May 19th – June 2nd, 2006

There’s a sense of….contentment? No. Peace…maybe. It’s not clean and pure. It’s tainted with the remains of idolatry….oooo! What I wrote in my long hand journal yesterday: At some point in time, every aspect of creation raises itself up, or is propped up by another aspect of creation in an effort to de-thrown the creator.

The smell of that still hangs in the air around me. It taints the otherwise lovely place I’m in these last few days. But it’s worth noting a couple of things about this lovely place:

  • It is directly linked to my spiritual disciplines. DUH!
  • It is directly linked to my willingness to put people’s opinions of me aside
  • It is still not ubiquitous (I start off conscious of God’s presence and feeling all cuddly in the morning but it wanes to mere neutrality by afternoon)
  • There is an anger just below the surface. The kind of hot, sharp, temper tantrum anger that makes me kick things out of my way, my heart to race, and vision get blurry. It seems only to find it’s focus on objects and ideas – not directly on people.

I’ve consciously said things or said them in a certain way, or behaved in a fashion that right sizes people in my world – I feel really free about it – I feel like God is being honored. But there is still the old man there, howling in the background. So even though it’s working, it’s like having a heckler. Maybe he’ll grow tired and shut-up if I keep doing things God’s way – or maybe I will simply learn to shut him out.

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This sermon on Romans 8….the old man. The way of the flesh. The law of sin and death…whatever you want to call it: Duality. This is where the mystery lies for me these days. All the concentric circles of “self” – trying to find the margins between who I am, and who I was – where the Spirit resides and where the redeemed me touches Him.

It’s still all very confusing to me – and I’m feeling a rising anxiety over trying to preach about all this on Sunday.

God, I’m in way over my head here theologically. In terms of doctrine – intellectually – in pretty much every way that a guy like me could get buried.

“Let us beware of tinkering with our inner life, hoping ourselves to rend the veil (between ourselves and God). God must do everything for us. Our part is to yield and trust. We must confess, forsake, repudiate the self-life, and then reckon it crucified. But we must be careful to distinguish lazy ‘acceptance’ from the real work of God. We must insist upon the work being done.” – A.W. Tozer

“Now is the time and place to wrestle before the divine face. If you will stand firm, if you do not bend, you will see and perceive great wonders. Christ will storm the hell in you and break your beasts.” – Jacob Boheme

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There has been an icreased awreness of God’s immensity. But its not immense in the AWE sense – the fear of God kind of immensity – it has a whispier quality to it. It is the still small voice kind of awareness.

Chris Rice Describes it well:

“I hear a sound and turn to hear a new direction on that rusty weathervane, suddenly the dead brown leaves are stirred to scratch their circle dances down the lane, and now those sturdy oaks start clap’n with the last few stubborn leaves that won’t let go, I can hear Old Glory snap’n and her tattered rope now clang’n against the pole and my breath is snatched away and a chill runs up my spine, feels like somethn’s on the way , so I look up to the sky I look up to the sky and from the corners of creation comes the father’s holy breath ridin’ on a storm with tender fierceness stirring my soul to holiness – stirring my soul to holiness…”

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