Archive for March, 2013

It’s amazing how quickly things can turn.  My last couple posts I was in a good place, I felt like I was beginning to make progress, that I’m coming to know the Lord in a little bit of a new way.  Now, I feel lost.  First I started to lose my drive.  It’s a slow thing, one day I’m exhausted cause I’m not getting to bed early enough so I sleep in, then I miss some lunch time cause co-workers want to eat.  Then at home my daughter has a night where she is acting crazy and doesn’t sleep.  Next thing I know I’m back to auto-pilot just trying to keep up.  Then there’s the argument.  Often this can happen at my most motivated, as the enemy is more on the attack.  But my wife and I have an argument.  This most recent was a big one(not in screamy, throwing things, or anything of that sort), because it had to do with shortcomings on my side.  No need for details, but lets just say it sapped all my self-esteem.  I am most definitely the seed on the thorny ground.  I start to get excited, then life comes in.

I need to find enough motivation to continue pushing until my life begins to change as well. I need my marriage, my family life, my work to all begin to show the same passion for God as I’m trying to cultivate.  I’m tired of begin a failure over and over again.


I am realizing more that I need a life of worship.  To be in constant worship, praise, and thanksgiving of my Lord.  There’s a couple obvious things from this, one which really hit me the other day is humility.  You can’t be prideful of yourself while worshiping the Lord.  When you lift Him up, it automatically sticks you farther down in your place.  There’s such a truth for marriage in here as well.  Not worship for that, but praise and acknowledgment.  I realized that if I just acknowledged my wife for the things she does, then it would help keep me from thinking I’m better than her and acting all stupid prideful, but also acknowledging her blesses her, that I see what she does and appreciate her.  No wonder God said that he wants acknowledgement more than our burnt offerings.  Take our rituals away and just stand before Him and tell Him how wonderful He is.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. – Psalm 100:4

Praise is the entrance for us.  It’s through our praise and thanksgiving that we can come before the Lord, to enter His courts.  Too often we spiritualize this all, but just believe what the verse says.  Enter into His presence through worship of Him.  That is what opens it up to us.

Another great feature of worship, the enemy hates it.  If we learn to worship, it’ll cast the devils out of ourselves.  You see, they can’t stand it.  I’m sure they’ll hang on for a little while, but when you make your lifestyle that of worship, it’ll starve them of what they need, and drive them away with the glory.

So worship is not just singing.  It’s not even just words.  Those are huge parts.  I love worship music to settle my soul down, and open me up, but often I don’t find entrance until I just worship with my mouth.  When I began to speak to the Lord and tell Him how wonderful He is, not memorized words, but words from my heart, it brings me in.  To stay in, I feel like my life must be worship.  Just a minute ago, I changed the sheets and folded towels with the Lord.  I figured He would get bored, but He said He loved to be around acts of love, which is what I was doing.  I was doing some chores for my wife while she is out.  I figured if I can get some stuff done, that’s less for her to do or worry, and He likes that.  If we began to make our every action that of love and service, that is it’s own worship to the Lord.  As the verse says:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. – Romans 12:1

Worship Him with your life, and you’ll find Him joining in that life with you.

I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. – Psalm 16:8

Wedensday was the best day yet.  I was finishing up the series from Neville on Laying the proper foundatoins.  It was very interesting to hear about how He saw Jesus.  That He could stop, focus upon the Lord, and He was there.  That they would speak, have conversations, and just spend time together.  Also in that was the verse about entering his courts with thanksgiving.  I had written this down in the past but seemed to have lost track of that, I was just focused on looking to Jesus, but not worshiping him.

So Wednesday I changed that up a little, I was sitting in my car at lunch, I had eaten inside so I could just go out and be alone.  As I sit there I began to worship the Lord, I don’t even think with music, just with my words and thoughts.  I would speak praise to Him, tell Him how amazing He is. As I did this, I began to focus on Him, I would do like He said, picture Jesus in my mind, and just focus on Him, love Him.  Then it happened.  He moved.  I know this has happened times in the past, but even more today.  What I’m trying to do(and I’m still working this out), is to just picture Him before me, sometimes I’d picture Him from different bible stories, seemed easier to get a picture of him that way, speaking at the sermon on the mount, blessing the children.  But I usually try to picture him somewhere and sort of hold that.  So when the picture moved, I realized it wasn’t me.  Suddenly I’m picturing Him beside me.  It’s like my imagination decided to paint him in the passenger seat in my car, except I didn’t do it.  I think this is the very difficult part at first.  Knowing what you are trying to do, and watching for it to move.  So now I found Jesus sitting next to me.  It’s very vague, really more of an impression, sort of an outline in my mind.  But it stayed.  For hours, it stayed.  I spent some time in the car just sitting with Him.  I could try to talk, and for most part I would just get vague impressions back.  Sort of emotional, or a nod, or the feeling of a smile.  That sort of stuff.  When I had been out there for a little longer, I went back in to work.  But while working, all I had to do was focus upon Him, and He was there, sitting on the stool to my side. 

