Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pleasing God

The following article is by my friend Dave Price.

Its All About You

 Here is one of the most fascinating verses in the Bible to me, Hebrews 11:5, “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.” (NIV) It isn’t amazing to me that Enoch was taken straight to heaven – God is a big God, He can certainly pull off something simple like that. What is amazing to me is the part I think most people miss – that before he was taken he was commended as one who pleased God. We would probably say that the proof that Enoch was pleasing to God is the fact that he was taken, but I think it’s something more. Enoch received proof that he was pleasing to God from God Himself before the “proof” was given. You see, the more glorious thing is not that he went straight to heaven; but that before he went to heaven God gave him proof that he was pleasing to Him. The only reason given that Enoch was pleasing to God is that he believed.

I know at first blush this sound too simplistic. It sounds too simple because we are used to religion being complicated, and that’s the problem. Faith is not religion, faith is not a denomination, faith is not an order of service or a ritual – faith is a relationship. I believe my wife loves me because, and only because, we have a relationship – there is no other proof. Sure, you could say that she proves she loves me by the things she does for me, but that is an invalid argument – lots of people do things for me who don’t love me. My wife makes me coffee, but so does the coffeeshop guy down the street, and he only loves my money. My wife does my laundry (and thankfully so, for I have proved myself an idiot more than once), but the laundry down the street will do it for me too. The examples are endless – anything my wife does for me can be done by someone else, therefore the things that she does for me can’t be the proof that she loves me. They can be a testimony to the fact that she loves me, but they can’t be the proof. The proof that she loves me is the relationship we have – no one on earth knows my heart, nor wants to know my heart, more than she wants to know my heart. No one on earth wants to be with me as much as she wants to be with me.  That is relationship, and that is the proof that Enoch had that he was pleasing to God, that they had a relationship.

Every definition of faith found in the Bible is based on relationship.  A life like that of Enoch’s has God as its highest pursuit – and this is life, that God created man because He desired to have a relationship with him, that God is interested in the heart of man, that God desires to be pursued by man, and God rewards any who pursue Him with the greatest gift of life, the proof that we are pleasing to Him. Now here’s the definition of pursuit: My greatest joy in life is when my child suddenly jumps up and wrap his arms around me to tell me that he loves me, not because I told him to, not because I scheduled 3 times during the day for him to do it, not because I prescribed the exact way that I wanted it done, but simply and purely because at that moment it was the desire of his heart. (Ladies, I know I keep using the masculine here, and I have 2 daughters, so forgive me, it’s just the way I write).

God is a great and gracious Father – that was the entire message of Jesus. Over and over Jesus preached God the Father, not God the religion. Mankind has devised every conceivable way he can think of to please God entirely based on the idea that we please God by what we do; at least I think he has, but I’m sure someone will come up with another way. But God is far less concerned with what we do than with who we are. If who we are is a person who believes that God exists, who believes that He loves us and desires us, then we are pleasing to God – and that’s faith. Here’s the real mind blower – if we have faith, everything that we are is pleasing to Him. The hopes and dreams and desires of my heart for my children I understand – what I struggle with is the understanding that the full depth of those same feelings is exactly what God feels for me. The reward of faith is to see what we believe. The reward of faith is the undeniable, unshakable knowledge that we are pleasing to God just the way we are – that doesn’t mean that we abandon the pursuit of becoming better people, just that the pursuit of being better is only a product of my desire to know Him and to be known more fully.

So here’s the conclusion – and I write this because it is the one thing I am pursuing more than life itself. The definition of pleasing, as I have adapted the definition from the dictionary, is this: I want to know that I give enjoyment to God, pleasure to God, satisfaction to God. I want to know that I make God glad and contented. I want to know that I am the will and the desire of God.  I want to know that I give God great pleasure, that I delight Him, that I enchant Him, that I gladden Him, that I gratify Him, that I overjoy Him, that I tickle Him. I want to know that He enjoys me enthusiastically, and often excessively. And the only requirement to knowing is that I believe. Go figure – all I have to do to know life in all its glorious fullness is to believe God. He’s going to have to help along with this, because I struggle with it daily – but I think I’m beginning to get the picture, and what a wonderful picture it is!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Put The Past Where It Belongs

 I so enjoyed this article by my friend Dave Price.

