Sunday, July 24, 2011
(day thirty-one) information vs. illumination
Today I got a call from one of the girls who attended Siloam camp last week. Before one of our sessions her and her sister told me about losing their mom in a motorcycle accident this past April. Even more tragically, their dad witnessed the whole thing. This happened just a few days/weeks after I spoke at Siloam during this past spring break. The crazy thing is I think I remember her telling me about how she longed for her daughter to be there that week. She wanted freedom for her daughter. After that week she went home and told her daughter how much she wished that we had met. Well, her prayers were answered in a way no one expected.
Both of her girls came to camp numb and weary. They had just lost they only voice of hope and love in their lives. What a tremendous blow on these young girls. They were beginning to feel defeated by the lies that told them they would never make it without her. They had heard so much information about God their whole lives, but never took interest in really seeking for themselves what God thought about them. So now, with the desperate situation at hand... they were at a very pivotal place. They were standing at a crossroads about to choose the very path that would lead them to a place of freedom and joy or destruction and slavery.
As we were talking one day about Identity, Missions, Creativity, and Freedom... both girls sat listening intently with eyes wide and hearts open. I knew God had begun moving in their lives. Afterward, we had the awesome opportunity to speak and pray with them knowing it was going to have to be the Holy Spirit that illuminated himself to them in a real way. Later that evening I ran into one of the girls who came up shouting, "I feel so different, so alive!" And just a few minutes ago I got a call from the other girl telling me how excited she is for life now!! She's even found an opportunity to serve in Africa!! Wow, God is SO SO GOOD! They are still hurting from the absence of their mom, but now have now decided to go to the depths with God as He is shining light in every avenue of their life and comforting them in a way they never could have imagined.
Today during church at Journey, Brother Dan's sermon was about this very thing. He mentioned how Jesus had to leave us so that we would be able to do even more with the Holy Spirit resting inside of us. If Jesus had stayed we'd probably let Him do all the work thinking He could do a better job and we probably wouldn't need much faith. It's funny how we continue to think that it's actually about the "work" and our performance in the "work", rather than our love relationship.
Dan continued on to talk about how much information we have available to us these days and that sometimes that very thing becomes a crutch in our lives. We tend to think that the more info about God that surrounds us the more "ok" we are with Him, but the whole time we are lacking the very illumination God wants to give us of His truth. God values the process of us investigating His deeper realm of understanding. Contrary to what we may think, just because God is opposed to our "earning" His love doesn't mean He's opposed to our effort to learn, grow, and ask.
Dan also said that our experience of God can only go as far as the knowledge we have of the Word. And that when we sit down with the author and take time to hear His thoughts on what He's written, He will begin to illuminate the scripture making it come alive to us! If you desire freedom... then you desire to know the deep things of God. Let the Spirit take you there. Every part of you will be challenged, but just remember you are in the process of being restored to who you were intended to be- a beautiful reflection of Him as a child of the King.
B90: (1 Chron 16- 28:21) "For you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. Therefore your servant has found courage to pray before you. And now, O Lord, you are God, and you have promised this good thing to your servant." Ch 17:25-26. God loves to make known His mysteries, and even more so for His children to simply seek them. How much more strength do we gain from the illumination brought forth by His very own hand?
"Only may the Lord give you discretion and understanding, that when he gives you charge over Israel you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and rules that the Lord commanded. Be strong and courageous. Fear not; Do not be dismayed." Ch. 22: 12-13. If we seek the world for understanding we will never exceed the revelations beyond this earth. We will always wonder why we don't feel something more, something greater, something divine. But when we seek HIS discretion... our knowledge of the word of God will serve as a spring board for the Holy Spirit to do amazing unfathomable things within our soul! "Set your mind and heart to see the Lord your God." vs 19.
"Serve Him with a WHOLE heart and with a willing mind for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you..." Ch. 28:9.