Holy Broken

My dark heart, on blast in my actions, drives me to glimpse God’s heart in fasting. He reveals much in Isaiah 58, Behold you fast only to quarrel and to fight….Is such the fast that I choose?….Will you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the Lord? It pleases Him when we commit to restraining our flesh that His Spirit may grow stronger within us, but never at the cost of peace. Never at the cost of justice. Never to turn our eyes inward, but to turn them Upward.

So I know, that in seeking Him, I have been a Pharisee (that nemesis of Jesus we all pretend not to be). For the family member who intrudes on what has become “my” time receives a snippy retort. And suddenly I have not loved God, but myself; for every human who walks on this planet, and in the halls of my home, bears God’s image on earth ((for good or for evil)). It is revealed that my seeking is now motivated by what I can get instead of Who He Is. How I yearn to be available to His call. How often I miss the mark by the log in my eye (Matt. 7:5).

Anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.~1 John 4:8

Oh, that my days may be acceptable to Him.

It is imperative that I live broken because of the paradox of Christian existence. This paradox is that though my days on earth will never be flawless & sweet aromas to Him, yet, in Christ, they always will be (even in my legacy of sin & hypocrisy?!). How can it be so?

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.~Psalm 139:6

What mad contradiction it is as I cry out with the saints: I BELIEVE; oh, help my unbelief (Mark 9:24)! Like roots & weeds, the good & bad exist alongside each other within us. In our Lord, the weeds can be strangled, and the plant can grow strong, sending off seeds on the wind in every direction, until He gathers us all, in holiness, to His rest. But we must acknowledge our imperfection. We must live with two realities before us: 1) my sin, 2) His glory. The sin to make us broken, the Glory to lift up our heads, to be a gentle palm beneath the chin saying, “smile, HIS is the victory, ain’t no grave gonna hold you down[Crowder].”

But He Himself [Jesus] will be refreshed from brooks along the way. He will be victorious.~Psalm 110:7

I can measure His love as tidy as a tablespoon of turmeric: Jesus came, He lived covered in woodchips & sinlessness, He set into motion a movement of followers that would bring every nation to Him in worship & then…He died as a criminal.

For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross. ~Colossians 1:19&20

Teach me to feed my body with food & my soul with Your word. Free from trying to nourish my soul with the temporary food of this life. Only sometimes overlapping the two when my body is sustained by the strength of Your Word (may it be so!) in a fast that pleases You.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. ~Galations 5:24

For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.~Psalm 138:6

Idol Moments

Everything I do, I love. Catch me on a Tuesday, I’ll be in the middle of teaching swim lessons and–for the most part–lovin’ it. During the summer, I’m downtown loving to mentor kids and running, wide-eyed & happily ragged at camps for inner-city youth. Find me at the table Wednesday night, studying, and I’ll be obsessing over the beauty of the Spanish language. You’ll hear me nursing the alphabet backwards and forwards, listening to sound clips and laughing when I discover the word pedo. In the mornings during class, I’m adoring my classmates & my school. Sunnyside up? Yes. But I go a step too far, far too often. I smile and praise God for all he has given me. I drive to yoga practice listening to music, full of thanks, happy. And I think, what if I had more? More music? More time for yoga? More money?
In my mind I begin to take inventory and calculate just what (and how much of it) will give me lasting contentment. Suddenly I’m moving like molasses–no longer free but chained. Chained to the idols I’ve made out of blessings. Fearful, grasping to maintain my ideal reality; worshipping the created instead of the Creator ((who I love)). Grasping for creative control instead of joyfully submitting to his–grand, divine, world-wide–will. Obsessed with what makes me feel good. Such a slight turn to what I want instead of what he wants. A Satan slip that turns my heart away from God. A lack of surrender. A lack of dependence. A rebellious, finger in his face, “God, I’ve got this. I’m good without you. This is all I need.” With my heart I’ve declared that the blessings He has given me are what I need instead of his.glorious.self. I’ve switched the search to seeking spiritual sustenance in yoga, in music, in family, and friends, and travels–in the sweet treats of this realm–instead of in his presence.
Here. In the truck. On the yoga mat. In the classroom. His presence is my solitary source of life. Real life. The umbilical cord is prayer. This upward lifting of my carnal eyes are the avenue for transformation I’m responsible for walking through, moment after moment.
He is the only source of life. I forget that, and I plummet. Cling to this Truth, and up I climb, higher & higher into his marvelous light!

“Ah, Lord God! It is you who has made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm!” ~Jeremiah 32:17, ESV

“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God.” ~Romans 8:6-7, NLT, emphasis mine.

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God…For we share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”~Hebrews 3:12&14