How to Get Better at God
I don’t think that is a great way to start a blog post. But, here I am again, at 3:00 in the morning, with the great need to share how to get better at God. I was dead asleep and then I felt this eerie presence.
Truly, I was afraid to open my eyes. I knew there was someone in the room. And, I knew it wasn’t my husband Justin, because, I went to bed at 7 pm with a headache, in the guest bedroom.
Now, I know what you are thinking. “It will be easy for her to say how to get better at God if the Great One is literally coming into her guest room to wake her for a quick convo!”
But, I could hear raspy breathing.
Then I heard a shuffle back and forth across the floor.
At the risk of being murdered by an unknown assailant, I sheepishly opened one eye and then let out a gasp. I was right, there was someone in the room with me.
But it wasn’t the Lord. It was my five-year-old son, Charlie.
Sorry, again, this would be a better post if Jesus was like, “Hey Baby Girl, there is some stuff I want to tell you.”
I bet that would go viral.
Instead, it was Charlie. And, still shaken from the inadvertent rude awakening I said, “What are you doing?”
To which Charlie said, “I was watchin you sleepin.”
“I fink I missed you. And also, I fink I wet the bed.”
Which, by the way, he did not do. How you can think you wet the bed is a mystery to me. You either did or you did not. But after settling Charlie back in his dry sheets, I realized the visit was indeed straight from the Lord.
As I climbed back into bed I was certain I had to share the revelation.
And while you may be getting tired of the theme, I am going to tell you again, it is all about what we believe.
Getting better at God is all about belief.
But what we believe is completely hinged on what we speak. The mind is wholly impacted by what we say, how we act, and what we profess as truth. And, based on the response from my last few posts, this is the bigger issue at hand.
If we want to get better, we have to speak better.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you already know that basketball legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash this week with 8 others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gigi.
The media is flooded with the tragedy of the 41-year-old’s untimely death. And, in case you haven’t read or watched a thing about Bryant, let me be the first to tell you, he only got better because that is what he talked about.
The young athlete seeped greatness because he spoke greatness.
And I am awake convicted of this, we are what we say we are.
Our words matter (says the writer.)
I cannot find a quote from the late Kobe Bryant that says, “I wish I was a legend.” Nor did I find a single piece where he lamented his inability. As a matter of fact, I found one clip where he actually said he wasn’t good at basketball until he decided he would be great at basketball.
Sure, it is easy to assume that some of us are better at somethings. I imagine you were on the edge of your seat, believing Jesus came into my guest room to wake me with a message. Alas, it was just a child who didn’t wet the bed.
But imagine for a minute if my response to Charlie waking me was this: “YOU IDIOT! HOW CAN YOU THINK THAT YOU WET THE BED?”
I suspect you would be horrified.
Granted, I was startled. And, there is a complete social media record of my less than stellar parenting moments, wait, there is an entire book. However, this is not how I talk to my five-year-old son, even when I am awakened from a dream where I was shopping in Beverly Hills in the petite section.
No, I asked why he was there, and then, with the full intent of changing his pajamas and sheets, I escorted the little boy to his room. Upon the discovery all was clean and dry, I tucked him in, left the hall light on for him, and told him I loved him.
I cannot even comprehend spewing hatred at the dear child who came to me for help. Of my parenting, let it be said, I offered compassion and care at least 98% of the time.
Sure, in my humanness I have yelled or been less than kind, but in the depths of my heart, I want my children to remember tenderness and mercy.
Which lends to the truth of this, I wasn’t good at motherhood until I decided to be great at motherhood.
There are somethings that are instinctual, and others we must work at. But when we go to work on ourselves in any area, what good is it to speak of only failure?
And this has been the response to my posts on belief.
“I am trying to believe, it is my biggest struggle.”
And, “I talk to God all the time about how faithless I am.”
While this sounds like a call out to some, know that I am talking to me too. But I am convicted of this; none of us can cross the barrier into greatness until we decide we are going to be great at getting God.
Getting better at God is going to have to include the words of greatness.
If you believe practice and training don’t advance you, why practice or train?
When our teen baby Sophie was two-years-old she sat naked at our piano with a sippy cup of chocolate milk and touched each of the keys on the piano. Moments later she played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, without an ounce of direction. From that day forward we have bragged about how she could play the piano by ear.
And, she can.
