I’m a big fan of having adventures. I like adventures with food, travel, sports, reading & lots more. There is, however, one area with adventure that I’m not very bold nor risky & that’s the area of relationships. When it comes to food, travel, sports, etc, whenever an adventure in these areas gets a little over the top, I know how to manage the risks & how to back off or resolve most of the difficulties. With relationships, those adventures are more tricky for me to manage. But here’s something that I’m discovering & learning: a vibrant relationship with God is the most extreme adventure for which I could ever join. Indeed, genuine love is bold, risky, thrilling, scary, extreme and audacious! And jumping into genuine love is like swimming in God’s presence. So let’s say yes to this adventure and living in an ever deepening & growing relationship with God – the Ultimate Extreme Adventure 🙂
I’ve been having some interesting conversations with God lately & I can’t say that I’m all that thrilled about some of the answers to a few important questions. So what do we do when we don’t get the answers that we want?
I’m trying to coach my kids that when I give them an unwanted answer, that they still maintain a good attitude. Maybe this is God’s way of coaching me to greater maturity as well – even when God gives me answers that I don’t want. Perhaps part of becoming more mature is understanding that the source of our life is a daily & dependent relationship with God & not just a shallow “getting my way” quick fix. I’m reminding myself that God’s ways are higher than my ways 🙂
I’ve been thinking about the Holy Spirit & Who the Holy Spirit is of late. Of course I don’t fully understand the Holy Spirit, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I always want to say “yes” to the Holy Spirit. I want to say “yes” to the Holy Spirit when:
I don’t understand what’s happening.
I don’t feel like it.
something isn’t in my normal comfort zone.
I’m confronted with a behavior that is contrary to His truth.
He wants to use me for His purposes
I’m offered love, grace & comfort and I haven’t earned it nor do I deserve it.
Someone told me about a new tax plan – something about proportional taxation. Seems like an interesting idea & I can see that our economy has some challenges & we need to make some changes. From these 2 sentences, please don’t project that I’m advocating any political position, party or platform. Rather, my point is that we need to always be learning, growing & adapting – this is my 999 plan: to continue growing.
I want to always be growing, learning & maturing. Along this line, I want to always be growing in my relationship with God and truthfully, I never want to say “no” to God. I don’t want my intellect to be a limit to God. I don’t want my desires or will to be a hindrance to God moving in my life. I don’t want my past failures or successes to impede God’s presence in my current daily living. I don’t want my pride to cause a separation from God. I just don’t want to say “no” to God in any way or context. I don’t want to say no to God in my marriage, finances, relationships, with Saving Moses, my values, perspective, thinking, or in any area. Simply put, my 999 plan is this: Yes, God 🙂
Reading in Philippians 2 has been very stimulating and challenging to me. Some things to consider in verses 5-8 are Paul’s command to us to have the same mind or attitude that Christ has. In verses 6-8, he tells us how to do this:
don’t hold onto a position (vs 6)
empty yourself (vs 7)
become a servant (vs 7)
don’t take yourself too seriously (vs 7)
humble yourself (vs 8)
die to yourself (vs 8 & Gal 2:20)
This is an “Everest” list – very big & maybe even insurmountable to some. Nevertheless, if you look just a few verses later, Paul encourages us work out our salvation with fear & trembling & that God is at work in us to give us the desire & ability to accomplish His desires (vs 13). So those times when you have a strange desire to help someone else, to take the low road & defer to someone else, to consider God’s preferences – consider those moments to be divine interruptions & even inspiritations. These are moments when the Holy Spirit is helping you to have the same mind as Christ! Any suggestions on getting better at being humble? 😉
Well, I’m very much enjoying this experiment & I’m big on experiments (I used to have like 3 or 4 old chemistry sets when I was growing up & I’d mix them all together just to see what would happen – fun times!!!). Anyways, these are some things so far that have come from the Lord’s Prayer adventure:
better focus – gives my mind something constructive to ruminate on during the day rather than the random clutter & general nonsense that can be useless & even harmful
greater respect & reverence for God = hallowed be Your Name
greater intimacy & understanding that God is my Father with all the elements that connect with fatherhood
greater submission & surrender to His authority & will (respectively) – bend to my King & bind myself to His will more than my desires
more emphasis on God & less on me
So, if you haven’t tried the Lord’s Prayer experiment, read the blog below & give it a shot. If you’re doing the experiment – how’s it going & what’s been happening? 🙂