NOTE: This was written Monday, January 6 but due to the extreme weather, wasn’t posted until January 7.
Well it’s 4:02 AM. I’ve been up since 3:00 AM. I woke up with a weird sort of heavy heart. I say weird because it was different than the feelings that I’ve had at other times. I realize that over the past few days I have been blogging from the book of John each day, but this won’t be that.
After having come into my computer and opening up my bible study software in preparation for studying the sixth chapter of John, I was having a really hard time staying fixed on the story of Jesus with the five loaves and two fish, and the teaching of Jesus about him being the bread of life. That’s strange because I had just mentioned the story of Jesus being the bread of life in yesterday’s early service sermon.
Anyway, I couldn’t stay focused. Eventually, I simply pushed back my laptop, bowed my head and began to ask the Holy Spirit to explain the swirling thoughts that were bouncing around in my head and spirit. Almost instantly puzzle pieces began to fall into place. That’s the only way I can describe it. A piece from years ago, something that was in the sermon from yesterday, a part of my childhood, things from Kansas, things from John 6, pieces came from everywhere. Old fears, new fears, images from the family, recent decisions from work (the church); they all began to form a picture in my mind. I say picture, but it’s more like a story… the overwhelming theme being, communication from my heavenly father. Deep, resonating, truth that can’t be denied or argued with, begins to surge into my early morning reality. Faces from Panama, Arkansas, Illinois, some alive, some in heaven parade through my consciousness forming an inescapable narrative.
There’s no doubt there’s going to be a collision. The revealed truth of God is about to collide with me. The flesh part of me is about to suffer a loss. It’s painful as the Holy Spirit begins his expert surgery. With a skill unlike any other, he dissects exactly between spirit and flesh, light and dark, life and death. Making Hebrews 4:12 come alive, the Holy Spirit lays back the layers of thought and attitude, soul and spirit. It is both painful and wonderful at the same moment. Loss and gain, tears and laughter, sickness and health.
Suddenly, there it is. Ugly and destructive. Even its form is foreboding. There can be no mistake, it’s deadly. Long held, unseen flesh. Down deep where even I didn’t know it was there. It held sway over motives, decisions, judgments and actions. So integrated into me that even now I pause from writing this to double check if even this blog has His motive or mine….
Seconds turn into minutes into hours. It’s now five and Leighanne’s getting up. What just happened? Fasting happened. A wondrous, miraculous, transforming episode of my heavenly father doing exactly what I’ve been asking for. How I have prayed over the last few days, “Father make me into who you want me to be.” Suddenly, He’s doing it!
Where there was weakness, there is now strength. Where fear held sway, confidence now surges. Faith is replacing knowledge and sight. While my body is tired my spirit is full. Wow
Press in friends. Our heavenly father wants to get in deep and change who we are. None of us have arrived at our final destination and there are lost men and women, boys and girls who need us to be who God has called us to be. Separate yourselves from the routines that fill your life and set aside time for God.
I’m sure that you want to know what it is that the Holy Spirit is dealing with in me. The strange thing is, I’m not even sure I could sum it all up. It’ll all end up in a sermon eventually. The short of it…stop doing…start being. It’s not enough to act like something, you have to be something. Everything we think, say, and ultimately do has to flow from what’s inside. That’s supposed to be Jesus.
Stick with the fasting and prayer friends, God’s up to something in the river bend!