I wake up every morning at 4:00am.  I used to wake up at 5:00 to pray and workout, but when I started to leave the house to work out, I lost prayer time to driving time, so I decided I needed to get up earlier.  Thankfully God made me a morning person…granted, I would love to sleep in, but once I’m up and out of that sinfully warm and comfy just-a-few-more-minutes-Ma bed, I’m good.

This morning, God revealed a hard truth to me.

Since I’ve focused more on my writing recently, I have noticed my prayer and study time shifting to writing time.  I have not spent real quality time talking to God or studying His Word for a while.  For so long I have wanted to write.  It truly has been my dream since I was little, and since giving my life to my Lord and Savior, He has given me a burden to share His sweet truths and awesome stories with those who don’t see Him the way I do.  I would love to have that opportunity, or a job that allows me to do that; an opportunity where I can search Scripture, or pray, or talk about Jesus whenever I want.

But what I realized this morning is that I already do!

I can spend time everyday talking with Him.

But, do I?

I can spend time everyday learning from Him.

But, do I?

Every day I can tell other people about Him.

But, do I?

It is a commitment.
It is a discipline.
It is a choice.

Is Jesus truly Lord of my life?  Do I live for Him?  Do I sacrifice my comfort for Him or have I been allowing the evil one to convince me that writing stories, looking up Bible verses, and talking to him when I need help or an answer is good enough?

I don’t pray the way I used to…and yes, I am in constant conversation with God throughout the day, but do I truly listen?  Am I interested in what He has to say, or do I just let Him have it and hope He will help me out?

Why do I long to write so badly?  Is it truly for God or notoriety?  For whom do I really want to bring glory to?  Am I His and His alone, completely?

“And as [Jesus] was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him,

‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

‘You know the commandments: Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’

‘Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.’

‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’

Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”   Mark 10:17,19-21

Am I willing to sacrifice my dream, the desire of my heart, the one thing I have always wanted…to follow Jesus and His plan for my life?

“…’Abraham!…Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love… and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’

When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.  Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.”   Genesis 22:1-2, 9-10

God asked me this morning; are you willing, like Abraham, to lay down your most prized possession, the thing that defines you, the thing that you hold closest to your heart …to follow My plan for you?

In the movie Facing the Giants, Grant Taylor, a high school football coach with a mediocre record, creates a new coaching philosophy and decides to praise God after each game, no matter what the result.  It’s a wonderful underdog story revealing God’s faithfulness.

One story line in the movie covers Grant’s wife Brooke’s infertility, and there is one scene where Grant asks Brook a poignant question:

“If the Lord never gives us children, will you still love Him?”

She gives a very honest answer when she doesn’t respond.  Later in the movie she responds in a prayer, after hearing news that she again is not pregnant, by saying:

“I will still love You, Lord.  I will still love You!”

That is a defining moment to me.  That is the kind of walk I want with my Lord, one where I am willing to give anything to follow Him.  I don’t want people to see me through my writing, I want them to see Christ.  I want them to see how amazing my God, my Jesus, my Savior, is and how wonderful it is to follow Him, and if laying down my heart, my dream, my writing, brings Him the most glory…I gladly lay it down.

“The critical question for our generation – and for every generation – is this:

 If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth,
and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed,
and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted,
and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven,
if Christ were not there?

– John Piper, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself

Could you??