Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Foundation of Love

God, what will it take to reinforce the truth to me?  I keep trying to be a doer instead of getting the foundations correct.  The foundation is love.  The foundation is rest and believing Jesus.  The foundation is faith which is received.  If I could just KNOW that and stop succumbing to the temptation to DO because “it’s expected of me” or something.  I don’t live out of obligation.  On the contrary, I want to have sweet expectation of what YOU will do, and not me.  In the moment that I do something, I’ll know and it will flow freely as a consequence and result of  my faith.  I want to get this right Jesus, and not waste my life.  You go above and beyond towards me, and I can best go above and beyond towards you by RECEIVING Your good gifts.  You’ve told me over and over.  I feel spiritually right now like I did yesterday with the furniture I scratched up when I delivered it.  I’m told not to be too hard on myself, but I think, “How else will I learn?”  It was a stupid mistake that I knew better about, and the same here.

Where does the power of consistency come from?  I do not seem to walk in it very well at all.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Thorns-A Wise Reponse in Humility

The song I'm about to post the lyrics to explains the whole concept of thorns as figurative terminology (taken from Scripture) for those weaknesses we have which plague us. Nobody is without them. We usually seek to play on our strengths, and hide our weakness. I have many myself. My whole life, my first reaction toward my moments of weakness has been discouragement and giving up. At one point in my life, I thought it pleased God for me to be so hard on myself, and now I know different, although I have still been tempted to slip into that. It brings God no glory for us to rip ourselves apart.

I asked the Lord for the zillionth time yesterday about how to steward myself when I go through a season of consciousness regarding my weaknesses because I have come to realize that it will never go away forever on this side of Heaven. God told me for about the zillionth time since I've asked Him, "Nathan, do not beat yourself down and do not try to conjure up some great feeling of joy that isn't there. Avoid those extremes, and just allow the pain of it to humble you. That's all it's meant to do." When we allow these things that are like thorns in our side to humble us, great joy does result and they become like a gift from God.

Bitter thoughts became your every waking breath
Save the nights your hollow dreams revealed the sweet release of death
In your thoughts you played a symphony of self
But your soul had bled a darker song of close to nothing left

Oh, The deliverance of blade and flame, your love
And greater is the blood

You’ll find it in the veil of night where solitude is born
In the emptiness of broken flesh, at the mercy of the thorns
You’ll find it in the veil of night where solitude is born
In the emptiness of broken flesh, at the mercy of the thorns

Every line a path into an empty heart
Where the words of now forgotten love fall silent in the dark

Oh, The deliverance of blade and flame, your love
And greater is the blood

You’ll find it in the veil of night where solitude is born
In the emptiness of broken flesh, at the mercy of the thorns
You’ll find it in the veil of night where solitude is born
In the emptiness of broken flesh, at the mercy of the thorns

Sister, don’t you sleep through your own eulogy
Don’t sever what you are for what you couldn’t be

You’ll find it in the veil of night where solitude is born
In the emptiness of broken flesh, at the mercy of the thorns
You’ll find it in the veil of night where solitude is born
In the emptiness of broken flesh, at the mercy of the thorns

You’ll find it in the veil of night where solitude is born
In the emptiness of broken flesh, at the mercy of the thorns
You’ll find it in the veil of night where solitude is born
In the emptiness of broken flesh, at the mercy of the thorns

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Covenant

Covenant is a word that we are not often accustomed to these days, but it's a word which we must recover for the good of all. Covenant lies central to reality and true living. We do not conceive of this very much. Most of us conduct our lives in such a way that though we do not perceive this, because it lies at the fundamental level of our being and as such is in the subconscious since most of us are not sensitive to the level out of which we "be" in life. But, at this fundamental level for most of us is selfishness and really for all of us this is true, though a few find the way out of this destructive mode of living which is based on a fundamental lie. We live for our happiness and we arrogantly think that we are good and therefore somebody owes us something in life. Most of us go through our lives trying to get what we are "owed" whether we pursue it from God or from other people. Some of us pursue it by doing lots of good things for the world to better humanity and make a difference, but this selfishness still lies at the base of it, undetected by the common man.

In reality, life is a gift to us to enjoy, yes, but it's a TRUST. This life is a trust. We are owed nothing and actually we are all born into a great debt that we can never possibly pay back. The fact remains that this life is a trust. The hand of God is extended to all with a covenant, a contract of sorts that we can choose to take or not. This life is a trust, to see what we'll do with it. This is humbling and sucks the life out of our selfishness when it goes beyond just a good idea that I'm blogging about right now and becomes that foundational thing that actually sinks in to the level of my being. It enters my spirit and becomes that foundational truth that I must live by. This is when we know that God's truth has become our truth; it's when we can say that it's the imperceptible foundational truth that we literally find our "being" in. That's when the word has become flesh in the manner that the word became flesh in Jesus and continue to become flesh in Jesus (see the gospel of John, chapter 1).

See, thinking of Jesus as our Savior exclusively is dangerous. It's true that He is, but that is not the entire gospel of God. Jesus in the intermediary of a covenant and trust that God extends, and when we willingly come into that covenant, there are terms.

I came to realize this last night, when I came home after a meeting with the two I often talk about whom God has called me into covenant with. Through covenant with them, God teaches me about covenant with Him. I was feeling begrudging about the meeting because of the plans I had for last night and this weekend, but the meeting was of greater necessity. I caught myself at the door of the house I was staying at and realized, "Nathan, you have made a covenant. How dare you begrudge in this situation, when you voluntarily made a covenant to these two people and all that you are called to together." And in that moment, God taught me about covenant with Him and entering into all that I am called to enter into in the Scripture. If I have chosen covenant with God, then I am coming to Him on His terms, laid out in Scripture. Perhaps one way to voice the essence of God's terms is thus, at least as I understand them right now: In My [God's] covenant (trust, or contract), you are called in this life to be holy and perfect as I am holy and perfect by My ability, strength and grace and not by your own ability [because it's impossible] through your exercise of faith. That is one way to voice the essence of God's call to us, though it is not comprehensive or complete and it's not the only way to voice it. God calls us to faith in Christ as our savior and what is He saving us to? A life where we become like God in the context of relationship with God through God's ability alone as we live by faith alone. God is just asking for us to say yes to His ways and His plan and His terms. He provides the energy and ability to do it and the means is our faith in Him, which we can only get from Him too!

Covenant needs to come not only into our vocabulary, but into our experience, our being and our spirits again. We need to feel covenant in our bones and we need to choose covenant with God again.