Sunday, May 17, 2009

Great Stories

I love a good adventure story. Every great adventure story includes romance, conflict, mishaps, tragedy, suspense, comic relief, as well as moments of success and triump. As you read the scenes described so clearly, so vividly, you’re drawn into new places, sights, sounds. I have read scenes that made me hungry, scenes that gave me a desire to snuggle up with a pillow and blanket, cup of tea/coffee and something sweet as I continued reading. You feel at times as though you’d love to be there, if you could somehow climb into the story and experience it in reality.

I remember a difficult time in my life when the Lord kept telling me that this “place” I was in was not my destiny, but only a part of my journey. He’s taught me that such places serve to drive my roots deeper into who He is and who He wants to be to me. (“Roots” because I’m a “…tree of (His) righteousness, a planting of the Lord, that HE might be glorified”.) I’ve experienced great romantic times with the Lord, and times when I misunderstood Him, and kept Him at arm’s length.

Over the last several years, I have often thought about God being the author and finisher of our faith. Thinking about how He is the author of the story of my life. J If everything went the way I wanted it to go, the story of my life would be boring. Truly a real yawn. I cannot abide a boring story. Also, I think it would be truly tragic, if I were to be the author of my own story. My ideas are never as brilliant as His. What I consider to be a “good” idea doesn’t compare to HIS goodness.

I think about when Martha told Jesus that if He had come sooner her brother, Lazarus, would not be dead. John 11:21 Mary said the same thing in verse 32. Jesus dearly loved this man and his sisters. I think they must’ve been like family to him. Sure He could have come and healed Lazarus & kept him from dying. But the Father had a better story in mind… raising him from the dead. How amazing, fantastic, and spectacular! I have been down inside the tomb they say Lazarus was laid in. It would have been a miracle for the man to come up out of that deep, tight space, and up the steep narrow passageway wrapped in cloth as he would have been. Verse 44 says that he even had cloth over his face! What a great story!

Papa knew that they needed to see how real, how mighty He is and wanted to be in their lives. To know that not even death could stop Him from blessing them and doing what He desired to do in their lives. He wanted to give them a greater revelation of Himself, to bring them into greater freedom in their journey with Him. To bring them to a place of such confidence in who He is that they would not hold back in following after Him wherever He might lead them.

No matter where we are today, it is not where we’ve “ended up”, nor is it where we’ve “arrived”. It’s only part of our story, our journey. He has written, and is writing the most exciting, encouraging and beautiful stories in and through our lives. Each one pointing us to Him, drawing our attention to Him, His beauty, His love and goodness. I hope to keep this in mind as I look at my life, and upon the lives of those around me. I hope to remember that God’s working in each of our lives, with us in the muck & mire, pushing us up to the top of that “mesa”, to help us become that “city set upon a hill” that He has seen in His dreams.

Lord, help me to trust in Your author-ity in my life. Lead me further up & further into the freedom found only in resting in Your love and goodness. I love everything You do. You are so creative, so brilliant! Write on, Lord! Write my “story” just the way You want to.

~marcy ellis~
May 17, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wanting More

(Re: house/home church)
“But it can also be a less-controlled replication of the same dynamic. We’re trying to get from our brothers and sisters what we’re not finding in Father himself. That’s a recipe for disaster. Nothing we as believers can ever do together will make up for the lack of our own relationship with God. When we put the church in that place we make it an idol and others will always end up disappointing us.” From "So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore"

There are many of us longing to meet together and live life experiencing the Body of Christ organically. There is a vision, God's vision, being birthed in us. We stand looking thru the veil of our own concepts and ideas, the things we've done before, what we no longer want to do, and see ever so slightly this dream of what the Lord is leading us into. We cannot wrap our minds around it, so we pray that He enable us to grasp what He is showing us.

So many of us are feeling a sifting and a shaking in our lives. It is uncomfortable and unsettling. It has to be for we are breaking free of the old, letting it go, so that we might embrace this new thing... God's vision, His heart for His people. We are learning to be more like Him, as our old ways are exposed for the shallow, pathetic crutches they've always been. There is NO substitute for knowing Him yesterday, today, and forevermore. We don't want to replace our relationship with Him with anything else. We want to dive deeper, to know Him more and more.

We have this longing to know what it is to live with Jesus as the centrality and supremacy of our lives, to know what it is to BE the family of God, and enjoy the fellowship of the God head together as He intends. I, personally, have no desire to meet at home only to replicate what has already been done, or merely have a glorified Bible study. There is a deeper place, a place we've never been in together before.

I want to encourage (my friends) those hungering and thirsting, keep pursuing His face, His voice. Pray for greater revelation and understanding of what He is showing and speaking to you. Pray that He would gather us together with those we fit jointly with. It is HIS dream, His vision we desire to see come to fruition. We only desire it, because HE put it on our hearts in the first place. As we pray, He moves in each one of us, pulling the pieces together, creating the fellowships HE desires to establish.

I don't know how to get from here to there. But I do know how to meet with Him, how to listen & pray. I know that HE is more than capable of leading and guiding us in the way He desires us to go. We have not come this far on our own, but by His hand. I am excited about what He is doing, and what He is going to do. I am excited about the preparations He is making in me/my life, and in the lives of those around me.

Thinking about Habk 2:1-4... knowing that He will make His vision clearer to us, and we will see the desires of HIS heart blossom in our midst.

Lots of love to His Body, His beautiful Church, His darling Bride!!!