Monday, April 20, 2009

Ask and keep on asking...

Jesus teaches that we are to ask and keep on asking, knock and keep on knocking, seek and keep on seeking...when did we stop? The last two weeks I have had three conversations, all with young women from 19 to late 20's, and they have asked a ton of questions. I have felt alive and awakened by their process of thought, their persistence in seeking, and their interpretation of life. It has been eye opening, stimulating and challenging. Simple questions that I take for granted like what is Good Friday and Easter, isn't it just a holiday? To actually simply deep questions, "What is all that singing in church about?" To the complex, "I heard preached at another church that we are made in Adam's likeness, is this true?"

Questions stir the thoughts and soul of the person we are asking. I was touched and moved that in my own circle of influence there are people that do not know the Gospel. I was challenged to theologically and scripturally explain that our identity is in Christ, for those that Believe...we no longer have the identity of "sinner", but are now children of God, co-heirs with Christ, adopted, sealed with the Holy Spirit, we are the Body of is no longer we who live, but Christ alive within each of us!

Questions evoked passion in me as I realized the responsibility we have been given to truly spread the Gospel in our own back yard. I was jolted by the reality that the truths I take for granted are not even on the radar of this generation or world today. Have I fallen into the "cage" of Christian Country Clubs? (Listen to Pastor Tony Wood's sermon at Crossroads 4/19...awesome!)

As Jesus teaches us to ask and keep asking, do our questions also evoke and stir the heart and passion of God? What are you asking? So often we think of asking God for the things we need, or we ask Him why... But what questions could you or I ask Almighty God that would stir Him, move Him, and bring out something amazing in Him, just as these beautiful young women have brought out in me?

Lord...teach us to ask...You are the God of the universe, what would stir you, move you, impassion you, and excite you to be asked?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Caught off Guard

God sneaks up on us at times when we least expect it. This week I have experienced His intervention in so many ways, and so many situations. There has been no doubt that God is working all around me, and I have loved all the sweet surprises, confirmations, and loving touches. I have been gently soaring on His wings of grace all week and truly loving how God works...and then it happened, I was totally not prepared for the way He was going to move next. My guard was down.

I was in our Good Friday service when precious little Taylor began to sing. The song is about a little girls perspective with her daddy as she watched Jesus go to be crucified. At one point at the end of the song, Father God is speaking and says something like..."Look at that little girl trembling, this is why you have to die". Why would God do this to me in the middle of the service? It took me right back to a very traumatic time in my life where I was a trembling little girl being misused and mistreated, and that sentence of the song spoke right to her.

It is because of the evil in man, the darkness of soul, the emptiness of spirit that brings us to places of trembling that Jesus had to die. With my heart undone, tears running down my face, I was so grateful for God's forsight to see that I would be trembling under the tyranny of darkness and would so desparately need a Savior.

In moments when we least expect it, God goes deep, to our core, to our darkness and brings His powerful light. It might undo you, it might blind you for a moment, it might even catch you off guard...but in those moments His prevailing love rescues us yet again.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Surrendered Friend

Have you ever experienced humility, true humility...the kind that leaves you knowing you have been in the presence of God? I have a dear friend that has wrestled with herself for months. God has joined in on the wrestling and together the process of stripping of self began. It looks different for all of us. The time it lasts depends on our determination to stay in the process with God until He is done. It has happened to me many times...I guess the more pride, the more stripping opportunities God has in our lives! So He has His work cut out with me...but back to my friend...
It is painful when you are going through it personally, but I have never felt so helpless as to watch someone I love so much struggling and battling thoughts, feelings, and perspectives that God was trying to change. All I could do is pray...
The day came when I felt like I was truly on Holy Ground. We met together in the park at her request, I listened and I began to watch as Jesus took over. The months of pain and struggle brought forth a selfless act of complete surrender on her part. She gave away something that has been a part of her life for a very long time, something that is so dear to her, and something that has allowed her to serve in a mighty way. But the final result of her battle, was to surrender to God something dear to her heart into His hands. From that moment on, she has had a new freedom and peace...and she has continued to be a great blessing in my life with her words and kindness in spite of her own stripping.
To experience the moment when someone is letting go out of surrender to God and walking in obedience to Him was truly a Holy Ground moment. I realize that we miss these opportunities with each other for two reasons:
1. Do we hang in the fight and wrestle with God until His process of transformation is complete for that moment or season or thing?
2. Do we let ourselves get close enough, and vulnerable enough with another person to share that moment with?

I have gained more as I have experienced this process with her than if she had kept it to herself. It was difficult at times, and we have had to get honest about ourselves and our friendship in the process, but the richer I am for it. Holy Ground moments...Surrender Shared. Thank you friend.