Sophie now seventeen, can play anything she hears, even for the first time, by ear. Just the other night at dinner, my husband pulled a song up on his phone and said, “I heard this today and thought it would be beautiful on the piano.” Sophie took his phone and held it to her ear. She closed her eyes, and then dragged the control back to the chorus and listened again.
She stood up, walked to the piano, and played the song flawlessly, chords and all.
I know, it is creepy and weird. But that is not the point.
The point is since she was two she has been told she could play the piano by ear. And, again I say to you, she can.
Imagine if our response to that first time at the piano I had said, “EW! GET YOUR NAKED BUTT OFF THE PIANO BENCH! YOU CAN’T PLAY THE PIANO! YOU ARE JUST A BABY!” GO WATCH DORA THE EXPLORER!”
We know that the things we say to children matter.
Many of us have had a front-row seat to witness the power of abuse and neglect.
[bctt tweet=”If you believe practice and training don’t advance you, why practice or train? #believe” username=”httpstwittercomjamiamerine”]
Kobe Bryant and Sophia Rose Amerine are a testament to the power of belief. If you believe you can, you can. If you believe you can’t, you are right about that too. I think Henry Ford said that at some point, so I am not claiming it as mine. But I know he was right.
So you won’t assume that I am just picking on you, I will confess, this is all new to me too. However, I am so undone by this wisdom, I cannot wait to share. It occurs to me, within the Christian faith, we are most encouraged to believe we are nothing. With a nod to our wretchedness, we confess our weakness much more loudly than we profess how great we are because of He who died to save us.
Christ in us, the hope of glory, is all the reason in the world to start, right now, believing that we won’t just eventually get better at God, but instead decide we are great in Him right now, at this very moment.
How much of an impact would these words have if the title had read, “I Keep Trying to Get Better at God, and All I do is Fail”?
Granted, there is a benefit to transparency. And personally, I don’t want to read a blog post that only sings of how great the author thinks she is. But, I also don’t want to stay in the same place of doubt and want for the entirety of what we call a “faith walk.”
Truly, a “walk” is only as enjoyable as the sights and sounds one experiences while out and about. And, one could go for a walk in their familiar neighborhood, up one street and down the next, turn right at the culdesac, make the loop and head back home. But where is the progress in that? Where would one experience the blooms one street over? What muscles are engaged on the same flat pavement if one never ventures over a hill?
So this is my 3 am heart’s cry, stop saying you are trying to get better at God and start believing, out loud, He is all yours.
Today is the day. Sure, I know, there is a part of you that might feel like you are lying. If today you hear yourself say, “I am great at hearing and knowing God’s plans for me! He is for me and with me. I don’t have to chase Him, He is right here and loves my company. He always answers my prayers. Every single time.” I realize your subconscious might whimper… “you have lost it.”
But I propose that is simply because you are practicing what you preach. You are speaking negative words into a positive. And when we speak lack, we experience lack. The enemy would love nothing more than for us to be so focused on ourselves and what we say we don’t have, we would never, ever draw near to the perfect love, bought and paid for us on Calvary.
And while I confess, I rarely use an accusatory tone in my posts, I will not back down from this. It is too important.
We are not made better in humility if that humility is holding us back from the greatest gift ever given.
I cannot tell you who Christ is, I fully believe we are meant to experience Him ourselves. But I can tell you, He did not die so that you could continually profess He wasn’t enough. Let that be the thing that motivates us to stop crying about how small we are, and the catalyst to talking big and getting better and better at God.
If you sat down, buck naked with a sippy cup of chocolate milk in front of your Bible to hear Him and this post read, “keep trying to find Jesus, I doubt you’ll ever get there,” I am guessing it is going to be a long day.
But I am here to tell you, “Girl, He is all yours. He is for you and with you. And, He hears and knows you. He said He would answer you. And He already did.”
The more you say it, the better we will all be at God.
Dear One, the veil was torn. He sat down, right next to you and calls you friend. There is nothing else to do but speak this truth and live in the freedom He told you was all yours.
Every time you profess this truth, instead of the lie you don’t get it or Him, the closer you grow in His greatness.
I most boldly profess the opposite will only continue to produce lack and want. For that, I will make no apology.
I am going back to bed.
You go and do God better from this moment forward.
Jesus is all over you. Love, J
God lives in us and His love is (already) made complete in us. 1 John 4:12b
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