Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Sometimes I become aware that I long for more. Friendship. Intimacy. Money. Health. Influence. More mountains or beach.
These desires come unexpected and pull me like dark chocolate while dieting.
Wishing the sunset would stay still for another half hour.... That the colors would keep kaliedoscoping but not fade.... Wishing my Mom would get well, or my daughter would find her dream job....
Whatever our longings, there's always a desire for something more. I think it was G K Chesterton who suggested that our longings for fleeting pleasures to last are really longings for eternity for which our hearts were made.*
It was only recently I thought of another longing. God's. For us.
A heart that loves us and made us for intimacy wants to pour out the best for us. That amazing Person "longs to be gracious to [us]." Isaiah 30:18 (NKJV) describes the Deliverer as "waiting" for us to respond to His longing for meaningful relationship. No more broken promises.
Working together. Laughing together. Setting up the Kingdom of God together.
That quiets my heart.
For Your Consideration
Thoughtfully read Isaiah 30: 15-26.
Imagine the Lord of all power and personhood LONGING to be gracious to you. What would that look like?
How might God be longing for you? How will you respond?
*My research of quotes, Ravi Zacharias, C S Lewis and G K Chesterton, haven't yet unearthed the desired quote. If you are familiar with such a quote, please let me know.
Monday, August 15, 2011
We think we are clean, but a day or just a couple hours spent deliberately asking for God's cleansing will often reveal dirt we didn’t know was there.
The rhythm of regular Scripture reading, meditation, and obedience is as important for the soul as is regular vacuuming for carpets.
Additionally, periodic deep cleaning flushes out dirt entwined in the fibers.
Residual pride blended into the background… shame many moons old… worry unseen because of familiarity …. These are some of the surprises we might find when we submit ourselves to the Deep Cleaner.
The good news is that God loves to accommodate our desire to be holy when we present Him with humble hearts. He provides tools that clean thoroughly: it may be an eternal principle applied to a new spot or, perhaps, a clearer Light that reveals previously hidden spots. The Counselor reminds us of particular scriptures, offers life changing encounters, and encourages us to do what it takes to get clean.
It takes clearing our calendars, requesting the best the Holy Spirit offers, and-- not least -- humbling ourselves before Him.
So, Holy Spirit, we humbly prepare for and anticipate the relief of Your deep cleaning.
For Your Consideration
Please make time to read these verses in context.
Those who cleanse themselves ... will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work (2 Timothy 2:21, NIV).
For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite (Isaiah 57:15, NIV)
How might God be preparing you for some deep cleaning? What preparations do you need to make?