April 10, 2018

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Thought to share: “doing” will never be a substitute for “being”. While I desire to partner with you and watch you experience the fullness of satisfaction that comes from fulfilling your purpose – it will never be a substitute for simply being with ME. Sitting in MY lap, listening to MY voice and hearing MY heart is at the heart of your purpose. You will never fully “do” until you fully “be”.

Psalm 46:10 (NLT) Be still, and know that I am God!

Psalm 16:11 (Amp) You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 27:8 (TPT) Lord, when you said to me, “Seek My face,” my inner being responded, “I’m seeking Your face with all my heart.”
   

 

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The love of my life.

In case you haven’t met the love of my life, this is my husband Bill.

Bill Wahl37979_484813072728_1749468_n1914616_1242088772487_846870_nBill Wahl5

On August 1st, we celebrated 30 years of marriage. And, I want to tell you, this man has my heart. Every. Single. Piece.

We met at Lee University (then college) in 1986. One look at that face and I was hooked. Handsome. Funny. Intelligent. Interesting. Engaging. Kind. Confident. Transparent (yes, even then). It didn’t take long for me to fall head-over-heels in love with this man.

We spent every waking hour together. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner together every day in the cafeteria. That means I got up early every day in order to eat breakfast. Even before that 8am class. Y’all don’t even understand what that means. I’m not a morning person. I come by it honest as it’s genetically woven into my DNA. And, I seldom want food in the morning. But, every day I met him for breakfast, just to be near him one more time. And, I ate lunch and dinner even if I wasn’t hungry.

He walked me to every class; he met me at the end of every class. We even had some classes together. (You can arrange that when you meet during freshman orientation, which was the week before registration. In hind sight – that was risky! Glad it worked out, otherwise I would have had to drop a class or two.)

We studied together in the library, hung out in the Student Center, and arranged to have our Chapel Seats next to each other. We stood in front of my dorm until curfew at night talking and talking. And, if we’d had cell phones then, I’m sure we would have kept talking into the night, falling asleep on the phone.

When my parents called to check on me, all I could talk about was Bill. What he said. What he did. What he thought. What I thought about what Bill said. What I thought about what Bill did. What I thought about what he thought.

It was all I could talk about to anybody. If I was not with him, I was talking about him to anyone who would listen.

We spent so much time together, that both of the best friends I went to college with were annoyed. My cousin, who was also on campus, was concerned. They all wondered if I had lost my mind because we were inseparable. This was unlike me. But, I couldn’t help myself. He was like a magnet, and I could not resist. I was hooked. This man amazed me. Fascinated me. Intrigued me.

I hung on every word he said. I wanted to know what he thought about everything. I wanted to hear about his life. His past. His hopes. His dreams. His plans. His opinions. Every detail. And, I wanted to tell him every thought in my head. Every feeling I felt. I wanted to share past, present, and future with him.

Once I saw him, no one had to convince me to talk with him. My normally shy and reserved self lost all in-habitations. I actually approached him first to invite him to play a meet-n-greet game.

Once I spoke with him, no one needed to encourage me to spend time with him. I took advantage of every opportunity. I created opportunities.

Once I spent time with him, I didn’t need reminders to get up for breakfast. Despite my disdain for early mornings, I didn’t need to be coaxed out of bed. I was up early and ready to go.

I looked forward to spending time with him. I looked forward to being with him. I looked forward to hearing his voice.

Meeting him changed my life. It changed the way I lived. It changed the plans I’d made for the future. It changed everything.

As intense as this sounds, I feel like this is what our relationship with Jesus is supposed to look like.

I feel like we are supposed to be so captivated by Him, that we want to spend every waking hour with Him. So eager to be with Him, that we willingly get up early to see Him – even if we are not morning people. So in love, we willingly plan our day around Him because we want to do everything with Him.

So enthralled that we talk with Him non-stop, hanging on every word He says. Wanting to discover what He thinks about everything. What He wants. What His plans are. Telling Him everything in our heart. Every feeling. Sharing every experience with Him.

So fascinated that we talk about Him non-stop, telling everyone what He said. What He did. What we think and feel about what He said and did. He’s so ingrained in our conversations, that everyone knows we’ll talk about Him given the slightest opportunity. That we’ll create opportunities. That we will work Him into every conversation. That we will just boldly bring Him up.

To be so consumed with Him that others wonder if we’ve lost our mind. That the magnetic pull He has on us is evident to the casual observer. That we radiate with love for Him.

To be so in love that no one ever has to convince us to talk to Him. No one has to give us a list of reasons why we should have conversations with Him.

So enamored that no one has to encourage us to spend time with Him. No one has to sell us on the features and benefits of spending time with Him.

So engrossed with our relationship with Him that we don’t forget days on end that He’s in the room with us.

I think this is the way it’s supposed to be.

Jesus told us in Matthew 22:37 that we ‘….must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ In other words, loving Him with everything. Being so consumed by Him that it changes everything about the way we live, the way we think, the way we speak and the choices we make. That connection to Him becomes our number one priority – overshadowing everything else. That He alone becomes our everything. The One who completes us. The One who fills us. The One we crave.

