December 18, 2011

Eyes Open For God

I want to live my life with eyes open for God.  I find a growing, almost desperate, need to “watch”, to be alert in my spirit to what He is doing. There seems to be a tremendous urge that calls me to prayer.

I am reminded of the account in Joshua 5:13-15 (TNIV) where Joshua asks the angel, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”  The angel replies, “Neither.” 

Joshua 5:13-15 (TNIV)
Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies? “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” The commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

How limited my view of God can become.  How easy to “box” Him in.  Maybe that is why I feel such an urge to watch through prayer.  Watching involves listening for His instructions while being in relationship with Him. 

The power of God is often demonstrated through unconventional means as seen in John 9:6 “Having said, this, he (Jesus) spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.” (NIV)

I want to be part of a church (the Body as a whole) that forgets about “performance” or "programs" so that the Holy Spirit can cause a distraction if He wants.  What if the paralytic man lowered from the rooftop in the middle of the sermon was considered a distraction?  (Mark 2:4) Was the Canaanite woman who harassed Jesus and His disciples about healing her daughter a distraction? (Matthew 15:21)

Jesus was often interrupted but isn’t that the point, to have people encounter the reality of the Living God, to be set free and changed for eternity?

Yet church is more than a place of refuge for those that are sick, it is a force to be reckoned with.  A place from which God sends us out with power and authority in order to extend His kingdom.

Jesus states in Mark 13:37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!'"   

The word watch means to be awake and on guard, that is what is stirring within me.  Like Joshua I ask, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”  And I am finding that He is also revealing the reality of this spiritual kingdom that is often shrouded by the physical.

Maybe He is calling you to a deeper, more intense prayer life – to stand in the gap in order to see His kingdom advance upon the earth.

Maybe He is calling you to stand, awake and alert, through the night so He can open the eyes of your spirit with eyes aware of what He is doing. 

Maybe He wants our concept of church to be radically changed – not dependent on programs but on the power of God once again.

Psalm 134:1 
Bless the Lord, all you servants of the LORD, who by night stand in the house of the LORD!

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