Posts Tagged ‘God’

Re-entry?

March 1, 2009

What is the antonym of retreat?

Anyway, here are some thoughts currently at the forefront of my mind that may not have been digested quite completely, but here we go…

Years from now or even months and weeks from now, I don’t want to look back and wish I had gone right instead of left.  I don’t want to muck around waiting for God to bail me out of my stupidity or waste time thinking “what if.”  I don’t want to have my heart and my mind get into a game of “I told you so.”  I don’t want to pray prayers designed to write him out of the picture once I get what I want or what I think I need.  I don’t want to regard him as training wheels that I can take off once I feel okay on my own, because when it  actually comes to real life I sure as heck don’t have any muscle memory.

Pastor Dave poignantly observed that too often we focus on intimacy with God, this idea that he’s a soft cuddly teddy bear that listens to all our problems, over the idea that he is Lord.  He already knows all our problems and the fact that he is this all-powerful, supreme being to be feared makes the intimacy that much better.  But what does it mean that Jesus Christ is Lord?  Too often have I relegated that word to merely being filler in prayers.  The reality of the self-centered lens with which I view so much of the world around me is frightening.  I’ll do this but not that, I’ll go here but not there, because that’s what makes me comfortable, that’s what makes me happy, that’s what fulfills my goal through what I think is the best possible way.  And what about God?  What about the Lord who is supposed to have sovereignty over all that I do, who is supposed to have dominion over all of my thoughts and plans?  At the end of the day, if he said, “Get uncomfortable, shake things up, be radical, be uncool for me,” and yet I dared not make a move out of complacency and uncertainty and fear, God will be perfectly justified in rejecting what little I have to offer him.  Because it’s not that I didn’t bring my A-game, it’s that while knowing his rules and terms, I, rooted in self-centeredness, still wanted to play with my own.  It’s not that I didn’t know exactly what God wanted, it’s that I knew better, but I chose worse.

Years from now or even months and weeks from now, I want to look back knowing that I have loved the Lord well, that I have heard and answered his call in an extreme way. I want to choose the right fork in the road in submission and obedience. I want to be convinced that every move I made stemmed from confidence and courage and certainty that I found in him.  He is an absolute Lord with absolute judgment.  Simply put, never will our just and righteous God negotiate or take the excuses that we make for screwing up.

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February 22, 2009

By Cory Asbury

I want to be Your friend
One who will sit and hear Your words
I want to walk with You
Down this lonely, narrow road
But God, You know my weakest state
You know how I need Your hand of grace
To come and pull me up to where You are

I wanna stay close to the fire in Your eyes
To the burnings of Your heart
I don’t wanna grow cold
So come and set Your seal of love upon my heart
A love as strong as death
‘Til I’m forever Yours

I wanna be found in the council of the Lord
With a heart that’s after Yours
I don’t wanna grow cold
So come and set Your seal of love upon my heart
A love as strong as death
‘Til I’m forever Yours

All-consuming fire of love
Come burn away what hinders love
‘Til I am only, only Yours
‘Til I am only, ’til I am only Yours

Useless Fire

December 31, 2008

Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed. (Exodus 22:20)

Not merely punished, let go with a slap on the wrist, a little blot on your permanent record, but DESTROYED. This is a little frightening.

Not that we should repent just because we’re afraid of the wrath of God. I mean, his wrath is to be feared, no doubt. But what I want to be more aware of is the absoluteness of God. There is no room for shades of gray with God. He is holy, righteous, worthy, always, and he loves us, always. Which means he wants us to be holy and righteous for him, always. Not just when we feel like it, not just when it’s easy. Always, he is better. Always, we need to learn to choose him more. He doesn’t want just part of our hearts or part of our lives, he doesn’t want our defiled offerings (Malachi 1). He is holy, and we are to be wholly his.

