ever read a book that seems to just smack you in the face?
“Forgotten God” by Francis Chan is doing that to me right now.
I just finished a couple chapters in which the following quotes exist:
one chapter was about our intentions for wanting the Holy Spirit to be in our lives. Self glorification is NOT the reason the Holy Spirit exists in us. He does not exist so that we can do all the things we want to do. we are not Spirit filled so we can accomplish things, God has put the Spirit in us so that HE can do the things HE needs done. we are to be guided by the spirit and see it as the living God in us so that we can work for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7)
“All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.”
It is also on HIS timing. We do not get to choose when the Spirit leads us or when we want Him to lead us. If we are truly submitted to His guidance, He controls and consumes us in a beautiful fashion. We are not slaves, but children. We are working by the Spirit for the common good of the universal Church, not ourselves. Not self glory.
“by not submitting and totally trusting the Holy Spirit, I am not submitting to or trusting God. That is no small matter” p.90
the next part literally hit me in the face
“did God lead you to where you are? a lot of people in my church and my travels tell me “I believe God has called me to Simi Valley or wherever” That may very well be the case, BUT it could also be a cop-out because you like where you live. You have a good job, the school district is safe and has high ratings, your family is close by. It just makes sense to be “called” to be there, right?”
i’m not sure how the next few months with graduation and jobs will play out, but i HAVE to be open to leaving Nashville. I’d like to stay. I love it here. Alot. More than I’ve ever loved living anywhere. But closing myself off to leaving is closing myself off, potentially, to what God has planned for me. I HAVE to be constantly open to His guiding hand, or else I might as well be completely shut off. God doesn’t do halfway… and a great friend reminded me recently that he doesn’t do Plan B. He has a plan for us and no matter what we do or how we try to screw it up, He NEVER says “oh well you messed up, i guess we’ll have to settle for less than I originally wanted for you.” I can’t even explain how much I needed to hear that, not because necessarily of any situation, just because. I’ll quote the message I got because it’s better than re-wording it
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my life, over and over again, it’s that God does NOT resort to Plan B when we screw up. He doesn’t shake his head disappointed, saying “I told you so” and thinking “I had these great things for her, but she screwed them up, so now all I have for her is okay things.” His blessings are always abundant and he never changes. He doesn’t change his mind or his plan or his will for you.”
Back to literal living places. Francis goes on to say “it is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are, but it’s absolutely vital to grasp that He didn’t call you to be there so you could settle in and live out your life in comfort and superficial peace. His purposes are not random or arbitrary. If you are still alive on this planet, it’s because He has something for you to do. (drawn from Ephesians 2:8-10)
7-10Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
this is a sporadic note, just mostly chronicling the things i got hit in the face with about 30 minutes ago…
“we are most alive when we are loving and actively giving of ourselves because we were made to do those things”
Duh, but how often do we forget that when we are in those moments, it is not us, it is Him guiding and working through us and we are called to live a lifestyle this way.
onto the next chapter….which i assumed wouldn’t hit me in the face as hard.
“Maybe you are reading this and are thinking, “i just don’t experience that kind of intimacy with God…the Spirit in me never cries “Abba, Father!”. If this is you, i don’t have a 4 step guide to connecting with the Holy Spirit, I would however like to suggest 2 potential obstacles for you to consider: comfort and volume.”
Maybe your life is too safe.
Maybe your life is too loud.
-“in my quest to accomplish much I’ve lost the art of focusing on one thing or one person”
“it is a spiritual discipline to be still, to listen, and to cut out the distraction and din of our world. as we practice this stillness, this wanting, this being, it is then that we can experience deep intimacy and relationship with the Holy Spirit”
Wow. What a day.