Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

I Was Writing About Fortune Cookies, But Got Distracted By Jesus

One time I had this idea that I should start a fortune cookie company. All the fortunes would preach the gospel. I can’t tell you how much it would make me smile to crack open a cookie and find

You are a child of God.

Believe that he died for you, and you will grow in your ability to authentically care for the people you love.

You are more sinful than you know, but he’s already died for it.

The king of kings has called you his own.

In Christ you are more than a conqueror.

Listen, the Holy Spirit is speaking to you.

 

I am a gospel fiend. I can’t get enough.

When my boyfriend tells me about something that he’s struggling with, I often ask, Why is the gospel good news in that situation? By now he knows I am not just quizzing him. Well, I do want to offer as much practice as possible for him and everyone in articulating why the gospel is always good news in every corner of our lives, but more than anything else, I just want to hear it again.

Tell me, again, again, again, and again, what did Jesus do? Really? Wow. My heart changes a little every time I hear it. It’s like the love that I always knew was surrounding me, just feels a little thicker, tastes a little sweeter, looks more glorious, and I sink in a little deeper every time someone tells me the truth.


Ask and I’ll Give the Nations to You

UPDATE (Yes, this whole post needed a whopping revision. My bad. I was running late for work and just hit publish):

As you know, the Spirit is reminding me of his ways. I have so far to go. There is so much I don’t know.

Lately all the Spirit is really saying to me is, Hey, I exist! And my response has been, Oh my gosh, you do! as joyful tears well up in my eyes. His response is, you haven’t seen anything yet. Come and wait, come and listen. And then I think, How much listening are we talking here? I’ve got blog posts to write, a test to study for, friends to hang out with, another friend to talk to on the phone, work to go to, meals to eat…

This is sad. No matter how aware of his presence I am, I am still going to miss out on the full depth of intimacy with my God!

As I was falling asleep last night, this image came to my mind. It was me, on the floor, face down, pressing my fist into the hardwood floor, as I begged for him to move, in me, through me, out of me. It felt like such a natural image to have. That’s how I like to think of myself, an exasperated visionary full of the passion he feels for his people. Sometimes I have that feeling, sometimes I don’t. Most of the time, that is not the posture of my heart. Every now and then, though, it comes with the force of a tidal wave and forces me prostrate. That’s what I want all the time, but it is exhausting to stay in that place. Am I ready? Well, ready or not, I am asking.

I’ve been thinking about some song lyrics by Shane and Shane. Ask and I’ll give the nations to you. Oh, Lord, that’s the cry of my heart.

There was this story that used to drive me forward as I prayed for his life to dwell in my school, taking root in new hearts. It was a story of a man (in Switzerland? I really can’t remember any details, just the image it left with me.) who went up to the top of a hill overlooking his city and he said to the Lord, Give me this nation or I die! I know the story ended with revival. I don’t remember any specifics (there were some). I think I only remembered the man asking for his country because that’s the part I’m responsible for. I am responsible for throwing myself down before God and man, and asking for him to come claim his people.

The language, give them to me, sounds strange, but Jesus uses that language in John 17: I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me , and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world , and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself,that they also may be sanctified in truth.

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.

It was all too good. I couldn’t pick just a few verses. Jesus asked for people. He asked for the people God would give to us. Let us ask for a people through which the Spirit of God will ripple. Lord, first give us your church that it might be fully yours once more. Make it an irresistible force, sweeping up souls in its powerful current.

Thank you, Spirit, for reminding me to dream big dreams for the kingdom.

I am not having an eloquent day (bummer), but I feel like this point is important. So here it goes again: Dream big. Desire above all that the Kingdom to be made manifest on earth as the Lord claims people for himself. Ask for it to be on earth as it is in heaven.


Getting to Know the Spirit

I am learning about the Holy Spirit. Recently, I posted about my friend who I felt was just using me. The thing is, I realized that me helping her was also me using her. I certainly had moments in which God infected my heart with his love for her, but the reality is, it is hard for me to see her as a person that I want to know outside of the fact that she wants me to help her.

