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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 84’

trust2It’s the ultimate question, really. Do I trust God or not? It is a question who’s answer is black or white, yes or no. Any answer close to “maybe” is a no. It is the essence of faith; they work in tandem, they need each other.

Lord Almighty,
    blessed is the one who trusts in you. [Psalm 84:12, NIV 2011]

It is trust that operates outside of the tangible world. Trust is the foundation upon which I can continue forward in the face of trouble, in the face of terror, in the face of sickness or collapse.

Trust and faith are spirit words. They are not driven by circumstances or the weather. When I live in the realm of trust and faith, I am living in the Maker’s world.

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I suppose it’s been foolish of me to imagine that there aren’t degrees within the broad umbrella of service to God. I enjoyed the openness of acceptance, the equality I found in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” And so I had imagined there was an across the board sameness to us in the eyes of Spirit. But then, I was reminded by my own pastor that there are promises of “crowns” in heaven for some and not for others. Initially, this message made me uncomfortable. I have spent so many years trying to let go of a performance-oriented faith, a weighing in of the value of my response to grace.

Reality check: Some people deserve recognition for their faithfulness. They may be choosing more wisely how to use their time and energies than me.

Just one day in the courts of Your temple is greaterMotherteresa and child
    than a thousand anywhere else.
I would rather serve as a porter at my God’s doorstep
    than live in luxury in the house of the wicked.
For the Eternal God is a sun and a shield.
    The Eternal grants favor and glory;
He doesn’t deny any good thing
    to those who live with integrity. [Psalm 84:10-11, The Voice]

The point is the paradox that the choice is not the “Martha” one of scurrying about and being busy for Jesus. It’s sitting at the feet of the Christ, it’s holding the door, it’s being present and ready when a need comes up and then simply saying, “yes.”

As Pastor Jess taught, if we have accepted the presence of Christ and the Holy Spirit in our lives, then we are “saved,” meaning we are bound to the Spirit and our own spirits will live forever in heaven, in perpetual unity with the Holy Spirit. But the sweetness of that union depends on my devotion, my surrender, my confession, my poured out life.

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living godHow lovely is your dwelling place,
    Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.” [Psalm 84:1-2; NIV, 1984]

Two things stand out in these verses: God’s dwelling place and God being alive.

The entire idea of a dwelling place must be integrated into our consciousness. Where is the dwelling place? Perhaps in ancient times when the Temple was a designated place for God’s Presence there in Jerusalem, but that is no longer the case. Jesus and his subsequent disciples and teachers have made it clear that the kingdom is within us, the very Presence of the Holy Spirit provides a dwelling for God. “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” [I Corinthians 3:16]

Where God is, it is lovely. Where God walks, it’s a garden. Where God is sovereign, there is peace. My longing is to dwell within the protective peace of God’s Holy Spirit. To live with abandon, in Christ. This is the greatest paradigm shift of all. We are not alone in this search. People are seeking the same thing but by different routes. I don’t know those outcomes but I do know the promise I have in the Christ: “Nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you].” [Luke 17:21; Amplified]

And so I will dwell with a living God and because God is alive, God is transformative and seasonal and dynamic. God is not static. God is a river, an ocean, a Milky Way. God is a sun, a fire, a volcano. God is wind and cloud and dew. God is breath.

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