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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dry Bones

  "I want to see dry bones living again." This is a line from a song we sang at church recently.  I think the song was called THE GREAT I AM.   I may have heard this song before, but I'm not sure I have ever sung it required me to really read the words.  At first, I kept thinking...this is kind of a strange song...but as it was a long finally spoke to me.  Ugh, I realized, for one thing, I am living a dry bones existence...again.
     In previous times, I have led a more spirit-filled life.  I seem to waffle back and forth between struggling in my self-reliance ... or really seeking God's sovereignty and relying on His direction.
     The other revelation I came away with was what God meant by calling himself the "I Am".  Exodus 3:14 "God said to Moses I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites; I AM has sent me to you."  He had to tell them that so they would trust that it was the Creator's plan that he lead them.
 I think about this earth, the heavens, the stars, the universe...the blade of grass...It's like God is saying I AM that blade of grass, I AM the earth, I AM the sky, I AM the air you breathe, I AM  the fragrance of Spring that you smell, I AM all that you see, hear, smell, taste and touch because I AM the one who created it.  And He created me...with a free will to allow Him to shape my life through the pursuit of holiness...or I can try to do it in my own power...or I can reject it altogether. 
     I thank my parents for raising me in the faith, and that is why I did not reject Jesus, and why I am most thoroughly convinced there is a God.  For it was in my darkest moments of pain and heartache that I cried out to the one true God, the only one I knew, and the only one who then answered me not only by communicating with me on a spiritual level, but manifesting in the physical realm with heat and a sensation I can only describe as pure energy.  It was at that moment that I believe God filled me with the Holy Spirit which unlocked my mind to really comprehend and understand the gospel ...and it made perfect...PERFECT...sense to me. A moment of clarity with the life-changing effects of peace in my soul.
      I had to come to some conclusions on my own before the environment of my heart, soul and mind could handle the absolute truth ...the key was acknowledging my choices, thoughts and actions as sinful... and truly repenting. Like I said, I was raised to know right from wrong, I was basically a good person, but  I just did whatever I wanted anyway.   I came away from my "God experience" filled with gratitude for his mercy, gratitude for providing the sacrifice (Jesus) that would be my payment on judgement day, and for the helper (the Holy Spirit) that would keep me on the path to righteousness.  This path includes blessings, protection, provision, but most notably peace in all circumstances.
     It was shortly after this conversion of mine...from Christianity to Christianity...that I was living for God and His purposes.  It IS an abundant life, the joy that comes from simple things is amazing, but it is the peace that just makes life and all its afflictions bearable.  John 15 reminds us to "remain in me as I remain in you"...unfortunately, this is where I falter...I allow life to overwhelm me, tire me out to the point where I don't even make time to connect to my lifeline.  When that goes away, so goes the peace and joy, love, patience, etc.  Then it's like I forget how to get back to that, or even worse, I begin to think I don't need or deserve it. 
     In my reading this morning, I stumbled upon this verse in 1 Thessalonians 4:7 "For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life."  I was definitely I'd better start living this holy life!  Now, I know I can't live the holy life in my own power, I will just end up pursuing my own selfish desires...and that is quite a mundane existence if not wrought with struggle.  I have been given the Holy Spirit...I will never forget why not utilize my gift.  It is apparent that I NEED it in order to not only discern what holiness is, but to achieve it on any level.
     Perhaps you think I'm wacko by now, perhaps you know just what I mean, either way...the God of the universe can communicate with you on a personal level that is relevant to your life and purpose...if you have never experienced that, ask Him.

Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."