“Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” -Psalm 34:8
I was reading a devotional on this verse today, and the author posed a great question – “Have you taken the taste challenge?” And I found myself thinking about something the Lord asked me to do for Him recently and, while I am biased, I think it’s a neat story so I figured I’d share it.
The more I “taste” Him and obtain satisfaction in Him, the more I hunger for even more satisfaction in Him. But sometimes I get caught up in my own ways instead of surrendering to Him…for the last few months I’ve been working jobs and had been working close to 60 hrs a week. Some people handle that well, but well, I am not one of them. Basically, all I was doing was sleeping and working, and my relationship with the Lord was suffering. Sure, He walks by my side throughout my day and I believe we are to abide in Him continuously, but I also believe that focused time with the Lord – “devotions, quiet time”…call it what you will, are of great importance. So, as I found myself sliding into exhaustion I took some time to pray.
~I must backtrack here to explain my motives for working that much – for it definitely wasn’t something I enjoyed. Rather, I was looking at it as a means to the next season in my life – I am doing a School of Worship with YWAM that begins March 31. And, as schools tend to, it costs money. So I figured I would just work really hard and do everything myself as on top of my current living costs I wanted to be able to pay for this school on my own. Unfortunately, I am a prideful person, and henceforth, the idea of asking for financial support from others is not something I find easy. But man oh man is the Lord wrecking me in a good way – one of the areas He told me He would be stretching me in in 2014 is transparency/humility/vulnerability. There is no room for pride. On top of that, the Lord has challenged me in the area of finances this year – to be RESPONSIBLE and GENEROUS. I continue to learn what this looks like.~
Okay, back to where we left off – I took some time to pray. The Lord asked me to cut back on the hours I work each week, for a few reasons: first and foremost to dedicate more time immersed in worship and the Word and strengthening my relationship with the Lord – for when that’s in place, ministry will naturally happen without striving. He is so Jealous for us! Second, to challenge me to take a step of faith in trusting Him for finances and make room for others to partner with me. It’s easy for me to say “I trust You for finances” but another thing to lay down part of my income without a backup plan.
Now, I don’t struggle to hear from the Lord – for me it’s as simple as He speaks, and I listen. But when He asked me this I found myself confused, trying to figure out how and why the Lord would ask me to be responsible with finances, and then ask me to work less. So I challenged the Lord and told Him I needed concrete confirmation on this.
So then the following Sunday I went to church – can I pause the story to rave about my church? I love it – My Lighthouse family is so on fire for the Lord and they love the Lord and each other well. One of the main reasons I love my church is because it is Spirit led. I know, because every week I come to church the Lord confirms what He has been speaking to me that week – thru the sermon, a worship song, or sometimes even thru the kids stories – I love how God can speak thru anything! Anyway, this sermon was called “Room for a King” and I was sitting there digging the sermon as usual, when Pastor Tony gave this word for 2014: “The Lord is going to birth new things in you in 2014, if you would just make room.” It was as if time stopped. Everything just clicked and I knew that was the confirmation I was waiting for.
The Lord then reminded me that we are not meant to do life on our own. That being financially responsible didn’t mean I need to run myself to the ground – it means doing my best and resting in Him knowing He will do the rest. That just because I was meant to work in a paid position this season did not mean I would be paying for this school entirely on my own – after all, if do it all of myself I am less likely to give glory to Him. He is teaching me to stop looking at support raising as a negative thing, but rather as AN INVITATION to sow into His work here on earth.
So, I cut back on my hours. I’m still working, but now I’ve got time to worship, read my Bible, just BE, and hang out with precious family and friends. And it’s been so amazing to prioritize time with the Lord. One of my highlights of life right now (though lets be real, life in itself is a huge highlight!) is getting into the Word. I’m currently in process of reading thru my Bible in 90 days, and it’s been so incredible. I love the Word because it encourages my spirit and I learn so much about the Lord’s heart and character by reading the Word, which makes me want to worship him even more! It’s such a great way to “taste and see”. And I have such peace, knowing that things have a way of falling into place when you make Him your first love and walk in obedience to Him. God is so epic and I’m digging doing life holding His hand.
“If you give the Lord a try, you will experience His goodness, leading you to trust in Him, resulting in blessings for you.”