Spirit of Wisdom, Open My Eyes

One of the strangest parts of this discipleship training school has been the whole concept of prophecy. From day one, I knew that God 100% wanted me to be here, so I dove wholeheartedly into everything that was placed before me, desiring to learn all that God could hope to teach me. Part of that journey has been the prophetic, which I don't recall questioning much, although I do remember wondering how anybody ever got anything and what it all meant. I guess when you read the Bible for what it's worth, it's hard to avoid the reality of prophecy, so that wasn't really an issue for me. It was more how to go about it that I struggled with.

I'm not saying that I'm anything more than an infant in this area, but I do think that what little I have learned about hearing God and discerning His heart has made a significant difference in how I relate to people. As someone whose #2 on the strengthsfinder test was "individualization," I already have the natural ability to recognize and call out traits in others with at least a decent degree of proficiency. Add prophecy into the mix, and it's kind of overwhelming. I guess... It's hard to explain without sounding like I'm being arrogant. I don't think I am, but...

This weekend, I had the interesting experience of meeting someone, getting a word for them that I still believe to be true, but then also spending a brief period of time with them that was long enough to get a sense from absolutely nothing they directly said or did about who they were. I even had a rather strange dream regarding that person. On this side of things, I have seen at least a little confirmation of my previous impressions, and I am almost tempted to think that the word was for my benefit more than for that person.

I'm thankful that God is eager to share His heart, because if I just went off of my gut instincts, I suspect I would be very arrogant and suspicious. But we are all works in progress and He is gloriously up to the task of transforming our understanding so that we first see the 10 in others and then the progress.

All of which is to say... Nothing very inspiring, really. Except, y'know, that I freak myself out sometimes.


A Lavish Offering

It was just another 3AM set at just another twelve hour burn midway through the year. The night was chilly and though I had awoken earlier than I planned, it turned out to be a good thing because I was able to drive Elizabeth back to Green Street after she had gotten accidentally stranded at the Life Center. By the time I returned, Lucas and Sam were halfway through their nightwatch set. I didn't really know what to expect and so had no great expectations, but it was bare moments in before I was flooded with the love and presence of God.

When I'm 82, let it be said of me, "He wasted his life on Jesus."

No fragrant perfume this, but a far more costly sacrifice. One year's wages can little compare to a whole life's years. It is almost a silly word to use in that context... "waste." But it demonstrates perfectly the extravagance of love, that giddy desire to give more than sensibility or society dictates to be entirely... well, proper.

I remembered those moments some two months later when Levi Miller led our afternoon prayer room set during a quick visit. It's kind of an understatement to say that he is an intense guy, but in the middle of the raw worship (and broken guitar strings), he flowed into Phillips, Craig, and Dean's Pour My Love On You. Unsurprisingly, the atmosphere shifted into that strangely familiar tone of lovesick devotion, the kind that is willing to pledge itself to a "wasted life."

Like oil upon Your feet
Like wine for You to drink
Like water from my heart
I pour my love on You...
With praises like perfume
I lavish mine on You
Til every drop is gone,
I pour my love on You...

I know what C.S. Lewis says in his Letters to Malcolm about setting up a standard by focusing on our ideal moment and then missing the blessing of all the lesser but still precious moments after. Still, I want that passion burning in my heart and soul, to live out with a laid down life the words that tore themselves one by one from my throat. It doesn't feel as romantic, as tragically glorious once you leave the prayer room, but He is there always, drawing me away to be with Him in the secret place even in the middle of a busy day, even with the briefest fall of eyelids to remember and whisper love. Til every drop is gone...


You Are My Hope

After last night's tossing and turning and getting thoroughly enmeshed in the sleeping bag, I'm rather tired and not entirely sure how to say what's in my head and on my heart. I've been doing and learning so much that sometimes it all just piles up until I'm almost afraid to open the floodgates for fear that I'll drown in the deluge of my own musings.

These past few days have been especially difficult (sorry! I am apparently too happy and outwardly focused to write when I'm actually having an easy, breezy time in life) for reasons of their own, but this morning I opened up to my daily reading in Psalm 31 and was drawn to verse 24.

Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the Lord.

I find it so, SO easy to wallow in my own miseries, misfortunes, and failures. I'm still learning how to walk in the balance of recognizing my sinfulness in the light of God's holiness but also humbly receiving His grace and love that have sanctified and are sanctifying me. Humility is such a beautiful characteristic when someone actually walks in it, and it is such a sweet thing to be able to receive from the Lord. Part of the difficulty I have been facing is simply the oh-so-easy downward spiral of navel gazing that forgets the purpose of outreach and even of life, which is to glorify God and make His name known throughout the earth, and focuses instead on some too slowly evolving inward landscape that can only become beautiful when it is left to the master gardener Himself. As I have been fixating on my flaws, I have felt weak and ineffective, willing to do what is on the schedule because I have no choice, but gradually shriveling up inside.

Last night was sweet though, like a refreshing breeze blown in off of the sea. It was the end of a long day, with daily morning team time, then evangelism, a game of Ultimate Frisbee, a hastily consumed dinner of tacos, and an evening youth service/ministry time, wrapped up at last with a worship gathering at the African-American Center on Yale's campus. I hadn't even really had much of a quiet time that morning because I was exhausted and frustrated, so by the time we got to the 10PM worship I was flagging.

We talked once about the tendency of binding things in the prayer room or during worship, then walking right out of that room and loosing them once again. That's kind of what I felt was happening between the early evening ministry time when I had some personal breakthrough even while praying and prophesying over high school students, then lost my grasp of it five minutes after we walked out the door. By the time we reached Yale, I was ready to curl up in Daddy's lap and cry on His shoulder for a while. The eternal question: how do we walk in what we have received when the revelation is so contrary to established habits and thought patterns?

But always, at the moment beyond hope, God sends His messengers to whisper, "Be strong, and let your heart take courage..." Our hope is fixed on a firm foundation that the storms of life cannot shake. He is so good to me, and I will rest in Him.