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Eowyn's Heart

The name of this blog is based on the character Eowyn from Lord of the Rings because I strongly identify with her on many levels. The purpose of this blog is to proclaim the glory of my Lord and King through His work in conforming me into the image of His Son, Christ Jesus. In all things, I trust you will see His hand at work.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Return to Me - Days 3 & 4

So, it's week 3 and I've only just completed Day 4 of this book.  Ron's work schedule changed, impacting my morning schedule.  I don't do "change" well, so it's taken me some time to adapt.  Aaaand then there's the old battle with laziness to fight as well . . . :-/

On the one hand, my lack of daily attention to this study is disappointing - it means I have not been as diligent and faithful as I should be - it means I've allowed laziness to sometimes rule (though that's not always the reason for missing).  On the other hand, I'm encouraged by my attitude when I do complete the study for the day.  I'm taking it much more to heart and meditating on the things I'm learning.  I've not given into the "task" mindset and this has not become another box for me to check.  So, that's progress :-)

I admit to some disappointment with some of the content in days 3 & 4 of the study - a bit legalistic for my understanding of Scripture - but we'll get to that as it comes up.  Day 3 was completed last week but I did not have time to Blog that day, Day 4 is from this morning - so I'm combining the two days of my thoughts here.  I hope something in here will be an encouragement to someone :-)

The title for Day 3 is "The Passion to More Fully Know and Seek God" and the title for Day 4 is "Victory Over Insincere Worship" - these two tie together well since Knowing & Seeking God cannot help but lead to Sincere Worship.  So - on to my thoughts through the study:

1. "a five minute quite time on the run is not 'seeking God with all our hearts.'" (p 20).  I agree with this conditionally.  IF our 5 minute time with God is (1) normal practice and (2) out of a desire to check off the spiritual "did this" box - then the statement is all too true! I have a bit of a problem with the "requirement" to spend a specific (and typically significant) amount of time dedicated to prayer and Bible Study EVERY day as some sort of evidence of spiritual maturity.  The daily time in the Word and in prayer discussed in Scripture is something that should and will come naturally to a growing Believer.  As our relationship with Christ deepens, our desire to spend time with Him increases and becomes a higher priority.  I'm not saying we shouldn't spend daily time - not at all - in truth, we NEED that time.  But it is WE who NEED it, not God.  He's not going to stop molding and growing us just because we missed a day or two or week or month or . . . .  HE is faithful, even when we are faithless.  God desires to be a priority of our HEART, not our task list.  The awesome thing is - the more He is a priority in our hearts, the more He will naturally become the priority of our task list.  

2. "If we truly love someone and want to know them, we will give hem quality time and full attention. . . .  we must never view Bible study as a duty or merely an intellectual pursuit.  Abiding in prayer and Scripture is a love relationship . . . When we truly know God, we have an insatiable desire to know Him even more."  (emphasis mine) Supports my first point.  Nuff said :-)

3.  The author went on to discuss the benefits of praying the attributes and names of God.  Sadly, the rest of that particular section was more of an advertisement for another of the author's books than useful guidance in the practice recommended :-(

In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus starts out with "Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name."  Father - signifying a personal, intimate, authoritative relationship; In Heaven - setting Him apart from earthly fathers; Hallowed . . . name - signifying the special and unique nature of the title and, thereby, the person being addressed.  There is great value in knowing the names used for God.  To pause in the beginning of our prayer and take a moment to consider Who we are speaking with is of great value.  There are a number of study's out there on the Names of God - or you can just look for those specifically in whatever passage you're studying at the time.  Here are some links that should be helpful if you want to do a study of your own:

4. "Give unto the LORD the glory due His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness." Psalm 29:2 (p 22 of Return to Me).  This verse is the perfect segue to the concept of Sincere Worship - for how can we worship "in spirit and in truth" someone we do not know?

5.  "Believers, it is crucial to realize the very reason we are created is to continually worship, love and glorify God." (p24).  I could go on for pages about this but the simpler and better option is to direct you to John Piper's "Desiring God" study - OH MY!  That's a good one!  And the entirety of the study focuses on this one concept.  

6.  Lastly, an important point - "Worship is the Life We Live".  While I think the author goes a bit overboard and puts his own opinion of what holiness looks like into his discussion, the basic truth is undeniable.  We forget all to easily, that (1) Worship is a lifestyle and (2) if we are in sin, we are not worshiping.  You cannot claim to be worshiping God with your life if you allow anger or bitterness or hatred or laziness or selfishness or greed or  . . . (put your own weaknesses here) . . . to rule in your life.  We NEED time in the Word AND in prayer - focused time, each day (something I'm still working on) to keep our hearts and minds focused on Christ, keep sin at bay, and keep us in an attitude of worship throughout the day.  If you are a Believer, Christ lives in you (think on that a bit).  Consider the things you think, say and do, and confess those things that you know are not pleasing to God.  

One caveat - there's a lot of "gray" out there in the world.  Some would disagree but I point to the account of meat offered to idols and those who could eat and those who could not eat it.  (1 Corinthians 8).  Each person must determine in his/her own heart what their boundaries are - where the Holy Spirit convicts them to make changes that will allow them to grow.  And then, accept that others may have different boundaries.  For one, a glass of wine on occasion is fine, while for another, it's a path to sin - we cannot apply to another our convictions on things that are not clearly laid out in Scripture as sin - BUT - we MUST ensure our own hearts are in submission to the areas God has convicted US in.  The point is that we are to strive first for holiness in our own lives so that we may be living in worship.


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