October 13, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines XX: God the Cartographer

Where I'm At On My Journey

Pilgrimage is a word that seems to imply a person kind of knows where they are going. I honestly cannot use this word as I am literally at the whim of the Master. I know that I have needed to completely change course and leave a former career to pursue something new. I have returned to school at middle-age and attend classes with people half my age but I know this changes everything as I have formerly understood it. I am beginning to learn a load of new things yet I know nothing. I let the wind chart my course. As the spirit blows I set my sail to catch the wind and I go where He has already charted my course. I a word I am adrift on the sea of God.

Mentors As Landmarks

The idea of having a second set of eyes (spiritual director) in my relationship with God neither totally attracts me or repels me. Most would think it’s a private relationship but the truth is, nothing that happens in the body of Christ is totally private. Everything we do in the body has an affect on others in the faith. We do not live in isolation. I would prefer to call them mentors. It is good common-sense to have people I respect both as neighbors, brothers/sisters and friends that act on my behalf when I am interpreting messages from God incorrectly. We are to look out for one another in our walk because there will be times that we stumble, get beat down or get too big for our britches. Sometimes our God goggles get fogged up and we do not see things properly.

God Guides People

God is all over my life and many times He is not subtle but like a hammer on a cymbal. The last few years He has been impossible to miss and obvious like the directions on a compass. He has been obvious not only to me but also to my wife and anyone with spiritual discernment that sees how my life has been unfolding recently. Many have told me that they have not seen God work in such a profound and visible manner as they say He has in my life in the last three years. In all humbleness I must agree. It has been quite strange, for almost forty (40) years I see neither hide nor hair of God and now I couldn’t shake Him if I tried (not that I would ;) . No matter where I turn it is like the inexorable draw of True North pulling the needle of the spiritual compass. God is my direction finder and His directions are emblazoned on my heart.

Uncharted Territories

Arrogance and losing touch with God has a way of magnifying our weaknesses. Losing or moving away from a dependence on God is to move away from a measuring stick that checks to see that you are moving at the pace and in the direction that you should. When we move away from God our blind spots get larger and unmanageable. When we come close to Him He has our back and lets us in on our flaws…whether we want to see them or not. God expects us to move along in our process of sanctification. He expects us to become more holy as we move closer to Him. Otherwise we cannot even approach Him. He would not let us.Just as a person needs to be able to recognize their blind spots, so too they need to be able to recognize the fruits of the Spirit in their lives. Without them we have no gauge of whether or not we are moving in the right direction. Without them we may very well be failing in our walk. We need to always check to assure that we are in the Faith. Our spiritual fruits that we manifest give us an exact bearing of where we are at in our walk.

"...for we walk by faith, not by sight” 2 Corinthians 5:7

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" 2 Corinthians13:5

There are no shortcuts to places that are worth going. There is an unknown quality that toiling instills in an endeavour that those who never venture will never understand. God knows this and guides us on the optimal path to get us where He wants us. Sometimes those paths will take us over mountains of triumph and through valleys of despair. The journey may not always be prefect but it wasn't meant to be...the destination was.

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you." Psalm 32:8

"Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.Psalm 143:10

"You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory." Psalm 73:24

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