Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Facing Things that, In My Own Strength, are Impossible

Lake Michigan

Dallas Willard, in Hearing God, quotes Samuel Shoemaker's description of experiencing God communicating to us. Shoemaker writes:

"Something comes into our own energies and capacities and expands them. We are laid hold of by Something greater than ourselves. We can face things, create things, accomplish things, that in our own strength would have been impossible. . . . The Holy Spirit seems to mix and mingle His power with our own, so that what happens is both a heightening of our own powers, and a gift to us from outside. This is as real and definite as attaching an appliance to an electrical outlet, though of course such a mechanical analogy is not altogether satisfactory." (p. 126)

This is the experiential reality of Immanuel, God-with-us. God with me. I have experienced this many times, and written a number of these down in 3000+ pages of journal entries.

Today I am going to live with God. I am connecting, early in the morning. I'll carry my journal with me. When God speaks to me, I'll write it down.

If you're wondering how you might do this today, I suggest:

  • Open your Bible and begin reading, slowly, John chapter 14.
  • If your mind wanders, note that it wanders to something like a burden. Write it down. That is, write something like: "I am now burdened by...  " As best as you can, give this burden to God.
  • Continue deburdening throughout the day, as worries and concerns come to you. If action is required, take action. Do what you can do, what God wants you to do, to address the concern. Leave the rest to God. Trust God for the things you cannot control.
  • Meditate (slow-cook) on John 14. When God speaks to you, write it down.
  • I find that, as I live this way, an uncluttered space opens in my soul. That is usually the place where I hear God. I can face things, accomplish things, create things, that in my own strength are impossible.