Friday, January 30, 2015

What I Crave



In the computer world, this is a long time standing principal, but it also holds true in every other area of life.  Why, when it comes to God, do we expect differently?

With these sunny skies of our balmy January, I've had an inkling towards gardening.  It is too early to be planting, obviously, but one thing remains true.  No matter the quality of the seed, the success of the plant depends greatly on the condition of the soil.  Every ounce of energy I invest in improving the soil is worth it in fruitfulness.

We relish in the produce.  Oh the delight of the first tender peas, the baby spinach, the radishes, and sweet lettuce!  But long before I receive these blessings, I first work the soil.  I labor.  I invest.   

The seed of the Word of God is of highest quality.  The problem is not in the seed, but in the soil of my heart.  How is it that at the same worship service one is touched, inspired, and revived, but another is left unchanged, even claiming the service was dead?  Was God's Spirit really absent?  We know it cannot be, for "where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt. 18:20)  God promises His presence, but we can miss Him entirely. How?  It all depends on our attitude, the soil of our hearts.   

We might come away from a service thinking, I got nothing out of it.   If that is the case maybe its because we never put anything into it.  "Sing us a song," the people demanded of God's chosen. (Psa. 137:3)  And we start to think that worship is a performance, something that someone else does for us rather than the surrender of our own hearts. 

Growth only comes as I participate with the Lord.  I recently heard this on the radio, "Each of us has as much of God as we want of Him." (Dr. David Jeremiah)  After thinking about that all week, I have to agree.  Do I truly desire the Lord with all of my being?  We sing, "Better is one day in Your courts than thousands elsewhere."  Really?  Is that the craving of my heart?  Maybe if it were, if all I sought was "to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His Temple", worship would take on a whole new dimension.  (Psa. 27:4)

God wired each of us differently.  One person wears their emotions on their sleeve, while another, though just as intense in their focus and passion, might wear it on the inside.  Yet, both need to be sensitive to one another and accept how each is made.  Worship is not something that can be driven.  Furthermore, forcing someone to be who they are not, kills worship.  And so where is the balance?  Perhaps not in how we worship, but in Who, not in the level of expression, but in the preparation of the heart.  

And so I ask myself, "What do I crave?"  The intensity of my seeking is probably only as great as the desire for what I crave.  If I truly want more of God, I will pursue Him in greater measure.  Input.  Output. 

P.S.  There is one exception where this does not hold true, and it has everything to do with eternity.   Sandwiched between grace and mercy is this, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8)  I put nothing into my salvation, but I receive "every spiritual blessing in Christ." (Eph. 1:3)  I simply place my trust in the work of Jesus, calling on the Lord to forgive my sin, and His blood washes me clean. (Rom. 10:13) I am set free.

My position in Christ does not budge.  It is the anchor for my soul.  But then, like kneading color into play doh, we work out, or practice what God has worked in.  Not as passive onlookers, but active participators in His work as He conforms us into His image.   


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