Little Surprises

When was the last time you were surprised by God? Lately it seems
like it is happening on a daily basis! I owe this to a multitude of things, but the short reason is a greater “spiritual receptivity” on my part – cultivated and exercised for the purpose of becoming like Christ so that I can do the work of Christ every day!

Anyway, here’s my little “surprise” of the day…

I just finished writing these following contemplative thoughts and prayers on the opening verses of Psalm 7:

“Where would I be without the presence of God in my life? Without Your protection and faithfulness I would surely be torn to pieces. My soul is strengthened because you picked me up and held me to your chest, Jesus! Your eyes of compassion bore into my soul a healing grace strong enough to deliver me from destruction!

“I praise You, oh Lord, for giving me the gift of Your constant presence. I can hear you now…telling me You are there whenever I feel alone and unwanted. You delivered and you deliver! Holy Spirit, fill me up. You have full access! Please grant me ALL that you have for me! I receive in faith and gratitude.”

Those are the words I wrote in my journal. Sure…they seem like pretty usual words for a Christian who wants to go deeper with God. You have probably voiced similar words before, too. This certainly isn’t the first time I’ve asked God for more of who He is!

Normally I would close my journal and be done with it for the day. There’s just so much to do! But today the Lord surprised me by leading me to close my journal, close my eyes and just sit in silence for awhile.

There was a new CD by Jesus Culture playing in another room. For the moment everyone was off doing something else and I was in the perfect environment to receive, without any distraction, what God wanted to give me today.

And what to my wondering soul did surprise,
but a familiar song I’ve only seen with my eyes…

“Lord, I want more of You.
Holy Spirit rain down on me.
Lord, I need more of you.
Living Breath of Life come and fill me up.”

How many times have these words left my lips, meant to inspire the worshiper to lift up their heart and hands to God?

Sometimes these songs and lyrics can be so familiar and so rushed (especially on Sunday mornings) that we miss God actually answering the cries of our hearts!

I almost missed Him this morning! But in His unrelenting way, God gave me the gift of His sweet presence in answer to my humble prayer.

“I am hungry for more of you.
I am thirsty for more of you.”

Spiritual receptivity (a phrase I gladly borrow from Tozer) is like an insatiable hunger, a supernatural awakening of the soul. It is a willingness to learn to recognize the voice of the Shepherd leading His sheep. It is an “open-hands” posture – ready to receive all that God wants to give today and everyday! I’m not talking about material things. I’m talking about the healing of our souls! This is the Good News for Christians…

Psalm 7:1-2 says “O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me, lest like a lion they tear my soul apart, rending it to pieces, with none to deliver.”

2012 is right around the corner. May you fully embrace the strong presence of God in your life and rest in Him lest you find your soul torn to pieces by busyness, disappointment, fear, depression, loneliness, failure, shame, et al.

The great theologian, Jon Foreman (of Switchfoot), simply says “I want to thrive…not just survive”. I think that’s a great way to approach the new year!

What about you? Are you hungry? Do you wanna see the chains be broken this year? Do you wanna experience an Acts 2 outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life and ministry?

“Clear eyes – Full hearts – Can’t lose!”

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