Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I finally found words...

Something has bothered me over the past 6 months and I haven't been able to fully understand why or what was going on, I have just had this feeling that something isn't right. Have you ever had the feeling when you walk into a room full of people, who seem to be normal and everything to your eyes looks right, but the atmosphere feels strange, like something is wrong? Or when you are with some one you don't really know, whom has asked you to hang out, and everything on the outside looks good and would seem normal, but inside you have that feeling "something isn't right" or "this feels weird"? I'm not talking about the "white elephant" feeling, but a sense of "something is going the wrong way". Direction versus element, heart motive versus issue. Most of us write this off in fear of being socially awkward and proceed trying to fit in, but we need to realize this is God speaking to us about the affairs of men. This is discernment that needs to be understood. I have been in a similar place of discernment, like what I described, for some time now, without understanding. After reading some of A.W. Tozer's writings, he gave words to express what I haven't been able to. You might feel a release as well.

"If the conditions we describe were confined to the ball park we might pass it over without further thought, but what are we to say when this same spirit enters the sanctuary and describes the attitudes of men toward God and religion? For the Church has also its fields and its rules and its equipment for playing the game of pious words. It has its devotees, both laymen and professionals, who support the game with their money and encourage it with their presence, but who are no different in life or character than many who take in religion no interest at all.
As an athlete uses a ball, so do many of us use words: words spoken and words sung, words written and words uttered in prayer. We throw them swiftly across the field; we learn to handle them with dexterity and grace; we build reputations upon our word-skill and gain as our reward the applause of those who have enjoyed the game. But the emptiness of it is apparent from the fact that after the pleasant religious game no one is basically any different from what he had been before. the basis of life remain unchanged, the same old principles govern, the same old Adam rules.
I have not said that religion without power makes no changes in a man's life, only that it makes no fundamental difference. Water may change from liquid to vapor, from vapor to snow and back to liquid again, and still be fundamentally the same. So powerless religion may put a man through many surface changes and leave him exactly what he was before. Right there is where the snare lies. The changes are in form only, they are not in kind."

What has bothered me is this game of religion. I watch people (including myself) live this game, changing one surface to another, but rarely changing eternally within, stepping into the new man. I grieve over this... My hope is people (including myself) will see what is good, but seek after God; that we wouldn't settle for the recognition of our gifting, or the social status in our church (wherever), but pursue intimacy with the Creator. I pray that He would have mercy on us and woo our hearts to His that we may be transformed by coming into what is real. Blessings to you all.


James (Follow)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Discernment with or without love

Just to let you know, I have 5 other posts that I haven't finished yet waiting to be posted and 10 other subjects to talk about... I just don't always want to sit down and write whats on my heart. Its kind of like waking up and wanting to write down a dream... I don't always want to write it down! Emotions can be really annoying at times.. After a while of God poking you (or He "steps out" in a sense), you decide, "Hey, I don't want to miss what He's speaking to me!", so your hunger gets stirred up and you start paying attention to what He's saying to you, even though it's a bit more difficult to understand through dark speech and riddles.

Anyway, God was speaking to me today about the dynamics of what He reveals to me: the discernment issue with or without love. I have a choice. I can be offended or judge people by the issues I perceive and dismiss much of what they say, even though the words spoken may be truth. Or I can sift through my perceptions in love to see what is behind the (sometimes) tents of Kedar, and take hold of the truth in acceptance and dismiss the negative atmosphere released. I am learning it's one thing to discern an atmosphere or issue and be influenced by its negativity, through offense or judgement; it's another to discern an atmosphere or issue and be an influence of love, whether its through patience, gentleness, or forgiveness, etc.

First, I need to realize my own tents... which I am slowly breaking as I chose humility under His mighty hand. What is frustrating is I want my heart to just admit that I am a prideful person, controlling situations to hide my inner man, but I have to be patient with myself in the process of intimacy with God, I have to be patient with others. I would much rather BOOM! understand His ways and have "intimacy" with God, than have to wrestle the realities of my soul rule, and be consumed by a fire that burns off impurities. My view of love and intimacy is selfish and convenient for me, at least in how I present it. But this is also the frustration I have with others too. Why can't we actually embrace what Jesus' spoke of and live as He did? Or His disciples? I ask God to teach me to walk in love, I ask for intimacy and will continue to ask, but what I am really asking is, "God, send me deeper into the dark night so that I can be purified from self rule and submitted to Your rule." Of course there is magnificent beauty that goes along with the baptism of the soul to the redemption of the spirit. It's the way of becoming beauty that is difficult. A hard heart, or a prideful man cannot enter in this place. I say these words in the honesty of my nature and my great need of change...


James (Follow)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

On the way to Scott's...

I was driving to Scott’s house this morning to pick up sound equipment for worship on the Pinnicle and on the way there I went into a trance. Not to long ago, when I came to New Hampshire, I would go into trances almost every time I drove somewhere or at random times throughout the day. I would just space out standing in a room, or in the middle of the kitchen, either I would be drawing a blank, or God would be speaking to me. However, this morning, all I remember is coming out of the trance. I don’t remember what I was thinking, or where I went, or where I even was at in that moment. I couldn’t have been away for too long, because I remember yielding at a sign before a crossroad. After that, I was somewheres else. It was as though I blacked out or “fell asleep” and then suddenly woke up realizing I was driving. I started to freak out asking David where I was at and if we had passed Scott’s house and he and Andy were looking at me weird thinking I was crazy, saying, “We haven’t even gotten to his house yet!” I finally came to my senses, and found where I was at… still going straight ahead.

