Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fill Me

Lord, here I am.

Take me.

Take the elements of myself that are keeping me from you, that are distracting me from Your purpose, that are preventing me from truly being filled.

Take my pride. Instead make me humble.

Take my self-sufficiency. Instead make me dependent upon you.

Take my fear. Instead make me bold and unafraid to let You do with me, in me, and through me what You desire.

Take my desire for recognition. Instead let me live for Your recognition alone, and for Your honor and glory alone.

Fill me with Thy Spirit.

And Lord, as the work of Your Spirit is to glorify You, so also let me glorify You in letting Your Spirit transform my character into one like Christ's. For this work of changing me back into the image of God will bring glory to You alone.

Fill me.

Fill me with a burning desire for the baptism of Your Spirit -- a desire as strong as Your longing fulfill it.

Fill me with Your Spirit, to cleanse and sanctify my wandering heart, to consecrate my all to You.

Fill me with the Comforter who will enable me to ride through the storms of life, and emerge with greater faith.

Fill me, and guide me by Your Spirit to go where you would have me to be, to do what you would have me to do, to say what you would have me to say, to be who you would have me to be.

Fill me now.

In Jesus' name, amen.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

: Simple

A friend of mine posted this on his blog, and I hope he doesn't mind me sharing it again. I also have some thoughts that I shared in a comment I posted on his, which I will share here. 

It would be in your best interest to watch the video before you read on. It'll make more sense that way.

A few of my friends commented on the video, and said that at first David Asscherick's answer seemed cliché. Here's what I said:
...that's the beauty of Asscherick's answer. The fact that it appeared cliché at first only emphasizes how simple the answer should be. God is either there, or He isn't: Simple. We either find Him because we seek Him, or we don't find Him because we don't seek Him: Simple. Once we do find Him, once we see Him, we can't not see Him: Simple.

Faith: Simple. 
I think that all the "shallow cerebral motivations," treating it like an "intellectual rubric," is the very reason that people struggle with this. They are making it too complicated. Humans have become so over-analytical that when someone tries to show them the simplicity of the gospel, they pridefully shake it off. They say, "I won't believe in that, there's not enough science behind it. I'm more educated than that to believe."

Or maybe it's the simplicity that "scares" them off. They see how simple it is, yet because of their preconceived ideas and over-analytical mindset, they don't understand. They don't let themselves understand. But the fact that they can't understand something so simple is a rebuke to their "intellect." Again, it comes down to pride.

I think even we, as Christians who believe in God and who even know and want to know Him, have a tendency to over-complicate things. We are almost guilty of the same mistake. God’s been really teaching me lately that I sometimes over-analyse the Christian walk. All the things I should be doing, shouldn’t be doing, should have done, and should do in my spiritual life start to become more important than the Reason for these things. Jesus as our Creator, Redeemer, and Example is the most important: Simple. We get too wrapped up in living the life, in walking the walk. It becomes too much of an intellectual exercise.

To the Atheist: God is there, or He isn’t. 
To the Christian: God is here (see me pointing at my heart), or He isn’t. 

To the Christian: Why do you want to find Him?  
To the Atheist: Why do you not want to find Him?

Please think about it. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Walking Through the Red Sea

With things gearing up around here for California Tour, I've had a lot on my plate. Mind you, I've voluntarily heaped up large helpings. Much of my recent busyness has been personal: praying about next year's plans, researching universities, and trying to keep my room clean in spite of the inevitable packing-for-Cali-Tour-and-Christmas-break-tornado. It's been so crazy that I have info and ideas and things I have to do and applications I have to fill and violin I have to practice and piano I have to learn and theory I have to finish and  friends I need to talk to and research I need to organize and packing I need to worry about oozing out of my pores. And that's just one half of my plate. The other, of course, is work-related. Putting together bus lists consists of more necessary work than you'd realize (especially the one[s] for Cali Tour); however, I'm learning a lot about logistics, behind-the-scenes planning, garnering information from people, and knowing from whom, how, and when to garner it.

So I guess my point is that I'm busy. Things are really busy around here at Fountainview, but I'm sure it's like that everywhere, to some extent. Life is simply busy (ok, maybe "simply" is not the best word). There's always things we have to do, things we probably should do, things we want to do, and things we wish we could do but can't. At every turn there are people that need to talk to you, people you need to talk to, deadlines to meet, messes to clean, things to plan, phone calls and emails to make. Right now I'm wondering how I have time to write this post (here's a secret: I don't).

Picture this: you're standing helplessly, staring at the deluge of busyness threatening to wash over you. A huge sea of stress and long to-do lists could crash down upon you at any moment. But now it's time to remember an old Bible story. The children of Israel had a large watery obstacle to pass, and God opened up a way for them, holding back the waters of the Red Sea. I always liked to imagine what it was like to walk by those huge walls of water, a miracle that defied the science of gravity and the like. "By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned" (Hebrews 11:29 NKJV). The Israelites had to have faith in God to walk through the Red Sea. The Egyptians, on the other hand, had no such faith, and as a result they were drowned. 

Are you an Israelite or an Egyptian? It's a question I'm asking myself right now. Do you have enough faith in God (even the faith of the Israelites was pretty puny) to trust that He can hold back the tidal waves of busyness and stress, and make a way for you to get through, unharmed? Or are you going to try to pursue your own agenda, without faith in God? The story says that only those who have faith in God will survive a walk through the Red Sea. But what an experience! God wants to do the impossible in your life. So, by faith, keep walking. 
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