Grace to You Hands

Grace to You Hands

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Is this it?" The Sequel

So I was driving into work today and God asked me to share a "note" I wrote on facebook back in May of 2010 on this blog. It was the beginning of many thoughts about God's rest and how is grace propels us into action. I hope it blesses. I believe it is an extension of what God said in "Is this it?"

Get this...Jesus Christ lived to the age of 33. His ministry began at 30. It only took him 3 years to change history; to become the greatest, most influential figure in all of time. What did Jesus of Nazareth do in those first 30 years? I think he lived. I think he ate dinner with friends, built a lot of things as a carpenter, and spent time with his parents (earthly and heavenly). I think he chilled and enjoyed life. He knew his purpose on Earth but he never became anxious or rushed the Father. He waited and thrived and loved before he pursued overt ministry. No pressure, right? He was just sent to come to Earth and save mankind from the curse of the law. No biggie. Think if we knew that we possessed that same purpose. We would be trying to force that to happen before its time. We would be making it happen in our own efforts to fulfill the call. All Jesus did was wait on the Father and he accomplished all that was needed in 3 short years. His time on Earth was never wasted or thwarted by the enemy. Jesus lived. He not only lived but he lived a perfect existence. He completed His destiny.

What does this communicate to me?

I need to live and stop thinking that this life is a race; a finish line and I am wasting time. God is not sitting on His throne with a stopwatch and a clipboard expecting me to have IT all done before I am 33 years old. What does Matthew 5 encourage us to realize? Tomorrow will take care of itself. Today is meant to be lived. Jesus prayed this, "Give us this day our daily bread." We have this day and this moment and it should be lived. It should be lived to its fullest and those you encounter should be loved without restraint or demand. We dwell on tomorrow requiring and pressuring ourselves to measure up to an invisible standard, an ideal that is usually unattainable. Many times we are pursuing a goal that only increases the void we are trying to ignore. We throw ourselves into a pursuit of the wrong thing: raise at work, more prestige from the community, fancier clothes, higher priced vehicle, admiration from our friends, etc. We missed today working on tomorrow. What life was missed while running to the wrong cause? Life is found in the subtle. A whispered "I love you" from your child, the hug from an old friend, a good cry when you hear an old song, or the opportunity to tip an extra 50% just so you can see the look on the waitress' face. What laughter or emotional rush was forfeited because you were too busy "doing" instead of "being"?

I am beginning to take the demands off myself and more importantly off other people. You truly begin to live life when you choose to love. Why not love beyond yourself? Who cares what you need. Find your needs met when you meet the needs of others. Take the demands off people. Speak the truth in love but let people live. Let people reveal who they are at their pace. Let them be honest and vulnerable and do not require them to communicate and process life like you. Seek to know them and receive them. The phrases "you need to do..." and "I need you to be..." must be removed from our lips. We must receive not require, embrace not demand, and admonish not ridicule. Expectations should be placed on you but not others. You cannot change people but you can change the world by changing yourself.

Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father. He conquered death and possesses the keys of hell. He provided free access between us and the Father. He became the way, the truth, and the life and He loves me enough to make ME His place of habitation. He lives in me. Christ, the Hope of Glory lives in me. He changes me. Why do I need to demand anything of anybody? I have all I need.

Summary: Live and love today. Reflect on each day as your head hits the pillow and relish in the beauty of today. Learn from the bad and rejoice in the good. Relieve the pressure from those in your life. It will all get done. His perfect plan for your life WILL be accomplished not by your strategizing but by your waiting and receiving.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Is this it?

God wants to interrupt your life. He wants to bombard the boredom and disrupt the monotony.

Many of you continually ask the question, "Is this it?" It can be a question to God, inquisitively wondering if you are in His will or it could be a rant in anger protesting your current situation. Either way, you are unfulfilled and reaching for clarity.

God wants to turn your "Is this it?" into "This is it!" He wants you to see, touch, taste, hear and smell your destiny. He wants your wildest dreams to come true.

Many of you are afraid to dream or even admit what your "this" could be. Some of you live in such a place of guilt and regret that you can't even admit you deserve a rich outpouring of favor and blessing in your job, marriage or family. Some of you have detached from that dream or idea that used to keep you awake at night or cause you to daydream driving down the road. Family, school or work kept your attention. The need to make money and put food in your kids mouths preoccupied your attention. You feel you don't have time to dream, aspire or take risk. You were allowed the chance to dream as a child or in high school but once reality knocked on your door, you became victim and that part of you that dreamed and imagined died. You laid it down willingly to survive.

Some of you live every day for your dreams. You sacrifice family and stability for that one moment when all your effort and risk becomes worth it. Your friends and family scoff at your tenacity and claim your priorities are not in order. You have parents or a spouse who mock your "high-in-the-sky pipe dream" that only works out in the movies.

