A different time

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Hi ya’ll! Sorry for being awol. I have been taking some time to do some cleaning and decluttering of the content of the blog going back to the earliest posts, working my way forward. I’m not finished with that, but as we have moved through Spring and into Summer (times of the year that generally mean a little more energy and a little less pain) I have shifted to doing the same with my house. My husband commented the other day that it reminded him of when we were expecting our babies and I would go into nesting mode. I do feel a sense of needing to get “my house in order” across the board. I have enjoyed immersing into good preaching while I work, getting spiritual nourishment that I have been in need of.

I confess that my focus and priorities have strayed. It gives me that much more admiration for all those that work in a watchman ministry or capacity. It is easy to burn out. In sorting through past posts, tracking down articles and posts that were shared (reblogged) from other blogs, I realized how many of those ministries and blogs are no longer in service. I can relate to what I assume was a sense of  futility, or that the bloggers began to question if perhaps their efforts could be better spent in a  different ministry or even just a greater personal pursuit in growing their own relationship with the Lord.

It’s a time of shifting sands, isn’t it? But for us, the foundation is sure.  It isn’t outside the realm of possibility that some works for the Lord are seasonal, in that the time for it comes to a close, and the Lord moves you on to the next thing. I am not sure which this is, for me. I trust that the Lord will make it clear.

What news is reported and passed along by those watching for the return of the Lord, grows bleaker by the day. We all know that is no mere trend, not an ebbing then flowing tide, but more like a global “flood” in it’s implications.

Those looking for the return of Jesus, know, and those not looking don’t want to know, and that category includes both unbelievers and believers that will not see what they don’t want to be true, that is, that we are essentially out of time. The comparison to the sinking Titanic is unavoidable, from my perspective. Some will panic. Some will run to the lifeboats. Some will see it their duty to ensure the safety of others first, and then there are the musicians who decide to go down just continuing to exercise their gift doing whatever it may be that they already do in kingdom work, through the mileieu of the final moments right up to the end, finishing the individual courses God set before them.

Our Saviour is good. This moment is solumn.  For me, it feels like a time to be quiet, a time to pause and fortify spiritually and ask the Lord to re-fill and, if necessary re-calibrate or redirect, or if need be,  just return me to whatever place I might have gotten off His intended path.

We don’t know how long the final moments will be. God’s days, minutes, and hours are not the same as ours. A God who reversed the sun in it’s course can do things with time that we can’t fathom, but He is coming for us, and His mind is on us. We know that, and yet, do we really know and believe?

Have you ever come close to jumping into God’s hand? You know, like that trust exercise where a cluster of folks surround you, and you are instructed to fall, trusting that they will catch you? I have done it a time or two on a smallish scale, but I always end up wanting to keep open the option of jumping back out if things get scary. That’s all just part of growing and learning.

I can never fully grasp the principle that what God requires fom us, God supplies for us. Even though I have experienced it many many times. Through a glass darkly, right? I mean, the disciples saw Jesus calm the raging seas with a word, but a few nights later, they are terrified and think He is a ghost when they see Him walking toward them on the water in the midst of another stormy night of fishing. He had gone away apart from everyone to rest and pray. But even so, when His sheep were in trouble, He knew. He didn’t have a boat, so he walked to where they were, to comfort and reassure.

Sometimes when we are in the midst of obedience to something God wants us to do, we will be doing it, inexplicably, despite the impossibility of it, and in that instant of realization when we find we are “doing” something we know we aren’t capable of doing, our faith falters, and down we go. Just like Peter on the water that night. Yet Jesus was right there to save Peter from drowning. He gently rebuked His little faith, but in His heart, I imagine the Lord was pleased at Peter’s enthusiasm and eagerness to experience how the Lord’s sovereignty over the sea would effect him personally.

I imagine a parent coaxing a baby toward walking. The legs are clearly able to support the baby’s weight. He has probably been pulling himself up to a standing position for months. The connecting pathway between brain and muscle via nerves, are obviously intact, in good working order. The only thing holding baby back from walking is doubt. So we distract them, trying to get them to look at Mommy or Daddy, we manage to distract them from their fear, and that leg ventures toward the parent despite the fear, and he lets go, but the moment he realizes what he has done, “plop”! Back to the safety and stability of little hiney in direct contact with floor. Some kids take longer to work up that confidence. Some believers take longer to learn how to walk in the spirit and keep on walking in the spiriit, but  God doesn’t condemn them because He knows exactly the makeup of each of us. Any condemnation we perceive, is not coming from God. His yoke is easy.  I struggle both with unrealistic expectations, and at the other end of the spectrum, also with not always requiring of myself what I know I ought to do, and ought to do heartily as unto the Lord. It is nothing but pride (and perhaps some encroaching laziness?).

By nature, if I can’t do something as well as the next person, I don’t want to try it. I don’t want to fail, or look clumsy or inept. I have been that way as far back as I can remember. Unrealistic expectations. It isn’t rational to expect myself to be capable of doing something on first attempt, as well as someone who has done it ten or fifteen times. There have been other times when my confidence was running higher, and I didn’t let the possibility of failure stop me from trying.

I have lately felt, after several years of struggles, that maybe I deserve a chance to coast a while, to enjoy the peace and ease. It is permissible, sure. It may even be advisable to do so for a limited time, but I don’t want to let that go on indefinitely. There is a race to be finished. Is it a marathon, triathalon, 5k? Is my goal to win, place, or finish? Frankly, finishing seems the most I can realistically hope for. It is not a competition between me and others, though. It is a competition between new man and old flesh. Things have gotten out of order, cart before the horse. What I do ” for the Lord” counts for nothing if it gets above my relationship with the Lord.

Moderation. Self control. Self discipline. Too often and too long I kept going on what seemed like nothing but fumes. That’s because I have been slow to learn how the symbiotic relationship works between the believer and Holy Spirit. We tend to want to think it is mutualistic. In some ways, it can be, but not in the way we think. Mutualistic symbiosis happens when both “organisms” derive benefit from one another in their relationship. At the least we want to consider our relationship with the Lord  to be commensalistic, that is when one side benefits, and the other side doesn’t really benefit, but is not harmed either. The non-benefitting side basically can afford to contribute without compensation.  But really, if you think about it, our relationship with the Lord is necessarily parasitic. What can we offer Him? He is all-sufficient, and He gave His son as a sacrifice to redeem us. However, He and His son, and the Holy Spirit are infinitely sufficient in their triune being. Does God derive benefit from His relationship with us? Well, He created us for fellowship with Him so that He could direct the love (that His nature is consists of), toward many sons and daughters. A family. I think that is what this period is about for me. Perspective. Sometimes that is the thing that needs a check-up the worst.

To the extent we fellowship with Him, He derives pleasure, and though our love is like a clump of coal compared to His love that is like diamonds, He is moved by our love and desire to fellowship and worship, and our need of Him.

That highlights an important principle. God doesn’t “need us” to work for Him, He allows us to. He allows it so He can reward us. We didn’t always see the true intent and purpose of things our parents and other authorities required of us growing up. We have even less insight into what God asks of us or offers.

Perspective is essential for joy, and the joy of the Lord is our strength.  I am taking time to ask the Lord to deal with me, lead me, and give me proper perspective for the present moment, and to ask His will, going forward for whatever time is left, as to how to best serve Him.

I am asking that He renew and refresh, or release and redirect. I want to be in His will, even if I have spankings coming.

 

 

 

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