Playing with purpose

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.


Ravi

Ravi

Its after seven in the morning. But our skies lie draped with overcast. For once it matches my spirit. Ravi Zacharias’ daughter has sent out an email saying he is now with JESUS.

So, I am feeling once again that grief that assailed me when my Mother left this world. Vacillating between deep sorrow and unspoken envy. One more time a soldier has outrun me. My tears are for the loss and a sense of loneliness when you discover the runner running ahead of you has suddenly left. It requires a reorientation in your thinking. A realignment in your comfort zones.

But like any infantry soldier, you know your duty is to quicken your march and fall into step. Closing any gap that may have appeared. We are at essence commissioned volunteers, drafted into the war of wars. I don’t negate the joy of this life. I don’t hide the discomfort. I am not tired nor weary in the traditional sense. But it is times like this, I long to go home.

For us to die is gain. But for us to live is CHRIST. So, I will not ask “Lord how long?” But rather, “What’s next?” Into the breach, I happily march with the people of GOD. Trusting and depending upon our LORD. Putting on the whole armor, every day, until I finish this race.


ABBA

Fully awake now. Fully engaged in seething anger that felt like the holding of a devouring animal at the end of a single chain. Boiling anger that senses the interloping of earthy wisdom, that dare believe it knows best for someone else. We do that thing to one another. Quiet evidence that misery is happiest when its a shared experience. That we are nothing if not most thrilled when we believe we know what there is to know of living. And we ‘got it right’ even as our living requires constant resets to achieve what the limited and insane believe will have a different outcome. We are far too comfortable wanting to be GOD for one another.

But I recognize, this is not my primary struggle at this time. I have no problem detecting earthy stench, I am of the earth as well. My struggle involves the desire to decimate the stench that dare approaches me.

But, we wrestle not against flesh and blood.

To be willing to attempt manipulation or destruction of another person is simple guilt that identifies that you want to be god in someone else’ s life as well. So Herculean hands unfurl from their position of might; and calm ushers itself back to the seat of mercy. I am safe now. Our Abba will not permit me to bring destruction into my own world by attempting to wrench authority from Him. As if I could.


When is it not Faith

When I consider the travail of CHRIST in the Garden of Gethsemane. When I remember the afflictions of Job. When I recall the thrice denied request from Apostle Paul to remove his thorn. I reexamine the concepts of Faith.

We place great stock in people who seem to command healing in the natural body. We devote series of televised programs to miraculous events we encounter. And we are panting ‘hot’ after leaders who proclaim a destiny of affluence. But if Faith can be identified by primarily physical miracles, then what does that mean for the majority of us who seem bereft of these miracles. Does it mean that the results of Faith are a mere gamble?

You can drop the mike on this truth. Miracles are happening every hour of every day. What is amiss, is our willingness or ability to identify anything that does not encompass physical relief. We do not see victory or deliverance in things that do not make us feel better.

When JESUS said to His disciples, “ye have no faith”, was He referring to their lack of authority over the raging sea and wind? Or was He referring to their inability to rest while the storm raged?

“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:37-41.

Personally, I have no problem proclaiming and praising the might of GOD in my life. But it can be a crisis of faith when GOD’s will does not address my physical discomfort. However faith, true faith, rest upon my willingness to completely trust GOD. Can I say as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did?

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” Danial 3:16-18

Do I have the resolve of the prophet Habakkuk when he penned? “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.” Habakkuk 3:16-18

Can I readily fellowship with the despair of Job’s life? Though I may curse the day I was born, will I wait, all of my appointed time; will I wait upon the Lord?

Do I know that GOD’s grace is sufficient to cover all thorns in my flesh? Will I conclude after repeated prayerful requests; nevertheless thine will be done, Lord.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. If my faith never extends beyond the obvious, is it really faith? Rejoice when GOD speaks ‘Peace’ to your storms. But if He does not, lay your head upon the pillow of His love and faithfulness. Rock-a-bye baby through the raging storm and know it will be okay.


BOOKS COULD NOT CONTAIN

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 21:25.

My mind struggles to imagine the reality of the 25th verse in John 21. The immensity of that idea just loops me off into a sort of never-never land. That verse informs me of the wasted time we have spent trying to define GOD.

We need to believe that GOD is scientifically duplicable. That in our exploration there is an explanation. That we are in control; until we are not. Our conclusions support the idea that we are accidentally morphed. Or that we employ inner and spiritual wisdom that is greater than, truer than ever before. I giggle every time I hear someone declare any human knowledge as “enlightenment!” That’s flint-stone laughable. Unless you are receiving from outside of the human realm of possibilities, of what and how are you enlightened? Regurgitated food is still old vomit. Yet we heave and strain in the vanity of deciding who GOD is or if GOD is.

The Son of GOD, in a three-year period performed works so multiple, they are only countable as uncountable. So, what makes us believe we can lend definition to the Creator of life? What makes us believe that we can establish variations of who GOD is? Or whether GOD is?No other evidence is needed than to observe the limited trying to define the limitless. GOD is beyond our fully knowing. The Son of GOD is beyond our understanding. The SPIRIT of GOD is indefinable.

