Monday, June 13, 2011

Walking With God Part 1 (Thoughts from the Watcher)

God never ceases to amaze me. He will show Himself everywhere, if you set your heart to seek Him and start looking around! One day recently I took a long walk out on a levee to talk with God. It was actually an assignment as part of a Bible study I'm working on. The idea was to go take some time to just fellowship with God and focus on His love for me and expressing my love for Him. It wasn't a time to ask anything of Him, just to enjoy being with Him.

Well, when I started out, I wasn't in a mood for praising God and I wasn't feeling very peaceful in our relationship. There was a lot of turmoil going on inside about personal weakness and I was focused in on myself. Since I couldn't focus on the purpose of the assignment and there's no fooling God about the state of my heart, I decided to just pour it out to Him. So I'm walking along and asking God some tough questions and crying out my frustrations. And you know what? He was okay with that. He didn't answer any of my questions then, but what He did give me was amazing enough. He began to pull my heart away from my self-pity and my limitations and to help me look up and see what He has given me in this moment. I started thanking Him for every blessing I could experience around me, like the sky, the grass, the river, the sounds of the water and the birds, the sensations of the breeze and the sun, the shade from the trees along the river that provided welcome relief at the end of an extremely hot day. The blessing that my body is strong and able, so I could walk and hear and see and feel all these things. We receive these gifts every day, and once in awhile we will stop and really see them, but most of the time I just take them for granted, even act as if God owes it to me. But He doesn't owe me anything. Stop and think about that. What do we actually deserve? For our rejection of our Creator and rebellion against the King of Kings, all we deserve is Hell. When we look at the incredible mercy and grace of God, that He made a way for us to come back to Him, He gave us the desire to even want to return, and He offers salvation freely to all who believe, assuring us of eternal life in Heaven, our response to any good thing in life ought to be: All this, and Heaven, too?!!! Oh, for eyes and hearts to see the blessings Father has given us above and beyond our eternal security, and to count these gifts every day!

When I started walking across the levy, the river was further down in the woods, and I could only catch occasional glimpses of it flashing at me. Later on, to my joy, I came out into a wider, lower place where I could walk up on the bank and watch the current flow. To me, the river symbolized experiencing God's love and walking in the power of His Spirit. So often in my life I feel like I'm only getting snatches of that intimate relationship with Him. The problem is that I don't take time to be with Him, or I seek Him halfheartedly, or I'm not willing to deal with a sin in my life that He has His finger on. I get used to the thirst and don't realize how dry my soul is. The Word talks about the way a deer pants for the stream of water after a long run, and that is the way God wants our hearts to long for Him. The river brought up this longing in my heart, that I don't want to keep getting little glimpses and tastes of God. I want to jump in and drink the river. I want to drown in it! I want to move at the impulse of God's Spirit as if I were floating in the current of the river.

God gave me another gift on that walk, as I went on and came out beside an open field. The call of a hawk had reached my ears, and I wanted to go on and find where it was. I remember learning from a bird book once that the call often used in movies for an eagle is actually that of the red-tailed hawk. I have yet to see an eagle in the wild, so the hawk is my eagle substitute. Sure enough, partway down the field-row, the hawk flew out of a tree and started riding the currents right over my head. For several minutes I stood there and watched and listened to God's whisper in my heart. Recently I heard someone sharing something they'd learned about eagles, and I don't think I'd ever heard it before. Most of us know that eagles (or hawks) ride on the air currents, and they expend very little energy in actual flying. But what this person had learned was that an eagle will go to the highest place it can find, and there it will sit and wait for a draft of air to come along. It doesn't flap off in search of a current; it waits until the wind comes and then steps off into that current and rides. To me that was an awesome picture. The Holy Spirit is like that wind current. Jesus told us plainly that we can do nothing without Him. He did not design us to "flap our wings" and live this life within our own capabilities. "He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Is. 40: 29-31
Did you catch that? God wants us to wait on Him like the eagle waits for the air current. We don't have to go out looking for something to do for God. Instead, we need to ask Him to show us what He is doing, and when He brings that current by, in other words, He reveals a work He's doing and invites us to join Him, we can jump in and let Him enable us to soar! Without Him, we will stumble and fall, even if we're working in our strong points. But when God carries us on His current, we can do anything, even in our weakest places, especially in our weakest places. Because that just shows up God more!

Let God be your wind and your river today.