Friday, September 19, 2014

Faithful Friday: More of You, Less of Me

Happy Friday!

This week has gone by in a flash and it was a wonderful one, but I am thankful to have another weekend be here so soon.  I hope your week was blessed!

Lately, I have really- perhaps more than ever in my life- been focused on music and lyrics and their beauty, just appreciating them and the way they inspire my heart to grow toward God.  I have been listening to about four different songs over and over.  When I am inspired by and falling in love with music, I usually listen to it over and over and over again because I cannot get enough.  What a realized while I have been enjoying listening to the songs I have recently is that with music that is faith driven, it is the amazing lyrics that make me truly love listening to the songs.  I don't think that can be said for a lot of music because for me, usually a beat will stay with me and make me like a song... but these songs about God and making Him your life would be beautiful to me even if it were not for their melodies, because they simply make me passionate about God and awed by His love for me.

So, this week, what I have to share is not a picture or one quote that is working in my heart, but a whole song...

I heard this song first on the radio and ever since, it has blessed me SO much... my soul, my thoughts, my days as I think about it.  I feel even more incessantly thankful to the Lord for his blessings in my life.  This song gives me emotions that are hard to explain, because as I listen to the words I feel the most immense joy that surpasses normal joy.  I feel a spirit of praise and gratefulness and just wanting nothing more in the world than to give my ALL to God.

This song reminds me of what truly matters.  Having had a death in my family recently,  I think those priorities have been at the forefront of my mind more than ever and listening to the sweet and powerful, amazing lyrics sung in this song brings that even closer to me... these words are my greatest prayer, to give God my everything, to surrender all to Him.

These words especially are my greatest desire, my prayer...

"Empty me of myself until the only thing that's left is: more of You."

"Make me who I'm meant to be." It is so important to me that God makes me who I'm meant to be; that He shapes me, not me.

"I refuse to gain the world and lose my soul."  These ten words.  These are one of my most fervent prayers, that God would take over my heart and soul, that the world may never appeal to me.  My emotions in my deep love for God revolve so much around this, to never want the approval of the world or to be of the world, but to leave it behind and be of Him, to stay away from what others may think is acceptable but what I know is not, to hold myself to a standard of God's approval and not give in and follow the pattern of what everyone else may be doing.

"So take it all. I abandon.  Everything I am you can have it." Oh, how I love this.  It reminds me of how nothing I have and no habits that I have are even minutely close to being worth keeping just because they are my weaknesses.  In no way possible could anything compare with God.  I pray that I will always abandon everything that doesn't please God in my life, that I will leave it behind!  I give it to the Lord.

And most of all...

"God, I choose more of you and less of me."  I love this, because it emphasizes to me what I have been taught growing up, that loving God with your whole soul is a choice.  And to show my choice to do that, I need to follow His word, choosing to give up ways or a heart condition that isn't pleasing to Him.  To choose God is willful, to empty you of you and fill yourself with God to create a new you, the best version of you ever possible.

"You're all I want.  All I need."  God fulfills us completely.  To give up anything and everything that we identify with or believe we need, but which is actually harming our relationship with God and is nothing we need.  God completely satisfies and quenches our souls.

"Take it all. I surrender."

And of course, the title of this song says it all: I want "More of You, Less of Me."

Another thing that I found deeply beautiful in the words the first time I heard this song is the very first verse...
"I made my castle tall.  I built up every wall.
This is my kingdom and it needs to fall."

I heard that for the first time and thought of the truth in it, the level on which that rings in so many of us. We may love God and aim to give our lives to Him, but many of us spend so much time distracted, either building up walls and putting distance between ourselves and God because of hurting, or building those castles tall out of the things we put before God in our lives.  Those things becomes our kingdom, a kingdom that revolves around the selfish desires of our lives.  It needs to fall in order for us to wholly surrender everything to He who IS Everything.  Growing up, it has taken me time to do this at times.  Being young seems to present many things that you know maybe are a distraction and that take up your thoughts and your time and that come to define your world in ways you know are not the best.  I was raised with faith being a great part of my life and have always had God in my heart, but as I got a little older I realized that the things I built up- the things I thought I needed in my life that did not lead me towards God or even had the potential to lead me away from Him- needed to go in order for Him to not just be in my heart, but to fully possess it.  In no way could they ever compare to the greater experience of God's grace and incredible love I felt.  My kingdom needed to fall.  Every once in awhile, I think about what my loves in life are and what takes up my time and I think about whether or not it is a road that leads me to the Lord or not.  If it doesn't, it's just a brick of a castle that does not need to be built.   I pray that I never have enough bricks to come close to building a castle, and especially not a kingdom.

I thank God for the relationship I have always had with Him from the very beginning of my life, but I thank Him even more for the relationship I have with Him that has grown so vastly since He cultivated in my heart that I need more of Him and less of me.

This is what has been placed upon me to think of and now to share for this week.  I'm thankful for this song and for the deep and beautiful spirit that it envokes in those who listen, like me... a reminder of the truest sense of surrender.  Listening to it, I am grateful beyond words that I belong to God.
What a sweet message this song can be to all who listen... that no matter what your life is like, no matter how lost you may feel, how discouraged or hurt, no matter what sin or weaknesses you have or had, your answer is one of simple beauty- to leave it all behind and seek God, to fill yourself with Him until there is no room left at all for those other things.

Blessings to you!

Wishing y'all a happy, lovely weekend!

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