Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hebrews 10:24-25: Oil and Water

'Cause yeh get this when you search for "fellowship" nowadays.
     So often, I'll step back, take a look at myself and frustratingly decide to change things. This happens every few months, and I make a little progress each time before falling back to the status quo.
     That sucks. A lot.
     And what's more is that I can SEE the steps I take each time, and I usually have little to no idea what led me off track. It either changes each time, or it is simply that - time. Fervor fades as new challenges arise, and that is something that few people can escape. We all do this, whether it's coming home from summer camp, or simply returning to our lives after church on Sunday.
     That sucks too. Because if we all do it, then why don't we all work together to SOLVE it? Doesn't the good book have guidance on this? Oh wait, it does. Yeah.
     Chew on this:
"24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." - Hebrews 10:24-25
     On the surface, that's church, right? Pot-lucks and Sunday school and a camping trip in the summertime? Sure. That stuff is great, but it needs to be deeper than that. You can live for decades in a church and remain as stagnant as you were when you walked in the door.
     According to the author of Hebrews (maybe Paul, maybe not) we should spend time pondering ways to STIR UP our brethren in Christ, and rejoice in their good works and growth! That can be a little uncomfortable.
Wait, you guys eat this stuff? Ew. 
     Complacency, stagnancy, "the status quo," being comfortable - compare that with a bottle of salad dressing for a minute here. If left sitting, all of the good things settle to the bottom, leaving just the oil on the top. Unless you want tasteless oil poured on your greens, you first have to stir up the bottle so that it can be used.
     We too are like that. If I am walking in sin - knowingly or unknowingly - shake me! If I live next to you and am vague about my relationship with Christ, shake me! I don't WANT to be complacent and comfortable. I want to be surrounded and immersed with the positives, so that the whims of the evil one have no hold on me.
     You want to solve the periods in your life when your spiritual high falls by the wayside? THAT is how. Allow yourself to be shaken. ASK to be shaken, and in turn be willing to step out and do the same.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.

Sometimes, I feel the need to disconnect.
But I'll get to that later.
Being honest right off the bat, these last two months have been awesome on the job. Spiritually, I can't say the same. As much energy and vibrance as graces my new career, my walk with the Lord is equally stagnant. How can something so important and so rooted in my heart get put on pause? How can I drift so easily? Why is it so difficult to repent - again - and reinvigorate my relationship?

Ugh. I've been asking these things for some time now. About a month ago, I took an early morning walk up to a new, secret place and had an excellent time of reflection and prayer. During that time I asked God to be so SO present in my life, that He would be impossible to ignore. And oh, how He has answered that prayer in ways I couldn't imagine.

What the last few months have shown me, in reflection, is that no matter how far I run, no matter how hard I try to hide, I can never escape the love of God. Never. At every turn and in each passing moment, God's presence becomes so threaded into my day that I have to actively work to shut it out. It's a constant reminder - I'm here, I'm here... 

It makes it more powerful that the Lord chose to love me in the first place. I'm not a particularly patient person, and I can't speak much to how many chances I would give were the places switched. Jesus said to forgive seventy times seven. Endless, depthless, ceaseless forgiveness. I understand that a little better now. If God has been faithful to forgive my transgressions, then surely he will be faithful as we walk forward.

I want to focus on where to go next. That's my nature, to look ahead (I write previews for sporting events each week) and figure out what path to take and how to move on from here. This time, I think I'll leave that be. My head understands that I can't run, but does my heart know it? This morning we sang "Create in me a clean heart, O God." Yes, please. This one isn't any good.

I need to bask in this forgiveness, and let it sink in.

For, prone to wander, Lord, I feel it! Prone to leave the God I love! Take my heart, Lord take and seal it. Seal it for Thy throne above.