From The Inside Out

Desert Leader By Hamed Saber

A thousand times I’ve failed
Still your mercy remains

It’s amazing how often we think we are going forward but in reality we are either standing still or worse moving backwards. This is never more obvious then when you’re a christian. It is so easy for us to become stale and complacent in our spiritual life. We start to focus on other issues in our lives and begin to work on those. We take Dave Ramsey classes to better our finances, join self help groups to overcome issue in our past, visit psychologist to understand our family and childhood and so many other things. We are constantly trying to fix ourselves, to better ourselves and to become something better.

We begin to really depend on these tools, some of which we should and need to but in reality it’s only ever half a solution. I’ve been working on leadership a lot in my life. Trying to fully understand and grasp what it means to be a leader in a household. What it means to combine a great man, a great father, and a great husband into one great package. I’ve read books, listened to podcasts, watched dvd’s, read blogs and about a dozen other things. Some I jumped in and soaked up, while others I just took bits and pieces and pushed the rest aside.

But one piece was still missing. One important piece which should never be missing in any capacity. Today during a trip to Bethel Church in Redding CA I was reminded of what’s been missing in this journey and why this journey has been such a struggle.

I’d forgotten to really involve my Heavenly Father.

Sure I’d turn to him in prayer and ask for guidance, wisdom, and a bunch of other things but then I’d turn to my other streams of information for that wisdom. I’d look for it in book, blogs, dvd’s etc., it’s no wonder why in a few months I’ve got a bunch of great ideas, thoughts and material but no application. It’s no wonder why in a few months I feel like I’ve not moved but a few inches forward when in reality I should have moved many miles.

I’d forgotten to really involve my Heavenly Father.

It took complete strangers who didn’t know my story, didn’t fully understand my struggle and were actually talking to me about something completely different to make me see this. As I look back on the past few months I can see how I’ve failed to pay attention to Him. How I’ve missed the “tension” which Andy Stanley told me to pay attention too. How my wonderful wife has been saying this all along but I was too busy thinking all those other things were working to see the truth.

I’d forgotten to really involve my Heavenly Father.

What’s sad is that during these months I’ve not really worked on anything but building up burdens and stresses which I carry around because of my “I’ve got this” mentality. Again it took 3 strangers to show me that I needed to release these burdens to God and let Him take and carry them. I needed to release myself of them so that I could focus on being with God. Look at the disciples, they were all in trouble till they met Jesus and once they were WITH HIM they became these great men, these great LEADERS! They didn’t sit around and think “Man I want to be like Jesus, maybe this new scroll I picked up at the scroll store will show me what I need to do.” No they got up and followed him. They went beyond the idea of salvation and moved into transformation and started to BE with Jesus.

I used to post on this blog weekly. I used to write and read this kind of stuff like it was going out of style. I’d have daily encounters with God and timeless conversations about God all the time. It’s been almost a year since I blogged and I’ve been lying to myself that I just wasn’t ready to blog. I kept thinking that I needed to fix things and make my life great again before I could blog again. HA! Talk about the opposite of surrender, I was bound captive by my own drive to be better.

So here I am full circle. I started this blog as a broken man looking to surrender everything to God and today, tonight, right now I find myself a broken man looking to surrender everything to God. Praise him!

My heart and my soul, I give You control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise, become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Psalm 143:8 – Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.