Friday, November 21, 2008

Soul Exploration

Friends can help us figure out our emotions.  I read a story recently about a man who felt discouraged, and he couldn’t understand why.  He invited his friends to help him sort through his situation.  They asked him questions about his circumstances, thoughts, and feelings.  It turned out that he had recently buried a friend, and he was simply coping with that.  He suspected that his loss had left him drained and possibly confused.  But his friends helped him clear up the confusion, and they supported him as he worked through it.


The friends knew what questions to ask.  They cared enough to dig deeply.  As true friends, they wanted to discover the source of the anxiety.  The writer said that his friends helped him explore his soul.


What if we all had a few friends who would help us explore our souls?  They could help us dig down to our deepest thoughts, desires and feelings.  The more I get in touch with the deep things in my soul, the more fulfilled my life is. 


But for some reason, it is difficult to invite someone to take such a penetrating look into my soul.  It has to be someone I trust.  It has to be someone who cares about me.  It has to be someone with whom I can share my deepest longings. 


There are a few people in my life like that.  I just need the courage to invite them to go exploring with me.  I would gladly do so for someone else.  I think they would gladly do it for me.  I wonder what I’m afraid of…

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Prayers for the President

             Now that Barak Obama has been elected president, he needs our prayers more than ever.  Certainly every president needs prayer support, but our nation is facing unusual challenges today.  With wars abroad and economic crises at home, we need solid leadership.

             The president-elect will certainly discover that it is hard to deliver on every campaign promise.  He made, it seems to me, sweeping promises to fix every ill in the country, with the power of the government.  It won’t be so easy.

             I hope that he will find that Christ followers are praying for him with energy and expectation.  Many Americans have such high expectations, it may be nearly impossible to fulfill them.

             Here is my prayer:  that Americans praying for Obama will renew or discover their relationship with Jesus, and that our new president will be overwhelmed by the power of God. 

             If Obama will follow Christ and let the Lord change his heart – and some of his policies – he could be one of our greatest presidents.  Such is the power of God released through his people humbly seeking his face.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Being Christ

Sometimes God reveals the obvious to me, and I wonder why I never understood it before. As I was walking with my dog this morning, I ran into one of my neighbors. After a brief conversation, we both continued our walks. I have prayed for this neighbor on several occasions. I wondered how I could really minister with such encounters.

Then it dawned on me. God is not calling me to quote Bible verses to everyone I meet. He is not asking me to give money to everyone I meet, nor to pray with, talk to, or invite to church everyone I meet.

He is calling me to be Christ to everyone I meet. I need to be so filled with Jesus that his love overflows from me. As Jesus met people on the street, he ministered to them in different ways. Some he healed, some he comforted, some he challenged, so he taught, some he rebuked. To all of them, he showed love.

As I encounter people, I need to let Jesus work through me. I need to be so in tune with the Spirit that he uses me to show his love. Because of the life of Christ in me, I can be Christ to those around me. Because he gave his life for me, and placed his life in me, the life of Jesus can flow from me to everyone around me.

So I am free to serve Christ by surrendering to his Spirit. Through me, then, Jesus can share his love – through words, actions, gifts, prayers, and presence.

My job is to be Jesus to those I meet every day. He can then pursue them with his Spirit’s power and bring them into his kingdom.

It’s so obvious.