here’s the irony: my obsession
with being my own person is what divorces me
from becoming my true, authentic self.
Let me weep and dance before your throne
as undignified and unashamed as David,
with a naked heart,
a wild tongue,
and earthy desires.
Break the chains of my respectable tidy language,
set loose my awe and my squirrelly playfulness.
I need the freedom and humility
to cry in your arms,
and the courage
to shout your praise.
Previous Devotionals (January 2005):
From the file entitled "It Ain't Gonna Happen," I pull and pose this suggestion. Let's make Christ's command a federal law. Everyone has to make God's love his or her home.
How well do you pass the vine test? Do you ever release yourself from Christ's love? Go unnourished? Do you ever stop drinking from his reservoir? Do so at the certain risk of a parched heart. Do so and expect a roundworm existence.
Hang on to Christ the same way a branch clutches the vine. According to Jesus, the branch models his definition of abiding.
The dimensions of God's love are different too. You've lived a life in a house of imperfect love. You think God is going to cut you as the coach did, or abandon you as your father did, or judge you as religion did, or curse you as your friend did. He won't, but it takes time to be convinced.
To abide in Christ's love is to make his love your home. Not a roadside park or hotel room you occasionally visit, but your preferred dwelling. You rest in him. Eat in him. When thunder claps, you step beneath his roof. His walls secure you from the winds. His fireplace warms you from the winters of life.
The definitive, God-sanctioned gauge is not a good day or a bad break but the dying hours of his Son. Consider them often.
Don't you need a fountain of love that won't run dry? You'll find one on a stone-cropped hill outside Jerusalem's walls where Jesus hangs, cross-nailed and thorn-crowned.
If your actions altered his devotion, then God would not be love; indeed he would be human, for this is human love.
You don't influence God's love. You can't impact the treeness of a tree, the skyness of the sky, or the rockness of a rock. Nor can you affect the love of God.
One word into the passage reveals the supreme surprise of God's loveit has nothing to do with you. Others love you because of you, because your dimples dip when you smile or your rhetoric charms when you flirt. Some people love you because of you. Not God. He loves you because he is he.
God is directing your steps and delighting in every detail of your life (Ps. 37:2324). Doesn't matter who you are. Potbellied pig or prized purebred? God sees no difference. But he does see you.
Look up reliability in heaven's dictionary and read its one-word definition: God. "If we are faithless he always remains faithful. He cannot deny his own nature" (2 Tim. 2:13 Phillips).
From how many winds is God protecting you? His wing, at this moment, shields you. A slanderous critic heading toward your desk is interrupted by a phone call. A burglar en route to your house has a flat tire. A drunk driver runs out of gas before your car passes his. God, your guardian, protects you.
Will God guard you? Is the pope Catholic? Your serenity matters to heaven. God's presence encapsulates your life. Separating you from evil is God, your guardian.
But what if you are not a believer? Do angels offer equal surveillance to God's enemies? No, they don't. The promise of angelic protection is limited to those who trust God.
If God opened our eyes, what would we see? Moms and dads, you'd see angels escorting your child to school. Travelers, you'd see angels encircling the aircraft. Patients, you'd see angels monitoring the moves of the surgeon. Teenagers, you'd see angels overseeing your sleep.
Has your face missed the angels? With over three hundred scriptural references, these celestial servants occupy an unquestioned role in the Bible. If you believe in God's Word, you've got to believe in angels.
Are you tied up in knots? "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:7 niv). Strong verb there. Cast. Not place, lay, or occasionally offer....An authoritative hand on the collar, another on the belt, and a "Don't come back." Do the same with your fears. Get serious with them. Immediately cast them upon God.
Worry changes nothing. You don't add one day to your life or one bit of life to your day by worrying. Your anxiety earns you heartburn, nothing more.
Are you called to endure a Gethsemane season?
If so, then come thirsty and drink deeply from his lordship. He authors all itineraries. He knows what is best. No struggle will come your way apart from his purpose, presence, and permission.
None of us pray as much as we should, but all of us pray more than we think, because the Holy Spirit turns our sighs into petitions and tears into entreaties. He speaks for you and protects you. He makes sure you get heard. He makes sure you get home.
Christ did not give you a car and tell you to push it. He didn't even give you a car and tell you to drive it. You know what he did? He threw open the passenger door, invited you to take a seat, and told you to buckle up for the adventure of your life.
What image best describes your heart? A water-drenched kid dancing in front of an open fire hydrant? Or a bristled desert tumbleweed? Here is how you know. One question. Does God's grace define you? Deeply flowing grace clarifies, once and for all, who we are.
Grace defines you....You know you aren't who they say you are. You are who God says you are. Spiritually alive. Heavenly positioned. Connected to the Father. A billboard of mercy. An honored child.
A Prayer for the Thirsty Heart:
Lord, I come thirsty. I come to drink, to receive. I receive your work on the cross and in your resurrection. My sins are pardoned, and my death is defeated. I receive your energy. Empowered by your Holy Spirit, I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength. I receive your lordship. I belong to you. Nothing comes to me that hasn't passed through you. And I receive your love. Nothing can separate me from your love.
What H2O can do for your body, Jesus can do for your heart. Lubricate it. Aquify it. Soften what is crusty, flush what is rusty.
Deprive your body of necessary fluid, and your body will tell you.
Deprive your soul of spiritual water, and your soul will tell you.... Treat your soul as you treat your thirst. Take a gulp. Imbibe moisture. Flood your heart with a good swallow of water.