So I'm reading Deuteronomy and remembering my past as I read. There is the promise in 4:28-31 - my coming to God after serving other gods. Deuteronomy also contains the Old Testament passage that helped me answer the question, "Who is this goddess I used to worship?" As a new Christian, this was a question of utmost importance. I found two passages - one in the Old Testament and one in the New - that answered that question. The Old Testament passage is Deuteronomy 32:16-18. They sacrificed to demons... Wow.
I'm walking to work today, bopping to the music of my "Hope" playlist on my iPod. I should pause here and explain that the reason for the existence of this playlist was to create a list of songs that remind me who God is and what His promises to me are. I was going through a rough patch at work. My boss was trying to make my life at work a living hell, and that's when the playlist was created. Yesterday I added some new songs, and this is what I listened to today.
First I come across Casting Crown's song Who Am I? and hear last line of the chorus (and the song): "I am Yours." And so I say out loud as I am walking, "I am Yours." Because I am. And suddenly I have a flashback to an earlier time. I'm around 16 or 17. I am watching Shirley MacLaine in "Out On A Limb." It's based on her book. She stands on the shore of the Pacific Ocean with her friend and says, "I am God."
And it suddenly struck me how far I have come and how far apart those two statements are: "I am God" and "I am Yours." Once I would have chosen and believed the former. And then God came after me to show me who He is, and tell me who I am. :)
Another song I heard on my iPod today is along these same lines - Beautiful by MercyMe. The chorus reads, in part, "You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His." Yes, I am not God. I belong TO God. I am His.
After "I am Yours" I kept listening and soon another song came on that reminds me of my past, Strength for the Journey. I first heard it sung live my Jesse Manibusan and bought the cassette. It was a promise to me then; it is still a promise today. And listening always takes me back.
After this song was I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack. I realized that this is what God wants for me - to dance! To stop sitting on the sidelines and get up and dance! Pray! Praise! LIVE! "Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you" (Ephesians 5:14, NASB). He's calling me to life! Wake up and live! Live as you have never lived before!
I had one more thought that occurred to me on my walk. As many of you know, I have been listening to John Piper lately. He says that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." I believe that. But it also occurred to me that God didn't have to make it so. He could have created the world so that He is most glorified when He makes us robots who simply obey, or any number of other scenarios where He gets all the glory, but we don't get any satisfaction from it.
But He chose not to. He chose to create in a way where He gets all the glory, and we get ultimate joy in Him! That is love. He could have done any number of things, but chose to give us an awesome joy when we abide in Him. Praise be to Him who is so gracious to creatures such as us!