Already Included #48 – Pivot

Is my relationship with God? Or is my trust in the incorporated church? Is it me who has God? Or is it God who has me?

If anything depends on me then I have no hope. I need God to make up the difference. Trinity reached out to me as I raised my fist and turned my back in angry sadness and frustration. Will They not meet me now? Will They not meet me whenever and wherever I am?

Is God so impotent that He cannot open any door? Will we not trust Him in this time?

Is Jesus only present in a typical physical church building? Or could we be where He already resides? Christ in us. Revealing what already is; what we have been blind to despite countless hours of staring at the invitation. Jesus said it is finished.

Why might He have us in this space at this time? What good, what healing could be at work right now? I have spent an inordinate amount of time pleading for things to go back to what feels most familiar to me. What if God wants to take me somewhere new?

He is not a God of 2,000 years ago. He is a God for today. For this moment.

How many times did God reach out to individuals through means other than reading a book? How many times did God speak to people outside of the traditional temple? Is God not able to speak to you right now? Is this a relationship as we say it is? Or just a religious performance? What spells do I have to cast today in order to speak to my Father? Does He really require such blasphemous incantations? What hurdles do you require your children to jump through before they can speak with you? Even in our brokenness we do not do the things to our children that we accuse God of doing to His children.

Could God be all that our hearts dream love to be? And more? He does not only have patience; He defines patience. He does not only have love; He is love defined. Will He not give us all that we need?

Maybe we are not asking the right questions. Maybe our ideas of God are too small. Maybe we need to pivot. Maybe we need to start by asking God what questions we should be asking. Will He refuse us? Is He and His wisdom not given freely to all who ask?

I need to leave room for new beginnings. I need to make more space for uncertainty and God to show off in ways that I am not capable of imagining. I need to be held. I need to receive and rest.

We are welcome.

Maybe the whole world is being given a big collective breath.

The Message Bible translates Isaiah 30:15-17 as:
“God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: ‘Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me— The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do.”

Already Included #46 – Will I Limit God?

This content is also available on my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/jmzvnoLYvRI

How do I navigate this new world? By my knowledge? By my intelligence? By my experience? By my resources? By what other strength?

How well have those things works for me in the past?

How many years will I keep trying to march back across this desert towards what seemed like self-sufficiency? How long will I return to the vomit of the deceiving security I knew in the hard work of Egypt?

Sure, it was rough and there were bad times, but I seemed to have friends and family there. I seemed to have community.

Do we sit in church on Sunday and sing songs to a God whose last thought for us was only when people say He bailed us out of an eternal BBQ pit 2,000 years ago?

Is this Father so impotent that His chief concern is advancing some global agenda at the expense of our hearts? In spite of our concerns?

Will I worship fear? Will I give fear more power than God?

It’s hard to imagine what I have never experienced.

Do dreams come true only for the youth?

Are all our fine words, all our praise simply empty hope?

Does our God still move? Does He still care? Is Holy Spirit not always in the process of healing our hearts? Not for God’s ego, but so that we will not miss out on all that we have been Created to enjoy and experience during this human experience.

Will I limit God? Will I define the boundaries of His power? Will I insist on taking control?

And even if I scramble to keep myself afloat in my own ways, will He ever give up on me? Is this a Father who leaves me to myself? Who waits for me to find my way back to Him?

Is this a Father who only provides the bare minimum out of a sense of duty?

Is this a Father who is only reactive? Who is off solving other people’s problems until I am good enough? Until I have stolen a moment of His attention?

Will this God pick us up off the floor or are we abandoned, neglected children expected to bear and navigate the unknown all on our own?

Can Holy Spirit not give us insight and wisdom beyond our awareness?

What if it is simply a matter of turning off the noise and having a conversation?

What if we are not a bother to God?

What if we always have God’s attention?

What if we are a joy even in our mess?

What if we are already safe and already included?

What if we are mostly ignorant to all that is already ours to enjoy?

I am a child who is wanted.

I am a child who is very loved.

Flee

True story time again. So I was driving the taxi late one night and I got a call to pick up a guy from somewhere. It was just that random. Just a guy from somewhere. Nothing special about it.

So I pick him up and immediately introduce myself. My theory was always that people would probably be less likely to hurt me if I made a connection with them. I’d always go something like, “Hi, my name is Sarah. What’s your name?” They’d answer and then I’d say something like, “Oh cool, nice to meet you…” and then get the small talk rolling until the destination.

Well after I introduce myself to this guy and ask him his name, he tells me his name is satan or the devil. I can’t remember exactly now, but I got the point and so do you.

Now back in those days, I wasn’t where I’m at now spiritually. I was more fear-based than love-based. So in some senses this was like almost the worst thing that could happen to me at the time.

But at the same time, intellectually I knew God triumphs over the devil. So I gathered every last bit of courage and strength inside myself and after he introduced himself as satan, I was like ok, I guess we’re going to go straight there so I gotta not beat around the bush. I tried not to show any fear and responded immediately back with all the boldness I could muster something like, “Oh, well I’m on the Jesus side.”

And then I preceded to talk non-stop about Jesus. I literally tried to say the name of Jesus in every single sentence and just keep talking about Jesus.

Ol’ dude in the back got so uncomfortable that as we are driving on the interstate access road, he just starts saying, “Stop, stop, stop! Just pull over and let me out!”

I said, “Sir, but we’re not at your destination. Are you sure you want to get out here and not keep going to your destination?”

“Yes, yes. Just stop. Just pull over right here and let me out!”

Well, it was my pleasure. I pulled immediately over into a Jim’s parking lot. He couldn’t wait to open that car door and jump out.

As he was getting out I said, “Do you want me to pray for you?” He growled back, “NO! Me and Jesus have an understanding!” Then he slammed the door and went on his way.

I never want to go through that again, but it was so empowering not to give into intimidation. Moments like that give me the confidence I have today to lob a few stones at other Goliaths.

By the way, people introducing themselves to me as the devil happened multiple times to me in the taxi. I might share another story another time. BUT, when I stopped being afraid is when it stopped happening. Never has this ever happened again to me in the eight years since the last time.

Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Literally.

Morale

Sometimes the storms of life may not take us out physically, but they can beat up our morale. Fatigue sets in. To borrow from the storyteller in the video below: resting becomes difficult because you can’t stay stationary.

Interesting as I recall the story of Jesus sleeping on the boat during a storm. His closest followers with Him were freaking out. He awoke and calmed not only the waves but also the fear in their hearts.

We are not guaranteed safe physical passage through this life. But I rest more so in the spiritual as I stay close to my Navigator. His perfect love casts out fear.