People call me a deeply spiritual person. A prayer girl. A friend of God. Someone who is praying continuously. I’ve been proud of that. I like that about myself. And I suck at it.
I get angry. I get irritated. I get frustrated. People are stupid and most of the time I throw my hands up in the air with aggravation rather than deal with them. A problem comes up and I try to handle it with love and kindness. I try to be a peacemaker. I really, really do. Yet, I fail at it miserably all the time. Because people are stupid. And so am I.
I’m not nearly as spiritual as I think I am. I’m not near as good of a friend to God as people think I am. I’m not continually praying, even when I think I am. I get distracted by emotion. I get distracted by myself and my circumstances. I turn into a victim or a tyrant or even a peacemaker and forget to bring God into the conversation at all.
No wonder I fail miserably so often!
12We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,c encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise prophecies, 21but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22Abstain from every form of evil.
23Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
The other night the Lord said something to me that I can’t stop thinking about. With all the kindness and tenderness of the sweetest southern gentleman, the Lord asked if I would invite him into the conversation. The Lord asked me! Wow. The King of the Universe lovingly asked me if He could be a part of my conversations. All of them.
He didn’t ask me to be quiet. He didn’t ask me to stop getting frustrated or angry or self righteous. He just asked me if He could be part of my conversations. No judgement. No criticism. Just a gentle request.
I know I don’t invite Him in because deep down inside I think I’ve got it all figured out. Either that, or I think He won’t like what I have to say, or He’ll stop me from having a voice at all. He’s the Creator of All Things. He doesn’t need me or want my opinion.
What a filthy lie.
The truth is, the God of the Universe made me in His image to be His friend. And He loves me! He doesn’t want a silent slave. He wants a full fledged son with all the rights of inheritance He has given His Son. All of it.
And He had to ask me to invite Him into the conversation.
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
Jesus, I confess that I’ve not been very good at inviting you into my conversations. I’ve tried to figure things out on my own. I’ve lived huge parts of my life only letting You in occasionally. And I didn’t even realize I was doing it. So, I’m sorry, Lord. I’m sorry for not inviting You in. I took Your forgiveness and neglected Your wisdom. Please forgive me. Help me to do better. Destroy my fear and insecurity. Destroy my arrogance and any power I think I can manage without Your input. It’s all Yours, God. Every bit of who I am You designed. It’s Your DNA that made me. Will You show me how to invite You in and still be me? Will You show me what freedom in sonship looks like? Will You teach me how to be in You more fully and trust You more deeply so that You are always a part of my conversations. Always. I love you, Jesus. Help me act like it. Amen.