Please & Thank You.

Well, it’s Monday. It’s the first day back to school after a long break. I planned to get up early, so I set my alarm for 5am, and I prayed the Lord would help me follow through.  And He did! I put my feet on the ground and walked my sleepy head into the kitchen for the coffee. 

Priorities, people.

I turned on the gas logs, sipped my coffee and genuinely felt an excitement to be awake for this day. Ensuring that the caffeine was ready to kick in and help my eyes and brain cooperate, I opened my Bible and read Genesis 10, 11, and 12. 

{side note: I don’t know if you have ever read through the Bible, but I believe it’s one of the most rewarding spiritual acts I have ever done. This year I am reading through the Old Testament and studying Hebrews with some friends each week. You will not believe how— no matter how many times you have read a passage or heard a scripture taught from a pastor—you still get new, personal truths from His Word…it’s a bottomless well of goodness!  I hope you’ll try to read the whole Bible some time! You will not regret it. Except in Leviticus, but just keep going.}

In Genesis 12:7-8, I took a pause.

“The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.

Then, he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.

Clearly, I am no theologian, but I was reading this and saw Abram using Please and Thank You with the Lord. 

Verse 7: God spoke. Abram built an altar. Thank You, Lord, for Your Word to me.

Verse 8: Abram built an altar and then called upon the Lord. Please, Lord, keep speaking to me and leading me.

I pondered the question: What does it look like for me to build an altar to the Lord as a Thank You or as a Please?

When I have heard from the Lord, I might lift up praise, gladly lay down my “rights” or my comforts. I may set aside my agenda for what He has led me to do or where He has led me to go. After hearing from the Lord, I may forgive—laying down my bitterness and pain. Often times, the Lord’s Word to me runs contrary to what this world would want me to do. So hearing from Him gives me clarity on how to live right before Him. It’s purifying to my soul to hear from God. Thank You, Lord, for Your Word to me.

When I want to hear from the Lord, I might sacrifice sleep to get up early and read His Word. I might sacrifice time or energy. I may sacrifice personal gain in the seeking of the Lord. I sacrifice by laying my hurting or expectant or hopeful heart on the altar and committing to trust Him more and lean in to Him more. Please, Lord, keeping speaking to me and leading me.

As if the Lord wasn’t already so personal to me, I played the new Cody Carnes song, “Christ Be Magnified” and just about couldn’t contain myself.  PLEASE TAKE TIME TO LISTEN TO THIS SONG!  And feel free to have a running spell. I’d be shocked if you don’t.