A little over two weeks ago, I began leading a women’s Bible Study for my church based on the book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. The book’s focus is how, as women, we can become more strategic and deliberate about prayer. It’s a book I enjoyed reading for myself and have been enjoying reading with the ladies at church as well. In the first chapter of the book, the author points out that many of us don’t pray like we should, because we have lost our passion. She emphasizes the point that our passion only comes from God to begin with and encourages the reader: “Praying-reaching outward and upward to Him-is the only way that passion comes down. Even prayers that begin with the blunt edge of willpower, dragging your heart along kicking and screaming can soon begin to shine with the cutting edge of hope, faith and passionate confidence in Christ.” Passionate confidence in Christ…that’s what I’m after.
Priscilla Shirer challenges the reader with various scriptures. One scripture caught my eye and I looked it up in several translations, choosing the Message version as my favorite. The verse was Deuteronomy 30:6: “God, your God, will cut away the thick callouses on your heart and your children’s hearts, freeing you to love God, your God, with your whole heart and soul and live, really live.” God has been speaking to me alot lately about what it means to be free to love God with everything I am.
While I was away in Kona, Hawaii recently, serving at YWAM’s University of the Nations, I woke up one morning with so much heaviness that I could feel it in my body. I felt very flu-like symptoms, every joint and muscle labored to move and it was a huge challenge just to get out of bed. Nevertheless, I knew something spiritual was going on, so I managed to get up and get going. Although I had planned to attend a group outing to the beach, instead I chose to participate in a women’s conference being held on campus. After the conference, I took advantage of the prayer room to rest and to reflect on what God could possibly be speaking to me through all that had transpired that day. As I laid spread out on the prayer room floor, I felt the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart. I felt God was saying that the same weight that I felt in my body that morning was the same weight I have been feeling both mentally and emotionally. He told me that I had allowed various things to drag me down and that I had been walking around carrying and holding unto things He never intended for me to carry. God showed me that I had not been living to the 100% potential of who He has called me to be. The reasons for that are numerous: fear, insecurity, shame over my past, feelings of inadequacy…I had allowed all these things to hold me back. I had been afraid to step out to far, afraid to take big risks, petrified of making mistakes. So I held back, keeping myself within parameters I felt were safe. Now God was telling me it was time to knock the walls down and tear the roof off of the limitations that kept me engaging in life with only half of my heart.
God will cut away the thick callouses on your heart…freeing you to love your God with your whole heart…and live, really live. That’s what I want…to live…REALLY LIVE! I have asked God to help me to freely love Him and to truly live. When I show up somewhere, I want to show up 100%. I want to be fully present and engaged with each person in front of me and in each task I put my hands to. I want to live with the kind of passionate confidence in Christ that doesn’t depend on my circumstances, but stirs and grows as it reflects and meditates on the promises God has made in His Word. Every morning, when my feet hit the floor, I want to carry the confident expectation that God is going to do something amazing that day. I want to move in my life with such mountain-shaking faith that people and situations around me can’t help but to align themselves with the truth of God. And when I can’t see the change, when all appears to be the same, I want my bold prayers to touch and move the heart of God, until what I am praying for in the spirit, becomes visible in my natural surroundings. I want to persist no matter how long it takes, because I am so convinced of God’s power, so undone by His love for me, so aware of His presence and His faithfulness. I want to drop the lies that have been holding me back like a bad habit and press into the plans and the purposes of God. It’s time to tear the roof off.
In Luke chapter 5, we find the story of a paralyzed man who is healed by Jesus. Men came carrying the man on a matt, but they were unable to get inside the place where Jesus was preaching because of the crowd. Everything was standing in the way of this man getting his healing. He was paralyzed. There were literal walls between Him and Jesus. The crowd was in the way. So what did these men do? They tore the roof off. With persistance and tenacity, they tore down the barriers standing between them and destiny, between them and freedom.
What barriers have been standing in your way? What lies have you allowed to limit your capacity and keep you living for less than what God designed you for? It’s time to tear the roof off and to live…really live.