Sensitivity, if you use and mold it the proper way, is an undeniably powerful tool in the kingdom of God.

BECOMING | A Sensitive Spirit

Yesterday, we ended our study about King David and sensitivity with a few questions. How can we as women use our God-given sensitivity for Him?  How can we use it to draw closer to God?  To become a woman after God’s heart? 

Webster defines “sensitive” as aware of and understanding the feelings of other people; and highly responsive or susceptible.

This is the type of sensitivity I’m talking about.  Not the kind where one is easily hurt and takes offense at the smallest things.  Nor someone who makes everyone else feel like they have to walk on eggshells around her.   No, this type is a powerful quality.  There are two main areas a woman after God’s heart can use her sensitivity to bring glory to Him.

 

A woman after God’s heart uses her sensitivity to reach after others.

I can only talk from the viewpoint of an emotional person, so if you don’t normally feel all the feelings, go watch the montage of the love story of Carl and Ellie in Up, and then come back to this post.  Ha!

Sometimes having a sensitive heart can be draining.  When someone comes to me with a problem or a burden, I can’t just shrug it off after they leave.  I strap their burdens on top of mine, and feel all their feelings.  Because that’s what I do.  I’ve always had a hard time distancing myself.  Even in marriage, there are times that Timothy is having a bad day about something that doesn’t even pertain to me.  It’s only been after nearly five years that I’m getting to the point where I can kinda sorta let him have his day while I carry on with mine.  Normally I would just jump right in there and feel his feelings.  But while men can usually shake frustrations of the day off quickly, I’m left feeling depressed for no reason whatsoever.

This is where I have to mold and shape and direct my heart.  And this is where it can be a powerful tool.

As a sensitive person, you can be aware of and understanding of the feelings of other people.  And yes, you can strap on their burdens and help carry the weight.  You can go after the hurting, find the needy and LISTEN.  As an emotional person, you can feel their feelings.  You can hold a hurting daughter and cry with her.  You can link arms with a rejoicing mother and dance with her.  You can be God’s hands and feet, and you can be God’s heart to them. 

Then you have to direct that sensitivity to the right place.  Learn how to give those burdens to God, and show others how to do so as well.  Use your God-given sensitivity to entreat Heaven with the needs of others.  Use your sensitivity to go after those that people normally reject.  Use your sensitivity to pray for those that put on a brave face, but you know are secretly struggling on the inside.

 

A woman after God’s heart uses her sensitivity to reach after God.

Being sensitive to God can lead you to some of the highest highs and some of the lowest lows.  Just ask David.  In Psalms 13, he started out by saying How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord?  for ever?  How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?  He clearly was in a season where he wasn’t feeling God.  But he closed that song out six verses later by saying I will sing unto the Lord, because He hath dealt bountifully with me. Even though he felt forgotten by God, he knew He was still there, watching over him.

Think about it, God knows your heart.  He knows what you need to feel safe and secure.  In my relationship with God, I feel the safest and most loved when I’m hearing from Him.  When I feel Him strongly.  But God’s main priority isn’t making me feel safe.  Nope.  He wants to see if I trust Him.  If I’m in this no matter how difficult life can get.

Sometimes God steps away from us.  Sometimes He hides His face.  Has He forgotten us?  Never!  He simply wants us to search for Him.  Following after God is never about resting and staying secure in our comfort levels.  It’s about growing.  It’s about pursuing Him.

It’s about showing God how much you need Him.

David understood that.  He was open with God, vulnerable with his heart.  He allowed God to push and stretch and grow him, even if it was painful.  Even if it felt lonely.  Even if it made him feel all the feelings.

Yet, he always knew where his help came from.  Even if he started out the day by singing My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? (Psalm 22:1), he could end his day by singing I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears (Psalm 34:4).

 

Not only can you use your sensitivity to draw nearer to God, but you can be highly responsive or susceptible to His ways.  Have you ever been in a church service and felt the atmosphere shift?  Maybe it was a dancing, rejoicing service, but then something shifted and a spirit of prayer and intercession filled the place?  You have to cultivate a sensitivity to God and His ways to follow His movements.  Or have you ever been going about your day and then felt an impression to call someone or pray for them?  That was God using your sensitive heart to show you His will, to use you for His purposes.

A lot of the most powerful prayer warriors I know are women.  Women who are sensitive to the workings of God.  Women who allow God to lay burdens on their heart and carry them for others.

