Watch and Pray

My current faith journey always brings me back to the basics. Faith. Hope. Love. Trust. Surrender. I’m learning that walking with the Living God can mean incredible simplicity but not necessarily ease or comfort. 

He is happy to make me cringe over my unbelief. Or lack of love. 

I’m laughing because, just now, I literally pulled my shoulders up to my ears over my current challenges.  Ugh…. I find in myself the need for more grace, more forgiveness, more faith.

He said of my recoil, “It’s like shedding an old skin.” As He grows in us more and more, we shed lesser versions of ourselves.

Here are two upgrades I am currently practicing so that hopefully soon I can shed this current skin. 

Want vs Need

The Lord has me on this journey of shifting my prayers and posture. He has been calling out in me (and you)  that there is more to us than our present needs. 

From multiple scriptures (Luke 12, Philippians 4, Matthew 6) God promises He has already provided for our needs. He said, “So if we are not talking about your needs what are we talking about?”

Uhhhhhmmm. I don’t know. What are You talking about?

The Lord explained that He wants me to press into want, desire, and longing. My need is the most basic of prayers, which He loves, but when we truly rest in the reality of His meeting all our needs, it opens up space for deeper, better conversations. He continued, “Have you thought about what I want, what I am dreaming of?”

Again, uhhhhmmmm. I’m listening. 

I can tell you I am praying differently. I am engaging with Him differently. What does our Beautiful God want? Dream of? How can we partner with Him?

His Plans vs My Projections

My next upgrade involves dependence, reliance, and confidence in His strategic and intimate involvement in my life. His Plans. 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Listen, I know this is Christianity 101. But dang it. These days it is a constant conversation with us. 

I don’t know what to do. 

So I pray, what are Your plans here?
I’m surprised, angry, or disappointed in an outcome.
He whispers, “My plans give you hope and prosper you.” 

The awareness of His plans makes me stop and consider my own plans. Are they aligned with His? Have I even asked? 

If I am disgruntled by the outcome, have I tapped into His plans?  Have I looked for what He is working out for my good? 

Recently, I had two relationship clashes. In both cases, His plans were different from mine. In one clash, He said I was people-pleasing. He wanted to expose that. During the second clash, He said there was no need to be offended by the person’s action, He was protecting me. 

I don’t pretend to have this all mapped out. But in my world of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, there is a simplicity of being deeply loved and cared for. Our needs are met already, and God’s Plans are being carefully constructed for our good. 

My job, our job, is to believe. To stay connected. To guard His truth and His presence in my life.