Saturday, October 15, 2005
Getting Out Of The Way Of Growth
The biggest behavior-changing influence came as God began to pursue me in unusual ways. A great burden was placed on my heart at that same age to submit. In pain from the results of my idle youthfulness, stripped of my pride, the word I received from the Lord was not about changing my behavior. The word I received was much more direct: Surrender.As people share their faith experiences, even those with long time faith, come to some point where there is a quantum shift. It comes described in so many ways - "Spirit Baptism," "Overwhelming peace," "assurance," -- regardless of how it is described there seems to be a central theme, a loss of self to be replaced by God.
This experience is marked by differnet things in different things in different people. Sometimes people evidence the markings without having had the genuine experience, and the results can be disaster. How to tell the difference?
As an external observer, I am not sure we can, but internally, I think we can monitor our lives by that one word Matt has called -- surrender. Any genuine experience of God is marked by that. It will be distinct from other surrender because there will be no sense of loss or sacrifice. That which is surrendered will be replaced with something so much better, but it starts with that surrender.
One does not approach a throne with demands, nay even requests. One approaches a throne prostrate and in submission. The throne may grant boon, the throne even desires to grant bounty beyond our imagination, but if we do not approach protrate, if we do not empty our arms of our burdens, we cannot accept the bounty offered.