July 13, 2013

Inside and Out

Undone. For me, being undone is about being vulnerable, raw, blunt, to-the-point... transparent. I think we all struggle with being undone as Christians at times in our relationship with the Lord. 

I used to pray cookie cutter prayers. Prayers that stayed in the lines of what I thought was "appropriate" to say to a Holy God, who I was taught deserved the utmost reverence. I followed the A.C.T.S. acronym (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication). I worked hard to say all the right things, to use popular prayer lingo. But I didn't feel all that close to God. There's absolutely nothing wrong with using A.C.T.S., and God is Holy and deserves the utmost reverence, but I hadn't brought my affections with me. I was so focused on doing it the "right way" that I'd put aside what was really going on inside my heart. I wasn't undone before the Savior who loved me so much that he died on a cross for me, I was... plastic. And in doing so I'd sorta thought of God as being unapproachable and distant, therefore I didn't pray about what was really going on with me. 

The crazy thing about this is that God knows us inside and out, fully and completely. He knows everything about us: "O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether" (Psalms 139:1-5). Why would we not talk about anything and everything that's going on in our lives and how we feel about it? Why would we not want to be undone in His presences, affections included? 

Over and over again we see the Psalmist being raw, gutsy, and honest before the Living God: 
I am feeble and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart. O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes - it also has gone from me. -Psalms 38:8-10
I am weary with my groaning; All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief... -Psalm 6:6&7 (NKJV) 
Do we pray like this? Because I don't know about you, but when I read verses like these, I don't hear a hint of indifference in them. They're genuine and honest. It's laying it all out there. And that's the kind of divine dialogue I desire in my relationship with Him. A sincere, raw, ongoing conversation through the heights and valleys of life, void of fear of saying the right things and watching my p's and q's. This is my encouragement: Be real in your prayers. Be undone in His presence. Don't be fake, and don't be plastic. It doesn't make sense since God sees right through it, so why waste time giving lip service rather than lifting up honest pleas, confessions, worship, and thanks? Bring all your affection and heart into your prayers regardless of what season you find yourself in. Be undone. Be transparent. If we desire to walk with the Lord deeply we mustn't shy away from conversing with Him deeply. My friend David put it perfectly: 
It is a chance for us to be vulnerable before God. Transparency is dangerous because it is very much out of our control, the other person sees everything and not in the neatly packaged way we would normally have it delivered. But prayer is not delivery to God - do not try to pray right, that’s trying to mold your heart with your mouth and that’s backwards. For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matt 12:34). When you pray, pray honestly (Matt6:5,6). God does not want to hear about what you should want or how you should feel, he’s God and his standards are higher for yourself than yours will ever be. He wants the dirty transparent truth because he cares about you right where you are right at this moment. -From God Cares About What You Care About

8 comments :

  1. This inspired me today. Thank you Natalie:)

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  2. I definitely needed this post. I've been struggling with being a bit plastic in my prayers lately, always trying to make sure I'm saying the right things in the right way and not really focusing on the One I'm talking to. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. I struggle with being plastic at times too Jessica =) Thank you for your sweet comments!

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  3. Transparency is a topic that's been on my heart for a while, and something I struggle with. Not just with God, but with people too. You shared a lot of great insight! Thanks for the inspiration, Natalie :)

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    1. Yes! Transparency with other people can in some ways be more difficult... and vice versa =)

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  4. Oh, Natalie. I needed this! Thanks for the challenge to be undone in His presence!

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    1. Glad it was of some encouragement for you Janelle =)

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  5. Thank you for a great reflection that spoke right to my heart. God bless your, dear sister in Christ <3

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