Are We There Yet?

At a men’s conference in late 2006, one of our assignments was to take some personal time to get away and reflect. We were at a lodge in the mountains of Virginia, so the natural path was up a mountain trail. I found a old, tall Oak tree and took a seat in a pile of leaves. Like any good student, I took out my Bible and journal and began to read and write. I wrote mostly questions – to God – and then proceeded to answer them as best as I thought He would. Sounds kind of humorous now that I think about it. Eventually though, I heard this whisper in my spirit; “Are you done yet?” After some wrestling with what I knew was God prompting me to get quiet and listen; I put down my pen and sat there restlessly for the next 25 minutes. Finally, a passage came to my heart; Hebrews 3:13. I flipped through the pages of my Bible, landing on these words; ” … encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today …” That was it. I knew then that those simple words would be my life’s mission. And I came down ready to get started. Was I in for an experience!

Later that fall I read a piece from Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost For His Highest (July 6) that has proved to be quite true, and helpful, over these past seven years. “We always have visions, before a thing is made real. When we realize that although the vision is real, it is not real in us, then is the time that Satan comes in with his temptations, and we are apt to say it is no use to go on. Instead of the vision becoming real, there has come the valley of humiliation. God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience. Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry.”

What is your vision? What has God laid on your heart for the journey of your life? Has it been made real yet? If not, it’s okay, trust me. The past seven years have been an amazing journey into myself with God as the trail guide. But it hasn’t been easy, and I’m pretty sure the vision hasn’t been made completely real yet either. Today God reminded me again of that mountain top experience as he led me to this entry from the Jesus Calling devotional for August 22. “You live in the middle of a fierce spiritual battle, and fear is one of Satan’s favorite weapons.”

We all need hope and encouragement. It’s what we really need to find the strength for this life, more than ever. So be encouraged today. While the world is set against you, God is for you, always has been, always will be. And the vision will be made real in his perfect timing.

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Rekindle The Rhythm

I write everyday. In my journal. But that’s different. For me, that’s collecting divine thoughts and ideas, and reflecting on my journey. It’s not the same as sifting and filtering what I hear and learn each day, and then trying to articulate them into musings like this, and it’s been a while. You almost forget the rhythm of it; and the energy derived from it. Of course, as a professional writer/publisher for my music publication (www.AmericanaRhythm.com), I write frequently. But it’s still not the same.

And the hard part is, leaving something you love behind for such a long period of time gets you out of practice. You feel rusty and out of sync. I think our life in the spiritual realm is like that too. We leave the consecutiveness of the Kingdom life for existence in the material world and forget how to walk one with our creator. The freshness and the fullness derived from the manna of that relationship fills us with life. But when we neglect it, we fall out of practice, and forget the sweetness of this “life to the full.” We then wrestle unnecessarily with feelings of guilt and anxiety.

If you’re feeling out of rhythm today, I urge you to rekindle that oneness that’s available and waiting for you. Take a brief walk or find a quiet space to slow down and re-discover that rhythm. It’s the real source of life, of inspiration, and freedom. And it’s a beautiful place to live from.