There's something about being engulfed in the hustle and bustle of community living that make it almost impossible for me to sit down and focus on this blog for 2-4 hours a day. I'm definitely not complaining, but it's just made it a bit of a challenge that I haven't quite figured out yet. So for now, I'll continue to crank them out slowly but surely hopefully finishing the "90 days" before my return home in less than a month :)
Before we get started here.. I have a few questions. Have you ever sat down and intentionally tried to clear your mind of all the busyness and commotion going on up there? If the silence was actually achieved to some degree, did you have a chance to listen? I imagine this act would probably be considered meditation. I feel like those times... when i'm not being taught something by someone else or analyzing a situation... are the times when i learn the most. God can and does often speak through people. He uses the stories we read in the word of God and their old-school miraculous circumstances, as well as modern-day folk like your pastor, neighbor, or the homeless guy across town. But how often do we give Him the chance to speak directly into our soul by the quietness we facilitate within us?
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. The opportunities in life we have to either allow toxic things in, remain neutral, or allow God to nourish us. Daily living is infused with things that will create a toxic build-up in our system that make it difficult for God to really infect us with His goodness. So, just like with our body... we need to treat our mind as good as our vehicles that need a nice little washing from time to time. Every day would be prime... but a few hours of solid meditation a week would probably impact your life at a capacity you could never dream of.
Last week I spent one of my evenings with a friend watching the movie "Tree of Life". If you are used to following "hollywood" flicks, then you'd more than likely be frustrated with this film. It doesn't stick to normal movie guidelines leaving the average art guru over analyzing the thing to death. I finally got to a point where I had to tell myself to shut-up and just watch. Even though the plot didn't flow with a natural pattern, it was creatively pleasing to the eye and intelligently whispered into your soul. Once I decided to sit back and actively use my eyes and ears instead of my mouth and brain I enjoyed it fully. That was the moment when I began to see the characteristics God come through. I then started to see life and death revealed in many forms...the beauty, the destruction, the conflict of grace and nature, corruption and conception, and the source of all truth.
The next day I had the unique opportunity to sit down with the speaker of the week who has pioneered a few things through YWAM as well as spends most of His time memorizing the word and teaching on that. One of his "methods" is to just read the word over the audience. He mentioned how funny it can be to watch the many faces change. Some just listen, others are a bit confused, some are irritated, and then there are a few who become a little uncomfortable. A lot of the mixed reaction comes from our modern-day culture where we almost expect to be taught something by someone who knows more than we do on the subject. Then another reason could be that we are just trying so hard to figure it out that we don't know how to simply rest in it and let the words wash over us. This is something that could be a bit awkward at first... but very beneficial to the soul as God's character begins to be revealed to you in the quietness of your mind.
The closer in proximity we walk towards God the more we are impacted by His love. His love never changes, but our spiritual location can. The more we are overwhelmed with His love, the deeper our gaze becomes and the more His character is revealed.... and the more like Him we become. The other day I was sitting in the prayer room in silence asking God to clear my mind of all these temporary distractions. All the sudden I heard a guy say, "Lord, I want to gaze upon your beauty." Then the revelation began to flow. I realized that as we look upon Him intently He does something eternal.
The more we gaze upon you, the more like you we become.
The more we gaze updon your beauty, the more beautiful we become.
The more we gaze upon your truth, the more truthful, integrous and trustworthy we become.
The more we gaze upon your salvation, the more we are filled with grace for others and ourselves
The more we gaze upon your broken cross, the more humbled we become.
The more we gaze upon your stripes, the more healed we become.
The more we gaze upon your resurrection the more freedom we walk in on earth.
And the more we gaze into your eyes, the more we become overwhelmed with a love so awesome and are able to love in ways the world can not understand.
He is worthy of our gaze because of WHO He is. Sit and be His child in a time of silence. Offer up your adoration because He is good. Let go of everything else. Breathe out your worry, fear, insecurity, questions, and lies. Breathe in ALL of Him... let Him wash over you with His truth... bringing freedom and healing in all areas... and be changed for eternity.
B90: (Acts 17- 28:31)
"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for 'In him we live and move and have our being'". Acts 17:24-28
Paul's journey is quite an adventurous one. I have friends right now in Turkey that are pioneering a new school through YWAM that actually follows his footsteps. Something I think we forget is that Paul was actually a regular human being just like us but with even more intense problems, extreme conditions, and seemingly impossible missions. So when I read the message He spoke above I realize that this is something He actually had to live through in order to speak it as truth. He knew those things were true because He KNEW the character of the God that he spoke of. He let God speak for himself... He let His words and truth wash over Him, and then He released those words with power and authority.
"He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God." Acts 19:8
I encourage you to actively silence the world around you for a moment today letting it be the most valuable thing you do. Sit in His wonder as His character of love, beauty, truth, health and life wash over you. God wants to nourish ALL of you with Himself. Let us worship Him in every single thing that we do... and have something so much deeper to give. Wow, we have SO much to be thankful for.