Posts Tagged ‘King’

Intimacy with God grows as we are obedient. When we discern His voice, confirm it with the Word, recognize the affirmation in our spirit, and do what He says, we take a step in maturity.  Much of what He asks of us will either align with loving Him with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength or loving our neighbors as ourselves.

I once thought this meant a lot of hard work – hours scouring the Word, knees raw from prolonged prayer, exhaustion from tackling every opportunity of service to others. In my exuberance I was the energizer bunny Christian rushing here and there doing everything that I imagined a good follower of Jesus might do.  There were many spiritual high points and I am confident that along the way the Father has taken my offering and used it in furthering His purpose.  But I also see I have sometimes bowled over people, stepped on toes and generally left a wake of damage that I did not intend.

So if hard work was not sufficient to ensure godly growth, what are we to do?  The answer is that we begin by focusing less on doing, at least at first, and we seek to be who God created us and saved us to be – His beloved child.  Like an infant, our growth is a process that is best measured in gradual milestones.  The first step in a child’s development is the recognition and bonding of the child to the parent.  Developing the connection and deepening the familial bond is our first priority.  While this will last our entire life, it is our most important task when we first begin to follow Jesus.  In the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Galatians we learn that Paul, one of the most learned of men, headed into the wilderness of Arabia for an extended period immediately after his conversion before launching into full time ministry.  We do well to emulate his progression of seeking God’s face and guidance before jumping into “doing” for the Lord.

In time the child begins to communicate.  Again their primary source of communication is with their parents. Long before the child can begin to verbalize their own thoughts into words, their parents are talking to them, singing to them, reading to them. Our Father God is doing the same with us.  He loves us and He communicates that love in myriad ways.  This past weekend as I finally decided to rise from a particularly restless night, the Lord whispered in my spirit, “Come let me kiss you.” As I slipped into the front room of our house and the warm rays of the early dawn struck my face, I knew my Father was kissing me, His presence overwhelmed me, and it was good beyond description.  As I sit on this plane between two passengers absorbed in their own world, I can still feel the Father’s touch.  I know He is with me.  I know He loves me.  Oh, I am a fortunate and blessed man!

As I basked in the Father’s touch He spoke to me many things. Some were very personal and I don’t need to share those now except to say, He knows us intimately and He will speak to us intimately as we choose to make Him our Lord and the center of our being.  The one thing that He spoke that I recognized as for this blog was His call to obedience.

Continuing the metaphor of a child to parent, as we continue to grow in the Lord, we will be given increasing responsibility.  God will continue to pour into us His life, His light, His wisdom, and His heart.  As these become established in us, His vision and His call arise. There is a universal aspect of His call – reach the lost, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, encourage the down-hearted.  But in our growing intimacy He will be specific with us: the co-worker that the Lord brings to mind repeatedly, the message that powerfully reminds us of a particular need that we can meet, the phone call that comes when you are praying, “Lord use me.”

Response to the universal call is a good thing.  Response to our specific call is the best thing.  As I write this a picture comes to mind.  The Grinch provides an excellent illustration.  He had stolen every single bit the outward manifestation of Christmas from the Who’s.  Yet when he heard the Who’s still singing their joyful Christmas songs, he recognized the reason we celebrate is so much bigger than the gifts and food.   It is the reason for the season – Jesus.  His undersized heart grew 3X at that moment and he responded in abundant measure.  This same thing happens to us.  When, in our intimacy with the Father, He speaks and we enthusiastically receive and respond, our heart grows.  We are blessed as much or perhaps even more than those God has prompted us to love.

Today I encourage you to go deep with God.  Let His love embrace you.  Listen to His whispered words of love and let them wrap around you and fill you.  As you snuggle into His embrace, listen for your next step.  His call is a life in Him and with Him.  As you grow He will give you ”kingdom tasks” to accomplish IN HIM.  He is the King as well as our Father.  As such we are princes and princesses of the kingdom, living and working under our Father’s authority.  That is our blessed privilege.  Our growth and our Father’s favor are the fruit of our obedience.

Have a blessed day my friend as you live in intimacy with the Lord and walk in faithful obedience.

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Worship 1

It was an awesome weekend of worship. The band from our church had a Night of Worship on Saturday in conjunction with the release of their latest worship CD. The 14 songs on the album are all original from different members of our church and performed by the band including members across the five campus’. The style is in the same vein as Chris Tomlin and the focus is upon our great God. If you get a chance look up the “No Other Name” album by the NewSpring Band.

Mentioning the night of worship makes me think of what worship is. As many of you know my occupation is as a Reliability Manager. I help my company’s plants understand what is necessary for the plants to run more consistently, producing product at a lower price by having the equipment do what it is supposed to do, when it is supposed to do it. One of the biggest tasks I have is to convince people that reliability isn’t just what maintenance does when the equipment breaks down. Reliability is all the activities, behaviors, and culture that have any impact upon the health and care of the equipment. Yet most persons have a very narrow view of reliability. The same is often true of the word Worship. In many cases we look at it as the time we sing praise songs. In other cases we may expand that view and encompass when we go to church. Even more progressive thinking would broaden that to say we worship when we are intentional to serving others in Christ’s name. I believe this is a fairly accurate definition although I see another level of worship that I believe we can and should aspire to and that is having the mind of Christ.

We are called to live “in Christ”. We are told to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We are children of the King. All of these show our reality, yet so much of the time we don’t receive, perceive, or feel these truths. In many cases we can experience a nearness to God that lasts until we walk out the door of the church, or until the first trial trips us up and then we seem to fall back into turbulent ways of the world.  For me it is usually a gradual losing focus that gets my eyes off of the reality of living in Christ and onto whatever task or challenge I am up against.  A great Sunday service, a true Sabbath rest, solid praise music in my car radio can all help me maintain focus a while longer, but like a water bladder that has a pinhole leak, over time I lose that sense of joy and Christ-centered focus that buoys me above the fray and gives me such sharp focus.

I have had seasons in my life where this pattern has been broken and I experienced an extended time of divine joy.  Last year during Lent was one of those times.  As I look back at that time I see a few reasons which I will briefly mention and then I will go into greater detail in the coming posts.  1) I was committed to being obedient to a task that I know the Lord asked me to do.  2) I had other believing friends who joined with me in prayer.  3) The Lord by His Holy Spirit moved in situations and circumstances to make His presence clearly seen.  4) We were intentional about seeking and doing whatever the Lord asked us to do during this season.

It is my intention to have a Lenten discipline again this year that draws me closer to the Father.  However after Lent last year I relaxed and I know that was a mistake.  I am asking for the Lord’s guidance now on both the Lenten discipline and the follow up.  He is faithful and I am asking that He do whatever He needs to in me to grow my faith.  Won’t you join me?  To God be the Glory!

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