If you want to grow closer to God, it may be you need to simply go back to the basics and let all the excess go.
When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him
out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”
Exodus 3:4 (ESV)
I walked into the prison excited to introduce myself to the small group of men in my first Thursday night Conflict Resolution class. I was volunteering to facilitate this class and this first night was really about getting to know each other.
I had decided we’d discover just how “alike” we really were.
Ever move states? Yep.
Did you ever raise or kill your own meat to eat? Yes. Rabbits, squirrels, cows, pigs, ducks…
Ever have a garden? Yes. We talked about different garden memories.
Were you ever a minority? For me, in an 85% Hispanic high school in El Paso, Texas, I was a minority all four years.
Did you ever go through something really hard? Painful? We shared stories of parenting, the death of a pet, a breakup, etc.
Did you ever experience something that was AMAZING? Many of us answered with the birth of our child(ren) or our salvation story.
What have you enjoyed in the last year? A television show. This ministry. Shaping bushes.
It went even better than I expected and it was fun for us all to see just how alike we were. Even better was to hear them share stories of their lives and stories about their relationship with Jesus.
Who’d think a male in prison and a middle-aged mom would have much in common.
I drove home with worship music loud, singing at the top of my lungs, crying in the middle of a song, thanking God that He was using me in this way.
It all started because I’d been struggling. Ever been there?
As I have struggled, I’ve chosen to turn to the Lord.
But it wasn’t a fairytale, poof, now I’m close to God and all is okay kind of thing.
It’s way more practical. Down to earth. Gradual. Slow.
Here are some of the not-so-fairy-tale ways I’ve chosen God.
First, I decide to read my Bible (actually I listen to it) daily.
To be honest, many days I don’t feel like I get much out of it. Many days I don’t feel like doing it. But, I tell myself, “I want to get God’s word in my life. His Word is powerful. I want my mind transformed by Him.” Little by little.
Second, I listen to The Bible Recap.
I love hearing Tara Leigh’s passion for the Lord as she recaps what I just read in the Bible.
Third, I decided to cut back on things in my business and in my life.
I finished programs without signing up again. I eliminated commitments. I resisted signing up for something new. I slowed down my life. I tried to be more present in each moment.
Finally, I started saying “Here I am, Lord.”
This is my main prayer. I love saying it. It invites me to listen. It opens my eyes to see what He might be doing around me. It’s simple and easy. I feel connected to Him when I say it. I am surrendered.
“Here I am.”
I will often dedicate my excercise to God. I say “Here I am, Lord” when I set my intention, I repeat it throughout when my muscles can’t last another second, when I towel off, and at the end, I thank God for all my blessings.
What I have NOT done during this struggle time is make a bunch of rules to follow or elaborate plans to spend hours in Bible study. I’m trying NOT to compare my walk to what others are doing or think I should be doing. I’m not scolding or judging myself along the way. I seek contentment in each moment.
I determined I’d patiently wait until He showed me or led me to my next step. I’d be open to trying what was presented to me. Open to allowing HIM to grow my desire for Him. Allowing HIM to lead me.
That’s exactly how I joined Bible study in our church on Monday nights. I said, “Here I am. Do you want me to do this?” He blessed me so much throughout that study.
The opportunity to serve in Brother in Blue Reentry came up when a man gave his testimony at our church. I asked God, “Should I serve here?” The answer: Be willing and open to what is presented. Try it and see.
The blessing in my struggle was to turn to God and say, “Here I am, Lord… Heal me. Comfort me. Lead me. Use me. As you please. My life is yours.”
And in the most beautiful, not-so-fairy-tale way, little by little, I see my love for Him grow, my desire for Him renewed, and my relationship strengthened.
In His Word
Read about others who said, “Here I am.”
- Abraham – Genesis 22:1
- Jacob – Genesis 31:11 and Genesis 46:2
- Moses – Exodus 3:4
- Samuel – 1 Samuel 3:4
- Isaiah – Isaiah 6:8
- Ananias – Acts 9:10 (the only time in the New Testament)
In Your Life
What about you? Are you struggling?
Have you prayed “Here I am” before? What if you surrendered and offered this prayer to God whenever you thought about it? No rules.
First, have a conversation with God. Be honest with how you feel about saying, “Here I am.” What are you scared He might have you do? What causes resistance? Lay that all at his feet.
Tracy helps women simplify and organize their home and life. If getting organized is on your list of things to do in 2022, join her in Organized Life Academy or private 1:1 coaching. Find more information on her website here and connect with Tracy on Instagram here.