This morning I got up, and all I wanted to do was spend some time with God…read the scriptures in Acts, worship Him. A few songs have been going through my mind recently, so I went to the handy iTunes store and purchased a few songs. Three of the songs I bought were from Hillsong United More Than Life. I plugged myself into my iPod, began reading Acts, and I found myself having trouble breathing, having trouble sitting down, having trouble standing. I was completely overcome by the Holy Spirit.
The cynical, jaded part of me immediately concluded that I wanted to jump up and down because that was scripted for me in my previous church. It is what scared me off from a wonderfully warm and inviting church in MA. But then I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Deneen. Have you taken the time to consider that jumping to music that glorifies Me, jumping in specific moments in a song, is not so much scripted as it is people being overcome with passion for Me? Did you jump because it was scripted, or did you jump because you love Me with everything inside of you?”
I have harbored bitterness in my heart toward so many people, toward churches, toward songs that has been eating away at me like a cancer. Lord, forgive my bitterness. Lord, forgive me for being a judgmental pharisee. Lord, I ask you to replace that bitterness with love, with a passion for your people, with a passion for those people against whom I’ve held so much. Lord, thank you for lancing the boil that has encased my heart. I pray, God, that you would bless those who I’ve hurt by holding onto this crap. And God, I pray that you would give me the strength, the courage, the integrity to reach out to those people. You know who they are, Lord. Bless them God abundantly. For what they’ve spoken into my life, for the lessons I’ve learned from them. Bless them, God, because they are Your children and because You love them. Amen.