Yes, that sounds intense. And, it is. But this is what we were created for. Intimate, deep, soul-absorbing, mind-blowing, life-giving, earth-shattering relationship with the One who created us. It’s so much more than we think it is.

Anything less is not enough. Anything less leaves me wondering………

So, this is what I’m working towards. This is how I want to live – with such an awareness of Him that every thought and feeling is shaped by His Presence and His voice. That I’m driven to connect with Him continually. That I am completely absorbed by Him. Engrossed in the relationship. I want my continual response to be Psalm 27:8 (NLT) My heart has heard You say, “Come and talk with Me.”  And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

 

ps – to clarify. Abba loves the way I love the man He gave to me as a life partner. He is thrilled that Bill has my complete heart and utter devotion. He is please that Bill is the love of my life. It’s the way He planned it. And, He is also pleased that I realize Bill is a gift to me from Him. Abba gave Bill to me (and me to Bill) to complement, support and partner with. Bill does not complete me. I do not need Bill. I want Bill, I want him every step of the journey, I enjoy him – but I do not need him. I need Jesus.  I can’t survive without Him.  

So thankful I get to do the journey into the heart of Jesus with this man. xxoo 

Bill & Kim

One more for funsies. This is a pic of the first time I saw Bill’s face. (there’s a story behind that) A friend took a picture of me watching him. Beside me are the two besties (Jennifer & Melissa) and cousin (Sonya), watching the whole thing unfold. Sigh……

finding Bill

Six Habits of Sheep with Ears

We’ve all heard the stories. Stories told by others of Abba whispering to them, sharing vital information. Stories of how they heard Him warn them. Or how in their darkest hour, He spoke peace and promises to their frightened heart. Stories of Him expressing His deep love to their soul.

And after we heard their story, we sighed and wished we could hear God like that. We wonder what it’s like to hear God with such clarity and assurance. Wonder if it’s possible for everyone to hear God like that – or do you somehow have to be different in order to hear God’s voice so clearly and frequently.

I’ll admit – I’ve been there, wondering if that was possible for me or was that only for the select few. But then I read John 10:3-5 (NLT) The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.…….and I realized: I am a sheep!! And He is calling MY name, speaking to ME! And He would not speak if I could not hear.

So…..what’s the problem? That’s when I began to notice there is in fact something different about those who hear from God. The difference is they have established patterns of behavior in their life that enable them to hear God’s voice clearly and frequently.

So what are the habits you’ll find in the lives of those who hear from Abba?

  1. They are intentional. People who hear from God are deliberate – they make time to hear from God. They don’t leave it up to chance. They’re not hoping to catch something on the fly. They don’t just cross their fingers and wish they could hear from God. But they choose to spend time with God and they commit to it. They are devoted to doing what is needed in order to hear His voice. Psalm 27:8 (NLT) My heart has heard You say, “Come and talk with Me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”
  1. They listen. During conversations with God, they listen more than they talk. Prayer is not a one-way conversation where we do all the talking. Instead of telling God things they already know, (and God already knows them too) they ask Him to share what only He knows and let God do the talking as they listen. Psalm 85:8 (NLT) I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for He speaks peace to His faithful people.
  1. They are students of the Word. People who hear from God are serious about spending time in the Bible. It is a priority with them. They make time for it and are consistent in reading. And they are in no rush. They are not trying to quickly get through it to check off an item on their to-do list or stay on schedule, [see my rant about this here] but they are diligent and thorough, taking time to meditate on it and hide it in their heart. When you increase your time in the Bible, you exponentially increase the frequency in which you hear Him speak and your ability to recognize His voice. Job 23:12 (NLT) I have not departed from His commands, but have treasured His words more than daily food.
  1. They meditate. They actively engage their mind on thoughts of God; pondering, dwelling, contemplating and thinking about who He is, what He’s done and what He’s said. They slow down their thoughts – refusing to rush through what they read or Truth they’ve learned – and deliberately think, inspect and turn it over and over in their mind. They mentally chew on Truth until they’ve thoroughly devoured it. Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT) Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
  1. They act on what they hear. People who hear from God act on what they hear. They follow through on God’s words to them. They take it to heart, internalize it and take action. They let what He says to them change them. They implement what they hear into their lives. They are obedient. James 1:22 (NLT) But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 
  1. They are worshippers. Worship rolls out the red carpet for God’s Presence to invade your life. When we worship, we create a space for Him to occupy – sit – dwell. And those who hear God’s voice hear Him because they have created a place for Him to inhabit through worship. Psalm 22:3 (NLT) Yet You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

I can’t think of anything better than hearing the voice of Abba. And I am convinced that everyone can hear His voice. By incorporating these 6 habits into our life, we’ll find that we create an atmosphere for God to speak into and we’ll recognize His voice.

If you’d like to hear more details about this, click here.