Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bucket List - Day Three

Bucket item 1: Learn how to be a woman of prayer with the faith to match!

Bucket item 2: Live everyday believing that I am created in God's image and because of it I have important work to do in His Kingdom.

My mind has been ping ponging back and forth all day about what next I want to put on my "bucket list" as a Jesus follower. There were two that I kept marinating as I flew today to Dallas for a conference. I had plenty of time to marinate due to flight delays! By the time I arrived this evening I had been traveling 8 hours for a distance that I probably could have driven in the same amount of time. But, that's getting off point!

After checking into my room, throwing down my bags and rushing out the door to get to the opening keynote address I was still marinating as I sat down in the cavernous ballroom. We worshipped, we prayed, were given the necessary conference details and then came the keynote speaker. Now,the type of conference I'm attending isn't so important with the exception that the majority of us are women (1,300) and every single one of us is a Jesus follower. Every single one of us is passionate about what we do. Every single one of us believes that our God reigns.

This is the context in which I knew what would be my next "bucket" item.

The speaker was good, refreshing and engaging and she ended the evening with, "over these next few days I want you to ask Jesus what He wants you to say "yes" to." And that was it! I knew what I needed to add next and I pulled out one of my marinating thoughts - obedience.

What I like about this approach is that there was an assumption that Jesus wants me to say "yes" to something but often I don't ask "what do You want me to say "yes" to?" There is a greater obedience in this manner of prayer instead of figuring out all the options, choosing one that I think fits me best and then approaching God with "here's the plan and I want You to say "yes" to it!

I've known several people over the years who have almost drowned in the waters of ministry because they said "YES!" to just about everything instead of asking, "Jesus, what do You want me to say "yes" to?" I have been one of those drowning victims!

But you know what? Obedience isn't an actual word that is readily found in the Bible! Instead Jesus presents his disciples with a variety of things they can say "yes" to without saying the words, "obey Me." Instead Jesus says, if you love me, feed my sheep - Follow Me - love your neighbor as yourself - the list is endless of what Jesus wants us to say "yes" to.

Ah! Jesus wants me to come to Him open handed, without an agenda!

And then I came to Matthew 22:21 when the Pharisees have again tried to manipulate and corrupt Jesus' message by asking who should they say "yes" to when it comes to taxes! Jesus responds, Therefore give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.

Saying "yes" to God's desires for my life, the things that are already His but may not always be comfortable for me, defines in my mind the word - obedience.

Bucket item: Live my life saying "yes" to only those things that God has for me.

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