Posted by: bellissimanh | June 15, 2008

Ruin Me

So you know how you’re breezing through life, taking things one day at a time, and then God just seems to keep hitting you over and over with the same message? I shared in THIS POST that the Lord really seemed to be stressing to me how important it is that I live with an eternal perspective, rather than a temporal one… to set my eyes on things unseen, and store up treasures in heaven, rather than worrying about the material things here on earth.

This week, the theme seems to have changed. Not that the pursuit of the holy and the heavenly is not just as important, but a new current seems to be running through the things I have read, heard, and felt the Lord impress upon my heart. Maybe another facet of the holy and the heavenly. The title above says it all: “Ruin me.”

Picture it with me.

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said,

‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!’

And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said:

‘Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.'” (Isaiah 6:1-5)

I was reading an interview that Discipleship Journal did with Kay Warren this week. When I first picked it up I glanced at it and, scanning the interview saw something about missions and kind of willed myself to read it. I know – that’s sad. Don’t get me wrong. I am concerned for the lost, but the headline on the page read, “My Heart Has Been Broken by the Suffering of AIDS,” and my immediate thought was, “Well, it’s not like I’m going to Africa anytime soon. It’s sad and tragic and all, but not really where God has called ME…”

As I said, I kind of willed myself to read it before moving on to the other articles that I deemed much more valuable and targeted to my “niche” of ministry. Scratch that. The Spirit prompted me to read it, even though it wasn’t my particular area of interest. I am so glad I listened to His gentle pleading!  I actually really enjoyed the interview, and took much away from it… but it gets even better! After a week or more of musing over the idea of asking God to “ruin me”, just look what I found tucked into the middle of this dialogue!

DJ: If you’d known six years ago that having your heart broken would lead to this kind of intimacy with God, would you have been less fearful?

KAY: I think so. But God is flat-out dangerous. You don’t enter into a relationship with Almighty God and not know that you are in the presence of a sovereign. The two words that have typified my life the last six years have been terror and exhilaration. I sometimes stop and say, “God, it is so amazing to be in partnership with You. I can’t imagine a greater high on earth. It’s exhilarating!” And then I realize, Oh, my goodness. I’m in partnership with God! What am I thinking? This is terrifying! He’s so big and so powerful, and I’m not. How can I possibly think that I can partner with God?  We can’t encounter God and not be radically shaken, disturbed, ruined.

DJ: What do you mean?

KAY: God ruins everything! Our plans, our agendas, our goals, our money, our relationships, our lifestyles, the way we see ourselves, the way we see Him, the way we view our circumstances, the way we look at every person we meet, how we handle temptation, how we fight evil and push back the darkness.

DJ: But He does it in the best possible way…

KAY: Isn’t that glorious? My friend Elizabeth went with me on my second trip to Africa. After we got back, she sent me an email that said, ‘Thanks a lot! I’m ruined — gloriously ruined.” That’s exactly it! I am gloriously ruined. I’m not the same person I used to be, and I don’t want to go back. I can’t live the same way I did before. For along with the extraordinary pain and suffering and evil I have seen, along with the amount of sorrow my heart experiences, I know a vibrancy and joy in walking with God and with other people that I never knew before. He really shook things up but in a very good way.

Oh, how I want to be gloriously ruined! Don’t you? Radically shaken, disturbed… RUINED. I wish you could feel the sense of urgency and excitement that I have over this! I read that article with tears in my eyes, knowing without a doubt that God was speaking directly to my heart.  I want to be so completely emptied of myself that He is able to fill each and every crevice and corner of my heart. I want my Savior to come and so demolish the things in me that get in the way of what He wants to do in my life that what remains is barely recognizable to those who knew me… before Him. I want Him to ruin my plans, my agenda, my view of things, my selfishness, my pride… everything! And day by day, He is faithful to do that in me. It’s not happening overnight, or perhaps as quickly as I’D like, but then again that’s just the sovereign God, ruining my timeline… and I’m ok with that!

My new favorite song is by Jeff Johnson. The title is – you guessed it – “Ruin Me”, and the lyrics read like this…

Woe to me I am unclean
A sinner found in Your presence
I see You seated on Your throne
Exalted, Your glory surrounds You

Now the plans that I have made
Fail to compare
When I see Your glory

Ruin my life
The plans that I’ve made
Ruin desires for my own selfish gain
Destroy the idols that have taken Your place
Till it’s You alone I live for
You alone I live for

HOLY HOLY IS THE LORD ALMIGHTY

It’s times like this that I really wish I had a music player on this page! The first time I heard this song, it stopped me in my tracks. This is the prayer of my heart… totally, completely, utterly.

