I wrote the blog below on December 29th and forgot to post it. As I look back over it I am reminded how wonderful it is to sit still before our maker and just hear Him speak and feel His presence.
As I think about the beauty of these moments, I am reminded of another part of the Christian journey, the call to action. While there are seasons where we are called to go back and rebuild our foundations and remember what God has done for us, there is certainly a time to act as well.
I am reminded of a definition I heard for the word “integrity,” it was defined as your actions aligning with your beliefs. Simple. When we allow God to work on our inside and shape what is important to us and what we believe, then act with integrity, we will inevitably act according to our call in Him. Proverbs 11:3 says, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”
Rick Joyner recently published a very interesting article calling Christians to action (the article can be found here). The article presents many interesting opinions about the current state of leadership in the U.S. and where The Church stands in all of this. I like the article specifically for the part where he talks about the “Sons of Zadok” who was the High Priest while David was King. While I would like to believe it is simple to at with integrity, this story reminds us it is not.
It is a bit long but worth your 10 minutes if I haven’t bored you already. After you read what Dr. Joyner has to say, maybe you can take a minute to read the blog I meant to post on December 29th (see below) and spend some good reflection time with God.
The word “remember” is in the Bible more than 200 times (according to the New International Version). I believe that to remember speaks to reflection and often-time, inflection. God modeled this behavior throughout the old testament as He spared Noah (“God remembered Noah”), showed favor on Abraham through Lot (“God remembered Abraham and brought Lot out of the catastrophe”) and as He guided the Israelites through their wondering in the desert (“God remembered them as he brought them out of Egypt”). He often commanded his disciples to remember in the New Testament and commanded them “not to forget” as he ascended from the earth.
All of life is cyclical, there is a time for everything as we are told in Ecclesiastes 3. The last month or so of my life has been a dry time. I am sure this was aided by my lack of discipline in seeking Him as my life became busy (as I am sure everyone else’s did during the holiday season). During this “dry” time of my life, as I am not hearing anything specific from the Lord, I begin to look inward and reflect. It is when I started doing this that I realized that may well be the whole point of the silence I was experiencing. I am often moved or hear things from God through nature or through something I see or hear in the world around me. I have let myself get so dependent on hearing God this way that I had neglected the fact He is in me and can just speak to me, not through the outside but through the inside. The “still, small voice” is ready to speak within me.
Once I realized that I needed to stop looking for signs all around me and look in me, I heard Him again. The sweet, sweet voice of my savior, deep within me spoke. I heard Him remind me that I need to just “be” before Him. A power unknown to the natural world is often found when we simply are before Him, when we quite ourselves, stop looking around us and just “be” before Him. It may be overused but I am reminded of the Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God.”
I recently spoke about this “dry spell” and my difficulty in just “being” before God with Pastor Russ (my father-in-law). Pastor Russ and I began to talk about the “tension” of life. He was reminded of a book by Elizabeth O’Connor called “Journey Inward, Journey Outward.” The book talks about the tension between living in the outside world (the “Journey Outward”) and living inside of ourselves in our Christian journey (the “Journey Inward”). This book is a wonderful book that teaches the readers how to journey inside one’s self and really look inward for your relationship with God (for He lives within us). It also talks about the outward journey as it relates to our Christian brothers and sisters. Our brothers and sisters are on the same journey with us, while we may be at different points, we are all on the same journey. I love the part of the book where O’Connor talks about helping those around us on the journey simply by living in our own journey. She talks about living our lives using our gifts and how that begs others to live their lives using their gifts. “He is the embodiment of the new humanity. The person who exercises his own gifts in freedom can allow the Holy Spirit to do in others what He wants to.”
I think what the Lord is doing in me is helping me reach the tension between the inside and outside. I’ve been so outside focused that I have forgotten to look inwards and just “be” before Him, to let Him work on the inside of me. I am reminded by O’Connor’s thoughts, I cannot be of any help to anyone outside of me if I am not living in the fullness of what He has called me to be. Just living in the present moment, enjoying the life God has given me at this very moment will beckon the Lord in others.