Tag Archives: vision

We are Wrapped in His “Thereness”

24 Aug

What if we believed, to our core, that God is always with us?  Not in some abstract way, but in the reach out and touch Him kind of way.  What if His “Thereness” was our reality and we, the ordinary, understood the very real, very tangible Presence of the Extraordinary?   Imagine truly grasping the ever-Presence that is the I AM.

His Word is clear.  He is with us – ALWAYS.  He will not leave us or forsake us.  Just as surely as every person we cross paths with today, God is there.  So what if, rather than having that be a concept we know, it was a reality we lived?  What if?

Part of “what if” for me would probably include keeping a much closer watch over the words that fall out of my mouth.  I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t allow them to just “fall out” but would take great care to fill them with grace so the King at my side would be proud to call me friend.

  • He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.  Proverbs 22:11

And I probably would use my time more wisely than I normally do.  I can’t imagine frittering away the hours watching HGTV, rooting for the House Hunters to pick the home that stayed in their budget, if I really grabbed a hold of the truth that God is sitting with me on the couch.  I have to wonder if He might be thinking that I was squandering the day He had entrusted to me very foolishly.  Given all He has accomplished, it’s hard for me to picture Him as content just idling away the hours with no purpose.  Yes, part of my “what if” would definitely include a wiser use of my time so His Majesty might delight in me.

  • A king delights in a wise servant, but a shameful servant arouses his fury.  Proverbs 14:35

Those are just a couple of the observable “what if” changes. The real “what ifs” would take place on the inside because I cannot fathom subjecting my HOLY God to some of the thoughts that fly through my mind.  Would I really feel jealous of anyone else in the world and stomp my foot about what they have that I don’t, if I realized the WHO that I am blessed with? What in the world could be of greater value than Him?  Would I honestly usurp His right to judge by silently evaluating the actions of others if I actually believed that the One and Only Lawgiver was there?  I could go on listing the things I struggle with and posing the questions about how they might change, but for me, and maybe for you too, all the questions boil down to just one:

Would we change if we believed in His absolute “Thereness”?

I am convinced that for all of us the answer is absolutely YES!  I have moments when I am acutely aware of His Presence and I’m certain you do too.  Times when the facts and the feelings of our faith converge and our souls fall into a holy hush that whispers, “He is here.”  We don’t try to negotiate the agenda of the day; we follow the still, small, Voice wherever and to whomever He leads.  We stride with confidence knowing that every step is falling inside the well-worn footprints of our Holy Trailblazer.  And we are unafraid because we are certain of His all-encompassing Love surrounding us on every side.  That’s the Truth of Him you know?  The I AM is present.

He leads the way knocking down the obstacles and challenges that rise up before you.

  • I will go before you and will level the mountains – Isaiah 45:2

He stands firmly on your right and on your left setting your feet on solid ground and lifting your eyes toward Him.

  • But you, God, shield me on all sides; You ground my feet, you lift my head high. – Psalm 3:3

And the Lord Himself has promised you Sweet One, that He has your back.

  • Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. – Isaiah 58:8

That is the real-time, real-world truth of it. He goes before us. He is on every side. And His glory is our rear guard.  We are, without a doubt, wrapped in His “Thereness.”  No part of our faith journey escapes His attention or His affection.  And while we may be limited to simply glimpsing glory for now, His vision toward us is totally unobstructed.  His love for us is unconstrained.  And His “Thereness” is unchanging.  Sisters, we may long for the day when see the truth of our circumstances clearly, but in the meantime, I pray we will embrace the reality of our here and now because He is Here and He is Good.

We don’t yet see things clearly.

We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist.

But it won’t be long before the weather clears

and the sun shines bright!

We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us,

knowing him directly just as he knows us!

1 Corinthians 13:12, The MSG

The Message:  The goal of The Message is to engage people in the reading process and help them understand what they read. This is not a study Bible, but rather “”a reading Bible.”” The verse numbers, which are not in the original documents, have been left out of the print version to facilitate easy and enjoyable reading. The original books of the Bible were not written in formal language. The Message tries to recapture the Word in the words we use today.

Are You Brave Enough?

4 Jun

signsI stand at the crossroads and look . . . and I try to imagine what life might be like if I do things in a way I’ve never done them before.  I try to conjure up the best and worst case scenarios that might be catapulted into existence if I step out into unfamiliar territory.  What will I find if rather than pursuing the path of “what I know” and “where I’m comfortable” I take God at His Word, believing that He will always lead me in the good way, and I step out in HIS NAME?  What if instead of being limited by what my finite mind can see, I trust the Infinite and allow Him to unfold a God-sized vision concerning me?