Although the sound quality isn’t great, here’s a video set to the song.  If you’d rather just listen, you can hear it on Jeff’s myspace page: www.myspace.com/jeffjohnsonmusic.  For those of you who have helped with the homeless missions at VCC, you’ll appreciate the video. Especially if you can read it through your tears. 🙂 It’s no coincidence that as I looked for a video to share this song with you all, THIS is the only one I found. As we prepare to head out next Sunday to minister to the homeless, I pray you’ll remember this song… Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory… including the streets of Portland 🙂

Ruin me, Lord.

Ah… but hallelujah, the story doesn’t end there!

“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said:

‘Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.'” (Isaiah 6:6-7)

Glory! I am undone before a holy awesome Creator, and He has removed my iniquity as far as the East is from the West… He has bought my life with His precious blood and purged my sin with His incomparable sacrifice.

Don’t you just want to shout it with me?

Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!

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Responses

  1. Love you Heather!

  2. What a wonderful post Heather..lots to chew on…

  3. Wow, what a lot to think about. When He ruins us the way we are – ie relationships, lifestyles, the way we see ourselves, etc… the only place to turn in all that brokenness is to Him to rebuild the ruins for His glory. Wow, to see Him more and more, to submit fully to let Him do even more and more. Well, like I said, lots to think about.

  4. Gee, what a powerful message with a lot of good insight as to how we need to be ruined before we truely can walk with Him or be used by him. We need to get rid of the acces bagage, things the world says we need that keep us in bondage. When we are not concerned with these things then we can concentrate on the things that are eternal and have the engergy and time to really seve HIm. Praise God for the way He ministers to us all and shows us His love and grace. His plan for out lives, when we heed His call and obey His commands. This is really great Heather. Lord, ruin me, cleanse me and totaly create a clean heart in me of all the worldly ideas and things and fill me with things that are eternal. Fill me with the light that I need to let others see your Glory. Open my eyes, that I may see glimpes of truth Thou hast for me; Place in my hands the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set me free. Silently now I wait for Thee,
    Ready, my God, Thy will to see; Open my eyes illumine me, Spirit devine. From the hymn of Clara H. Scott. This is my prayer to you oh Lord, Amen.

  5. Hi, Heather –
    I stumbled upon your site via my own site. Your link appeared as a reference to mine, so I wanted to check it out. I’m so glad that I did. We seem to have similar hearts for the Lord, and I love the way you express yours. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and inspirations. I hope to get better acquainted with you. God bless you.

    Renee

  6. Heather,

    That was amazing. I can hear God’s truth all over that. I know those words and your message was from Him.

    I love the quotes from that article. What a scary thought to pray that God will ruin me, but I know that is the only place I will grow. Ruin my selfish plans for me.

    I will be chewing on these words for quite awhile.

    Thanks!!

  7. Heather,
    This is my favorite blog you have ever written. Terror and Exhilaration describe perfectly my walk with Our God. I want to shout it with you! I want to be radically shaken, bold. Not lulled into a state of complacency. Not looking to this life for encouragement, or anything. But unto HIM. The author and finisher of our faith. He’s shaking everything that can be shaken. Until our hands are empty, not holding on to anyone or anything, and He is all that is in our sights. He is coming back, Heather. Its nearer now that ever. I feel the same urgency and excitement as I read your thoughts. I thought of this verse just now. And its the NEXT verse after the ones you quoted!!

    Isa 6:8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

  8. That is a very hard prayer to pray. To make an understatement.

    I heard someone say once that when Isaiah was “undone” he felt his integrity utterly collapse. Realizing we are not what we think we are can be as hair-raising as any physical trial on earth, I think.
    But what a beautiful picture of grace – did God step back, keep His distance, stand aloof, show contempt for this “undone” man? That is what we expect, isn’t it? But no, Isaiah felt the touch of heaven – cleansed lips – renewed integrity based not upon his own performance but the righteousness of God.

    That was a wonderful post! Very powerful. And a bit frightening. 😉


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