Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Practice the Presence

At times we all have difficulty discerning the will of God. In the book of Acts the Apostle Paul wanted to venture into Macedonia to spread the gospel. It would have been of great benefit but the time wasn't right and the Spirit of God told him so. Paul's heart was in tune with the Spirit and he knew that he had to wait. Paul and others walked in such harmony with the Spirit that His guidance was relied upon. The Holy Spirit is our friend and counselor and He is commited to guiding us. A monk by the name of Brother Lawrence wrote a beautiful little book a few hundred years ago, Practicing the Presence. He described how he rested in the Spirit even in the mundane work of peeling potatoes.

Timothy tells us that all scripture is inspired and is profitable for teaching us in our daily walk and decision making. As christians there are things that we know will harm our walk and witness. There are issues, many of them social, when things aren't so clear. It is when things aren't clear that I have made many mistakes. The lack of prayer and searching and meditating on scripture has led me and a few others down the path of mistakes and bruises. I am learning to stay so close to the Father that my bruises might become less and smaller.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A wrong position

The chisel found my knee. I had taken a wrong position over the massive red oak log. In less than a hundredth of a second the razor sharp carving tool slipped through the hard and sinewy fibers of the log and into my knee. I looked and saw the cleanly sliced hole in the knee of my jeans and the unwanted red stain beginning to grow. Being the former first aid instructor, I applied direct pressure and headed for the house. The walk from the barn to the house didn't help much.

After a little verbal sparring with my wife and the nurse daughter, three butterfly bandages close the wound. I promised to go to the clinic if a red streak went from my knee to my brain or lock jaw set in, only kidding. I will probably get the shot today.

My point is simple; how many of us have wounds because of a wrong position? My knee will be fine in a couple of days, hearts don't heal so quickly. Be careful of the positions you take.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Certainty Uncertain

Oswald Chambers speaks about certainty and its counterpart, uncertainty. He says we should be certain of our union with Christ. Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that our life is hid in God because of Jesus. Uncertainty comes as we wait for the Spirit to guide us and bring to us His opportunities to touch eternal things. That part, the living in uncertainty, is what drives me crazy. I want to know the plan, how things are supposed to be. I want to know what God wants from me today and tomorrow. I have struggled for three years now trying to reconcile God's plan with my disability. My calling is to communicate the message of Christ. For thirty five years I did that through full time ministry, preaching and teaching the wonders of the cross.

I don't believe the Lord changed His calling on my life. Right now I am living in the uncertainty of trying to be faithful to His dear Spirit that keeps burning inside of me. Of this I am certain; Christ died for me, the power of the Spirit raised Him from the dead for me, His presence is alive in my life. I guess that is what I need to be certain of. How He wants to accomplish His work in my life is my uncertainty. I love the certainty and will learn to trust in the uncertainty.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Knowing and Knowledge

The Apostle Paul talked to his friends at Phillipi about knowledge and knowing relative to God. He reminded them that he was highly educated when it came to the Old Testament and following the various rules of religious life. His knowledge and zeal for God were unsurpassed and his credentials in the religious circles of his day were beyond doubt. Yet, in spite of all of that knowledge and the sheepskin on his wall he counted it as garbage in comparrison to Knowing Jesus Christ in deep intimate relationship.

Knowing about our faith is important. Knowing the credes and doctrines of our faith is also important as is even knowing The Lord's Prayer. But, all of those pieces of knowledge will get you no closer to the heart of God. God has been showing me the futility and vanity of knowledge if I am not in communion and union with Him and Jesus His Son. There is a big difference in the knowledge about God and union with Him. Those who are abandoned to Him, who know that He is our life, our breath, our very life is hid with Him in Christ. He is busy refining us as by fire. As we walk and move in Him He is showing us through His Spirit what needs to be burnt away. Burnt away so the precious life of Christ will shine even brighter.