Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Talking with My Father: Jesus Teaches on Prayer

This is the title of a book by Ray Stedman.

In chapter one he makes these statments:

"One sign of losing communication (with God) is that we become obsessed with talk about God. When people only talk about God instead of talking with God, they demonstrate a deteriorated faith. The purpose of all faith is to bring us into a direct, personal touch with God. The mark of a decadent religions is that people become deeply engrossed in discussions about God, spending hours in lengthy, theological debate about the nature and character of God. As Martin Luther, aptly put it, "You that manifest a concern about religion, why don't you pray?""

I agree.

Why do I agree?

When you think about God and then you talk about what you think. God can be reduced in that person's life to an idea.

When you talk to God, He is a person. When you listen to/for God then you are in a relationship.

I don't believe God desires to be an idea in our lives. I believe He wants to be the most important and treasured relationship in our lives.

Prayer - conversation with God - has helped me to be in relationship with God. It is the place where I discover my doubts and I am persuaded to walk by faith instead. It is the place where I choose to not be "smart about it" and instead trust God sees better and thinks even more clearly than me. In conversation with God insights come that make me realize how uninformed I can be when left to my own "smarts". He is the Dad who sits down with me and teaches me something new.

Why do I bring this up? Because I long for people who know a lot about God to turn their attention towards wanting to be with God. I'm under the impression from the words I read in the Bible and being around people I love and respect: that being with God is a better choice than knowing as much as possible about God.

Is God drawing you to be with Him? If your honest answer to that is no, please ask Him why you believe that. If the honest answer to that is yes, please ask Him to help you respond to His invitation.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Grieving is normal.

Do you know that its okay to be sad?

Do you know that its okay to take time to heal?

Grieving is normal. Life cycles.

Birth, growth, then death and then rebirth... This can happen in any part of our lives. In any relationship. In any circumstance. In any responsibility. It can be a small thing. It can be so big you think you wont survive it.

We avoid death. We avoid grieving through the death of roles and relationships. We try to ignore death. We try to skip death. But its only after death that new life comes.

So when a part of your life is dying. It's okay to grieve. It's okay to say this makes me sad. It's okay to ask God all your questions about it. It's okay to be in a place where the only way out is to walk through it by faith in God. It's not okay to lie to yourself and say everything is alive when it isn't yet. What is good is to trust in and place your hope in God and to move you through the grieving with Him. Based on my experience, we don't get to tell God how long that should take. In all of His wisdom and goodness, He decides.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Independence is overrated.

Dependence on God is underrated.

Proverbs 3:5-6

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding in all your ways (not just a few) acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take."