A sensitive spirit is a beautiful thing.  Lord, let me use my sensitive heart in ways that bring You glory.  Lord, let my heart look like Your heart.

On October 7, 2014 · 6 Comments · In Lovely Life
 

BECOMING | A Sensitive Spirit

I’m not gonna lie, this topic thrills me.  Chills me.  Makes me want to do the running man.  Or the sprinkler.  Or, my personal favorite, the dance that looks like you’re shopping and putting items in your cart.  But moving on.

When studying David’s life, there were four characteristics of his that really stood out to me.  1) A sensitive spirit, 2) a familiarity with brokenness, 3) an enduring faithfulness, and 4) a heart of a worshipper.  Today and tomorrow we’re talking about the first characteristic – a sensitive spirit.

David was a warrior king.  He first came on the scene by killing Goliath, and then the battles never stopped for him.  Before he became king, he had to run from King Saul who was trying to kill him.  David had a band of men that joined forces with him, and they were known as David’s mighty men.  He was a manly man.  All the rough and fearless men wanted to hang out with him. He fought hard.  He was probably smelly.

So to say that he was one of the most sensitive people in the Bible can seem kind of crazy.  Who, David?  The warrior?  The brave?  Yup.  Dude was sensitive.  He felt all the emotions.

Just read the Psalms.  They are full of emotions.  They are passionate.  In some songs, David declares his love and adoration for God.  Then in others, he cries out to God asking Him why He has forsaken him.  Reading the psalms is like a roller coaster ride – sometimes David is up and rejoicing, and others he is down and lamenting.

Whatever David is feeling, he tells it to God.  He writes songs about it.  He sings it to the people.  This manly warrior king sung I am weary with my groaning; all the night I make my bed to swim;  I water my couch with my tears. (Psalm 6:6)  If that’s not emotional, then I don’t know what is.  Please, no one show that guy a Hallmark commercial.

Whatever moment David was in, he was all in.  Whatever emotion he felt, he felt it all the way.

 

It’s a common plot line and punch line in the world today that women are sensitive.  Not every woman is a raging ball of emotion, but sometimes it feels like the world is telling us that.  And not only that women are sensitive, but that it is somehow a negative thing.

See, I’m emotional.  With a capital everything.  I am sensitive.  I feel all the feelings.  I cry when I’m sad.  I cry when Timothy surprises me with a drink from Starbucks after work.  I cry when I’m talking to God.  I cry when I have to rip ANOTHER seam out of a sewing project.  I cry when I’m scared, happy, mad, disappointed, feeling sappy, and frustrated.  I’ve cried about our grass being too high, I cried when Nemo’s mom died, and I cry at every single wedding I attend.  In case I haven’t been clear – I’m sensitive.

I would probably say I’m a bit (that’s putting it mildly) more emotional than the average woman.  The majority of my life I viewed my sensitivity as a hindrance.  As an obstacle that I had to work around.  But looking at the life of David, being sensitive wasn’t his downfall.  It was actually one of the characteristics that was dear to God’s heart.

Sensitivity, if you use and mold it the proper way, is an undeniably powerful tool in the kingdom of God.

So how can we as women use our God-given sensitivity for Him?  How can we use it to draw closer to God?  To become a woman after God’s heart?  Or how, if we aren’t very emotional, can we cultivate a sensitive spirit?  How can we turn what the world often says is bad into something that God admires?

That’s what we’re going to figure out tomorrow.  Won’t you join me?

 

On October 6, 2014 · Leave a Comment · In Lovely Life
 

BECOMING | Zephaniah 3:17Perhaps one of my favorite verses, Zephaniah 3:17 paints such a vivid and beautiful picture of how much God adores us. In the journey to becoming a woman after God’s heart, it’s verses like this that give me encouragement.  God loves us even more than we can imagine.  The God that created the heavens and the earth, the Milky Way and the atom, the gigantic creepy squid things and the most fragile tiny butterflies, lightning and thunder, and anything else our eyes can see … that God adores us.  In fact, when He thinks about us, He is so joyful that He sings over us.

I wonder what song God sings when He thinks about me?

As much as I have a passion for God and His ways, He loves me even greater.  As much as I feel pulled to draw nearer to Him, He’s wanting me.  He’s waiting, wanting to walk in the garden with me.  There’s nothing that God wants more than to have a relationship with His children.

