Tuesday, July 12, 2011

God as the Great Surgeon of our Souls

A lonely place on Lake Erie
This afternoon I will go to a "lonely place" and pray. I'll take my Bible, my journal, and maybe a devotional book with me. My cell phone will be on "vibrate" - I'll only answer if it's Linda or one of our church's staff. I have been doing these Tuesday prayer times for 30 years. Today I'll pray and ponder anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. These times are the beating heart of my abiding life in Christ. They are my habit, my freedom-routine, the place where God meets just with me and I with He.

I look forward to these times; I look forward to today's extended God-time. Because...
  • God told me, 30 years ago, to take Tuesday afternoons with Him.
  • I need God. God doesn't need me. But I need Him. God loves me, more than I love Him. God wants to use me and will use me. The secret to this is: I will abide, dwell, with Him.
  • These times strengthen the Connection. I'm a fruit-bearing branch; He is the Fruit-making Root.
  • I love God. God has rescued me from the pit of darkness. I am forever grateful!
  • God has much to tell me. Today. Today is the day of God's voice in my life. Today is Listening Day. Today is Revelation Day and Illumination Day.
  • I need more freedom from: 1) evil ("deliver me from...); 2) self ("Save me from myself"); 3) others (from how others may evaluate me); and 4) any thoughts that others are evaluating me (this is, mostly, a delusion; I'd care less about what others think of me if I'd realize how little they do). 
  • I need more freedom for: 1) God, Christ, and the Kingdom; 2) Linda and my family; 3) my church family; and 4) others God allows to "interrupt" my life.
When I get to the lonely place of meeting today, I will just sit. I often say, "God, if you have things you want to show me or say to me, I am willing to listen."

I'll take Scripture and slow-read it. I am, right now, reading through the Bible. Very, very slowly and meditatively. I am in listening mode. I'm not trying to exegete it; I assume the text, by the Spirit, will exegete me. I am a text; the Spirit through His Word dissects and interprets me. God knows me. In my alone-times with God, God interprets me. This is the anti-Cartesian hermeneutical revolution. The biblical text is not, essentially, something to be "objectively analyzed," but is rather, by the Spirit, the Studier of Persons. This is the meaning of the Word of God, "sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, bone and marrow..." This is God the Great Physician as the Great Surgeon of our Souls.

Therefore, I will get passive before the Lord. I will be searched out by the Spirit and the Word.

Today is a great day for me. I undergo another divine surgery.