My friend Graham Cooke (who doesn’t know he is my friend, but I really like his accent and the stuff he says makes sense so I’ve totally adopted him) says in “A Way In The Wilderness” teaching series that if you can teach about an experience that you're currently going through, then you're not really engaged in the process properly. It has to do with being wholly given over, wholly surrendered to the things that God wants to teach you personally, and allowing space for the internal work to happen uninterrupted. When you teach, you're externalizing the experience, which means the lessons you're supposed to learn don't become part of you, they remain theories.
It seems that God likes us to really get stuck into the lessons He has for us to learn, to roll around in them, to get them all over us and to experience them with all of our senses. A ‘full immersion experience’ if you like. A glut of learning.
As kids living on farms, we had neighbours who would play in the drains. When they’d finished playing, their father would hose them off with the pressure hose. (For you townies, it’s the same kind of hose that the Firies’ use). Head to toe in mud, it is the same image I get when I think about the way God wants us to approach life. We only used to get the garden hose.
I don’t think He wants us to consume it…but definitely to understand it.
Then, when we’re walking along, having a great day, and the ground falls out underneath us, we know what we’re dealing with. More importantly, we know how to deal with it, or maybe even more importantly than that; we know who we are and Who to deal with it with.
Y’all know what I’m talking about? An unexpected bill. Kid does something unbelievably stupid. Partner does something unbelievably stupid. We do something unbelievably stupid. Someone close passes away. Three major household appliances break in the same week as the rego is due. A tree falls through the roof. Someone gets laid off. Or any number of other unexpected events happen.
We can’t organize the world so that nothing unexpected ever happens. It is not humanly possible. No matter how much we might try, or pray or wish.
A lot of who we are and what we experience, is bound up in the welfare of others. Therefore, a lot of the welfare of others is bound up in who we are; who we choose to be. Who we determine to be. Who we purpose to be.
In Micah chapter 4, it talks about people making a deliberate decision to learn from God, learn His ways and walk His paths. When we make these determining decisions, the outcome is clear. Who we are as a person becomes expanded, our focus becomes strengthened, and our capacity to stand in the middle of such enormous, life-belting circumstances as these is built, because our foundation becomes Jesus Himself.
(In the last days) Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken. All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever. Micah 4:(1) 2,4-5 (NIV)
We have an opportunity as we walk The Narrow Way, to make this choice, and to experience living an expanded life from a place of true peace.
HOWEVER…This doesn’t stop the world from revolving. I’ve just been reminded that sometimes it takes me a little while to engage with the habits I’ve built over the years when my body takes over and decides to do something that I didn’t give it permission to do!
It was in the face of an unexpected bill, and my limbic system kicked in, “Don’t panic! I’m a teapot! Don’t panic!” [The Goodies episode "The End"]
It took me the better part of three days to pull my will out of my chemicals and remember that deliberate thankfulness, asking the right questions of God and using the phrase “It is written” would put me right side up and help regain focus.
(It is written) …my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
I often remember what life was like before He cleaned me out of all the garbage, and I am even more grateful that I no longer live in that place of constant turmoil and terror.
That process was both instant and required work over time, to learn how to hold the new place of peace.
The process of learning the power of the Presence of God was really amazing!
…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)
Strengthening our relationship with God, putting strategies in place, having tools and making habits are all things that add up over time. Until one day we look in the mirror and realise how far He’s brought us, how far we’ve come together!
I’ve mentioned the cards I use a couple of times, the ones I write on and use to remind myself of prophetic words and people/situations I’m praying for? This is one tool that has helped me to lay hold of who God says I am and what God says about my future. It has helped me to lay a foundation of prayer and prophetic proclamation and I’d love to share it with you! I have five sets available for people who would like them, just let me know if you’d like one and I’ll post it out. The packs are 40 hand cut, business card size, coloured cards (scrapbooking quality), in a simple business card holder, no cost, no postage. Send me a message in the comments and I’ll email you back for your postal address!
Here’s to the times we totally get it right! Thank you Jesus!
God Bless You Very Much