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 (April 2008):
Whatever our situation in life --- butcher, baker, candlestick maker --- our deepest and most pressing need is to learn to walk with God. To hear his voice. To follow him intimately.
God created us for intimate fellowship with himself and in doing so he established the goal of our existence --- to know him, love him, and live our lives in an intimate relationship with him.
Why would God give you a book of exceptions? This is how I used to relate to my people, but I don’t do that anymore. What good would a book of exceptions do you?... No, the Bible is a book of examples of what it looks like to walk with God.
God has something in mind. He is deeply and personally committed to restoring humanity. Restoring you. He had a specific man or woman in mind when he made you. By bringing you back to himself through the work of Jesus Christ, he has established relationship with you.
We are invited to become followers of Jesus. Not just believers. Followers. There is a difference.
Follower assumes that someone else is doing the leading…The Bible invites us to an intimacy with God that will lead us to the life we are meant to live. If we follow him.
What would it be like to yield to Christ in the details of our lives? What would it be like to follow his counsel and instruction in all the small decisions that add up to the life we find ourselves living? It would be . . . amazing.
There is no more decisive issue when it comes to hearing the voice of God than the issue of surrender. Which is beautiful, really. We are drawn to God in search of guidance, but we come away with a deeper holiness because we are learning surrender.
God speaks to us through the Bible. And what is said there has more authority than anything else in our lives. It is the bedrock of our faith, the test of all things, a living connection to the heart and mind of God --- when we approach it with the help of the Spirit of God.
…the more we know the Scriptures and, the more they become a part of us, the more we’ll find that we can walk with God. Having spent a good deal of time in the Word of God, you’ll give the Holy Spirit a library within you to draw upon.
Because we do have relationship with God secured for us by Jesus Christ and all he has done, we can now grow in developing that relationship. We can, on the basis of what is objectively true, move into an experience of God in our lives that deepens over time.
Taking the journey toward an intimacy with God that includes conversational intimacy is a beautiful thing, full of surprises and gifts from him.
This is how he honors us. When God created each of us, he gave us a will, and that beautiful and mysterious inner life we call the soul. Just as you would want to give your growing [child] room to make [their] own decisions, God steps back a bit to let us make ours.
When I choose to avoid whatever it is God has brought up, something in me weakens. Something feels compromised. It is at least a refusal to mature. But it also feels like a refusal to step toward God.
When I choose to face the uncertain, admit the neglect, or enter into my fears, something in me grows up a little bit. I feel strengthened. The scales tip toward a closer walk with God.
So, how do we walk with God in the day to day, the moment? We go with it. As it is unfolding. That is the only way to have any real relationship with Jesus Christ.
Gods wants us to be happy but he knows that we cannot be truly happy until we are completely his and until he is our all. And the weaning process is hard.
We give our hearts over to so many things other than God...Especially the very gifts that he himself gives to us --- they become more important to us than he is...As long as our happiness is tied to other things we can lose, we are vulnerable.
God is asking us to let go of the things we love and have given our hearts to, so that we can give our hearts even more fully to him.
We cannot enjoy the fellowship of God, or his protection, or all the benefits of his kingdom unless we remain in him --- that is, live in him --- in our day-to-day lives.
As Christians we don’t get to live a “normal” life, and accepting that fact in all the details of our lives is what allows us to remain in Jesus.
To ask is an act of holiness, because we are seeking to follow our Shepherd. To live by faith in him. Then we are faced with the choice to obey what we hear, and our holiness is deepened.
In learning to hear the voice of God, one thing is certain --- if you cannot hear a “no,” you will have a hard time hearing God at all or believing that what you think you’ve heard is in fact from God.
This is crucial --- hearing God requires surrender, giving all things over into his hands. Not abandoning your desires, but yielding them to God.
When it comes to our faith, we have to be careful that our earnest hope and desire don’t cause us to claim a promise God has not given.
…accept the grace of God when it comes. It is a gift, and if he’s giving it, it must be all right to receive it.
As I yield and repent and give over even my personality to God, the lines of communication are opened up. We grow closer.
Inner healing might be described as sanctifying the past, inviting Jesus back into events, times, places, and relationships, because for one reason or another he was not invited in at the time. I love that thought --- sanctifying the past.
How many precious things do we let go … or we assume we know what’s best or inevitable, and we don’t even stop to ask God? We need to stop and ask --- especially when it seems like giving up some joy is inevitable. God might not agree.
Don’t surrender this treasure of intimacy with God just because it can get messy. Walk with God --- wisdom and revelation --- all the while seeking holiness we know he is after.