Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Perfectly unable to shut up

Jeremiah 20:7-9  7 O LORD, you deceived; me, and I was deceived you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me.  8 Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long.  9 But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

There is a curious truth revealed in the prophet Jeremiah’s life; the truth that at one point or another proclaiming the life-giving Word of God could (will?) cost you very dearly.  And at that point, every fiber of your natural being will command you to zip your lip.  It will seem advice most wise.  It will seem most comfortable. It will seem most sensible.

But you will be perfectly unable to shut up. 

And there you will stand, frantically clasping your hands over your mouth, eyes widening with horror that you are unable to control or contain the Words of God that come tumbling unbidden off your lips, a spiritually sanctified Tourette’s.  You will wish you had never started to speak.  You will regret the coming emotional pain that your words have now made inevitable.

This is the humanly undesirable flipside to the Holy Spirit being a consuming fire.  Everyone wants to see the raging fire burn, but no one wants to be personally consumed by it.  We live lives that desperately cry out for God’s influence and direction, but strive mightily against Him when He actually does take charge.

We want to be in control.  To determine what is spoken when.  To pick and to choose this Word over that, to boldly proclaim this utterance and quietly ignore another.  And all along, we deceive ourselves into believing that the raging forest fire of the Holy Spirit is safely contained behind our handcrafted firewall.  God is safely in His box.

But fires need to be fed.  To contain a fire is to ensure that it will eventually die out.

So which would you rather have?  The dying embers and cool ash of a nicely contained, predictable God?  Or would you rather welcome the uncontained wildfire of the Holy Spirit that turns this way and that and who’s flames will on occasion burn even the hand of the one who wields it? 

Do you want to trust God to be God . . . or would you rather try to be Him yourself?

Monday, January 10, 2011

While I'm away . . .

Greetings, dear reader!

I've always wanted to say that.  It sounds so . . . so writerly.

But to the point at hand:  I want to take a moment or two to explain the dearth of recent posts and then to explain why that (most likely) will continue.

I have found myself in a position of needing to be employed on a part-time basis outside of the church.  This has put somewhat of a crimp on my schedule, and to be honest I've found it physically and mentally draining, as well.  As I largely use my blog as a place for creative, meditative, and spiritually-led writing, I have found that as of late I've had neither the time nor, frankly, the mental energy to put metaphorical pen to paper.

So while this is not by any means a good-bye, this is a notice that my blog posts will be a bit more sparse than what they already have been.  At such time when I can get a good grasp on how to ensure my family has the time from me they need, my church is being served to the best of my ability, my secular work is being done for the glory of God and the betterment of the company I work for, AND I find myself with the spare time, energy, and emotion to blog forth . . . well, things here will be a bit quiet.

I look forward to the day when we can speak again.  Until then, I'd appreciate your prayers as I learn once again to settle into a new and demanding schedule.