Wednesday, October 22, 2008


After spending some time with super-stellar Traci Fredricks yesterday, I was left with a pricking thought. She asked me what God had been saying to me this week. I ended up somehow on one of my rants about an issue going on in my heart, and like the discerning woman that she is, she said (with a perfect preface) "You're going to want to hit me when I say this, but again, what is God saying to you this week?" After thinking through what my objectives have been in this valley (abiding), I realized I've been missing the point. I learned through the course of Experiencing God that His objective is NOT obedience. His first priority is my relationship with Him...that I KNOW Him more.

I've been trying to DO the right things for God. That's empty...and pointless. He wants ME to spend time with Him. If I'm squirming, if I'm sad, if I'm disappointed, if I'm elated, He wants to be there WITH me through those things. Talking with my friend Cham last night reminded me of this. He was describing this newness in His walk with Christ after God being WITH him through a really tough time, almost tangibly. I haven't been allowing God that opportunity.

So now I see (and hopefully I'll remember) that ABIDING is not OBEDIENCE. It's more than that. This Christian life is about a RELATIONSHIP with a PERSON, Who is Truth. My EG girls know that. The list of rules is religion. I ain't signing up for that. Now if I could just remember the difference between the two in my heart...

Monday, October 20, 2008


in the valley. It's new for me. I've talked a lot over the past few months about the pasture that I feel like God has been leading me through. It's been lush and green, and it represents such refreshing growth in my walk with Him. I knew that would be preparing me for other times of not-so-fun growth, and I was right. Being a "feeler" or a person of emotional intensity (does that make it sound cooler?), my highs are high and my lows are low. Very rarely am I hanging out consistently in the middle- apart from the transitions. If you're a math/trigonometry/algebra-type person, think of a sine wave as opposed to just the ol' x-axis. I'm a sine...wave.

So following this spurt of spiritual growth, I hit one of my usual downs. Now for me, this is a time of feeling kinda blah and lots of thought invested in why this cloud of blah settled over my heart. Usually I can pinpoint a number of possible causes without being able to fix or remove any of them. I sometimes get beat (by the Enemy) with the question of "Shouldn't God be enough that you never feel sad? If you really believed in the victory that salvation brings you, shouldn't that bring true joy to your heart despite anything that's going on right now?" I don't necessarily know the answer to those questions, but I know how I feel, and I know what I know about God and His Truth. I know that people in the Bible were legitimately sad. Read about Job. Read about Jesus! How we feel and who God is can both exist in our hearts if we have them in the right perspective.

I've talked to quite a few fellow believers about this concept over the past few days, and I've been really encouraged by their answers. Much of the responses involved what I just typed in the last paragraph. And honestly, I'm grateful for the opportunity to travel through one of these valleys with a better perspective. My normal approach is to check out for a few days (not get into the Word, slack off in prayer, and overall just retreat into introspection) until I come to a breaking point. But I will gladly leave behind this empty regimen that basically wastes a lot of Kingdom time and personal energy. So I'm trying to use this time to be still, to watch, to keep trusting. I'm still honest in prayer. I mean, God already knows how we feel anyway, right? So I trust in His power to change my heart. He renews my mind (Rom 12:2), and He is greater than our hearts (1 John 3:20). So I have hope. And hopefully I'm getting better at abiding.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Perception a choice. We make it all the time. No one has the full picture because only God is omniscient. So the rest of us interpret our reality as best we can. This leaves Satan a lot of room to twist and deceive and distract us from God's Truth in our mind. Being on guard is hard, but we can't afford to succumb. It hurts. It causes us to miss out. And it can equip us to wrongfully damage others. So we step out in faith based on what we know from His Word instead. We let the peace that passes all understanding guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. We choose to believe His Word instead: about our worth, about our future, about our potential, and about our identity. We pray for His vision of our environment and those around us. It's hard to remember that we'll never see the whole picture and that our perspective on everything is quite limited. This word is for me. I've learned that the hard way this week. Some verses that have been valuable:

Phil. 4:8, James 1:19-20, Phil 2, Psalm 27, Psalm 131