Tuesday, December 2, 2008

People Passion

“Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it – because it does.”
I Corinthians 14:1 (MSG)

I have been pondering my proclivity for seeking to honor God in the way I love others. If I am to be honest with myself, and you, I must say that I have not been overly zealous in seeking out relationships with new people.

My natural bent is not that of “social butterfly.” I am usually the shy, quiet one who ends up playing with the children, when given a choice, at gatherings, parties or social events. This allows me to protect myself from putting my feelings out there and allowing for opportunity to be hurt. It also prevents me from utilizing my spiritual gifts to minister to the heart of those around me, and blocks me from receiving some of God’s best gifts.

So lately, when reading God’s word, He has impressed upon my heart a need to emerge from my cocoon of safety. It is time for me to become what God intended me to be all along; an approachable, caring, compassionate woman of God. A woman who humbly shares the rough places of life that God’s grace has carried me through.

Last year at the annual conference “She Speaks,” hosted by Proverbs 31 during one particularly moving session, each lady in attendance was asked to take any person, possession, task, item, or “thing” that was holding them back from surrendering to God completely and name the “thing” on a slip of paper. The paper with the “thing” spelled out on it was then to be carried to the front of the room and laid at the foot of a cross that had been set up for this purpose.

Participants were instructed that as they placed their constraint down they should retrieve another slip of paper from the foot of the cross. These “replacement” papers displayed various scripture messages. We were all told at the beginning of the invitation exercise that each verse had been prayed over; the Proverbs 31 team had prayed that each woman in attendance would receive the exact scripture that God would use to speak to hearts and open doors.

During that invitation the scripture verse that I received was, “for you are a chosen (woman). You are a royal priest, a holy (daughter). God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” I Peter 2:9

Oh my, what an impact that verse has had on my life. I keep it tucked into my bible and I read it often. I realize that I have been “chosen” to “proclaim His truth in everyday speech.” I Corinthians 14:3 (MSG) I am not to speak with an offensive, I’m better than you attitude, but from a humble servants heart.

I am trying to live out my status as “royal priest” by sharing what God is doing in my everyday life. I am utilizing my God given gifts and talents as an “adopted daughter of the King God Most High.” I utilize this blog space to share the things He teaches me, I pray and study His word and then teach others what insight God imparts to me by leading bible studies, and I am beginning to embrace face-to-face, one-on-one interaction with my wonderful sisters in Christ as I share my stories and experiences.

However, I am not doing any of these things on my own; I am only capable of these acts of service through His well-spring of love. The thing I am learning through all of this is that you cannot out give God. The more I surrender to His will for my life; the more I walk down the path He has laid out for me, the more I experience His love and grace.

His blessings are new each morning. I am developing friendships that I once longed for. I am being allowed to share the love and acceptance that God extended to me to others. I feel more fulfilled and alive than at any other point in my life. (This coming from a woman with a progressive neurological disease, pretty impressive what God can do, eh?)

My God is so good! It is my desire to share His love, goodness and mercy so that others may experience the joy that only He can provide.


Anonymous said...

Those very same things, I have done or struggled with, too. Thanks for challenging my heart today with this post!

L in PA

Sassafras said...

You are such a learned, smart, beautiful woman. Anyone would be honored to have you as a friend and advisor. I love to go to bible study and have help in understanding what the passages really mean. I enjoy the togetherness with other christians and the ability to ask questions and even laugh at some of the passages. I think you would be an excellent teacher and I would love to be in your class. Good luck in all you try in the coming year. You have a friend in the wings waiting to applaud. Sass

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your visit. I hope you don't mind if I placed a watch/link on my blog for your site. It is very well presented and written expertly. I am impressed with your testimony of faith. Patient On-line

Joanie Butler said...

Patient On Line ~ or if memory serves from Karen's blog,

Thank you for your kind words. I would feel honored for you to add my blog to your watch list, if I may add yours to my side bar. From the brief time that I got to spend visiting your site it looked like you put together some very professional writing yourself.

May you experience God's goodness and grace this day!

Anonymous said...

I so love to come here and read what you share with us all Joanie...you are so inspiring...thank you so much your words touch so deeply...sending big hugs to you today my sweet friend. God Bless You...B'nana

vigwig said...

Here I am, Lord I like that song. You put the lime in the photonut and drink 'em bot' up. I'm new to this blogging on-line. I blogged for years on paper writing left and right. There seems so little time during the 24 hrs that make up each day. You guys must type away.