Monday, March 14, 2011

Faith or yearning.....which one is leading you?

What gives you a sense of security in life? What makes you feel like you are living life to the fullest? Are you so concerned with your future that that's all you see? How can we live in the present but be secure in our future? Jesus would tell us that we need to live by faith, which is "the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen". But how often do we live by yearning and confuse that with faith?
Its perfectly normal to have hopes and dreams and think about our futures, but if we are not careful our hopes can turn into yearning. Yearning causes us to stray from reality and produces the opposite of faith. When we strive for future success, and become focused on the future instead of the now, we only attain a false sense of security. 
In order to become aware of the present and its importance, we need to become eternally conscious. From birth an eternal conscience is placed in us, but somewhere along the road of life our “ego” or sinful nature gets fed so much that it takes over our conscious thinking and we become selfish or ego centric thinkers. Since we are born as sinners with a sinful nature, we are naturally going to feed our ego’s quicker than recognize we are selfish beings. When we keep feeding the sinful nature we drown out hearing or being sensitive to hearing the Holy Spirit. 
Learning to recognize or being aware of the Holy Spirit and our own selfish thoughts is becoming eternally conscious. It is recognizing that GOD speaks to us TODAY. Apostle Paul described a battle that is waging, that I believe is this battle to keep us in that state of thinking. I think with these words, ”I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin,” he’s giving a perfect description of how we are conscious of eternity but because we are flesh we must always battle to stay in that state. We are battling to live according to what the Fathers will is, which is being revealed to us through the Holy Spirit. 
If being eternally conscious means we are carrying out our life purpose by putting all our efforts into the now, and that the present is more important than the future, then children are the ones living in the higher form of reality. Jesus uses children to show that they are the ones who will easily enter the Kingdom for the reason that they have true faith, and are perfect examples of living in the moment.
Unless we train a child otherwise, they naturally tend to do things for moments gratification. They enjoy their present moments because to them the future doesn’t exist in the way it does for adults. The future is the biggest thing an adult sees because of worry and lack of trust that comes from the lack of knowing their Maker. It is not until we begin to live with an eternal conscience that we will recognize our Maker wants to be in relationship with us NOW...that eternity begins NOW.
To maintain a relationship with our Maker we must be willing to listen to the Holy Spirit and recognize Him in our lives, the way He’s moving, the way He feels, His characteristics. He is so different to each individual. Some recognize Him quicker through music, some through natures beauty, some through little life situations. He is a supriser, speaking in all the ways mentioned, but also a gentle sweet imposer, who loves to crash pity parties and remind us that we are loved, that nothing can be as bad as it feels, that every moment of life should be filled with excitement because He the CREATOR is right HERE with us. 
If we aren’t being awakened by the Father's voice through the Spirit, then we are falling asleep, and staying in a “ego centric” dream like state, detached from the real reality. The real reality is that life on earth is short and a spec in eternity. Living with an eternal conscience means you are aware that life here is short, this is not our home. The question becomes not what are we taking with us, but who are we taking with us. People become the most important assets to us, just as they are God's most important asset. Jesus truly becomes who He says He is, (THE way, THE truth, THE life) the ONLY way to living in the highest form of reality.
(February 2009)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Turning our hierarchies upside down....

Being a child development major I became very familiar with Maslow's hierarchy of needs, but never quite agreed with it. Maslow's theory states that without the fundamental and basic needs or 'deficiency needs', a person cannot 'self actualize' or in other words realize their potential. Realizing ones full potential is where one is not only aware of their own potential but also aware that others are equally important. These basic needs that are to be met before a person can achieve this 'higher level' of existence are esteem, friendship, love, security, and physical needs.
But if Maslow's theory of self actualization is accurate then why are some of the poorest people who are lacking physical comfort, love, or security, some of the most 'self actualized' people you'll ever meet? I have been among children who have nothing but the clothes on their backs, but when given any food or a special treat, they will gather their friends to share what they can't enjoy without letting others be a part of it, even if it means they get a tiny little piece left for themselves. These children have no one to fully meet any basic need, but they prove that with God as validator for their existence, they have not only become 'self actualizers' but Christ actualizers. They are aware that their basic needs are met in Christ therefore they want to treat others as they would want to be treated.
It is obvious that Maslow was looking at human nature form a naturalistic view where, with the absence of faith, he is stating the poor cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Jesus came to turn human wisdom and revelation upside down and with his statements turned Maslow's hierarchy of needs upside down as well. Only the spirit of God can allow us to examine ourselves and show us our need for reliance on Him alone. He doesn't help us 'self actualize' to help others for that sake alone, we become aware of who we are before God because in His presence we become aware of our ultimate need of him, and how selfish human nature really is. 
The sin of Adam not only caused us to self actualize incorrectly but it made us think we can climb this hierarchy of needs on our own. That is the exact reason Adam and Eve fell. It was the pride of man that made them think that somehow it is their right to become self actualizers and determine good and evil for themselves. How did they even know what the term evil meant when they were in wholeness and perfection up until they experienced 'evil'. Evil must of been any action done being separate of God in your own will. Once they chose to be separate from God this one time, when they ate of the forbidden tree, they chose to say I know better than the one who created me what choices I should make for my life. 
This is still the spirit of the world at work in us, constantly whispering in our ear,"You will have knowledge of both good and evil, you don't need God to tell you what is good and what is not, you are your own person." We easily submit to this lie because it is so close to God's promise that His sheep hear His voice and therefore will be able to determine good and evil. The good news is that his sheep do hear his voice and because of that they will walk in the ways of the Lord. The bad news is that it won't be a voice saying don't go there, don't do that because your walking into evil. It will be a still small voice saying, "Come unto me and rest, because of your willingness to follow me only, I will guide you into the places you will go." Sometimes it will seem that God is taking us into evil, into deserts, and we will say, God why did you allow me to get led there, I suffered because of where I went. But he will say, "Where is evil in the places that I am with you, did I not say I have given you authority to trample over serpants and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy? That NOTHING by any means shall hurt you? Then why do you say you were without that authority in those places?" 
Were Adam and Eve without authority when the serpent came to them? Of course not. They chose to say, "I want to be aware of self and choose what is good, I don't trust that God can choose correctly what is right for me, and even if He can, I want to be able to do it for myself!" They got what they asked for and sadly much more. Being in self awareness for the first time, they saw that man is not anything worthy of His grace. They hid and probably experienced the action of trembling for the first time as God came to where they were hiding. Thankfully, though a fearful thing it is to be in the hands of an angry God, it is also very humbling and heart transforming to be in the hands of a merciful One.

