A New Song

Psalm403bird

I don’t know about you guys, but I think I think too much. I’m a classic overthinker. And I’m really good at thinking myself into whatever answer I’d like to hear. This last week or so, I’ve heard so many versions of “Stop that!” that it’s finally starting to sink in. I have to stop trying to figure life out on my own.

It’s a brilliant tactic – get us struggling to resolve a dilemma in our own heads, get our eyes focused on the dilemma and our thought process, and BOOM – we’re separated from the one who can answer with truth and clarity.

I’m so disappointed in my actions lately. In the very moment of hearing others recognize the beauty in my life, I started to wish for things they have. I started wondering why life feels so different. I started convincing myself I must be missing out on something, and that God had let me down.

I chose to take a break from his voice and the intimacy we shared…all because I got envious of a fantasy. When I lost his voice, I lost my own.

Deliver me from all my transgressions;
Make me not the reproach of the foolish.
I have become mute, I do not open my mouth,
Because it is You who have done it.
Remove Your plague from me;
Because of the opposition of Your hand I am perishing.
With reproofs You chasten a man for iniquity;
You consume as a moth what is precious to him.
Psalm 39:8-11a

I am reminded of his powerful protection over me, even from myself. For weeks now, I have been unable to fully connect with the Lord because I wanted to hold on to my plan, my desires, my fantasy. I’m thankful for a lot of things: the free will to choose my path; that nagging voice when I start to go off-road; but more than anything, that he has shown me the difference between short-lived pleasure and true joy. Potholes have lost their attraction.

To wrap up the whole wilderness and promised land analogy I’ve been wandering through for a few months…I’ve come to realize that the promised land is not the end of the game. It is not a grand life achievement that you work toward, accomplish, and win. It’s not so much a place, as the beginning of a new level filled with harder obstacles, stronger opposition, and an increased anointing.

The wandering in the desert is a process meant to kill off what needs to go, what cannot enter in with us to that next level. For the Israelites, it was parents, grandparents, and even some siblings that turned a few day trek into 40 year journey by clinging to the past and their lack of faith for the future.

What is it for us?? I’m having to watch a lot of things that I’ve held on to for the wrong reasons die before I can enter into the next level. Some obviously need to go (like self-reliance) while others are just lifestyle habits and distractions (like giving the wrong things my time and attention).

I have a choice – I can live out the rest of my days dealing with these same issues and pacing the border between this wilderness and the next level. Or…I can kill them with his help and move on!

A second of deep intimacy with him is worth a thousand worldly pleasures, and I am ready to go deeper at any cost. It is with joy that I run back into his embrace, nestle further into the shelter of the Most High, not in the spirit of defeat but in VICTORY.