So any effort that we put into becoming more like God, into becoming a woman (or man!) after God’s heart, will never be in vain.  With each step we take in pursuit of Him, He’ll open our eyes to more of His glory.  He will save us.  His love is ever present.  He will dance and rejoice over us.  He will sing over us.

 

On October 5, 2014 · 4 Comments · In Lovely Life
 

Father Let My Heart Be After You calligraphy print

The following is lyrics from a beautiful song about setting your heart after God.  You can listen to the song here!

“The Garden” by Needtobreathe

Won’t you take this cup from me

Cause fear has stolen all my sleep

If tomorrow means my death

I pray you’ll save their souls with it

Let the songs I sing

Bring joy to you

Let the words I say profess my love

Let the notes I choose

Be your favorite tune

Father let my heart be after you

In this hour of doubt I see

But who I am is not just me

So give me strength to die myself

So love can live to tell the tale

Let the songs I sing

Bring joy to you

Let the words I say profess my love

Let the notes I choose

Be your favorite tune

Father let my heart be after you

The words to this chorus are so beautiful and haunting.  This song is talking about when Jesus was in the garden the night before He was to be crucified.  He knew it was going to happen, He WANTED it to happen, but His humanity still was hoping for another way.  What love it took for Him to willingly go to the cross, to stay hanging on it, when He could at any moment call down a fleet of angels to rescue Him!

Father, let my heart be after You.  In all my words, in all my actions, in my thought life.  Let everything bring You glory.  Let me bring You joy.

*Weekends during the 31 Days will be lighter posts – songs and scriptures about our topic.  If a song or verse ministers to you, I’d love to hear it!  Also, I figured out how to digitize my calligraphy!  If you would like a 5×7 download of the graphic I made, just e-mail or comment me!  I’ll take my site name off and send it to you ready for printing. 

On October 4, 2014 · 1 Comment · In Lovely Life
 

Characteristics

In discovering what it means to be a woman after God’s heart, the most logical place to begin is with the story of David.  He was, after all, the only person in the Bible characterized as one after God’s own heart.

So what was it about David that stuck out to God?  What was it that attracted God’s presence?  I’m sure there is a multitude of qualities about David that God loved, and we could talk in depth about them forever.  But four aspects of David’s life really stick out to me:

characteristics-list
We’ll be talking more about these four areas in the next few weeks.  Well, we’ll be talking about a lot more than these four areas.  It is 31 whole days after all.  Ha!

 

One thing that has really surprised me about this study is the grace that I have felt.  I kind of jumped on this 31 day challenge late in the game, so on day one I spent several hours at Starbucks studying my topic.  The main question in my mind is what does it look like to be a woman after God’s heart?  At first I picture this perfect woman – like everyone’s favorite Proverbs 31 lady.  Or someone who spends hours in the morning interceding before God and then proceeds to fix everyone breakfast and send her family on their merry way.  Someone who is so in tune with God that she’s hearing daily from Him.  Or someone who never lets her emotions get the best of her.  Someone who speaks gently and kindly and softly.  Kind of like the Duggar mom.  (Seriously – I tried to speak gently like her for a bit.  I lasted all of five minutes.)

But you know, the more I studied, the more that image faded away.  David was not even close to what I would call a perfect human.  Honestly, no character in the Bible was.  Even when we look at Jesus – who actually was perfect – his life was so not “politically correct.”  He offended people left and right.  He hung out at parties and made friends with prostitutes.  When he got mad at those selling goods in the sanctuary, he flipped their tables over and watched as the goods and money went everywhere.

I highly doubt He spoke like the Duggar mom.

To be a woman after God’s heart doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect.  Or have it all together.  I’m learning it’s quite the opposite in fact.  In the Bible there was a whole group of people who strove unrelentingly for perfection.  They were the Pharisees, and God called them out all the time.  Their quest for perfection and looking down on all those who hadn’t quite “attained” it yet led them to be consumed by pride.

A woman after God’s heart isn’t perfect.  She has flaws.  She has learned that without God, she is but dust.  So as we study what it means to be after God’s heart, let’s do so with grace abounding.  Not as a checklist of things we have to do to make God love us.  There’s nothing we can do to make Him love us.  He already does.  Passionately. Period. We are just learning ways to draw closer to Him.  Characteristics that will help us be more like Him.   Won’t you join me?

Becoming a Woman After God's Heart :: Write 31 Days

On October 3, 2014 · 2 Comments · In Lovely Life