Sleepwalking Through Life…

Well – it’s been 3 weeks and I’m still on fire from that amazing conference I attended! I’ve been wanting to share little by little as I continue to absorb – reflect  – and change my way of thinking!

Priscilla Shirer hit it out of the park and I wanted to share with you today what I took home from this amazing sermon!

She began by telling this story: Priscilla was asked to clean out  the attic at her parent’s house. While she was there she found some of her old journals. As she was reading through them she kept seeing the words – “I can’t wait until…” or “I wish….”

Things like: I can’t wait until I’m old enough to drive. I can’t wait until I’m old enough to date. I wish I was married. I can’t wait until I’m married. I wish we had kids. I can’t wait until we have kids. I wish the kids were out of diapers. I can’t wait until I have some money and I no longer have to cook chicken every single night! I can’t wait until the kids are older. I wish the kids could bathe themselves.

Priscilla began to  realize that she slept through whole seasons of her life. She kept on wishing her life away – wanting to get to the next season. Hurrying through every single season. Never being present where she was or with what she was experiencing.

SO here is the ultimate question – – Are you sleepwalking through whole seasons of your life?

I have been thinking about that question for the last few weeks. I am someone who likes to journal. I should say – every year I have seasons of journaling! I was looking through a journal I wrote when Jose and I first got married. From the moment we said “I DO” I wanted children. I wanted children and I wanted a lot of them! We had trouble conceiving on our own. My journals are filled with “I wish” and “I can’t wait”. I sort of missed out on the season of just being married. Seven kids later – I wished I would have been more present then! Once you have kids you can’t go back! God blessed me with many Haitian children – 3 of which we call our own –  and as I think back to that time there were still a lot of other “wishes” and “can’t waits”.  It’s like as soon as we get what we wished for – we wish for something else!  I feel a little robbed – and I was the one stealing from myself.

I think a lot about starting this new campus. I’m always wishing for the time when we have the money to do what we want to do – both personally and in our ministry. I can’t wait until – – we have our own home – – the babies stay in their beds & are out of diapers – – I have a real clinic (not just my office) – the church functions without my help – the fishing villages sustain themselves – the community is on fire for Christ!

But some of the most exciting things are LIVING through all those wishes! I know one day they will all come true – but I don’t want to miss out on the adventure of today because I’m daydreaming of tomorrow. I don’t want to miss out on the gifts that God has for me in my current season of life – – because I’m trying to rush through it to get to the next!

There are several places in Scripture where people were completely unaware of God’s presence with them in the here and now.

  • Jacob wrestling with Jesus –  yet woke up and said –  “Surely God was in this place.” Yet he missed Him.
  • There are places in scripture where people walked with Jesus – yet were unaware that they experienced God.
  • Mary missed Jesus at the tomb.

Many of us have experienced a life that has been totally interrupted! But it’s designed that way so we can experience God in our current place.

Secrets for Sleepwalkers

In Luke 24 there were two men walking from Jerusalem back home to Emmaus. They were distraught because their faith had been interrupted. They hung all their hopes on Jesus but became disappointed and disillusioned –  because Jesus had been crucified. Their life had been completely interrupted – and yet were getting ready to experience God in that place.

And behold…. (Behold means look! The author wanted to change a scene or an idea), two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. (Luke 24:13 NASB)

1. There is a Secret in Beholding.

“Behold” is an important marker in Scripture. Authors used it to get people’s attention. It becomes a pivot point where what happened before is about to make a sharp right turn. Behold is a sign that God was getting ready to invade their situation despite their disappointment and disillusionment.

These people were in the midst of a “behold” moment. Their story was about to change, yet they didn’t know it. Even though scriptures 1-12 were true, they were unaware that God was going to show up in the discouragement in a behold moment.

2. There is a Secret in Going Home.

The pinnacle of your Christian experience isn’t just going to conferences – but going home and living/working out what you experienced on the mountaintops. The pinnacle of our Christian experience isn’t being gathered together with the masses – it’s when we take everything we’ve learned and it hits the pavement of our everyday lives. It’s when you take what you learned and apply it to everyday circumstances.

In the midst of our life interrupted – we can have a testimony! It’s not of the God we “heard” about –  but the God we’ve experienced in our lives. The Holy Spirit was given so we could experience Him. He wants us to know Him and walk with Him!

Take what you learn and apply it in your everyday circumstances. Just look at the scriptures:

In Genesis, He is the Seed of the woman.
In Exodus, He’s the Passover Lamb.
In Leviticus, He is the atoning Sacrifice.
In Numbers, He is the bronze Serpent.
In Deuteronomy, He’s the promised Prophet.
In Joshua, He is the unseen Captain.
In Judges, He is my Deliverer.
In Ruth, He’s my heavenly Kinsman.
In Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, He is the promised King.
In Ezra and Nehemiah, He’s the Restorer of the nation.
In Esther, He is my Advocate.
In Job, He is my Redeemer.
In Psalms, He is my All in All.
In Proverbs, He’s my Pattern.
In Ecclesiastes, He’s my Goal.
In Song of Solomon, He’s my Beloved.
In the prophets, He is the coming Prince of Peace.
In Matthew, He is the King.
In Mark, He is the Servant.
In Luke, He is the Son of Man.
In John, He is the Son of God.
In Acts, He is risen, seated, and sending.
In the letters, He is indwelling and filling.
And in Revelation, He is returning and reigning.

This Word is meant for more than just being heard!! It’s meant to be lived in the hands and hearts of those who hear it.

3. The Secret of Silence.

And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and  began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. (Luke 24:14-16 NASB)

Their eyes weren’t working – but their mouths sure were!  All they could do was talk and talk. When Jesus does speak, He asks them, “What are these words that are coming out of your mouth? What are you talking about?”

Something is wrong when you are with God – and YOU are doing all the talking! If God is with you – you should be quiet! You should want to listen to what He has to say! These two guys are remembering and rehashing the past. Don’t rehash the past. Be alert. Be present. Remember that God is doing something new – RIGHT NOW!

There is power associated with your words!! So control the words that come out of your mouth! What are you saying about your life? Your ministry? Your family?  Your circumstance?

***

Have you ever seen the Michael Jackson video – Billie Jean? There was an interview asking how was it that those squares lit up when Michael danced on them. ‘The answer was simple. The director went before him and pre-lit the path. And although he could have danced all around that studio – he simply needed to step on the pre-lit squares.

Stay on the path God has already set before you! He will place His light on it. He has gone before you to pre-light the path. If your path isn’t lighting up, maybe you are following the wrong path. God has gone before us so we can walk in the future He has for us.

WAKE-UP!! NO MORE SLEEPWALKING!

Comments

  1. Martha Schmidt says:

    Wow Jody! You spoke right to me! I feel like I’ve attended the conference through you! You’re such an amazing writer. Thank you for taking the time to minister us from Haiti! God bless you.

  2. Tammy Johnson says:

    Jody your heart continues to amaze me. I look forward to every single post you write. I am praying for your family. I hope one day we will meet.

  3. You inspire me to be better….to do better.

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