Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dancing Off-Beat

“... but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:2-3

I read it, and the jealousy stung. I felt like such a total striving lunatic. I didn't know what I was doing. Here I was chasing after the wind, looking for God in the works of my hands, finding application for Him in the various things I had going on. Instead of being hopelessly delighted with Him, dancing into the plans He had for me, I was trying to get across the dance-floor without listening to the music, totally off-beat, into nothing exciting, anxiously looking over my shoulder every once in a while to see if the Lord of the dance was still there.

“Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray” Job 6:24

I remembered a time when I didn't have to see where He fit into things, because He was the thing, and everything else found its place in Him. I blamed it on school. I thought about what a week in my life looked like: classes, research, eating, phone conversations, browsing the web, homework, grading, thinking about working out, remembering to pray, and going to sleep.

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17

I felt so sad. Was the Holy Spirit given in such a dramatic turn of events so that I could zombie through life, doing my part to keep the system going, and doing the bare minimum to make it to heaven? There was nothing abundant about my life. Joy wasn't overflowing. I had gotten caught up in all the things He had given to me, and lost sight of Him, and now nothing had value. But my busyness was real. There were tangible things that needed to be done. So did God fill my life with things in order to lessen the depth of His relationship with me? Aren't we supposed to go from grace to grace, and from glory to glory? Surely the sign of growth in my life was to see an increase in God’s presence, not a decrease. So why was I running around doing things, being tired, feeling guilty, and not able to pass the glass ceiling to “come up higher” like I felt God calling me to?

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:7

I was so frantic at the thought of getting things wrong in the spiritual arena that I probably couldn't have heard the voice of God even if He shouted. 

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:7

What if I’d lost Him? What if I was never able to walk in step with the Spirit again? What if I was going to be stuck having a monotonous life, being a church attendant with no personal relationship with God, no growth and no impact?

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:7

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to son-ship.” Romans 8:15

I wasn't seeing God for who He was – faithful, loving, patient, long-suffering, not out to punish but out to help. Yet in spite of my lack of insight, here He was, calling me again. I began to realize that the situation wasn't a sorry loss, but the exposure of a hunger. The pangs of a deep thirst for the Spirit of God and my need of a major dunking into the sea of His grace. Instead of settling for less than I have been given, I want to live in the fullness of what Christ bought us by the shedding of His blood, and by sending the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to see the promises of God on the pages of a book, hear the testimonies of His love, marvel, and then walk away into some subservient life. And He doesn't want that either. But if His grace is to flow into all areas of our lives, we have to be filled with it, and to be filled with it, we have to give ourselves first to Him, then to Him, then to Him, then to Him.

Break up your unplowed ground. For it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12