"This King, full of mercy and goodness.. Embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands. He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly.. And treats me in all respects as His favorite."
-Brother Lawrence

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Awake, My Soul!

For the past few weeks I've had a phrase from Psalm 57 going around and around in my head and going deep into my heart.. Psalm 57:8
"Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn."
The first line just gets me everytime. "Awake my soul". And I've spent some time meditating on exactly what it means to have an awakened soul, and why King David would desire his soul to be awakened.
Tiny bit of context: David wrote this psalm when he was hiding out in a cave after fleeing from Saul and his croonies who were trying to take his life.. In a nutshell, David was in the pit.
But the thing I love about this psalm and the other psalms he wrote while in this position is that it shows David's character beautifully. In the midst of his darkness and lonliness, he sings songs of praise and declares God's love.
So in the middle of his deep distress, David calls out to the Lord. In Psalm 57, David is mostly making statements about his situation and exalting God, but he does ask the Lord for two things; 1: mercy (verse 1), and 2: an awakened soul (verse 8).
And what was the purpose in having an awakened soul while he was in the pit of despair? So that he could praise and worship, sing and make music to the Lord! So that he could be joyful despite his circumstances. We need to get a hold of this mentality.
This generation is walking round with tired, destroyed and downcast souls. They are literally everywhere. Imagine if we had the joy of the Lord and an awakened soul, every day. No matter what the situation, mood or season. If we had steadfast hearts that could not be shaken- grounded in the joy and goodness of God.
When we have an awakened soul, we are free to praise- liberated by the love of God- in any season. Joy does not rely on circumstances, it is not "hapiness", it is constant and it is straight from the heart of the Lord.
Our souls need to be awakened with joy, so that we can praise and worship in every season, simply because He is worthy. Our souls need to be awakened to the goodness of God, so that we may find rest in Him (Psalm 116:7). And our souls need to be awakened to the likeness of God so that we may live righteously, and satisfied in Him alone (Psalm 17:15).
Just before Jesus was about to be crucified, He went up to the garden of Gethsemane, He asked one thing of His disciples; to keep watch while He went to pray. When He came back, He found them sleeping and was deeply upset. He begged them to pray, to stay awake. (John 22:46)
Let's not be found sleeping.
Let's be a generation of people who are awake, in tune with the spirit. We could change the world.
"You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead..
Wake up!"
-Revelation 3:1&2

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Think About Such Things

"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."
Philippians 4:8
Today I was listening to a song by Death Cab for Cutie, called "I will possess your heart". Basically the song has like, one verse and a repetitive chorus that goes;
You've gotta spend some time, love
You've gotta spend some time with me
And I know that you'll find, love
I will possess your heart
I have no doubt at all that Ben Gibbard wrote the song for a girl and all that blah blah.. But hear me out.
It got me to thinking.
The things/people/activities that we spend our time with, whether good or bad, are essentially the things we lend our hearts to. Thus, these things possess our hearts. Right?
So this got me to thinking that we should be careful and Godly about the way we spend our time and energy and what we put time and energy into thinking about. Yes.
So this is where Philippians 4:8 comes in. In a roundabout kinda way.
I love this quote from Misty Edwards "Most of your life takes place on the other side of your face." (meaning, in your mind) I could not agree more. We are thinkers, us humans. Always thinking, our minds wander here and there constantly. I'm always having to pull my mind back into focus, away from daydreams or wandering thoughts.
In Philippians 4:8, Paul clearly lists the things we should be setting our minds to, the things we should be thinking about and the things that should be taking up our time, both in our heads, and out.
The list is pretty elite.
whatever is:
And, here's the list of people/things that possess all the qualities afore-mentioned:
This is challenging. There's SO much out there to spend time thinking about, why would we want to think about God? I am the most prone to daydreaming person alive.. I think all the time about everything. It's overwhelming. I'm sure you'd all agree. But why, why do I spend my time thinking about all this clutter and chaos when all God requires of me is to think about Him? To set my heart on things above.
Imagine what kind of a world we'd live in if we became a generation who walked round daydreaming about Heaven? Constantly spending time contemplating and meditating on God. In order that the thing we spend our time on would, indeed, hold our affections, and therefore;
Possess our hearts.