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Posts Tagged ‘water’

Chicken or the egg: I come near to God first or God comes near to me? It’s a circle for a reason, there is no beginning or end to God-nearness.

James 4:8
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Brian McLaren, in his latest book, Naked Spirituality: a life with God in 12 simple words, uses the word “here” to begin his journey with God: “I am here, God is here, I am here with God.” This is how I imagine mutual nearness, like a dance or a mirror exercise in which no one can tell who is leading, who is following. It’s a unity.

And when I have awareness of God-nearness, I am also quickened. I see myself more clearly, I see places within me that are not connecting, like sunspots, they are of a different heat but the wrong kind of intense activity. They are my inner Adam and Eve hiding in the garden [Genesis 3:8-10].

It is only when I am near that I can understand and see what needs to be purified, what needs to be cleansed. There is cleansing by water, this removes the surface problems, the obvious issues, this is relatively easy and although it may take time, it is not particularly painful.

But the second, the purification of the heart, this is the inner cleansing and there is no quick fix to sins of the heart. The deeper they are stored, the more intense the process.

As I prayed over this passage, the old song came immediately to mind, Refiner’s Fire, my heart’s one desire is to be holy. Like purifying gold, there must be fire. This is not some fiery hell at all, it’s white fire, it’s holy, it’s laser specific, it’s the power of God released into the heart of the matter.

They say mothers no longer remember the pain of childbirth once the child is born: the wonder of the living outshines the suffering. So it is with the cleansing fire of God.

If I want to be close, then I have to be willing to be transparent and clear.

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John 6:19
When they [the disciples] had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified.

Here are a few questions about this passage:

  1. Why did the disciples leave without Jesus? Did he tell them to leave?
  2. Why did Jesus walk to them on the water? Was it just more convenient or was he showing them a truth?
  3. Did they think He had abandoned them?
  4. Whose idea was it?
  5. Why were they afraid?

So far, in all six of the early chapters in the book of John, Jesus was telling the crowds AND the disciples who he was. He was establishing his authority.

He is still doing the same thing with us, but we don’t recognize Him. I am listening to a light fantasy book for young people and one of the characters says that “humans” can’t see through the mist. They see what they want to see.

Look, Jesus is walking on the water today!

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John 3:17 (Amplified edition)
For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.

How many of us have forgotten that the Son didn’t come just “to save” us as individuals but for the sake of the world. Just like the world in the time of Noah, we have been on a crash course for ruin. And everything has suffered: the animals, the landscape, the oceans, the weather, the children … everything. So God sent his “only Son” to make a supreme sacrifice so that the law of sowing and reaping could be nullified for anyone who believed in Him. This process is not just so you and I can go to “heaven” when we give our bodies back to the Earth. This “deal” was made for the whole world. This was a supernatural transaction.

Those of us who have believed are in the recovery business…. recovering that which has been lost.
We are in the lighting business… shining in the dark places.
We are in the food business… bringing savor (salt) to the tasteless.
We are in the hydro business… bringing streams of water to the dry places.
We are in the messenger business… bringing the good news that the Kingdom of God is near.

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