Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Knowing God - Psalm 139: 1,2,5,10

Use this day, O Lord,
to draw me irresistably closer to you.
Ask for the grace to sink into his arms.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You hem me in, behind and before
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
Psalm 139:1,2,5,10
Many of us Lutherans grew up memorizing Luther's Small Catechism. One of the phrases that's stuck with many people is from Luther's explanation of the third article of the Apostles' Creed: "I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ ... or come to Him; [fortunately] the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith."
In short, if you come to church, if you know God, and/or if you're reading this, then God-the-Holy-Spirit has almost certainly been drawing you close already! Today's prayer is simply a prayer for a greater hunger, a bigger desire, a more holy passion!
In other words, you are saying that in your relationship with God you want to be like a moth drawn to a flame ... or ... like a little brother chases after his older siblings, you want to chase hard after God ... or ... like a cowboy roping a bull, you want to grab hold and not let go.
You want to ... You want to ... You want to ... But here's the grace: God is already chasing hard after you!
As Paul said to the people of Athens, "God [did this, this, and this] so that [people] would search for Him and perhaps grope for Him and maybe even find Him — though indeed He is not far from each one of us" (Acts 17:26-27).
So it's not like you have to go looking him. Rather, just ask him for a real hunger for his presence ... and/or the grace to open your eyes and realize that he's already there.
In Christ's Love
The Shadow
(or actually ... The Shadowed
because God's been shadowing me
all my days)
I like the small print ... asking for the grace to sink into His arms.  At a recent retreat, I had someone put an arm around me and I felt safe. Secure. protected. cared for. A slew of positive comforting emotions.  That is what I want to feel again. Instead of the fighting to get up. to sense God. to see him.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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