Honest answer is, “I don’t know.”  Full confession is, “I might not be brave enough to find out.”  I often pray for a spirit of contentment to settle over me.  To be certain that my days, no matter how secluded or contained within the four walls of Biddinger Boulevard they might be, are spent pursuing His agenda and not mine.  There are days when other than one another, we don’t come into contact with anyone.  So at times, it’s hard to imagine that there is a vision that includes us, let alone to conceive that a God-sized vision might be in the works.  But I firmly believe that this time of “quarantine” has come straight from the hand of God and it has come for a holy purpose.  I don’t want to miss it.  I don’t want Brett to miss it.  I want us to heed the words of the Lord to be “strong and courageous” and to take every opportunity to seize the cities He sets before us–even if it appears that we are the only ones occupying those city streets.

Not everyone is given a time in life when they are required to limit their activities and I so pray that we are faithful with the gift we have been given.  I think the worst thing that could happen is that Brett would finally be healed and we would look back to find that physical restoration was all that had occurred.   To whom much is entrusted, more will be asked.  Perhaps the God-sized vision requires the more.  Maybe it’s in the unfamiliar territory that we will truly begin to see.

I recently shared with a friend that God has turned me upside down by diligently shining His light on all the places I would rather just keep hidden.  It hasn’t been exactly unpleasant (it’s actually been exciting) but it has had a feeling of “are you kidding me?  There’s more?”  I’ve said aloud on more than one occasion, “Marilyn, will you ever get to the bottom of yourself?”  (I grew up with Marilyn being my trouble name and I’ve carried the tradition forward 🙂 )   Just when I think all the self-serving goop has been dug out, I start to smell a not so pleasant aroma emanating from my heart and I realize . . . more goop has bubbled to the surface.  Another bastion of judgementalism is uncovered.  Another stronghold of haughtiness brought to light.  Another fortress of jealousy is revealed.  While somewhere in my mind I understand that all that goop dredging is a required part of the process, it doesn’t always make cooperating in the whole thing come any more naturally. I tell myself that that’s probably true for almost everyone.  It makes me feel better to think that feeling exposed and vulnerable with all your goop laid out on the Throne Room floor would be a little difficult no matter who you are.  Exposure.  Vulnerability.  Sounds risky to me.  Are you ready for that?  Are you that brave?

What if only a handful of us were to answer that question with a resounding “YES”?   We would, undoubtedly, turn the world upside down.  If only a few were committed to truly make Jesus the Lord of their lives, life as we know it would cease and life, true living, would really begin.  Henry Blackaby writes that you can’t say “No, Lord” because it presents an oxymoron.  If you say “No”, He’s not your Lord.  Plain, simple, true.

I’m praying to be one of the handful.  I’m asking God to make me one of the people you’d be pleased to join with in taking the world by storm.  I’m petitioning Him to make me into a warrior who does not flinch in her belief that the victory is already won.  Girlfriend, the battle that rages over you in the heavenlies is huge.  I want to be the one you want at your back.  And I want that life of tenacious commitment for you too.  When people meet us, they ought to see something different.  Something more.  Something Divine.  They ought to see Christ in the unique way that He displays Himself through each one of us.  I might even be so bold as to say, they ought to glimpse glory.

So what do you say if for the next week we live as if we are unafraid? We obey the small nudges from God rather than talk ourselves out of acting because we aren’t absolutely, 110% sure, convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that it was God’s voice.  We look undeterred at the dark places He reveals, repent, and take the path He leads us down.  If it doesn’t contradict Scripture and it’s consistent with God’s character, what say we throw caution to the wind and err on the side boldness?  Err on the side of obedience?  Why not do the good thing?  Corny as it may sound, we’ll never pass this way again.  So, let’s just see where the God-vision goes.  Even when it’s unfamiliar.  Even when it’s uncomfortable.  And especially when it doesn’t fit within the confines of our finite imaginations.  I have to believe that the Divine of God, the All of Elohim, who has entrusted us with much will never ask for more than He has given. Sister, the way of the Ancient One is good — let’s be brave enough to walk in it.

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.”

Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV, 1984)

(Here’s a secret wish:  I wish I could be peek in at the lives of the Sisters who choose to take this challenge.  What a thing of beauty I would behold!  — You go Girl!)

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