Sunday, January 15, 2006


i like samuel very much, after david, he is probably one of my next favorite characters. right up there with paul and peter. over the past week, i came across this passage:
Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was. 1 sam 3:3

samuel was unfamiliar with God, as "the Lord had not revealed anything to Him yet." but samuel was comfortable in God's presence. he made his bed and lay down to sleep in God's presence. the ark of the covenant was the tangible presence of God, the habitation back then. but now, that ark is us. we are the dwelling place of the Most High. so in a sense, we all lay down and sleep in the presence of the Lord. i find this passage deeply insightful that while samuel, who was later to become the man prophetically, was young he was not familiar with God. God must reveal Himself or we are forever estranged. watching bruce almighty last night reminded me of the simple struggle for us to love God. to simply love Him.

i have so many times thought, but God, why this, or why that? and then i read this passage:
Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather let yourselves be cheated? 1 cor 6:18
this is so wildly unamerican, so vastly backward, so downwardly mobile. we have rights and we fight for them. but i believe the Lord is calling us to lay it all down. to trust. to rest in His provision. let yourselves be cheated. HELLO? we're the chosen. the holy. the children of God. what about the whole enlarge my territory thing? aren't i supposed to get more and be more and do more? but You're saying, put up with injustice? madness. the madness of God. welcome to the upside down kingdom. the place where the right choice is often guised as the wrong. and the high road, terribly low. the way of pain. the road of nothingness. there is no path to greatness or fame for the christian from my reading of the Word. it is the hidden foolishness of the world which God uses. and the anonymous book i read recently, the cloud of unknowing, the book which cannot be attributed to any one person strikes me as indicative of this kind of faith. is our greatness going to cost our hiddenness in God? can the two co-exist? greatness and obscurity? i just don't know.

i think about this a lot as a writer. whom can i trust? who isn't in it just to make a quick buck at the cost of the message? sometimes i wonder if i don't sacrifice the message. every time it comes to publishing i retreat, i say, no, i can't. it is not a control thing as much as it is a confidence thing. these words soothe me:
But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well. john 2:24-25

they wanted to promote Jesus (like He needed their help). but He knew the Father had a plan. i want to live in that kind of yieldedness. even when i have awesome opportunities and friends who will help me to get there, i can't fashion my own liberation or that is no liberation. i must trust in God. it is such a difficult question because one could think, if you are being exalted, it could be God lifting you up. but it is so individual. it is such a tender thing. allowing something to be born in season (or borne in season). i've had too many spiritual miscarriages. i want the next child of promise to live. to be as samuel was, yielded entierly to the presence of God. don't let me become eli, deaf, dumb, and blind to the Presence. but let me become david and know the Heart of God. even when i do not please Him, let me repent quickly and receive His forgiveness.

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