There was a quote on "Modern Family" I fell in love with a few episodes ago:
"You see the dreamers need the realists from keeping them from soaring too close to the sun… And the realists? Well without the dreamers, they might never get off the ground.

God loves you both. He loves the realist and the dreamer. He loves the one who gives up and faces facts to make a decent living, while he equally loves the dreamer who seems irresponsible and reckless all in an attempt to find that thing, that moment where they proclaim "This is it!"

God wants you, the realist, or you, the dreamer, to experience that euphoria. That place where you find your destiny. As you have read the first few paragraphs of this blog post, your dream, your greatest desire began to resurface. Right now, you are reacquainting yourself with that idea that once was dormant. On the flip side, those of you who eat, sleep and breathe your destiny are receiving a renewed faith and passion for that moment to arrive as soon as possible.

God is ready to give you that moment. He wants you to instantly receive your "this is it!" However, He just needs one thing and only ONE thing.

He needs you to believe that you are worth it. None of your mistakes, bad decisions or failings could make you not worthy to receive your wildest dreams coming true. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be free. You deserve a life of adventure.

The only thing standing in the way of your "this is it!" is you. This is a good problem. Why? You have the power to be the person you have always wanted to be. You don't need anyone else to change. You have within you all the tools to change; to evolve and find healing. Many of you feel so far from receiving your destiny. However, it's as close as your willingness to say "I am worth it." Once those words begin to erupt out of your spirit, you can't look back at your past or your failed relationships or even your finances. You can't look at what you can't do, you can only see what you can do. Christ the anointed one and His anointing lives in you, the Hope of Glory. He is the out-raying or radiance of the divine. Jesus is the sole expression of the glory of God. He is Yahweh. He is the Great I Am. He is your healer and your provider. He is your peace and your joy. He is your strong tower and way of escape. He is your tomorrow. He is your second chance. He is your third chance and your fourth chance and your eighth chance. You always get a do-over. You are worth it. You believing that you are somebody glorifies the creator who made you wonderfully and fearfully. You are the sole expression of the glory of God. You are special. 

When I taught high school, I drilled this quote into my students. Every student that walked through my classroom heard this quote repeatedly:

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time. This expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it.                                              -Agnes de Mille

You are God's creation. You are not a mistake or an after-thought but a strategic component of God's universal design. Your mark is significant. Your dreams becoming a reality are significant to God and God breathed. The world needs you. God wants you to dream and He loves to make your wildest dreams come true. 

Kathryn Marie Bild wrote a book titled: Acting from a Spiritual Perspective. In this book, she writes these "proclamations" that she wants you to say aloud every 2-3 pages. Of course, these things in books where they want you to actively participate annoy me, especially those who want you to journal and answer questions after each chapter. Well, here I am reading this type of book and being completely unwilling to participate until she wrote these 5 words: I have genius within me. I read that 3 or 4 times before I had the courage to say it aloud. I didn't believe it about myself. I believed the opposite. I had reached such a low in my life. I had no self-esteem or sense of worth. I believed I had ruined my life. I had no friends, only work. I had no ambition to even wake up the next morning. I believed I was worth nothing. So, in my doubt and self-hatred I reluctantly whisper aloud, "I have genius within me." I say it again, a little louder, "I have genius within me." The third and fourth time become shouts and I begin to cry. The crying turns into a weep and I realize that I didn't believe in me. I had believed that I wasn't worth anything and "genius" was an impossible feat. That moment made me realize that if your confidence can be stolen, your life will be stolen. Your tomorrow is dependent on the way you think of yourself today.

You are designed for extraordinary change, miraculous triumph and undeterred sustainability. You have genius within you. Christ is the genius in you. He is the artist and the realist. He is the planner and the risk-taker. He is the outspoken and the careful. He is all you need to see your destiny a reality.

Now, don't go and quit your job or sell all your possessions just yet. Wait and let the Lord mount you on the wings of eagles and cause you to soar. Do not try and make your destiny. Submit to the Lord's beckoning, allow Him to rebuild your self-worth. Allow him to balance you with realistic goals and wild determination. Let go and let God. Release your self-doubt. Reacquaint yourself with your identity in Christ and let Him create your destiny as a gift to you. 

Speaking of flying with eagles, Isaiah 40:31 is worth mentioning word for word:
"...but those who wait on the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I think God's definition of waiting differs from our own. We tend to think that waiting is laborious and tedious. However, God promises that in our waiting we will have more movement then we would if we were trying in our own effort to make our way prosperous. In our waiting, the Lord says that we will soar, run and walk. In our waiting, we will have more movement then if we were out trying to make it happen. Don't try to make it happen, let it happen. God is the strategist and the architect of your destiny. Allow Him to turn your ashes into beauty, exchange your mourning for oil of joy and offer you a garment of praise for your heaviness. Release your life to him as a sacrifice holy and acceptable. You find your life, when you lose it. And...that life is abundant, more abundant and fulfilling than the eye or ear or heart could ever even fathom.