April 30, 2010
Father, I want to use my writing to share my relationship with You. But sometimes I feel kind of guilty when I find myself talking to my “audience” when I’m “supposed to be” in “focus time” with You. And yet … we are family, aren’t we? And the dinner-table – the banquet table! – is large, and we are meant to feast and converse together, eh.
(Sitting here outside. A neighbor and his “baby” – little dog – just passed by, and we share a cheery hello. The cat in the next unit’s back yard was also just saying “hello” too. Everyone in the complex swears that that cat really does say “hello” rather than just “meow.” The sun’s withdrawn at the moment, and rain is threatening, but the friendliness of neighbors and pets – and this time with You! – provides lots of sunshine anyway). (Okay, girl, focus! Lol!) (Wondering what else is going on in my life? Check out my penandpapermama.com blog.) Anyway...
Acts 20:7 On the first day of the week when we were gathered to break bread… 22… now, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23. except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me, 24. But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.
So! I am okay, Papa, after all, with sojourning here – or wherever You send me (yesterday I was feeling sad again about not living in my dream ocean-side cabin…). “Bound by Your Spirit” – by my free choice. Glorious freedom, that is! Yes! I can live without my cabin by the sea! (Though a little vacation some place like that would be nice, lol!).
Acts 20: 27 … I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28. Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 … after my departure savage wolves will come in among you… 31. Therefore be on the alert… 32. and now commend you to God and the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
See Papa! I want TRUTH! That’s why I have tended more and more to stick to You and Your word, and avoid “other books” and ideas presented by people. And yet, from time to time You do send both people and books (blogs, magazines, etc)….
- sometimes to open my eyes more widely to the truth, and
- sometimes to keep me on the alert!
Sometimes I do struggle to know which of the two it is. Which is why I MUST turn and ask You… why I must be “bound by the Spirit.” And I really do notice that when I don’t do that, even for a short period of time, I do find myself becoming confused. And yes, endangered by “perverse things.”
I must have Your Truth! I must have Your Word! I must have YOU! So yes, I “commend myself to You” and “to the word of Your grace” because I do want to be build up, and to receive the “inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
The inheritance NOW, in the present! Walking in love relationship with You, growing in Your grace, sharing Your love with others, knowing You more every day. As well as the eternal inheritance – with You forever – too.
(I think that sometimes we – the church, at least here in “the west” – have become so enamoured of the “heavenly inheritance” that we’ve lost sight of the awesomeness of relationship with You here and now. The kingdom of God IS with us and in us. Present tense, now and continuing. Truly! Thank You!
In the past, Papa, You know I mostly read the book of Acts as a “story” that took place in the past. I saw it as “teaching some valuable lessons” but not so much as relating too strongly to my own journey with You, and the journey of Your church today with You.
But now, more and more, I see it as YOU ACTING WITH YOUR PEOPLE. And I am so longing for me, for us, Your family, to be “bound to Your Spirit” and journey with You, sharing You together, sharing the good news – Your good news – as your family did in the days of the apostles.
No more “just stories.” I am seeing it as the LIFE of the church, of Your kingdom. In an ongoing, present-tense experience, meant to be lived out and shared in the lives of all Your children. What was “then” is really part of what is “now” – ongoing present! And what “they” experienced, we also can – will! – experience, if only we are “bound to Your Spirit” as they were. (That realization came to me just now – from You! Thank You! Joy!)
Wow! Thank You! I love You, I do! And You love me, love us. And You do want us, also, to be part of this on-going journey, bound to Your Spirit, living in Your guidance, Your power, Your love, Your family life, and building Your kingdom with You. Wow! Cool! Thank You! Amazing!