I think I started to give up. I wanted to know all about her, to really know what would give her hope in life, to listen. The thing is, some people are pretty closed off. She would talk about guys or dumb girls, but not really about her heart. But there are a lot of people who don’t really let new people in deeply. How do I love someone who I don’t really even know?

The answer is the Holy Spirit! How did I not think of that? I’ve been so busy trying to figure out how to act in a way that both cares for her and pushes her to make the most of life that I’ve sort of forgotten about the heart behind it.

I learned that I don’t have to figure out how to treat her; I am connected to the one who knows precisely. I have access to that knowledge. God wants me to know how to reach out to the ones he’s pursuing. He told me to stop thinking and start listening.

I also learned that to love someone you have to know him or her deeply, otherwise you’ll never know what they need. So how can I cultivate a heart of love toward someone whom I have trouble getting to know? Here it is: I have within me the Spirit of the one who knows her, and loves her, more deeply than anyone else ever could. I have within me the Spirit of the one who created her (and everyone else I struggle to love but end up using instead).

This struggle (and many others that the Lord has brought to my attention and convicted me of this weekend) is pointing me back toward the instruction and life-giving power of the Holy Spirit. My focus for this next stage of life will be reconnecting with this part of God: his real power, knowledge, and intimate presence in me.


Hello, world!

This is a new site for an existing blog. Please, if you like what is here, read the original Thoughts, Prayers, Praises, Inspirations.

UPDATE: In the future, I might transfer some of my favorite posts from the old site.

UPDATE: As you can probably see, I have added selected old posts to this site. With 180 past entries, moving them all will probably never happen. And I never could figure out how to move them all at once. Just one by one, manually re-entering dates and times.


My New Heart Is Tested (And It Feels Extreme)

God has done a work in me. Allowing me to let my life be interrupted far beyond what I am capable of dealing with in my human condition. But the Lord has plans far beyond that. He is going to let this situation sanctify me to the absolute fullest.

I am being tested.

Here are the tests in no particular order:

I came home from work having been up since 5 am. I almost fell asleep on my way home. There was terrible traffic for the time of day.

Yesterday I spent the day in the sun, was awake for 18 hours, ran 4 miles, swam, and tried to go wake-boarding (making several failed attempts).

My room is still full of baby things.

Baby Marley is banging on the coffee table with jar lids.

She tried to wake me up from my much-needed nap twice.

She spilled my latte twice after I told her not to touch it over and over and over. The second time she spilled the whole thing and then splashed in the puddle, splashing my computer screen and keyboard, which I just wiped off with a baby wipe. (This is particularly difficult for me since my computer is expensive, I can’t afford to replace it, and I just had the keyboard and display replaced. Thank God a clean computer is not necessary to sustain the joy I’ve been given or I would be selfish, hoarding, and worried when I loaned it to anyone.)

Now she’s throwing used baby wipes at me. And now screaming because I wouldn’t give them back to her.

As I made a late lunch and early dinner for myself (shrimp and couscous definitely helped me to feel physically better), I closed my eyes and asked for the love of Christ for Marley and her mother to wash over me once again.

The overwhelming feeling of wanting my life to be all mine was not a welcome one.

I felt his love wash over me anew. I will need to ask for grace refills, Alot, I can tell. I am so glad the heavens are wide open and pouring the Holy Spirit over my head so I can feel it run into my eyes and stream down my neck, watch it seep into my skin and cover every inch–fill every corner of me, slowly, but surely.

Praise the Lord for Baby Marley. She is making me so much holier.

Deep breath. Release. Another one. Release. It’s not my life. It’s his. And it is so much richer this way.

Also, I had a nice chat with my boss today about the potential of a WordPress blog. I might link to this one and continue making posts on the my WordPress. A long time ago (a couple of years, maybe) I tried to switch this blog over, but I was unable to move the whole archive over. Now, I don’t care, the sooner the better. I will let you know when it is set up. Sorry, lj, when you don’t keep improving your service, you lose people. I can’t afford to be dated.

UPDATE: In case you missed it. I did move my blog. And now I’ve moved this post over from it and you are reading it on my new blog. Woo hoo!