And that is how He chooses to deal with our sin of pride to this day. We can be fearful and keep hiding because we realize we've chosen wrong, or we can humble ourselves before our loving Father and reclaim the authority we have in His Son. Accept our fault as being the pride of man, unworthy of any good standing with the Most Holy One, and live in the calling of reconciliation and oneness where He will lead us not into temptation, but into His glorious riches in Christ.

May God direct you and lead you by His loving hand as you gaze your eyes on His eyes of perfect love and quiet your spirit to Him :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

On the palms of my hands...

I have fallen in love with the concept of this verse: "Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me." (Isaiah 49:15-16) How more intimate and profound it is to think about the God of the universe having our names written on the palms of his hands. Not only that but his love being stronger than that of a nursing mothers' in the wake of experiencing the closest bond attainable. With that in mind, it's a love that sees through walls of hardened hearts, and with all his being, can still say to those unbelieving hearts, "I have not forgotten you". Imagine a husband and wife branding their hands or fingers when love is alive and passionate, to proclaim they have given themselves over to one another. Or a proud parent wanting to proclaim their love and child's existence. God wants to proclaim your existence in that same intimate way. He wants you to feel like your being braged about to all the angels. And when you see that love he's expressing and realize you are not forgotten, you will want to not only write his name upon your hand, but engrave him deep into your heart. A revelation of such passionate love is our only hope for a revolution. One where we can lift inscribed hands and hearts unto the one who has proclaimed his love for us from the creation of the world. From before time existed, he gave his light over to darkness in order that he would dwell among his cherished creation. Whom when he saw for the very first time not only did he call good, but proclaimed his love for it upon the palms of his hands. All in hope that one day our hearts and souls would receive the indwelling light to be made manifest within. And not being able to contain such light, we will be able to truly profess who it is we belong to and who it is we were created for. For it is with our lips we will proclaim but with our hearts we will truly KNOW, "You are Lord, the one who holds me in the palm of your hand and calls me beloved, calls me unforgotten, calls me to come and be known."

Friday, March 4, 2011

Validate me

        Are we living for sensual rewards or spiritual rewards? Sensuality is a hidden idol. We are consumed with wanting to feel and experience life. We are driven to leave a mark wherever we go. Feeling empty if we haven't grabbed someones attention, if we haven't made someone laugh, if we haven't laughed ourselves. We need others to validate our existence, we need others for life to feel abundant. But those others, every single one of them, become an idol as we slowly rely on their responses toward us, whether its negative or positive. By allowing others, even family to validate, “recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of our existence”, we are embracing the exact opposite of what Jesus came to give us. He said he will give us a life of abundance. But the only way he said we can have that is when we love EVERYTHING else less than Him. When we truly believe him to be Lord, and ask for his Spirit to dwell in us and guide us, we will hear his voice telling us to “let go” and cut ties with anything we love above or more than him. In Luke 14:26, he said “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple”. This is a hard statement to understand, and it is one that is the hardest to obey. The simple meaning of Jesus’ statement is to love your loved ones less than Him and be willing to cut ties with anything that hinders you from obeying Christ. He wants you to live in the revelation that HE LOVES YOU MOST and wants to give you that abundance you can rest in. One that no loved one can provide for you. He needs you to spread that same love, and how will you be able to if you cant love him most?
       When we remain in the world to take of it and to offer to it, we exist to self validate and be validated. This is not the abundant life Jesus came to give us. Our heart must seek validation from Him alone, only then will we be worthy of his kingdom. That is the life he is calling us to. To be validated as heirs of an everlasting kingdom, as his beloved bride, that he desires to reveal himself through. When a bride walks down the isle, we behold her in her glory because there is a love shining forth from the heart she is carrying to the altar, the heart she will willingly give away to the one she loves. What if we can have that kind of glory on us everyday because everyday we willingly carry our hearts to the altar of the one we call Lord? 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Not by any other name

Come to my window, throw your stones
I have no inspiration, no perception of your thoughts
I long to feel you breathe sublime reflections of your heart
Pen in hand, ink run dry, an ardour of life appeals my mind
I see your silhouette running along my walls
How quickly you came
No time to wish upon our favorite star
Its just us tonight, I title an empty page
Hold out my hand and wait for you to write
 End up with only a page full of our names entwined
You say goodnight, I long for tomorrow
Tomorrow comes and another page of names entwined follows
You say goodnight, I say “wait, you said only to ask”
“Look again, look and see what we are, 
not on the pages but go back to the start,
when you spent time writing your name in a heart with mine”
Left mesmerized by the greatest abstraction from divine interaction
I look at my pages and say you're the best
A more perfect reflection of my soul I cannot attest
Knowing the meaning of my name you’ve resurrected 
‘Whole, Complete, Healer, Universal’
 The very meaning of life, when in you intertwined, connected