"He must become greater and greater and I must become less and less."
I found myself wide awake today at 5:10 am with an urgency deep inside to praise Him, the One who grants us rest, sleep, morning. My heart was so full, words bubbled forth. Words of praise, words of thanksgiving, words that did not begin to cover the gratitude I was feeling in the pre-dawn quiet of another day.
Time moved forward, and my mind was without rest as I thought about the past seven days.. It had been quite an amazing week filled with Holy Spirit highs while getting low. Less of me Lord, more of You. These Holy Spirit meetings for two were of such depth I could only bend my knee in humble thanks, chanting over and over...less of me Lord, more of You. I surrender self. "I surrender" ~ the words leaving my heart created an infilling of joy and presence of the Presence, releasing praise from my lips to God's ears.
At 6:45 am I let go of the notion of sleep returning and opened our Daily Light scriptures book to February 3rd, where I read the words I had written in the margins on this day two years ago.
"Just praise Me"
"Just praise Me". These were words of knowledge shared with me by my friend Linny in 2011. "Just praise Me.", words shared again in 2012 from Holy Spirit to Joel. A message repeated so often in Papa God's loving ways throughout times of sorrow and of joy. There are so many ways to praise the One, through counting a thousand gifts, through remembering His faithfulness, through surrender, through trusting Him. From our hearts to God's we worship and praise the One.
So, it was no surprise that when I went to visit Ann Voskamp's cyber home early today, what jumped off the page for me was this statement:
"The song is always found in the surrender."
Yes, it is in the surrender where we find the most joy. Heidi Baker, a controversial missionary/speaker who lives her life for Jesus in Mozambique, says in her book, Birthing The Miraculous, " "Deeper still" is a place of both death and of life. The Lord wants to love you to death and kiss you to life." Less of me, Lord, more of You. In the death of self we find life. What joy! Can we help but wake in the wee hours with praise on our lips, even while the warm wool comforter beckons us back to dream?
We have endless opportunities to lay down self and uplift Jesus. Ann Voskamp said today that it is in the losing that we win. In death to self we gain life with Jesus. Truly, dying to self is a daily walk, but there are moments, hours, and surprisingly even days where sweet surrender to the power of Holy Spirit's beckoning Presence is all there is. Is all we desire. All He asks for. All we need. Less of me, Lord, more of You.
Counting the gifts today with Ann Voskamp