Sunday, January 21, 2007
our bible study lesson tonight was about the cost of worship. and i can't think of a bigger cost than laying down my pride and humbling myself before the world - not just Christ, not just other christians, but THE WORLD. after all, they're the ones with the problems, right? WRONG! i mean, of course they have problems, but they also don't have Jesus. kinda ironic how, because i do have Jesus, i also end up with this pride issue. i think because i have Him, i'm somehow better. but i'm pretty sure the bible says Jesus saves the ones who are the most messed up. that way when the world looks at the "fixed" ones of us, it's pretty obvious we didn't have anything to do with the fixing.
so why is it that over the past few weeks i've felt forced to pray the prayers that i've been fighting against for so long? i mean, who wants to pray to be flattened by humility? i surely don't. but the CHRIST IN ME is jumping at the opportunity. so i guess i'll add humility to ever-deveolping list. after all, if i'm ever going to wholly disappear, i'll have to do it on my face before the throne of the Light of the World.
i'll close with a few lyrics from matt redman. this pretty much says it all. join me in praying to be humbled as never before.
"i lift You high and bow down low
how high can You be, how low can i go
You must increase, i must decrease Lord
i'll bow down and You will be adored"
Thursday, January 18, 2007
i was reading a few nights ago, and these words really hit me hard. i'll quote them here for your knowledge/pleasure/enjoyment.
"I understand that I am temporary, in this shell of a thing on this dirt of an earth. I am being tempted by Satan, we are all being tempted by Satan, but I am preserved to tell those who do not know about our Savior and our Redeemer. This is why Paul had no questions. This is why he could be beaten one day, imprisoned the next, and released only to be beaten again and never ask God why. He understood the earth was fallen. He understood the rules of Rome could not save mankind, that mankind could not save itself; rather, it must be resuced, and he knew that he was not in the promised land, but still in the desert, and like Joshua and Caleb he was shouting, 'Follow me and trust God!'"
why did this hit me? maybe it's the whole concept of purpose. i think i fool myself into believing that i'm on this earth for all kinds of crazy, glorious reasons. but really, God only sustains my life for one reason - to accomplish HIS purpose of rescuing fallen mankind (and of course bringing glory to Himself through the rescuing). that's it! when i cease to be useful in God's plan of redemption, my sole purpose in this world will be gone! so what does this mean for my life? at passion '07 heather mercer talked about "wasting your life" for the glory of God. ultimately, i think she has it figured out! because when God grabs hold of a life and seizes it for His goal of redeeming a fallen world and bringing glory to His own name, what God does with that life will probably look like a waste to most people. even other Christians will probably say things like, "isn't that wasting your talent?" or "aren't there other ways God can use you" or "why risk endangering your life when you can do much more for God if you're alive." REALLY? does God only use people when they're alive? ok- don't think i'm saying that God would rather see you dead than alive, but i AM saying that we can't presume to know God's will, and i believe there are many cases when God uses a death to accomplish His goal of the redemption of souls.
what does this mean for me? i wish i knew. but i do know that i need to focus more on what my life can contribute to God's goal of the redemption of mankind. and notice i said what MY LIFE can contribute, and not what I can contribute. what's the difference? it's not about what I can do for God, but it's about what HE can do with MY LIFE. if God's purpose for me is to live, and through my life to help bring about his glory in redemption, then great! i hope that's God's purpose for my life. but i think i also have to be willing to agree with paul that if God could use my death to bring about his glory in redemption, then it's His life to take. now THAT'S hard to say! my own self-preservation instincts are at war within myself, and it makes it even hard to type about being willing to die. but if i'm really devoted to God's glory and the redemption of men, i must be willing to lay it all down. i only hope that if God ever calls me to die, i will be willing. and in the meantime, as He's calling me to live, i must be willing to live in daily surrender, realizing that my life is His!
Monday, January 15, 2007
speaking of heroes, i'm also an avid watcher of NBC's show "heroes." you better believe i'll be watching next monday when they FINALLY decide to tell us what happens next.
so you're probably wondering what this has to do with this blog, which is about my journey with God and my desire to disappear into His glory. it pretty much all boils down to heroes.
i'm reading this book called "the one year book of christian history." it is divided up into 365 daily readings about key figures in christian history. some are people i'm very familiar with. others are people i've never heard about before, and probably none of you have either. yesterday i read about this guy named walter l. wilson. he was a kansas city physician who lived in the late 1800 and early 1900's. i would like to include a prayer from the book that wilson lifted up to the Holy Spirit:
"My Lord, I have mistreated You all my Christian life. I have treated You like a servant .... I shall do so no more. Just now I give You this body of mine, from my head to my feet. I give You my hands, my limbs, my eyes and lips, my brian; all that I am within and without, I hand over to You for You to live in it the life that You please. You may send this body to Africa, or lay it on a bed with cancer .... It is Your body from this moment on. Help yourself to it ...." -walter l. wilson
this guy is a hero of mine. i just learned about him yesterday, but he is a hero. he was able to pray the prayer that i so desperately want to pray. what would it look like for me to give God COMPLETE control of my body - to take it to africa or infest it with cancer? this is a scary prayer! but if i ever want to truly disappear, this prayer is one that i'll have to not only pray, but really MEAN. why is it so hard to give God something that is already His? why am i so possessive of this shell i call home? He is breaking through. He's taking control. He's holding my hand as He softly prys the controls from my fingertips. soon i feel like i'll be spinning out of control - well at least out of MY control. but i guess "spinning out of contol" is more like a dance when God is leading. i don't know where the next step will be, but the Lord of the Dance knows. the spinning may seem aimless to me, but He has the steps mapped out. i just have to fall into His arms and be absorbed in the dance, the spinning, the loss of control on my part, the masterful gaining of control on His. am i ready? can i pray the prayer?
Sunday, January 14, 2007
so here i am. i've always been a journaler. but i've never written for others to read. maybe by sharing some of the radical things God is doing in my life, it will encourage someone, somewhere, somehow to embark with me on the journey i'm being sucked into. all i know is this world, this life, this mirage - there's more. if Jesus was sitting in my house right now, would He be happy with my contentment? would what i've "given up" so far be sufficient?
to my friends who are on this same journey, searching for the way to disappear into the revolution that is waiting to happen, i'm with you. i'm waiting to disappear. i want to disappear. i want to be a catalyst that sparks a flame and then fades into the background while the flame burns uncontrollably. and then i'll disappear as the fire rages.
This blog is a testimony to the work that God is perpetually acting in my life. I am learning that when I think I've given enough of myself, I've barely begun. My prayer is that as God continues to grab hold of my life, not only will He become greater and I become less, but He will become ultimately supreme and I will vanish. This Holy Disappearance will be a lifelong journey in which, by the grace of God, I will become so wrapped up in Him that all of me will disappear and all of Him will SHINE