Already that places GOD well beyond our intellect. Three equals one, one is three? A fiery bush talks but does not burn? A donkey turns his head back towards the man sitting on its back, beating it. Then begins talking to the man like it is a recent graduate of the Duo Language app. Fleeing slaves reach the edge of a deep and wide body of water. Their appointed politician stretches out a piece of wood and the water of the river parts and strands itself upwards like walls allowing safe passage. On and on and on, the shock and awe are listed. The best we have been able to conclude is that it must not be true because we can’t perform such feats. Or we think we know how such feats were accomplished.

And anyone who would dare to believe other than our rational explanation is just ignorant or anesthetized by religious rhetoric! So, we seem to think!

The sacrifice JESUS gave has made it possible to be in relationship with our Father Creator. To be submerged in the love of His heart for each of us. To live with honor and peace in the simple place we occupy. We should stop wasting time trying to align such a relationship within the confines of our living and knowing.

We should choose to disembark from the hamster wheels of human intellect; and accept the gift that GOD has given to us. Human intellect and exploration are marvelous things. We should always strive to be our best at it, that indicates respect for the gift of life. But that’s all it is. A tool for humans, not an explanation for GOD.


Doubtful Disputations

Romans 14 is profound reading this morning. Possibly because when visiting a website known for its apologetic dissertations of the Word of GOD; I am left with a sense of futility. Possibly the biggest problem with the website rest in its determination to answer any and all questions. Often the questions themselves are only for declarative purposes. It seems to attract many who are convinced of their own reasoning. It feels like a condensed model of our social media world. Everyone has an opinion. No one is saying much. But few would ever consider doing more listening than speaking. We don’t seek truth we make it up as we go along.

The gospel that is being preached, is the gospel according to our feelings, our concepts; and everybody is preaching! Truth is an exercise in political correctness. What is popular is the truth. Free will run amok.

I have always read the scripture; “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:22), as one that championed the cause of the Elect of GOD. I now see it as a timely and necessary relief for the whole of creation. In our pursuits, we have become our own victims.

On days like these I want to draw up the sidewalk, lock the doors; get in the bed and pull the covers high over my head. The little one in me has taken over. Leaving me with the childish belief that if it is out of sight, it does not exist. It cannot harm me.

Nothing seems to be as beautiful as we declare. Whether in nature or in worship; under the beautiful veneer the danger is evident.

I am not only going down the rabbit hole, I think I am experiencing social depression. That “what’s the use” type of feeling. But then my heart begins to pray. To talk with GOD.

“Please help me to see this world as you do. Please help me to love this world from your perspective. Please allow me to see the beauty still evident in this fallen world. Only then will I be able to pull the covers back, put on my “big people clothes” and move forward.”

Just talking with GOD massages away the grief. For me to die is gain, for me to live is CHRIST. Depression flees from me because, when I remember to keep my eyes on JESUS I begin to walk on water.

Now beneath the obvious beauty that shields the obvious danger, there is another layer. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives all fear is gone. Because I know who holds the future. Then life is worth the living; just because He lives. (Bill and Gloria Gaither)

Good morning World. Great morning fellow children of GOD. There are no surprises. It is all good, GOD is yet in control.


Thankful for Mercy and Grace

I know its a little early to post tomorrow’s thanksgiving, but I’m just moving with the sentiments of my heart. My heart recognizes that GOD does not see you as I do. That GOD does not see me as you do.

For as long as we inhabit this world, we will live in manners that are offensive to one another. We will often in our quest for personal pleasure or satisfaction live in opposition to GOD’s order for our lives.

Grace and Mercy provide shelter for each of us. In Psalms 103 it says: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.” “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” ” For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”

I want to always remember that. I want to live in remembrance of how GOD feels about you and me. I want to always acknowledge the ownership of GOD. And respect the speed and manner in which He chooses to deal with each of His children. Children we all are, Saint or Sinner. We belong to GOD.

But we should not be deceived. How GOD feels about us will not perpetually hold judgment from our lives. Its just that, GOD’s timing is not measured by the limitation of being human. “He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.”

We should live with the knowledge that GOD is not mocked. What we sow we will reap. (Galatians 6:7-8 kjv.) But even in the reaping, GOD’s purpose is embedded in the harvest of living. The sole intent is to draw us to His side. (2 Peter 3:9 kjv.)

Will we receive His love as quickly as we receive His mercy and grace.


Thankful for You

Over the past 12 to 15 hours my soul has been comforted. I think of how overwhelmed my brother would be to see how many hearts were united in prayer. Just for him.

Before we shipwreck our own boats, the final lie our soul’s enemy will whisper is; “you are all alone, no one cares.” Over the clamoring din of our own missteps, we hear that lie proclaimed. Echoing and filling deep spaces. But you have proved the liar is a lie.

Agape causes us all to offer prayers on my brother’s behalf though we have similar burdens that afflict our peace. The triumph of GOD in this life and within us, rest in that willingness to love each other through our own pains. Thank you for being used by GOD. Thank you for loving. And thank you Lord for your children.

Before the throne of Grace, I bring petition for each of you. Rebuild, reset, restore, reclaim, and redeem. This is my persist prayer, don’t forget to pray that for me as well.

“I know the plan I have for you the Lord declares. To build up and not tear down. (Jeremiah 29:11, paraphrased)