I’m not sure why that happened other than He was letting me know He is with me. Maybe he was sealing information in my spirit, I'm not sure, I was blacked out! It was an odd way of speaking to me, but to be honest, I liked that He did it the way He did. I am finding He speaks to me in such strange ways...

Anyway, I thought I would share with ya'll a good Sunday story... :)




Friday, February 12, 2010

A Tale of Three Kings

We were discussing the book, A Tale of Three Kings this morning and how it applied to us in our lives. The interns had some great points and stories on how they related to the book, and the places they felt like a David under a Saul. I noted that growing up I was more of a Saul with a chip on my shoulder and a defensive heart. I was in love with control, imprisoned by my desperate need for being lord over my kingdom (soul) and was far from the awareness of my sickness. I am battling this more than ever before, willing to leave all that God has for me, the very destiny I was created for, because of fear and my need for control. It's frustrating to understand why I do the things I do, but am not able to embrace truth and love. In order to be able to even embrace the Spirit I have to let go. It is impossible to follow God and still be lord. "Lose your life and you will gain it, however if you keep your life, you will lose it." 

My family would tease me about about a family video when I was maybe 3. I had this toy that I just got for Christmas and apparently, I loved it! It was a vacuum bopper... (Now being an uncle and playing with my niece and nephews, I have found that this is probably the loudest toy of them all!)
My Dad says on the video, "Watch this... Hey James can I see that?" I shake my head and run away saying, "No!" 
I continued with the same heart growing up with my over indulgence of candy. My mom always had a snack drawer full of candy, and my grandma, being like any other grandma who loves to spoil her grandkids, had double the amount at her house. Let me tell you, thats a lot of candy... Some of you might think this is funny, but I held my candy at high respect, meaning: I didn't like to share! My Dad would buy my sibs and I some candy and the joke was, "Hey James, can I have some candy?" After a while I would be willing to share and give them one, maybe two skittles. :) 

I share these stories to illustrate, in a more amusing way, the position of my heart. I believe one of the reasons why David was so broken and struggled with Saul was that he saw the same heart issues within himself that he recognized in Saul. Instead of attacking back, David broke because He understood love. I desire to love as David loved, both my enemies and friends. To choose them before I choose myself, to not put on a face to protect myself, or swing to the other side and shut everyone out. I desire to give Him my delusion of control, and find rest in grace and acceptance. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

I've never been very good at writing how I feel. I am afraid of revealing my true heart to people, and the reality of my struggles of desiring to love, but always choosing myself over even the closest of people, my friends. Issues of the heart that I have understood intellectually are being challenged more than ever before... they have become my everyday experience in relationships, not just my thoughts and meditations throughout the day. 

I have just realized how paralyzed I allow myself to be because of my "self"consciousness, because of my introspection. I can get so caught up in what people think about me, my rejection, that I miss out on just being me. I can't say that I am myself too often... especially these days. To be totally honest, a lot of the times I make people feel awkward and uncomfortable, and like a separate person outside of myself, I'm looking at me feeling uncomfortable! I have never felt so weak, fearful, rejected, and hurt in my life, especially now since I feel this way every day. I used to feel relief being able to get away from church people, or those who I'm "close" to and hang out with street people, give a word, or help them with issues they don't understand, but now I feel so dysfunctional, I can't connect with anyone... I will read in the Bible and my paradigm will be crushed! I will read verses as simple as, "Jesus goes to the Father" and crumble by the fact that, I DON'T UNDERSTAND!! What does that mean!? Who are you!? For some reason my logic got thrown out and I can't make sense of realities that seem to be normal christian talk. (My question is, if the Bible has become normal christian talk, why aren't we changing? Why aren't we influencing people?) The fascinating connections between heaven and earth, the angelic realm, the incredible insight the apostles had on love and truth are astounding! Their words bring me peace and relief, yet to apply them to my life is impossible... I need grace..

About the craziness I feel constantly, it's not even that I get thrown into an experience and touched by the Lord, I just don't know where to begin to understand the reality or the radicalness of our God! How can I be sitting in the presence of the Lord and my soul be filled with fear? Not the fear of the Lord; that is clean. It is a selfish fear. It says, "I won't let you in because you will take my life, I won't have control anymore. I won't be able to pursue my lusts anymore!" If I let the Lord in my life, that means I'm not god anymore! Even though I am aware of His love and that He is faithful, I reject Him because then I have to rely upon Him... then I am actually in true relationship, open and vulnerable, at the hand of His mercy..



Sunday, January 10, 2010

My messy life...

A little over a year ago I started journaling so that I could process issues of my soul and "spirit". That is, in my soul, the emotions I felt in different circumstances with people or the feelings I have in different places, and also the thoughts that went through my mind to gain understanding of why I felt, thought and did the things I did. I also would write down wisdom and revelation the Lord gave me and processed what He was sharing with me. I feel in starting to journal, it opened a whole new reality to me, or what I think sometimes, "a whole can of worms". I can kind of compare it to what Morpheous asks Neo about the red pill, "Take the red pill and see how far the rabbit hole goes." I have taken the red pill, and my eyes have been opened to the reality of this world and its affect on us. 

I have been feeling the Lord pressing me to start writing publicly for about 5 months now and have wrestled him because I would rather keep silent and my thoughts to myself, in my own journal. But see, its not working... When I try to process in my journal, I feel like I get nowhere and I don't feel fulfilled.  I have been eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and at first it was good, I was gaining all of this knowledge. But I feel so unsatisfied and actually alone. This is why I want to share what I am going through and, in a way, be accountable and in communion. Most of what I have done has been of the soul in dealing with the mind, will, and emotions. What I want is to learn how to love, and I cannot do that alone in my thoughts...