The greatest tragedy of life is to be chained to the past. Oscar Wilde said, "Every sinner has a future, every saint has a past." The lie, the deception, is that the past defines who you are. That is a bald faced lie. The past certainly has shaped you, but it does not define you. What is the past, anyway? It is an imagination - a memory, influenced by emotion, tainted by opinion and perception. Every moment you allow that imagination, that twisted lie to influence the present moment, you deny yourself the opportunity to create the pure and perfect gift that this very moment has to offer.

What is the present? It is the opportunity to fulfill God's purpose for life. That purpose is creation! God created us in His image, with the power and the purpose to create. This present moment provides the only opportunity to fulfill that purpose. This present moment provides the only opportunity to fully create what this moment will be for eternity. To the degree that you believe God, trust God, seek God in the present moment, leaving behind the past just as He has, is the degree to which you fulfill the entire purpose of life, to create the perfect moment with all the power of creativity He has designed and empowered in you.

If you say you lack the ability to change the circumstances you find yourself in, you deny the power of God in you. If you say you lack the ability to change what the past has created in you, you deny the power of Christ's rebirth. If you deny the ability to change this very moment, you deny the power of the Holy Spirit in you, and you deny the very purpose of life.
You cannot change the past. You cannot deny the influence the past has had on who you are. However, you must not believe that this is a negative thing. Yes, the past has added to who you are. The key is that it has added. Each moment adds to who you are. It can never detract from who you are. The past has added to who you are and you are better for it. You have a responsibility to this present moment to use all you have gained to create everything you have the power to create, to make this a perfect moment.

Life is an open book and you are the author of its pages. You can wallow in the self pity of yesterday's poorly written words, or you can relish the opportunity to create the masterpiece you were created to create. What is the future? It is the unfinished masterpiece of your present moments. You are the Rembrandt, the Edison, the Einstein, the Shakespeare of your present moment - what will you write next?


Sunday, March 4, 2012

I Forgot Love Existed

I loved this

Its truly amazing how when your heart can be so abused that love seems to be so far removed from where we are.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Turning Life Into a Formula

I’m reading a very interesting book a friend loaned to me in a recent visit with him. As with much of what we see and hear, there is a growing awareness of enjoying the meat along with spitting out the bones.
This is very much in my thoughts in continuing to read this book, that rather than simply being encouraged by the Father, so often the writer or speaker inevitably turns it into a formula or a principal for whatever point they have made from the scriptures, to be followed out in our lives.

Is it remotely possible that various events that naturally took place within the scriptures, within the lives of real people were in fact things uniquely prompted in them by the Father of their spirit, and had nothing to do with some smart ass coming along and turning it into some principle/precept thang?


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beloved, Now Are We Loved

Each day we can further learn to soak our senses in the wonder and love of a Father who's burning desire is to see us, made, fully alive.

I trust this pod cast will be something that will reinforce the undeniable assurance of; Beloved, now are we loved of the Father!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Living Loved

I mentioned to a friend I bumped into the other day as I was out for my morning walk around the river, its truly amazing as we continue to be awakened to the incredible reality that God emphatically does love us and really likes and enjoys our company.

The infusion of His love awakens our senses to things of such intense wonder and beauty that were there all of the time but sadly missed.
I am finding that I no longer need for God to do something supernatural to make others aware that He does exist. I continue to revel in the sobering and yet intoxicating infusion of his unconditional love
, which frees me to be as he was in this world, one more time all over again God touching caring for this world of people living and breathing and loving through me.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

There is Still a Lot We Miss

I love how the natural things point to a much greater reality, and nature to me is a wonderful mirror that draws us to that realm.
I read an article about mice that sing, and in reading it saw how that we as humans in so many ways are not in touch with our limited senses able to see and hear so much more that is happening all around us.
Is this pointing to the spiritual realm as well, are we not seeing or hearing so much more that waits for our senses to behold?

A mouse makes much more than squeaks when it comes to mating time. It appears that they sing like birds to attract their mates. The problem for us humans is that the songs are sung in the ultrasound – frequencies outside the hearing of our ears.

As amazing as the natural world may seem to us there is still a lot we miss out on because human senses are not sensitive enough to see or hear everything that’s going on. Flowers when viewed with special cameras reveal a wealth of colour to attract insects and bats communicate and navigate around using sound outside our range of hearing.

It seems as though house mice might provide a new model organism for the study of song in animals,” says Dustin Penn. “Who would have thought that?