October 17, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines XXII: Traveling Partner(s)

Divulging Your Spiritual Life In Others

The primary person I confide in about my spiritual life is my wife. Frankly, with the amazing things that are happening in my life recently I am reluctant to mention some of the things I dream about or experience in the ministry to anyone else. I am afraid they would often think I am nuts. The serendipitous events and things we see happen have to be more than coincidences. They usually look more like providence and grace to us. When good things happen to my family or I it is also nice to share with my wife as she is also my best friend and we care about many of the same things. I share everything with my wife. If I cannot be totally open with her I cannot have a proper marriage based in trust. Without trust and faithfulness a marriage has nothing to stand on except empty promises.

Faith Breeds Faith

There have been a few that have helped me grow in love and trust of God but the most profound effect has been from God Himself. As the Lord has asked us to step out on our own to pursue a calling in the ministry…He has provided as we needed it. Not too much and not too little. He provides what we need. Every time it looks as if we have come to a bridge that we cannot cross He provides the means to do so. It is not easy for us because this requires pure faith that knows He will provide the means to get to the other side of an obstacle but He has provided. This in turn has built a sound faith in Him that even though it may be strained at times, it is not easily etched and chipped away by small dilemmas. One the human level I will again say it is my wife that walks alongside me in this journey of faith and sanctification. When one of us is down the other does the best they can to hold the other one up. In the end the stronger we go into situations with faith the better we end.

Pushing Out The Edges Of Faith

Provision and the ways in which God has supplied and equipped us for what is ahead is at times astounding. My wife and I often “expect” help to come in a certain form and we are often surprised but the help that we do get and the source from which we get it. This is how we know that the equipping and help is from God. It is not what we expect and it still helps anyway. Strange…

Praying Up Faith

We (I) pray daily that He provides and helps us achieve our purposes that He has for us in this life. This often means submitting totally without even knowing exactly where we are going or what we are to do. What we have to do or what we have to go through to get where He wants us is not always a picnic but we usually get where He wants us no worse for the wear (usually). When the tests come it is usually in the form of a deafening silence from God. I know He is not being malicious he is making us ascertain where we are at in our walk. Once we understand we know where to work and put our efforts to extend the Lord’s kingdom in our lives.

Addressing the Obvious Weaknesses

All of us have obvious weakness and they need to be addressed. They can only get worse if they are not dealt with. The primary weakness of the flesh is the doubt over provision but was we have been eventually provided for in these quarters we have learned to cling tightly in down times and wait in the Lord for direction. Again, this is not easy it requires suppressing a natural worldly (flesh) urge to panic. Money is always a bone of contention either too much which corrupts or too little which causes one to stress over well-being or family and health. I realize that fear of not having money to meet the utilities should not be fretted over because we are told not to worry about tomorrows anxiety today…we still live in this world and are subject to some of its stresses. I pray we have the faith to overcome the stresses and know that God will obviously not leave us swinging in the breeze. He will equip us for the task we have been called to. My wife and I pray for one another in these situations but in the extended church family I know that others pray for us also just as we are praying for them. I would name them but I do not want to embarrass them. They are much to humble to see their names put up in lights.

Celebrate Overcoming The Struggle

The primary outlet for telling people how our amazing journey is unfolding is through my blog. People need to know and understand that God is indeed faithful. When Jesus first sent them out with power and authority to cast out demons and heal people. God will never have you do something in obedience without supplying you with the tools and supplies you need to do the job. This must be understood for those that call on Him for help. The provision will be there. God is not like an earthly boss or leader. He will not command you to do things or called you to His work and then renege on his promises if you have obeyed Him and taken up the task. The only thing that the faithful need to keep in mind is you must step out in faith first as Abram did.

"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Luke 10:27

Our journey in life is not meant to be walked alone. That is why it is called "our" journey. We are all in this together and as such we should support one another in the Church also. The verse above says we are to "love your God with all your heart..." The implication is that this command is given to everyone. If we are all doing this than it is not your/me but rather our/us. We are to love our God with all our hearts, our souls, and our minds and love our neighbors as ourselves. Pay attention people! There is a corporate level in the church...not just individual. We are an outward selfless faith not inward selfish and individualisic faith (save that for other religions not ours). In turning outward to others we strengthen our faith, extend the Kingdom of God and do what we were commanded. Its a win-win-win for everyone involved. The more we make things of God's Kingdom ours instead of just "mine" the closer to the way things were mean to be anyway. Somewhere there is a perfect balance of unity of body and individual personalities. An optimal overlap. Based on the commands in the Scripture I believe we are called to find it...don't you think?

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