Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sensing Him; Seeing Him

Welcome to Yes to God Tuesdays as I temporarily host for sweet Lelia the online study of Lysa Terkeurst's wonderful book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl.

Chapter 15 A Glorious Sense of Possibility

Lysa begins by sharing an experience of delays in her flight to a speaking engagement. Upon several encounters the finally made another flight. Helped by a stranger. Void of any more delays. Many things that to the human eye can appear as coincidence or good luck. But Lysa saw much more.

For me personally, I don’t see anything as coincidence but rather Godincidences. A word I thought I created a couple years ago until I saw it used by someone a few months ago.

The word seek can be found numerous times in the Word. One of my favorites is one usually overlooked by its close neighbor, Jeremiah 29:11. You will seek Me and find me when you seek Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 “To see God means to actively look for Him and anticipate His activity in everything.” [my emphasis] To anticipate means to expect, believe, know that God is working in all areas of our lives.

If Lysa could give every woman only one gift it would be “to glimpse God throughout their days—the miraculous mixed with the mundane. This would radically change the way we think, the way we process, and certainly the degree to which we trust God.” The possibility of seeing God. The evidence of His activity. Knowing God without any evidence is an awesome gift. But to see evidence of His activity in our lives is superb. It is the whip cream and cherry on our delicious hot fudge sundae.

A fellow speaker of Proverbs 31 and friend of Lysa’s, Whitney Capps, had a forty foot pole-climb experience that went much further than a physical exertion. As she stopped just 12 inches from the top and tempted to give up, she determined to continue. She did but then fell. Whitney learned that she has little spiritual stamina and stops short of a full-on devotion to God. How many times do we all do that? We set out with a new devotional reading plan, a new Bible study, a new routine with God, and a few weeks into it something happens. The discipline is broken and we fall back into a disrupted devotion.

Whitney goes on to say “I’m not disappointed that I fell in the last second. I’m glad that I didn’t believe the lies that ‘close was close enough.’ The difference between emotion and devotion may only be a few inches, but the view is dramatically different. Emotion can get you near the top, but that’s about it. Only devotion lets you experience a view so grand it takes your breath away.” Lysa questions why we aren’t more “compelled, convinced, and concerned with pursuing God more wholeheartedly.” That word always perks my ears as I’ve been asking for several months for a wholehearted devotion and an undivided heart.

Has God’s commands-->Obeys them­-->Love Jesus-->Loved by God-->Loved by Jesus-->Sees Jesus.
Our personal road map. Atlas. Mapquest. McNally.

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. John 14:21

Whoever = everybody. Regardless of church attendance. Regardless of Bible knowledge. Regardless of past actions.

Has my commands and obeys them. His commands are in His Word. The greatest command being to love God with all we have. Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength. The second being to love others. (Mark 12:30-31) If we have a wholehearted devotion to God, filled with loving Him and others, it’s hard to lie, steal, cheat, hurt, etc.

He is the one who loves me. Who is he? Who is this person? The one who has God’s commands and obeys them. There is a direct relationship between our obedience and love. Our obedience is an act that shows our love for God. God wants to be loved. The One who is love. The One who loves. Yet, He still wants to be loved. He desires our love. He desires my love.

He who loves me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him. This is not a possibility but reality. It doesn’t say I might love you and I might show Myself. There’s no possible in it. I will love you and show Myself to you. If we obey Him, it will show our love for Him. If we love Him, we will obey Him. It’s not out of obligation but out of desire. Yes, a desire to obey God unlike a child obeying a parent out of obligation or even fear. Our love for God will compel us to obey Him.

Do you “dare to believe that Jesus would love to show Himself to you? Wouldn’t it make your soul come alive like never before to see evidence of His presence constantly and consistently all around you?” [my emphasis]

Lysa says “I can hardly go through anything in life without seeing God’s hand in it.” My mind is meditating on that. I know God’s hand is on my life and every area. However, I struggle with seeing His hand in certain situations. I can’t see what He’s doing in that conversation, in that relationship, in that emotional low. Yet I know He is, though I don’t see the details of His work. Maybe that’s it. Maybe me being such a detail-oriented person I’m looking for details and He doesn’t want me to focus that small? But then the supposed ‘happenstances’ and the ‘coincidences’--the Godincidences--of life are detailed. TMI…too much information on my complex mind for my precious readers.

Lysa hits the nail on the head with “what if an experience I attribute to God isn’t from Him at all?” That is so me. Sometimes it can be so gray in discerning His hand, satan’s scheme, or my flesh.

However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.1 Corinthians 2:9-10

“If only you will open up your heart to the possibilities for Him to use everyday things to change you, grow you, strengthen you, and remind you of His amazing love…You will start to see Him. You will start to hear Him. You will get to know Him more deeply. And you will want to follow Him more boldly. And what a glorious sense of possibility that is!”

If you have more to share on your blog, please use MckLinky below to hook up. I would greatly welcome any comments even if you are not doing the study. You don't have to be reading this book to share your wisdom and insight to this post.

Sensing Possibilities,

© Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.


Sharon said...

Hi Paula,
I just wanted you to know that I'm stopping by every week and reading every one of your posts.(You helped me out with our sweet sister Lelia in case you don't remember who I am). You're doing an awesome job! I so appreciate you! I'm just not so good at commenting. I don't know if you remember, but I'm an extemely slooowwww typer and not too good at expressing my thoughts... in writing anyway.

So...I just wanted you to know that. Keep it going sister! You are remarkable!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Yes, I remember you. I looked in my email to see if I had kept your email address but obviously I didn't. If you come back and read this comment, please email me. My address is on my sidebar.

Anonymous said...