Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nothing Ordinary about this One...

Peter wrote of Jesus in his first letter that, "He committed no sin and no deceit was found in His mouth." Jesus stated several times in the Gospels that He only came to do or say what He heard the Father say...meaning if no deceit was found in Jesus' mouth, than no deceit is found in the Father's mouth. 

In Revelation 12:10 Satan is called "the accuser of the saints." His job is to rob, steal, kill and destroy. There is no truth in him. 

There is a clear distinction between these two worlds. Truth - lies. Life abundant - death. Love - hatred. Grace - accusation.  Purposed identity - useless existence. Transformation - stagnancy. Hope - hopelessness. The difference is screamingly obvious. I've known love from the One and known torment from the other.

Why, then, do we (I) spend so much of our waking moments attributing the attributes of Satan to the Father and vice versa? Why do we day after day choose to believe that the lies are truth and the truth are lies? Our Father, who has no deceit in His mouth, says throughout His Word that He delights in us. He chose us. He's forgiven us. He's set us apart. He calls us sons and daughters and with us...He is well pleased. Why do we (I) exchange these things that we have given our life to believe for the lies of our adversary? Satan's hell is easier to believe than the Father's heaven. I sing praise to my God on Sunday and spend the other 6 days of the week calling Him a liar when He's kind and loving to me. I, in turn, take the side with the accuser by telling God He cannot possibly love something like...this...me...as if I have some hidden wisdom and discernment that He doesn't have. 

God...the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit...has done nothing but love me and wash me in purpose, grace, kindness and power. He has no motive other than to make me better. He's with me to the end...for better or worse. He's fully committed. There is no other option for Him but to love me endlessly and to save me according to the plans He's made for me. Divorce will not take place. Who can compare to our God? Who is like Him? He is extra-ordinary. Accusers are found everywhere you turn...but true love? It's found in One place. 

When I refuse to believe God's love for me, I make Him ordinary. When I refuse to believe who He defines me to be, I make Him ordinary. I make Him like every other accusatory, negative thing on earth.  The most humble thing we can do is walk around with holy confidence that the God of the Universe finds us to be splendid, intriguing, worthy of rescue, curious, delightful, talented, child-like, pleasing, luminant, funny, captivating...the ones He wants to spend His time with. Arrogance sides with the accuser to tell God He is wrong to call us any of those things.

How can I believe in the miraculous resurrection of Christ and not believe that I'm loved and forgiven always? Holy Spirit...humble my heart to receive your gift of love, identity and acceptance. Tonight, I side with the voice of Truth. Silence the accuser.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wings of the Wind

He makes the clouds His chariot
   and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds His angels,
   flames of fire His servants.
             ~Psalm 104:3-4

I love the majesty of God displayed in Psalm 104. There is none like Him. All of creation is under His gracious sovereignty. Sometimes I like to read this Psalm aloud to Him in worship of His...bigness! Verses 3-4 in particular caught my attention this week. What if these verses are literal, and not figurative? What if every time we feel the wind it is the effect of God riding by on the wings of His angels? If He holds the universe in His hands, it makes sense to me that I should be able to feel Him within the physical universe. I think it's easy sometimes to lock God in to only being a spiritual entity. But, He created the physical, which means that He is able to interact with us in physical, tangible experiences. If nothing else, these verses have heightened my imagination and I've found myself thinking twice about a seemingly mundane draft of wind. It's possible that I could have just felt the undercurrents of God's presence racing past me on a chariot of heaven. For me, this makes the world more fun.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Correction

I'm in between a promise and the fulfillment in the place called process. I've been in this place called process for several years now. The longer it lasts, the more impossible the fulfillment becomes and the more difficult it is to believe that God will bring it. I would love to say that I have great faith and believe wholeheartedly He will do what He has spoken in my life. But, sadly, more often than not I find myself, like Sarah, laughing in doubt due to the circumstances that surround me. This has been one of those weeks. It has been a week filled with doubt and confusion. It has been a week where I have harbored thoughts set against His faithfulness. My mind has been allowed to conquer what I know to be true in my heart about His goodness and ability to do the impossible. 

