FULLY ALIVE!

Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17


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Asking for Directions (Part 2)

Today let’s just dive in.

We established in our last blog entry the importance of seeking God’s direction before we begin each daily journey.  That means we embrace the examples of Psalm 63 1(a) – “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee…” (KJV) and (less we be uncertain what early means) Mark 1:35 “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” (KJV)

But how do you seek God early?  Look back at Mark, and pick that Scripture apart.  Jesus:

  • Rose before day
  • Went out
  • Departed into a solitary place
  • Prayed

Do you have to get up before the sun? No. Your “early” may occur later in the morning but BEFORE you begin your day in earnest. Remember, you want to seek God before you begin to encounter the world (your children, your spouse, morning traffic, your work place, etc.)

Do you have to leave home (go out)? No. But you do need to go somewhere that is a solitary, quiet place. If you’re home alone – no problem. If your household is overrun with children, animals, extended family…, you need to find a quiet place.   Back porch? Basement? Garden? Bathroom? (Hey, He is everywhere, and a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do to get some solitude.”)

Do you have to pray? Yes! Do you have to pray lofty liturgies? No. Just talk with God.   I say with because it is a conversation in that you are talking and listening. I encourage you also to read the Scriptures, meditate and journal, but mainly I encourage you to personalize this time. Christianity is NOT a legal relationship; it is a love relationship, and just as you personalize your time with those you love, personalize this time with Christ.

POSSIBLE RESOURCES

How to Have a Meaningful Quiet Time

Love Worth Finding (Adrian Rogers)

http://www.lwf.org/site/News2?id=10545

 

How to Have a Quiet Time

In Touch Ministries (Charles Stanley)

http://www.intouch.org/you/quiet-time-toolbox/content/topic/how_do_i_have_a_quiet_time_qt

 

How to Have a Quiet Time According to Martin Luther

Christianity Today

http://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/advice/faithqa/whats-quiet-time.html

 

Quiet Time: 7 Minutes with God

Precept Austin

http://preceptaustin.org/quiet_time_seven_minutes_with_god.htm


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Where Are You Going?

Along the yellow brick road in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s screen version of L Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy comes to a fork in the road where, while thinking out loud, she meets the Scarecrow.  Their dialogue goes something like this:

Dorothy:  Follow the Yellow Brick Road? Follow the Yellow Brick? Well, now which way do we go?

Scarecrow:  Pardon me. That way is very nice.

Dorothy:  Who said that?  Don’t be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don’t talk.

Scarecrow:  It’s pleasant down that way, too.

Dorothy:  That’s funny.  Wasn’t he pointing the other way?

Scarecrow:  Of course, people do go both ways!

Dorothy:  Why, you did say something; didn’t you?  Are you doing that on purpose, or can’t you make up your mind?

Scarecrow:  That’s the trouble.  I can’t make up my mind. I haven’t got a brain, only straw.

Dorothy:  Well, how can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?

Scarecrow:  I don’t know. But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t they?

Many people can relate to both Dorothy and the Scarecrow.  They don’t know where they’re going.  They think any road will do.  They occasionally stop and ask anyone for direction, and they listen to people who do a lot of talking but don’t necessarily have brains.

(That’s probably enough said for this post already.)

Fast forward, though, to the ending scenes of The Wizard of Oz and there is dialogue among the Tin Man, Dorothy and Glinda, the Good Witch:

Tin Man:  What have you learned, Dorothy?

Dorothy:  Well, I – I think that it – that it wasn’t enough just to want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em. And that it’s that if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard, because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with. Is that right?

Glinda:  That’s all it is!

Glinda and Dorothy were almost right in that the answer to what is missing in our lives is not something “out there” over the rainbow.  No man or woman, no amount of money, no career, no travel to an exotic land (not even to Kansas) can fill our emptiness.  What is missing, what will fill that hole in our hearts and lives is God.

So, rather than chasing after pots of gold, as David declared in Psalm 63:8 we should follow “hard after” God. (KJV) While this expression comes from A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God, (there is a chapter entitled, “Following Hard After God.”) this text written in 1948 and this word from David speak a powerful lesson for us today.  In following hard after God we can be assured that He will order our steps, direct our paths and uphold us in His way. Even more than this, we can be assured of a deep relationship with Him – one that brings life, one that satisfies.