Old Words To Young Hearts

Julian of Norwich, an anchoress and prophetic voice to her generation said, “We are Christ’s bliss.” 

Think for a moment how deeply loved you are, more than any text would suggest, or theology argues.  With this bliss from the right hand of God, we labor without thought of whether we have enough to go the distance, or whether we are approved, significant or valued.  We are his highest joy, this Beyond-Belief-Or-Understanding God, who through the ransom of His Son, has broken the hold of Satan’s authority to hold, torment, or control us.  This God wants to see every ounce of potential resting in your creative and spiritual mind and heart see the light of day.  He really does!

So, if that’s true, why do nagging questions persist?  Progress has been slower than your strategic plan can tolerate, what gives?  Why do those you love struggle so much?  How come you’re not freer to express your true self? There is an explanation, but you might not like it.  It’s because you have forgotten how long-suffering God is in bringing to light, and building to strength the faith, grit, and endurance you need to stand, as an ardent thick wall, against the arrows in the quiver of Satan. He has them aimed at destroying everything, and everyone you love.

Nothing is lost in God’s economy; something an old timer once told me when I was wrestling with a season of uncharted and unwanted circumstances. It was dead of winter, and cold in my own heart.  Northern Minnesota, in a small cabin called the Quiet Place, surrounded by white birch and a covering of pristine snow. I sat at a piano, plunking rather than tickling the ivory, thinking about how long it had been since I saw God show up.  I stood up and went to the bookshelf, and there I found a thin volume called, Praying Hyde.  I read it in one sitting, and before I put it down at the sound of the dinner bell that evening, God had renewed my vision for how important it is that I understand he holds in tension two parallel tracks for me to walk. The first one is my calling, and the work of God he wants done in the world.  Every morning I commit the hours of that day to him, and ask that if I’m off even a smidge, that he would correct my trajectory. 

But there’s another, more important track, running alongside; the hand of God kneading, folding, and at times pounding the dough of my character, so that I don’t find myself in a place where the planks of my likeness to God, once strong and buoyant, would crack and break sending me to regrettable places.  The author of Praying Hyde captured a life that spent just 20 years on the mission field, but radically changed the entire country of India.  At the end of his years of service, Hyde was too weak to continue, so he returned home to see specialists.  They told him his heart was the problem.  It had shifted out of place.  The doctor asked him how he thought this may have happened.  He smiled.  Literally hours prone in prayer, seeking the heart of God, convinced there is no higher calling, and using the fuel of those encounters with Holy Presence to march out of his prayer closet, and win multitudes to faith in Jesus.  But please remember this, it’s not about imitating greatness, but investigating mystery.

Let Matthew 6:33 become a beacon, literally life’s strategic plan behind your plans. It will keep in check any of your skewed motives and pierce the heart of the Octopus of ungodly ambitions, wilting the tentacles of greed, notoriety, fear, worry, conflict, calculated risk, competition, and religious garb.

Keep a bead on Christ’s Bliss over you, so that nothing stops the penetration of God’s love into your holy ambitions.  When love trumps ambition, ambition then is driven by love. 

One Comment Add yours

  1. daylerogers says:

    There will always be the nagging questions that don’t make sense in light of the magnificence of God. Your eight-legged Octopus of ungodly ambitions is such a picture of all that seeks to defeat and deflate us. I love the idea of Christ’s Bliss. Downright heavenly.

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