Friends visited. We had conversations. God’s presence. Here are things laid on my heart.
Being LED by God. Scripture did not exist in the abundance it does today from the church’s first days until the printing press, fourteen hundred years later. Do I use the scriptures as a mechanical guide, as rules and principles to direct my life, rather than relying on an intimate relationship where I listen and wait on God’s voice and look for His confirmations? Do I act based on cerebral conclusions or by sharing the heart of the God who loves me to death? (Gal 5:5-7)
Note: The scriptures have become a crutch for me, substituting the messy, out-of-my-control, living relationship God offers so I can remain consistent, independent, even “holy-ish,” by emulating words written, words which I use to craft whatever strategy or weapon I need. I’m not setting aside the scriptures (as you can see, a few scriptures jump to mind and I have noted them), but I am recognizing that my understanding of scripture can be as manipulative and subjective as interpreting His voice in circumstances and impressions. Scripture expects me to be led by the Spirit, to walk with Him and that was largely all the church had for fourteen hundred years. Eph 4:21; Rom 8:14;
In the end, if I rely on His leading in a living relationship, then leading me and correcting/redirecting me falls to Him. I’m not in charge at all and instead of that being uncomfortable, it is the only secure way to live. If I rely on my ability to interpret and patch various scriptures together to create a path and position I like, and if I am resistant to “touchy-feely” directions and insights, then, in reality, I am on unstable ground at best.
God is LIVING. I do act as if I have been sent from a far away Kingdom and have no real direct contact with God. Maybe an occasional phone call. I would never say that. I would never even think that. But it is the way I am existing. God isn’t dead, He is just far away and busy. I have my guidelines and values and rules which inform and shape my strategies and actions. They are neat and well thought out and I like them. I even think they are correct and probably are fairly solid. But they don’t on their own give life, and I live as though they are my day and night. I am not satisfied; I am hungry, but I try to avoid letting that disturb my heart. It’s too much to bear. Will I press on in my grey. well-ordered world or will I feel the chill and look for the warmth of His presence moment by moment, with Him saying what He wants when He wants? (Acts 14:23)
Where is my anchor? If my life is not full of scripture and sermons and doctrine and books and commentaries, what can I refer to/rely on to direct my paths where and when He is quiet? LOVE. Love summarizes the entire Old Testament. Remember my First Love; remember the “wife of my youth.” (And maybe the five “faithful sayings” Paul shared served the early and subsequent church well, and can help guide us in God’s will in various situations?)
Can I be STILL? With scripture, I can be active whenever I want; impulsive, indulgent, narcissistic. I can be my own Lord in effect. With the Spirit I must remain in check, waiting, watching, listening. I am servant. Even when I think I hear His voice, asking for confirmation and waiting. I am hasty and uneasy with the pace at which God moves. Can I remember RESTING? And, as I discern His voice, gladly obedient sans measuring tools to justify walking by faith into things that may not make sense now or ever.
Am I bathed by His LOVE? Am I secure in His care? (For example, Eph 3:17-19 and Rom 8:38-39.) This is the foundation He offers me and wants me to enjoy. It is where mighty warriors peak out from behind the strong fortress of Father’s leg, where I am safe from a hostile world with all of its threats and forces–even from death itself, which has been swallowed up in victory. Remember all those times He whispered His love and when He shouted His love in affirmation when He met my need to feel His arms around me as I trembled.