thing I do; it definitely takes a back seat for sure.  It is the last thing I do after everything else has been done.  It is the one thing I always think that I will do if and when I have the time.  It has been hard for me to come to terms with this calling.
Well - today was the lightbulb moment for me!!! 
All those things I've been involved in are definitely good things - but if God has not called me to them for this time in my life - they are not what I should be doing!!
I finally HEARD the Lord speak!! 
"...mine ears hast thou opened:"
Psalm 40:6b
And what relief floods my soul!!
I need to be doing only what God is asking me to do!  I need to make time in my life for what is IMPORTANT to Him and let go of the rest, even at the risk of being judged for doing it. 
You see, it's not hard to give up the things you don't want to do!  It's a no-brainer to let go of those things that are potentially harmful for you or things that are not producing fruit for the Kingdom. 
But it's the "good" things, the "spiritual" things that you can't imagine God asking you to let go of and it's hard to understand that you have to let go of the GOOD to get the BEST that God wants for you!
God wants me to give my BEST time, my BEST effort, my BEST energy to the writing He has called me to do, not the left-overs, and I can only do that if I let go of the GOOD things!
Can anyone identify with what I am saying?
Do you see any parallels in your own life?
Have you forsaken the BEST because of the GOOD?
Has your ear "plugged up" because you haven't been willing to HEAR what God is saying to you?
There are so many excuses I gave myself as to why I couldn't spend the time writing.
There are so many lies of the enemy that I listened to and believed to justify my not spending that time writing.
Are you making excuses or believing lies?
What has God spoken to you that you have not been willing to do? 
For whatever reason?
I thank the Lord that He is so patient and relentless in His pursuit to get our (my) attention!

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