Friday, December 23, 2011

Go ahead. Prove me wrong.

I just don’t know anymore. Some of you have asked why I haven’t written anything in a while. It’s because I don’t care. What difference does it make if it write? I just don’t know anymore.

See the thing is that I am in this weird place where I have that same answer anytime I ask that question. I just don’t care about anything anymore. I can’t even make myself when I know I need to. I am good at pretending like I care… but the sad truth is that I just don’t.

I have no answers. I really don’t know why I am like this.

Except for my awesome relationship with my wonderfully redeeming wife, I feel like I have no bright spots in my life. She is too good for me and I cannot express how much I guard my relationship with her.

Example. Here is my dialogue with a friend the other day…

Friend: “How long have you felt this way?”
Andy: “A month or two.”
Friend: “What was the last thing you cared about?”
Andy: “I don’t know. I don’t care.”
Friend: “Who was the last person who has hurt you?”
Andy: “Not sure. Probably everyone. It’s all one big mess anyway.”

I know I am not right. But I don’t know what to do about it.

The worst part is that I feel very alone and misunderstood in this.

What can you do to help? Care. Ask. Track me down.

Or don’t. I don’t really expect it anyway.

But maybe, just maybe, there could be someone in my life who would be willing to prove me wrong.

Even though I have little faith in humanity, I still have faith in God. I know He will teach me, guide me and refine me.

I am His. He will save me.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dwelling Place Part II

So I think this is an extension of my thoughts from the other night. This “part II” came from my desire to draw a practical application from my revelation the other night. In other words, what does it look like to be the dwelling place of God.

We are being built to be a dwelling place of God.
That is in progress.
Already started but not yet completed.

See the thing is that we are often tempted to seek after God’s presence. We want to find Him, or feel Him or get to know Him. I get that. But I think I want to set something straight about that sentiment.

If we have given ourselves to Christ, everything is different. Nothing remains the same.

He brings our dead hearts to life.
He covers heaviness with garments of praise.
He rewrites our names.
He unshackles our shame.
He sets our captive souls free.
We are an entirely new creation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. -2 Corinthians 5:14-21

We are the only ones who keep us from God. “A man cannot serve two masters.” When we choose to put to death the things that are our masters, we are leaving room for Christ to create life in us.

And here is the real thing that I want to bring to our minds to ponder about; there is now nothing that stands between us and God. God made a way when there was no way. As we are being built to be a dwelling place of God, we are becoming the bride of Christ.

Seek Him. But seek Him by becoming reconciled to Him. Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly.

The veil is torn. We were bought with blood and we can be His.

“When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing You’re beautiful”
                                                     -Phil Wickham

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dwelling Place

I have had this blog post simmering in my mind for the last couple weeks and it wasn’t until recently that I was able to verbalize it, support it and solidify it. It all started coming together when I came across the phrase “dwelling place.” But let me start with this story…

It was Moses who said it best. It was at Mount Sinai when God told Moses that it was time to move on. God says to Moses, “My Presence will be with you, and I will give you rest.” And it was to this statement from God that Moses responds with this little gem, “If your presence does not go with us, do not send us from here.”

I find this statement very intriguing. Moses didn’t want to leave the safety and presence of God at Sinai if God’s Presence was not going to do with them. Later on in the story, Moses didn’t even want to look upon the Promised Land if God’s Presence was not going to be there too.

Moses knew that the only thing that mattered is if he stayed in God’s presence.

So as I walk through my life, I have been noticing that I have been craving God’s continual presence. It seems that more and more I will be in the middle of a average day of my life and, in the midst of everything, all I will want is God to be there.

The second part of this story is that I came across Shane & Shane’s song "Without You". With the story of Moses in my mind, I came across these lyrics, “If Your Presence goes, I don’t want to stay. If Your Presence stays, I don’t want to go.”

I have started simply wanting to be in the Presence of God. No matter where or when that requires. So as all this has been swirling around in my brain, I came across this third and final thought.

“And in him you too are being built together to be a dwelling place in which God lives by his Spirit.” –Ephesians 2:22 

We are God’s dwelling place. God is not found in a building. He does not reside between the church organ pipes. He doesn’t sit in the pews with his feet up on the hymnal rack, waiting for us to show up to His dwelling place.

I am God’s dwelling place.  

When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look to see him there who made an end to all my sin. Because a sinless savior died, my sinful soul is counted free for God, the Just, is satisfied to look on him and pardon me. To look on him and pardon me.

See the thing is that life is doable when we are the dwelling place of God. All of the high points and low points are doable when God is with us.

But I don’t have to worry about finding God. I don’t have to worry about the next time I may meet Him. I don’t have to worry about living up to his expectations. I don’t have to worry about what is the right thing to do or say. I don’t have to worry about hoping my loved ones will find him.

For I am His dwelling place.

Accept and rejoice. For freedom is here.

No tongue can bid me thence depart.

I am not it

I have been on this journey recently where I have been learning and accepting that I am not what other people need. I can do little. I can only do what I can do. So the question has been so what can I do?

But here is the thing. I also had this tough realization yesterday that I am not the one that I need.

I cannot turn my heart of stone into a heart of flesh.

I just can’t. I am just not good at being good.

So I am going to set aside myself to make room for the One I need.

There is a lot more on this subject to come… I just wanted to get that out since I haven’t been able to write for a couple days.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Deus misereatur

In light of yesterdays post, I was reminded of another one of Jimmy Needham’s poems. Here is the link…

My favorite line is “this can’t be Christianity, it can’t be”

See the thing is that we all have this image of what Christianity is. But I can’t help but have this gut feeling that it sometimes becomes distorted or diluted. Like the way that an image looks after it keeps getting photocopied. A copy of a copy. After a while, the copy has more differences than similarities to the original.

And I am fine with that metaphor. But before you burn me at the stake, I simply want to clarify that it is the copy that gets changed… not the original.

What I love most about Jimmy’s poem is that he asks and answers a wonderful question:
Question: “Where’s the hope of a God big enough to cope with all of my hang-ups and insecurities?”
Answer: “There’s only one thing that pleases the Father, the God-man on the tree in the midst of the scoffers.”

I have shared with you that I often am tempted to despair. And, once again, I get tempted to despair at what I feel like Christianity is. But most often, what I feel like Christianity is turns out to be far from what it actually is. And it is times like these that I really need and appreciate reminders like Jimmy’s poem.

Is God personal? Does God care? Does God really know my insecurities? Does God care to save us? Does God forget how messed up I am? Does God really forgive? Is God really just? Is all this just a fairytale mess or more deeply real than we could imagine?

But here is the thing. My job isn’t to understand it all. The price has been paid and the path has been laid.

God doesn’t bind us to our doubts, questions and struggles… He releases us from them and sets us free.

The truth is… Love is liberating.

Deus misereatur “May God Have Mercy”