What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately (Part IV)…
Greetings My Friends~
As a humble pilgrim following Jesus through the rainforests and deserts of this earthly life, I would like to humbly share some of what God has been bubbling up in my mind/heart lately.
I pray that these thoughts are cushions in your shoes, balm to your burns, umbrellas for the rain, and shade to the scorching heat as you too follow the Lord Jesus each day.
(please click on the Bible passages below to read the full text)
(October 23rd, 2012)
I. On Fulfilling God’s Mission For Us On Earth
Some have rightfully (though often sarcastically) asked,
“If you Christians are so sure you’re going to heaven, why not end it all now and go there today!?”
We often might want to take such a course, but we don’t because our role is now to pass out His invitations to all who have been invited, to all those loved unconditionally by God.
We live out our terms on earth in deep spiritual thirst (though heaven’s waters are always just a moment away) because we are to pass out cups of His Living Water to other souls more desperately in need than ourselves (I say others are more in need not because they are worse sinners than us but because their dehydration is so deep that they don’t yet even realize how thirsty they are):
-we are weary marathon runners handing out water to those jeering on the sideline;
-we are bullet-riddled soldiers polishing the boots of our enemies;
-we are homeless nomads building palaces for those living in mansions;
-we are famished waiters/waitresses serving the Bread of Life to those in need.
We will also sit down at the Feast, but not until all those invited have eaten first.
The restaurant staff eats only after the customers have had their fill and the doors have closed for the night…
Let’s taste and see that the LORD is good, and then let’s invite others to the Banquet with some “buy none get one free” coupons…
II. On True Freedom (Living As Slaves Of God Or Slaves Of Our Desires)
Freedom (from God) can itself be a type of bondage: the temporary nature of sin forces us to continue pushing the envelope with greater risks for diminishing results (less pleasure). We are thus like greyhounds kept in cages and released to chase a rabbit we cannot catch and would not enjoy even if we could.
On the other hand and in keeping with the greyhound analogy, God invites us to be His family’s treasured pet with full-run of the house and property within the reasonable and generous confines of an invisible protective electric fence.
III. Happiness And Joy
Happiness is a pleasurable feeling based on outer circumstances;
it is by nature changeable and as difficult to grasp/hold as a handful of water.
Joy, on the other hand, is a pleasurable knowledge based on inner trust in cosmic Truth;
it is by nature unchangeable and can become as much an inseparable part of us as our fingerprints and dna.
God attracts us to digest the meal of eternal joy through the scent of temporary happiness.
IV. God Is Always With Us
The crisp cool breeze against my freshly shaved face reminds me that God provides balm for the burns of this life.
V. On Grace
I have been following Jesus for nearly 13 years now and just recently realized that I’ve been acting lately like a spiritual teenager: I have forgotten where I came from—what I learned at the beginning and received with wide-eyed wonder.
I have replaced soaking in God’s unearnable love for me with a forceful striving after the next horizon of personal growth to show God that I am worthy of His love. In my unquenchable thirst to be a spiritual adult I have forgotten Jesus’ words that the only ones who will enter heaven are those who receive Him like a spiritual child.
VI. Why Are We Here? To Worship God And Enjoy Him Forever…
“In God there is no hunger that needs to be filled, only plenteousness [abundance] that desires to give” (CS Lewis).
This is precisely why God made humans: He wanted to make a creature similar to Himself (in many ways) who would be able to enjoy Him forever. God made us so He could share Himself with us, like a world class chef creating hungry customers simply so they could enjoy a free five star meal that never ends.
VII. Let Go And Let God…
For many years I have struggled with the phrase, “Let go and let God,” mainly because I have understood its message to simply be, “Stop caring [being invested in] the outcome of whatever/whomever you are worried about—that’s the only way to be safe/protect your heart.”
But that is not in fact what the phrase means. By “letting go and letting God,” we are not to stop caring, but rather, to start trusting that God cares more about that person/situation than we do.
We are not to “let go” by ceasing to actively love someone, but rather by realizing that God actively loves them more than we ever will (and thus to allow that knowledge of God’s greater activity and love to stop us from thinking that our effort is necessary for the outcome that we desire).
In other words, to “let go and let God” is not to stop flying towards the destination, but instead to stop flapping our wings and to start soaring on the currents of air that God provides for us…
VIII. On God Adopting Us Into His Family
One rightfully earns a diploma for past work and accomplishment.
On the other hand, one receives a job/title for the hope/expectation of future achievement without any past or present evidence of tangible success in the specific role itself.
Becoming a Christian, therefore, is not like earning a diploma (there is NOTHING in our past that deserves such an honor!) but rather like receiving a promotion: our Divine Employer teaches us over time how to become in practice that which we already are in name…