Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Forgetting To Be Normal

The following is what came to mind in responding to a friend.

I like what you said here: “If I am brutally honest, so do I - at least at the fleshly level. I wish we could all be honest about it, what this death of self life is really like. It gets glamorized somehow, like it is a badge to wear... but I'll be the first to say, it sucks too.”

My wife and I were talking about something very similar the other day coming back from a follow-up consultation about an MRI I had. We had just listened to the latest God Journey podcast featuring Wayne and Brad entitled, ‘Fragrance of the Father’, and it stirred up so many things, for example life’s hurts, pains, disappointments to name but a few. We are still processing it all.

We are beginning to see that we all, for the most part, live (according to us) a pretty mundane, monotonous, lackluster repetitious day in day out lifestyle. If our lives were not as bland or flavorless as they are, then how could we be attracted to the sizzle of the spectacular or sensational?
I said to my wife that we have no idea how much or little those stupendous and breathtaking ‘testimonies’ have been embellished, air-brushed, rehearsed to sell an image or an identity that most if not all of us seem to be so lacking. And yes -that reality sadly infects most believers I know!

So many, having a stirring or some inner discontent, have supposedly mistaken that for His calling to leave the mundane, ordinary, common, daily routines to become heroic, go for broke, press the envelope, leave the pew-warming to the nominal luke-warm believers! Ha!!! As my wife said, maybe it was never His intention for any of this to happen. Maybe His intention was for us simply to live a very normal (super) natural life and in that context experience the reality of His love for us and accordingly, learn to deal with life’s twists and turns.

I think where so many have short-changed a loving God and Father is in not experiencing the perfection of His love right where we/they are. We end up doing stupid things and then expect God to bail us out. After all, shouldn’t He come through for us, we who have sacrificed everything to prove our loving devotion and commitment to Him? In my opinion, whether or not it’s a conscious mindset, the thinking goes something like this: He is obligated to come through for us in light of our “obedience” to His call upon our lives. He won’t let us down or disappoint us, right? After all, He’s on our side!

I am so grateful that He is able to bring forth what is the best for my life through any and all things, but in not knowing the reality of His deep, deep love for me the inner bareness of sin’s fruit, guilt and shame keep some of us obsessed with wanting to do what Peter did in the storms of life: “Lord if that is you, speak the word and I’ll come to you.” Yes, it was the Lord and Peter did walk out upon the power of that spoken Word, only to experience the power of gravity’s tentacles!
The sad thing is (as the scriptures state), later Peter ‘followed the Lord a far off’.
Performing the sensational didn’t address his inner bankruptcy, nor did it undo his fears or his pride. There was something waiting to burst upon his consciousness that would only become real to him on the other side of the sifting process God had fashioned for Peter. And the sifter had Peter’s name on it.



Like a Mustard Seed said...

Are you on facebook? I don't have your e-mail, I know that we've left a comment on yahoo or 2 for you, but you're usually offline.

Anyway, just wanted to say how much of an encouragment you've been to both Daniel & I. SERIOUSLY, as iron sharpens iron.

Grace & Peace,

Rich said...

Hey Daniel and Heather,

Thanks so much for the encouraging words, its a mutual blesssing in hearing His heart through you both.

I look forward to what Father has for us in getting to know one another.

I sent an instant message to you on Yahoo Messenger re: my email address. I'm on holidays this week and next as well, I would love to voice chat with you if that works.

silent wings said...

Rich my brother,
Thank you.

The past few months another stripping...another shedding of self effort and self preservation and complete terror at my inadequecy, confusion, fear and the glaring emptiness of soul...desperate to "leave the mundane, ordinary, common, daily routines to become heroic " :)

And in this past week His great mercy has enabled me to be so very honest with myself, and so very aware that He loves me deeply still.

Rich said...

Silent Wings,

It is so good to see you again.
None of us have ever known true, pure love, His kind, you know the stuff that is 100% free from any and all conditions.

It is this kind of love that scares the hellish fear filled torment that we have out side of Him, slowly His love for us begins to register and dismantles the house of lies that have tortured us.

Oh, the deep, deep love of our Father!

Robert said...

Love your words here rich. You stir many things inside me as I reflect on them. Why has it been the history of the Church and her leaders per se have taught an interpretation of Scripture and a certain way of seeing God which i think causes spiritual schizophrenia??? Calvinists focus on Gods absolute sovereingty and His grace supppsedly yet declare only a select few *elect* will be saved in the end??? Evangelicals make it clear if you lack obedience and faith you are pretty much in Gods proverbial *doghouse* I have seen you touch upon these issues in your posts but you spoke to my itches by your words and i just wanted to voice them here. Hope to interact with you now that i have found you via tracy. Good good stuff!!!

Rich said...


So good of you to drop by and for the encouraging words as well, thanks.

If none of us (which includes “church leaders) have ever experienced a love totally free of outward let alone hidden conditions attached to being loved, then why is it so shocking to grasp the eye opening truth of the blind leading the blind as Jesus so aptly put it?

Out of just a little (beware of the “leaven” of the Pharisees) law totally corrupts, distorts the truth of His perfect love. It’s either all grace or all law I believe our brother Paul pointed out!

I too look forward to interact with you as well brother.

lydia said...

My new motto is one day at at time - each day depending on His love and grace to not only get me through, but to help me to see Him in the every day, to see His love for me in the midst of my routine, to see how He is pruning me and causing me to be prepared to flourish, even when I can't see it........if I don't take the time to just stop and breath and say, I just need to know You are can be sweet in the midst of the trials and the mundane and the pruning.....anyways, I am SO rambling.

Cirra, boy do I really resonate with what you shared my friend - being honest with ourselves can be oh so painful, but boy it really is worth it, 'eh?!!

Rich said...


I so appreciate your stopping by and for what you brought to the table, what a banquet.