Friday, December 30, 2005

Stuck on a theme

About pursuing Jesus. Taking a walk today under a deep blue sky and a golden sun, I thought how we spend time with God so much out of duty. Ok, well, I do. I don't mean to, but I'll spend time in prayer and the Word then sorta be like, "That's done. I don't have to feel guilty."

Sad. We so easily get into a religious rut. Or feel if we spend time with Jesus, all should go well. And if we don't, look out. What a crock. God is good all the time, faithful even when we are not. On the good days and the bad.

So, how do we get out of the "quiet time/devotional" mind set? It's so duty oriented and well, religious. Twenty five years ago I read Brother Lawrence's "Practicing The Presence of God" and it impacted me then, and all these years later, I still feel on the other side of his philosophy. Basically, Jesus is with us all the time and we can fellowship with Him any time we want.

Colossians 1:27 says that's this is mystery of the ages, Christ in us, the Hope of Glory!

It's not about spending 15 minutes reading through a devo book, or 30 minutes reading the Word, it's about a heart connect. And as He fans the fading flames of my heart, I want to spend time with Him. Then as I go about my daily tasks, I'm aware of His presence. Of His hand on my heart.

Look, I'm a start-in-the-flesh-and-end-in-the-Spirit if need be. I do honestly believe we have to set apart time to spend with the Lord or it won't happen. And the only way to go deeper, to swim in the River of Life is to BE. Eating of the Tree of Life is a planned, determined pursuit.

Yet, we cannot boast in our schedule or our regular times of prayer and fasting. Then THAT becomes our source and not Him. We are so quick to go to the rules and not the Ruler.

Why am I on this? Cause a lot is happening in the world. And I do not want to be offended at God when it all comes down. When more and more of His judgements are unleased on the earth. I do not want my heart to grow cold. The Bible is clear. End time judgements will cause the nations to rage against the Lamb. Think about it. The Tsunami, the wave of hurricanes. The Iraqi War. The Civil War of Ideas going on in our nation right now. All could very well speak of judgements. Judgements designed to grab our attention and bring the prodigals home and cause the wicked to repent.

You ask how could a good God do such things? Simple. He sacrificed His own Son for us. Such a great sacrifice deserves such a great wrath against those who refuse to surrender to Love. Think about it. What if you gave up your kid for the salvation of, say, your neighbors. Never mind the entire human race. And when it came time for you neighbors to accept the price of the sacrifice, they scoffed and said, "Naw, we got a better way. Your kid didn't do anything for us." Off they go, on their own way. Imagine the movements of your heart. First, you would say, "Please, please accept while there's time."

But then, eventually, if they neglect so great a salvation, they have to pay the price with their own life.

So, we pursue Him because His love is immeasureable, never ending, unconditional. Our cold, weak human hearts need His fire. We want to endure to the end. And it begins now. Today.


Heather Diane Tipton said...

wow great post Rach!

Ame said...

I love the way you wrote out the personalization of, "what if it were my kid." That really struck me . . . thanks :)

Robin Caroll said...

Thoughtful and insightful, girl! Thanks for sharing!

Scott said...

Just got back from vacation today, and I want to say, keep talking Rachel. Keep talking.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

Praying for a very blessed and prosperous 2006 for you and your family!

Audra said...

This was such an awesome post and a good reminder of some lessons I've been learning this past year. Keep writing!

Ame said...

Hey, Rachel . . . this has continued to resonate around in my heart, and I thought I'd share with you some of what I saw in Jeremiah this weekend. In 20:9 Jeremiah says, "But if I say,'I will not mention Him or speak any more in His Name,' His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot." Jeremiah's taking on some really bad stuff for obeying God here, and it hurts, and he feels God deceived him (v7), and he wants to stop so he doesn't hurt anymore, but he can't! God's Word is burning in him like a fire shut up in his bones that must get out! And he chooses to obey God because he must!

In 26:12-15, "Then Jeremiah said to all the officials and all the people: 'The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the things you have heard. Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the Lord your God. Then the Lord will relent and not bring the disaster He has pronounced against you. As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right. Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.'"

And Jeremiah has stopped fighting against what God has called him to do. He is obeying God, now, out of devotion. Not because he must, but because it's who he is. And he is so peaceful that he willingly lays his life at the feet of these people for the sake of God.

That's what I want for my heart. I may never be in a situation even similar to Jeremiah's, but I want to give up fighting God's desires and plans for me, and I want to devotedly lay my life at His feet, whatever the cost.

Cassie Campbell said...

Really loved what you had to say!! Great articulation on such a hard subject-judgement-(especially in our American mindset). Love you!!