Saturday, May 3, 2014

Spiritual Diabetes



I now know why God chose not to give a me a beautiful singing voice. The older I get the less able I am to get through a hymn or worship song without tearing up and choking on His glory. There should be a pocket in my Bible holder for waterproof mascara and a package of Kleenex. Happy tears. Swaying to the joy of His music. Smiling big at the revelations in His Word. Watching my husband get excited at the pulpit. Pouring out His heart and love for the Father. Only God Almighty could induce such emotion in him. Only in the pulpit and at the birth of our children. Being wired for high emotion as I am, it's difficult to do the regular. I don't generally shout a spontaneous "Amen!" after mopping the floor or "Praise Jesus!" while pulling the hair from the tub drain. Although...things are changing in my blessed life. My desires and pleasures are cloaking themselves in the mundane and regular.
I used to think worship concerts, inspiring conference speakers, family vacations and break-through circumstances only held those pleasure gems I seek...in the face of God. If that were the case, then all the days in between would have to be survived instead of lived to the full. They would not inspire fullness of Spirit and abundant life with Jesus on a daily basis. I need that...daily joy...daily revival. Not just the occasional high that fills the tank till the next one. Joy. I think that is the best word choice. I am tempted to call it an emotional high or fun, but those words don't really fit perfectly. I want them...crave them, fun and emotion, but they are too fleeting and unstable, subject to deception. Joy stands, stays and satisfies. Emotion lends itself to instability, but the bubbles that overflow from a cup full of joy never hurt anyone and do not stain. It intoxicates with the control of the Spirit of God and His truth rather than the endorphins my body houses and cannot always master.

My husband reminds me often that I need to have a conference. So, every day, I seek a one man revival. In the guise of a bed-headed mother, curled with coffee on the end of a worn couch, Bible on lap, kids still in bed, I am at a conference. Like Elijah  under a tree, He miraculously sends the meat and the bread. In a dry and unspectacular setting, I see God. My heart moves and feels in the security of His truth and a free and accessible place. Devotion. Earnest attachment to a cause or a person. I think we are wasting this "Person's" omnipresence. He is not only found in the stadiums of thousands or the gatherings of the greatest preachers and teachers of our day. He is found in a little white, hard pewed church. A devoted choir of 11. A stumbling but passionate preacher, devoted to the authority and clarity of scripture. Wrinkled hands raised along with the young. I'm not much of a hand raiser. I'm more of a crier. My smiling tears shed as an overflow of worship. I think it's hereditary. Two little brown cups overflowing with joy brought on by,

"Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art."

Notice the repeating word...devotion. Earnest attachment. This cannot survive on infrequent and circumstance dependent settings. This devotion to chasing after His face and joy needs to be daily and anywhere. Revival happens in a more real and lasting way in hearing His still, small voice in the frenzied crowd of one. Solitary mountaintops. That is more miraculous, takes more power than the expected high of planned, man made events. Sugar spikes from candy bars can be beneficial at times, but are unhealthy as a regular diet. The occasional Snickers is fun, but it usually precedes a crash. Emotional crashes should be avoided too. As regular, frequent feedings of healthy carbs keep the blood sugar stable, so the regular, frequent feeding upon the ordinary, modest devotional time keeps my emotions in check. It becomes a time much desired and craved. No longer a duty, but a preference and a priority. I don't see how any Christian can survive and mature without it.

Maybe that's how we become dependent on the insulin needle? Something else, man-made, ends up being introduced to our system because we lack the discipline and motivation for the natural. We worship the created rather than the Creator. Motivational speakers, music or hobbies become our insulin. I want to keep those good things in their proper place...not first place. That should be reserved for God and God alone. 

Now, the "amen"s and the "praise God"s do occasionally follow the mundane and regular! My simple life is becoming quite a pleasurable experience! Not because more "fun" is found here now, but because I am finding the most satisfaction in the most unlikely places. Life changing. I still love a good Snickers bar now and then. I'm still buying tickets to the Newsboys concert in June, but I don't NEED it anymore. It's a treat I appreciate, but cannot live on anymore. My passionate system needs the supernatural, moment by moment, joy infusion that only the humble Holy Spirit supplies. No longer insulin dependent :)