Last night, in a moment of hurt, unbelief and anger I told a friend that I feel like God has betrayed me...I don't think there is any statement more whiny than that! I fell asleep in a pout. When I woke up, God began dealing with my pouting heart. I have several amazing models in my life of what it looks like to honor others. One of the vital pieces to the honor puzzle is to only speak kind words about a person. I see this in many marriages I know....husbands and wives who refuse to complain or speak negatively about their spouse to others. This has always caught my attention as something that highly reflects the heart of God. Have you ever known Him to complain or speak a negative, demeaning word against a human being? Out of all the beings in all of creation, it seems that He would have the most to complain about! Yet...only loving kindness proceeds from His mouth. 

God corrected me today. Out of love for Him, I should never complain or speak negatively about Him. If I am confused or frustrated about anything He does, out of honor for Him and His character, I should never share those things with others. I should only deal directly with Him about those things. I wonder what would happen if we took Ephesians 4:26 (Do not let the sun go down on your anger) and applied that to our relationships with God? Let's be honest...God's ways are not our ways. It happens that His ways make us angry sometimes. Why doesn't He just do things the way I want Him,too...right? Isn't this true for any intimate relationship?

So...today was just another day of correction, repentance, forgiveness and grace. I hurt Him with my mouth and His kindness towards me has, today, brought another increase in my heart to live for His pleasure and His honor. Thank You, Jesus, for Your patience, honesty and mercy. Touch the coal to my lips and fill my heart anew with honor for who You are. For out of the heart, the mouth speaks.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Like A Child

Earlier today I saw a father and a son shopping for a gift that, I'm assuming, was for the wife/mother. The son was maybe 4 years old - sweetly energetic and full of questions. Every few seconds I heard, "Daddy ______?   Can I have ______, Daddy? Daddy, how does ______ work? Daddy, how much does this cost? Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" Now, I, as the onlooker found this little guy to be wonderful...in my 1.4 minutes that I had to stand there and listen to his constant line of questioning. The father, on the other hand whom I assume hears this 24/7, was slightly less engaged by the high-pitched squealing of this tot. He would answer with a shrug, a grunt, a murmur...half paying attention, trying to accomplish the task for which he came. 

Sometimes, this is how I feel God must respond to me. I am FILLED with questions. I learn through questions. I thrive through questions. I've had many thoughts over the years that have questioned whether I drive God crazy with my unending questions or perhaps that I'm a burden to Him. He has far more important tasks to accomplish than to simply be my Answer. Sometimes, when I dwell on these thoughts too long I will hold back my questions from Him. Now, I understand that these things are a lie and against the very Father-heart of God. How quickly the enemy comes to slip that lie in, though, when I'm not paying attention. 

Today, as I was watching this little boy, I was reminded that for my Father, I am the accomplished task for which He came. He is never burdened when we bring questions to Him. He is never too busy for our wonderings. He is never too preoccupied to stop and tell us how the Kingdom works. He welcomes questions. He welcomes imagination. He isn't territorial with His life, but desires to make it open and available to His kids. 

I want to be more like my Father.

But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

It's interesting that Luke adds this Jesus-quote shortly after the story of the persistent widow, who would not give up asking for justice and bringing her requests before the judge. How persistent are children when they need something or want to know something? They will never stop unless an answer is given! We humans call that pestering...yet, God calls it persistence. There's a built-in faith inside of children. They believe their questions/needs will be met with full assurance...until the world tells them differently, of course. God desires our questions, our thoughts, our dependence, our impossible situations. He is Father. We are children. He has the correct answer for how to tie shoes, and button pants, for how to write our names, and how to ride bikes. 

He has answers, we have questions.  It's the perfect relationship.