Wise and Willing Hearts

Greetings, dear friends.

In my post A Life that was Changed, I mentioned how I was asked to teach a class at my church. That was about seven months ago, and it has been a little rough at times. I don’t have all the answers, and preparing biblical concepts and spiritual lessons for a class is no joke — it’s serious. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I chose to teach the 11-17 year olds. Most of my students are between 11 and 14, which is probably my favorite age group because I personally loved being 12 (after all, it was at this age that I crushed on the boy who is now my husband 😉 ).

Usually each lesson has a very impactful teaching, so I always make the lesson goal applicable to my own life so my students know we’re on this road together.

About three or more weeks ago, I was reflecting on all the things I purged myself of that were inhibiting my spiritual growth. I was amazed at how God had transformed my life with each and every part of my old self that I had given up.

Even though there are times of struggle, there is no denying the change that God has made in my life, my thoughts, and my actions.

Then, a thought crept into my head: There is one major thing in my life that so many of my family members in Christ have left behind as they trekked on their path to God. But surely God convicts us about things on a personal basis, so giving up that particular thing might not apply to me. Besides, I could never give it up.

And so I closed that thought and moved on.

About a week or so later, I was prepping my class’s lesson titled “Wise and Willing Hearts.” It was a lesson about true devotion to God and having a spirit of sacrifice.

So there I went, preparing the lesson, ready to suggest and advise them on things they need to be willing to sacrifice that could be keeping them from whole heartedly committing  to God, or things that might be distracting them from growing spiritually.

At the end of my class the day of this particular lesson, I asked them:

So what are you willing to give up?

What is distracting you from God? What could be blocking you from hearing His voice? I had them all write their answers down on a piece of paper, to be kept private between them and God.

But then I thought to myself, what am willing to sacrifice that I know would be very difficult for me to give up?

And then that particular thought about that particular thing I love popped into my head. Whoa, I thought. Could God be asking me to give this up for Him, to replace it with something better? Is this thing blocking His communication with me? Am I willing to give it up?

Friends, I never thought I would even let this idea get this far. But one thing is for sure:

I love God, and whatever it is that is distracting me from Him must go.

Is it hard? Yes. Is it without struggle? No. Is God there to help? YES.

I know so many people who think I’m stupid and crazy for serving a God they think does not exist. I can’t change how they think by saying words they don’t agree with, but I can show them by my lifestyle, by my willing sacrifices, how much God has done for me. What better testimony is that?

So begins my prayerful journey in determining what I must do…

Until next time,

em

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