Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Praying Things Forward in Worship

Here's the "pray things forward" song of late. Sometimes, we enter seasons in which the enemy is very actively pushing and gaining some ground. Our response as loved ones of God can be to stand in the truth of who God is, who we are because of Him...and push back in prayer.

Prayer for me can be a challenge because there are situations I want to pray about but can't find all the words to speak. Visual prayer is what helps me, especially in the context of worship. What I do is surrender my whole mind (intellect and imagination) and whole heart to God and then bring the situation into the context of the music. I sing the words over the situation and picture the situation in context of God's identity and the true identity and calling of all involved. I visualize those involved and the storm of conflict in obedience to and in the grace of the sentiment of the song. It can be a massive challenge if I am singing it over an opponent, but in the is the greatest position of empowerment.

When we can place ourselves in the reality of God and what He is doing, we become more free from limited perspectives or emotional reactions. (Proverbs 18:10...The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.) We can actually gain wisdom in how to act or not. Regardless, we find a place of inner stillness in the storm, and from that place we can declare...push forward...what God's will and way would be.

The enemy hates I do it more. :)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

When your faith doesn't fit...

Hubs and I went to an awesome retreat this weekend by Joel Warne of Wellspring Life Resources. It was actually themed as a retreat for those going through the aging process but was very well suited for anyone grieving loss or experiencing a transition. There were many points that stood out to me, so I might write a few blogs about those as I sit in them longer.


The seasons when my faith just doesn't seem to fit...

Perhaps you can relate to this. It certainly has been a challenge for me on occasion over the years (and is right now). A moment of death (a change, a challenge, a loss) in which what you thought you knew about God or in your faith isn't seeming to fit just right anymore...

And, of course, the introspective questions in a season of "faith friction" are usually shame-based. "What am I doing wrong that allows what "worked" yesterday to be lacking today? Is something wrong with me? Is God disappointed in me?" It can be a hamster wheel of self-condemnation that can actually take us from relationship with the divine to a state of doubt, disillusion and despair.

The enemy is quite equipped to help us rob ourselves of a beautiful unfolding or emerging of a gift.

Joel reminded us of the story of Mary at the empty tomb of Jesus. (Mary at Jesus' Empty Tomb) Initially, Mary doesn't recognize Jesus when he speaks to her. When He says her name, she is suddenly aware. Of course, after yelling out "Teacher!" (which is how she knows Jesus), she wants to touch hold on to the joy she is experiencing in her heart. Interestingly, He cautions her not to because He has not yet ascended to His Father.

What in the world does this have to do with our faith not fitting sometimes???

How Mary knew Jesus before the cross wasn't going to fit the new situation she was entering. He wasn't just "Teacher" anymore. He was something much different. He was now the resurrected Jesus...and her understanding of Him was about to explode into something far more awesome than she ever imagined. A Jesus beyond her current understanding but "fit" for the new life circumstances she would be entering.

And her story is a gift to us. Who we've known Jesus to be or how we've understood our faith up until now will likely not be the same as the gift of "new" that is coming our way on the other side of our challenge. Through and past those "cross" moments is a "faith fit" meant for us.

So...our invitation as we walk through...keep holding on. Keep wrestling. In the loss or struggle, keep coming to the tomb to see where Jesus is, and be open to the fact that He just might show up in a new and "fitting" way...