My hope is that this blog will be a conduit for conversation between you and me, between you and others, and most importantly, between you and God. Experience has shown me that my best conversations with the Lord and with others come coupled with the stillness of morning and a cup of coffee. Whatever your experience has been, I hope you will join me as I share what God puts on my heart.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

In marvelous ways.

It was during my recent time of waiting on God that I realized my expectations of God had started impeding my experience of God.  

And my expectations of God could be described with two words: convenience and predictability.

Convenience.  I’ve become accustomed to the incessant convenience and stimuli present around us.  I group convenience and stimuli together because they both perpetuate my consistent state of expediency and excitement.  I remain inundated with new information.  

It’s not that technological stimuli or convenience is inherently bad.  It’s that my relationship with God has been shaped by the unending and often overwhelming availability of almost every resource I could ever want.  

My description of earthly stimuli and resources became my expectation of God: convenient, predictable, quick, handy, stimulating, pleasing, thrilling, and fleeting.  I waited for the Lord to speak to me.  I waited to experience the Lord on a deeper level. The Lord is always near, but my expectations thwarted my experience of the Lord’s presence.

I fear I’m failing to adequately communicate this concept.  Who I expect and know God is and how I expect God to move are vastly different ideas.  We can always expect God to be who God says God is.  We can always expect God to speak to us.  For instance, our Lord is always present, constant, reliable, and powerful.  But how God speaks to and manifests that presence, constancy, reliability and power in us may vary.

If my expectations of God’s movement do not change, I will experience less of God in my life.  When I expect God to speak to or move in me in a specific manner, I limit my communion with God.  

Predictability.  And sometimes my expectations of the Lord are limited by my prior experiences with the Lord.  Maybe instead of confining God to convenience, we have confined God to predictability.  It makes no sense that I could fathom, determine, or have already experienced the only ways God will speak to me.  But this is exactly what I  do when I expect God to speak the same way God spoke to me yesterday.  I become so fixated on recreating God’s last movement that I miss the powerful movement of God in this very moment.  

I do not want to miss the splendor of God in my life because I’m clinging to how God last moved in me. And I absolutely do not want this for you.  

Whatever the limitation I’ve placed on God's movement, I must surrender it.  I implore you to do the same.  And it’s been a struggle for me lately because my expectations of God feel safe. 

I trust that we cannot begin to comprehend God’s movement in our lives when we become open to whatever form that movement may take. I pray God opens you and me to Christ’s unbridled movement. I pray we experience God's voice in marvelous ways that far exceed our understanding.

“Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.  He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth.  After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice.  When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back.  God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.”  Job 37:2-5.

‘“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.”  Isaiah 55:8.

“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” 1 Kings 19:11-12.

Speaking of marvelous. Don't mind if I do.

Much love to you,



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Keep me free.

During many seasons of my life, I’ve found myself paralyzed by the opinions of others. When it’s not the opinions of others, it’s my mental projection of those opinions. In either case, I am trapped between the work Christ has done in me and the work Christ has yet to do because I fear what others might think. It pains me to admit that I’ve ignored or delayed my execution of Christ’s prompting solely because of my addiction to others' approval.  

But even more confining than what people think of me is the fallacy that I can define what they think. My addiction to this false sense of control feeds me artificial solace. By projecting others’ opinions and responding accordingly, I’ve idolized myself. Then, it is a trap to think my issue is merely with the approval of others.  

The problem goes deeper. The problem is my heart. Maybe you can relate.

It became a heart issue at the very point I elevated that something or someone or whatever over following God’s prompting. If anything obstructs our response to God's prompting, it is an issue of the heart.  

Until we allow our Lord to address the underlying heart issue, we will remain similarly vulnerable to other fallacies and impediments. In my case, it's never really about others' approval. And it's not about that person—or fear, object, insecurity, obstacle, you name it—that’s preventing you from executing God’s prompting. Indeed, whatever holds us back now will later be replaced with something else if the condition of our hearts remains unaddressed.    

I fear you can identify with me. And I fear that you’ve similarly failed to address the fallacy underlying whatever it is that impedes your obedience in Christ. I pray Christ unveils whatever fallacy anchors our spiritual paralysis. I pray we have courage to dig deep and address it. I pray we trust wherever God is leading us will abundantly overshadow the fallacy that confines us.

Praise the Lord that we are free from the trap.

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  Psalm 51:10.

“Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.” Psalm 31:4.

Here's to you, my friends. It's been too long.

Much love to you,