More and more I realize how far I am from truly reflecting this in my life. Now since I’ve been at home I’ve been listening to a lot of old-school mainstream Christian songs because 104.7 The Fish is usually all my brother lets us listen to in the car. The other day I heard “More Precious Than Silver.” But I’m gonna be honest, in taking the song perhaps too literally, I thought to myself, I don’t really care much for silver and gold and diamonds. Then I started replacing those words with more relevant things.

Lord, you’re better than money…and all the pretty things money can buy.

Lord, you’re better than good grades (SSOL continues to ruin my day every morning by slowly but surely posting this semester’s grades…).

Lord, you’re better than…wait for it…boys.

Lord, you’re better than any other frivolity the world throws my way. Or I, despite knowing better, throw myself into.

Really, this list can go on and on. A record of false gods and proof of idols in my life and hard evidence of just how much more I need to rely on his strength all the more in light of my weakness. This is what would happen if you were to list all the things in my life that I place worth upon, and then if you went through that list I fear you would find so many things that aren’t the holiness and righteousness of God. So many things that aren’t, simply, Jesus.  And the thing is, I don’t want to just barely escape the flames, much less be completely destroyed by them. Everyday I want to choose Jesus more and renew my covenant with my God.

There was another song playing on the way to church this past Sunday, “Above All.” Above all kingdoms, above all thrones, above all wonders the world has ever known. Above all things God, you are worthy. And nothing that I desire compares with you.

Wonder at His Wonders

December 9, 2008

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.

I mentioned briefly two posts ago about cynicism and frustration. I feel like I’m still really immature in terms of knowing how to wait upon God. I came into this year with a lot of expectations and thought that by asking for things I was showing that I trusted in his power. But God was basically just like, “You’re dumb.” Because he doesn’t just want to bless me, he wants me to marvel and relish in the blessings that he gives me. Whether I ask for them or not. So recently I have found that I am often taken by surprise when he does answer prayers, when things do change, when I do see his power at work in this world and those around me. WHY? I want to feel wonder and awe, not surprise. Why should I be surprised when he shows me that he is REAL and personal and even now is working for us? Why should I be surprised at how good he continues to be when he’s already shown love by freeing and rescuing me from death?

I need greater faith. To seal up the myriad cracks and doubts so that I don’t just fall to pieces one day. To believe he performs great works even in this very day and time. Especially in this day and time.

Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.

Mind, Brain, and Behavior

December 3, 2008

I want to take a step back and relax but I’m scared then I will never catch up.

This, I think, is my problem. I am constantly standing at the edge of the water peering in, wasting time wondering whether or not I’ll be able to go against the current or if I’ll just be swept away with the rest of the world. I’m always just sitting here in nail-biting numbness, wishing I was better, stronger, wishing I knew how to love, waiting for something, something, to come and rock my world. This is so dangerous. This is so bad. Because so many times I forget that my world, it has already been rocked. My deepest desires, they have been fulfilled. My heart and soul have been captured and loved by a King who was humble and gracious enough to allow me to be in his holy presence, who even now wants me to be with him so that I may see his glory. How can something as crazy as that ever slip my mind? And yet I’m constantly distracted by other voices calling my name. And yet I hesitate to gather all of me before him and it is in those pauses that I fear my own heart will drive me away…

And yet his love and grace go deeper than I could ever imagine, and all the more he wants me to be alert. In all my cynicism and quiet exhaustion I don’t want to be shaken by anything but his righteousness. I don’t want to be caught unaware and unprepared. I’m tired of being weak God. I’m tired of bringing my own expectations to the table and stewing in frustration when they are not met. I’m tired of my own thoughts, constantly rationalizing, analyzing, trying to figure out every single detail before I take the plunge. Let me not be afraid to jump knowing that hands that calm the waters will catch me. Teach me first to wait quietly upon you, to be self-controlled and alert, intent upon rending my heart for you. I don’t want to be left behind, I don’t want to fall away while your kingdom surges ahead. God, that I would not be satisfied to live a life of passivity, but that I would move when I feel you move. That your voice would be so much louder and clearer than the resounding gongs that echo uselessly in my head. That your love, pure, unadulterated, selfless, would be the only thing that I yearn for.