It had the promise of a great day written all over it; back to school shopping last fall with my teen daughters. Waiting for my daughters to come out of the dressing room, I eyed this adorable royal blue jacket. Mind you, I was already being a very good steward – we were in a second hand clothing store, so I was feeling pretty good about myself.
Pulling the adorable royal blue jacket off the hanger, I headed to the mirror. I looked fabulous! Best of all, it was only $12. What a steal! But as I looked in the mirror, I felt a still small voice in my heart, “Lynn, put it back.” Surely that is not God, I thought. Sometimes I think I have an over sensitive conscience! I thought to myself, “It’s only $12, plus I will use it for speaking in!” So, I laid that precious little thing across my arm and began to think of all of the things in my closet that it would look terrific with.
My little one came out of the dressing room asking, “Mom, are you going to buy that?” “I’m not sure yet.” I replied. Then my older one came over. Trying on the jacket for her, I thought to myself, “I know I look great in it, but if Mariah says it looks great, that means I am suppose to buy it.” You know, the old Gideon and the wool fleece thing. “Mom, you look great! You really should get it!” I just knew it! I knew I was suppose to have it. So I carried it on my arm a little while longer as we strolled around the store. But that feeling just wouldn’t go away no matter how hard I tried to ignore it! Finally, as we were getting ready to head to the check out, very strongly I felt, “I gave my all for you. Can you not give up a jacket for me?” Wow, did I feel small. What perspective that put on it! I put the jacket on the rack and got out of that store.
After leaving the store, I felt a challenge in my heart to go from that date – until Christmas without buying something for myself or my house that was not a necessity. Now that may not sound like a big deal to some of you. Others of you might think that sounds a bit “hyper spiritual”. Just give it a try! Especially when your next stop is the mall. Especially when your favorite little fair comes to town that you love to go to and you see all the handcrafted pottery and jewelry. Especially when you get to go to San Francisco for the first time in your life and would love to bring a little something home as a reminder. It was a bit more of a challenge than I thought. But each time I resisted, I was reminded that Jesus is the only thing that fills me.
Yesterday we looked in Haggai where the Lord was saying to His people, “No way. You have not taken care of the temple. Instead you are investing your heart, time and attention to other things; things that pass away and do not matter.”
He wanted that changed. So He told the people in Haggai 1: 7 – 8 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord.” Remember Eleanor Roosevelt’s statement: Happiness is not a goal; it is a byproduct? I believe here is the answer.
What did He tell the people that He wanted? He wanted them to go into the hills. He commanded them to go to the hills to build his temple. The holy hill is the presence of the living God being welcomed in our daily lives. Happiness is a byproduct of going to the holy hill. Of spending time at His feet; being filled with Jesus Himself each and every day.
David speaks of the holy hill in Psalm 15.“Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?”
Ladies, the place where we need to go to become complete, to become filled, is to Jesus Himself. The place where we find our completion is in His presence and the reason we go is not just for ourselves.
Yesterday, I mentioned just how tired I was. I was contemplating what on my list I should do first; for like you, there is always plenty to do. The answer to that question is to begin with Jesus. To be filled; to find our rest in Him for it is only when we are filled that we can truly give away; to our husbands, our children, our co-workers, those we minister to. When we are empty, we not only hurt ourselves, but we hurt those we love.
Best of all, as you begin to make it your first priority to have your heart filled up with the truth of Jesus’ love for you, those around – especially your kids – will see. They will see and hopefully they will want Him as well.
Do you need some help getting filled up? Click here at http://www.heisthatintoyou.com/ where I list my favorite “fill me up” verses. I have these verses in my car. My daughter Madi and I are memorizing them together on the way to school each day. Print them out for you and your family too and just see what God’s word will do!