"...You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives..." (James 4:2-3)
It always amazes me how God shows Himself to us - and when. Perhaps it's happened to you before... you're just going through your life, and wander into a dense fog. Stumble over a rock in the road. Take a wrong turn. Whatever the case may be. And then there is someone suddenly there... maybe someone new, maybe someone you know quite well... someone who suddenly clears the fog, the rocks, and puts you back on the right road. When there is that sudden clarity - you can pretty much guarantee it's God working.
How it all began...When I first started Sermons from a Psycho, it was just a challenge. A dare almost. I already had two (maybe more?) other blogs going, and Christianity really wasn't my "thing" (I was a Christian... I just didn't talk about it all that much). But a good friend, a long car ride, and someone's propensity for procrastination on his sermons, led this friend to basically challenge me to write a sermon. So, Sermons from a Psycho began.
It's early months didn't get much attention. But, I didn't share it all that much. I wasn't much for screaming from the rooftops that God is great! And Hey! Look at me! I'm a Christian! I just wrote what came to mind. Sometimes I forced things in an attempt to get out that one great article. Sometimes (most times) I just wrote for the sake of writing. And I really didn't care that the site received few visitors.
Growth Spurt!I don't know when it happened. I just remember suddenly feeling... different. I started writing more. I started sharing my posts. I started attending Church and Bible study. I wanted more of God. I couldn't get enough, and yet felt so complete, at the same time.
It was around this time when I noticed my views growing substantially on my psychosermons blog. People were reading my stuff. I was touching people. It was a wonderful feeling. Why do I need those other blogs? This one is all I need! (Please note... I said this one, meaning this blog.... not this God....), so, I deleted my other blogs.
"What goes up, must come down...."I shut down my other blogs at the beginning of this year - right in the middle of a huge growth on my sermons site. The other blogs received only a handful of visitors a week, weren't glorifying God, weren't helping me, and didn't have any links to the sermon site. And I mean, I wasn't touching anyone with them. No one cared about me because of them. So it shouldn't have mattered that they no longer existed.
So why were my numbers dwindling???
Somehow, in giving up blogs that were just as "me" as this one, I was losing visitors. I was losing views. It didn't make sense. Why would God do this to me? Why would He give me this ability to reach out to people, and then take it away from me me?
(anyone notice how many times I used the word "me" in that last paragraph?)
"When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives..." (James 4:3)
God Smacked Me Upside the Head...Oh, How I Love God! He always knows when to talk to me... and when to smack me upside the head and make me listen. A few things happened, all within a few days of each other. A viewer to my website who normally doesn't check it out. A Bible study heavily based on the Holy Spirit. And a few late night conversations with a friend.
And it dawned on me... I was seriously lacking in Spirit. And it was showing in my writing, and in my attitude, and subsequently (and also unimportantly) in the number of visits my web was generating. I was pretending to be someone I wasn't. I was doing things for all the wrong reasons. I stopped writing for God and myself, and started writing to be noticed. I stopped writing to hopefully help someone else who's been abused, and started writing to get more stats. I stopped being God's tool and started making it about me.
I'm BACK!I have reopened my other blogs. There was a purpose for those before... and that purpose still exists, and is necessary. And, I have spent the last couple days getting my head back together.
I know I haven't been doing very well on my Lenten goal of a post a week, but I guess this week, God had other plans for me... He needed me to recognize I was growing stagnant in the Holy Spirit. And now.... tonight... I want to scream from the rooftop how great our Lord is. But, the best I can do is scream it from this blog...
God is Great! God is with us, and does listen to us. He just wants us to ask for things for the right reasons. But oh how He is with us... His Spirit is within each of us, living within us. Glory to God for this!
May all of you stay strong in the Spirit this weekend and longer. God bless!