Ephesians 5:21-33 NIV
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
What stood out to me…
As I become more sensitive to believing my first thoughts in the morning might be from God, I try to pause and ask Him if there is something He is trying to bring to my attention.
A few weeks ago, I woke up early in the morning, before I would normally wake up and immediately thought, “only drink water today.”
The longer I lay in bed, the more I think about the smell of peppermint creamer and the fact I had enough energy the night before to have the coffee pot ready. All I had to do was go down and press the button. Oh well. It will save until tomorrow and with no caffeine to drink, I’ll just eat 30 Hershey kisses for the boost.:)
As I lay there up too early and see the VERY busy day ahead of me, I decide I would only have water. Did I get why I was saying no to everything else? No, I didn’t. But I realized it wasn’t going to hurt anything (and I could go through the day not hurting anyone!) to believe it was God and take the risk. Best case scenario, I obeyed what He asked. Worst case, I drank water all day and had a caffeine headache for apparently no reason.
Throughout the day, I felt more focused than normal. And by mid day, when I really wanted my toddler-nap-time Diet Coke, I started thinking about how I wanted to need Him more than I needed anything else.
By the end of the day I started praying “cleanse me,oh God”.
These thoughts or prayers weren’t in my head or heart before this particular day.
Sometimes, when we catch ourselves trying to understand the big dreams God has placed in our hearts, we can catch ourselves wondering if our thoughts are too crazy to be real. If He asks for something minute, we struggle to justify why it would be important to God. In between the large and tiny God-thoughts, we often get stuck attempting to prove our thoughts were from the Lord and not just a made-up scenario in our heads.
I often wonder if we get so caught up in the cycle of trying to figure out God, we forget the character of God. He sees every last thought in us, yet He still wants us.
When we submit our dreams, hopes, questions, and general reflections to the Lord, we are declaring we understand it isn't about us or making sense of anything. It is all about Him, and not wanting to miss out on the adventure or lessons he wants us to be a part of.
By the end of my water day, I was driving and sitting at a stop light I had the thought “If I can trust you with a little, I can trust you with more. If you will obey Me in the small, I can trust you to obey Me in the big.”
Do I know for sure that God told me to only drink water for that day? No. But I know I felt His presence more as my intention was to be obedient to Him.
I had to say no to everything but water for a day as an act of submission.
As we react out of perceived obedience, it opens our hands a little more to receive more of God.
We are finite creatures. We don’t have infinite time, infinite health. Our patience doesn’t go on and on without effort. There is work to be done in us and we generally have to say no to something in order to say yes to something else.
I’m not sure what He may be asking you to submit to Him. But we can believe whatever thoughts we may have had as we woke this morning or anything standing out to you as you read this is worth paying attention to.
What will we submit to Him today in order to open our hands to receive more?