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Growing Small

Recently, I sent out my yearly challenge for each of you to have a spiritual focus for 2015. Did you discover what your focus should be this year? Are you working on that? I would love to hear how it’s going!

I’m already experiencing some new challenges as I’ve started 2015, and am asking for God’s grace and power to live out that focus. In case you missed that post, my spiritual focus this year is twofold, with one goal: Exalting Christ.

The twofold focus this year is for me to decrease and for Him to increase.

And actually, that must be my lifetime focus.

What has been challenging this year, is having my eyes opened to how much I draw attention to myself, or in some way promote, or exalt myself . . . without ever planning to!

When I steer a conversation toward what’s happening in my life . . . I’m not diminishing, I’m grabbing the attention. When I speak more than I listen . . . I’m not diminishing, I’m acting like today’s agenda is all about me.

I’m realizing that self-exaltation comes quite easily, and decreasing is not a natural action. 

I’m asking the Spirit to open my eyes to how I’m exalting myself rather than Christ . . . and you know what? It’s a painful revelation!

I’ll share more on that tomorrow, but today I’d really like to hear what your focus is this year and how that is going. What good books are you reading to go along with that focus and what challenges are you having?

How can we pray for you?

Image courtesy of Photokanok/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Comments

  • Vida Ursic

    I just read your 2 principles in your post. Identical to what I am experiencing. John3:30 has been ,my prayer since I am a new mother in law since 12/13/14 as we married off our son. The other self exaltation I am experiencing over the last 24 hours, a fine line as I ask the Holy Spirit did I write that letter and send that gift because HE prompted me or was that self exaltation. I continue to ask Him. Isaiah 59:19 has been the past 24 hours as I have been a bold witness over the last 5 days.
    Thank you Kim for writing this morn. I am praying for you as the Holy Spirit reminds me over the next 10 weeks.
    Vida

  • Naomi

    Hi Kim,

    As you stated it’s easy to make it all about me. My spiritual challenge this year so far has been keeping the faith and reminding myself that at the end of my journey He is working things for His glory. I must admit it’s hard to look at the facts and still have faith. Trusting God at His word in the midst of difficult circumstances is hard-scary. I don’t like it!!! I find myself experiencing a lot of emotions towards God. I have struggled with God wanting him to release me and stop asking me to believe something that may or may not come to pass. He hasn’t, instead he constantly reminds me that He is in control and He is to big to get around. So, I surrender. Like the Hebrew boys I know God is able, but the question is will He? I’m learning that He wants me to trust and obey no matter what He decides, while worshipping Him through the process. It’s very challenging to worship God when “the chips are down”. When I shift my focus off of me and on who God is, His character and attributes the load becomes easier to bare and lighter. Surprisely, I’m learning to trust God more and keep the faith knowing that He’s working even when I can’t see what He’s working on and whatever He does is for my good and His glory.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Vida ~

    Thank you so much for your comment and especially your prayers! Sorry my response is so delayed. I’ve been out of the U.S. for over a week and my Internet time is quite limited. You are asking yourself some very good questions. Continue asking God to reveal your heart motives. He is faithful. May the “wind of the Lord” always be our compelling motivator (Isa. 59:19).

    God’s blessings to you ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Precious, Naomi ~

    God is faithfully leading you to that intimate place of surrender and worship that says: “No matter what, I will follow You.” I love how you expressed that in your comment. Yes, it is hard. Yes, it may not turn out as you would hope. But yes, God is good and worthy of our worship and allegiance, no matter what!

    Pausing to pray for you now, asking God to continue to allow you to experience His sweet presence in the midst of your pain.

    Sorry my response is so delayed, I hope you see this note.. I’ve been out of the U.S. for over a week and my Internet time is quite limited.