When I would try to reason out what is actually happening, it’s a bit overwhelming.  To think that maybe the Lord, the creator of the universe, is sitting next to me just hanging out while I work.  I had to stop a couple times, knowing HIs presence was near.

It’s Friday, and I haven’t gotten back to that.  It’s so simple to lose.  I started back over on the series wanting to take notes and look into the scriptures, and I’m reminded how our soul needs to be clean.  Over the last week I had been so much more focused upon the Lord than usual.  I had kept myself out of so many of my usual sins.  Yesterday I just got into a simple disagreement with my wife, not even really an argument, but there were emotions behind it.  I think that clouded me for the day.  Today I’ve been focused so much on what I need to do.  I’ve had songs drive thoughts out of my head.  We’re so surrounded by emotions and clutter, it’s going to take me a while to figure out how to get to this state of peace where I can see.

He sits beside me now.  So vague, just an impression in my mind.  Yes when I look that way with my mind, I feel love and peace.  I think I’ll just sit for a little bit to hang out, then maybe He’ll join me in a little more dusting of my house.

God is good.

Back on track, doing better this time. There’s a series from Neville Johnson called “Laying proper foundations” that I’ve been listening that’s been wonderful. It’s basically just like you would imagine. Here’s the foundations for a Christian life, except it’s more of the foundations for walking with God, what I’m striving toward. There’s so many interesting stories of his and insights into how the spirit and soul work together. Much of it is really about sanctification. I feel like I”ve finally getting a little bit of an understanding of that. I’ll leave it for another post though, to actually dig in and try to get that across.

So I still can’t find the date, but I believe it’s somewhere around Feb 25th that I started waiting again. I’ve done pretty well sense then. I know that I still haven’t hit that bond-servant role yet, but that will be part of the journey.

The last couple days have been good. There’s just so much to talk about, and I love that. When there’s nothing to discuss I worry that nothing is happening.

Big difference for me is stopping my books. I used to be a big reader. That’s generally looked at as a good thing but I guess it depends upon what you read. Fictional stories can just add more clutter. That’s what happens to me. First I get addicted, so I’m cutting out talking with The Lord to read my book. I actually listen to audiobooks now, but I can manage to find times all through the day to listen. The next problem is clutter. When I stop and try to pray and just be quiet before The Lord, it seems almost impossible. My brain will just take me into story plots and imaginations based off of those stories. It’s the same for tv shows. The more shows I have that I’m into, the more clutter in my brain. So as I have cut out the books and watch less tv, I find my mind also more clear to listen to The Lord. There’s still a long way to go, but progress is progress.

Now this next part is a little more weird, but stick with me. I don’t claim it’s God but its something.

Lets use two days ago as an example. As I was getting ready to head into a conference I was taking some time to wait upon The Lord. As I am trying to picture him in my imagination, things shifted. Basically I’m thinking of Jesus, then it seems like Jesus says “come this way” and leads me toward the church.  I of course follow, we sort of zoom into the church(think fast-forward) and I find myself up on stage.   He asks me what I see, it’s all empty and I say nothing, at this point I start to sort of lose the image.  The only thing I pick out is a bright spot out in the seats.  I figure that has to be a good place to sit.  So when I go in(I was stuck on a call while things started up) I manage to find me a seat as close as I can to where I thought that light was.  I have another moment during the conference where I felt like I came up to the throne room, and I could sort of see Jesus and God(very vaguely), at which point I decided it was better to just try and stay there and not do anything.

So, like I said, not sure what it was.  It could well be my imagination, but I am trying to keep that under control.  The best thing I can think to say is that I try to do like I’ve done with dreams before.  Not sure if you’ve ever become aware in a dream that it’s going on, I have on occasion.  It’s also similar to those dreams that are going on still as you start to wake up.  I’ve learned if I just relax my mind, it will sometimes keep going for a little bit.  So I’m doing this as I’m waiting, trying to not think on my own but just let things flow.  So when I feel like Jesus was moving, I would try to talk, but I wouldn’t try to imagine what he was doing.  I didn’t want to make up anything for him to do lest my mind start taking over and I lose it.  So in this case, I do not feel like this came from me, why would I think of him going in to an empty room(which actually wasn’t empty at the time).

Time will tell.  I think one of the things I need to do moving forward is to cultivate His presence.  I feel like I can come into sometimes, through worship, or some revelation, or something like that.  If I’ll seek Him, sometimes I find Him.  When I do, I want to hold on to that.  To practice focusing on His presence.  I remember Neville saying this was important, but can’t remember the details, other than it makes sense you want to work on feeling Him if you’re to follow Him.