Those Holy Moments

I am one broke dude. Not monetarily, although I’m certainly not loaded. I am talking about my inheritance from Adam and Eve. Our parents left us a broken creation, created order and a broken humanity. Man I’m tarnished at every level I can think of. To top all of that brokeness off life has not been particularly kind at moments from birth to salvation.

The fact that the Lord graciously reached down and engaged me in the Gospel and transformed me and started cleaning me up and repairing all the damage of the fall is the most gracious and amazing gift. This gift of salvation does so many things for us.

John identifies our enemies in 1 John 2:15-17 as the world and the flesh, and later in 1 John he identifies the ruler of the “world” as the devil himself. The world is the system operated by the rebel, Satan, that stands opposed to the Triune God and his Kingdom. The flesh is the fallen nature of mankind. The world, the flesh and the devil. These three conspire to keep captive mankind in the rebellion and appeal to his sense of the here and now in fallen lusts of our fallen nature, desires of our fallen vision and pride in accumulating all we can in this fallen creation (1 John 2:16).

Among many graces, salvation gloriously opens our eyes to see glory, reality, the truth, God revealed in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:1-6).

For the Christian, we have seen, see and know reality and yet the world, the flesh and the devil conspire to cloud our new vision and keep us tethered to stuff and places destined to perish.

Truthfully, the world the flesh and the devil are my enemies and often I court them as though they are friendlies. I’m truly broke.

For me, the Lord graciously rescues me with “holy moments”. I often don’t talk about these moments because, to tell the truth, I feel a bit inferior. Compared to some who seem super – spiritual, I can begin to wonder if I’m even saved. My walk with the Lord is not marked by continual visions of glory, continual audible instruction from God, a constant rain of Spirit giftedness for every moment and an unhindered assurance that all is well. So, it’s easier just to shut up and keep my head down. Sometimes I wonder of some people are just putting on in order to appear spiritual. Maybe I’m just jealous.

Often my walk with the Lord is marked by the rare ability to see past my own nose, silence in the heavens, giftedness for the moment and then seeming plunges back to my broken self and a few doubts along the way about the Lord’s love for me. Just telling the truth about me. Maybe some identify with that. Maybe some will just stop reading because they think me just unspiritual and hopelessly tied to my constructs.

This is why I love the C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia”. I know they are children’s books, but there are sentences in those books in the middle of the story that I relate to and believe have been placed there by God through the gift of a creative writer trying to capture what it is like to live in the fallen world while a citizen of another heavenly Kingdom. The kids don’t often go to Narnia. The kids are trudging through life in their world. Although they want to get to Narnia, they just can’t make it happen. But on a few occasions when they are being harassed, or playing, or just trying to survive the portal opens, Aslan calls them to his world and they are transported to Narnia where they walk with Aslan, get instructed then go back to their world and live again as kings and queens of Narnia while in a kingdom that just does not quite fit them.

These books capture my walk with the Lord. I don’t often have “holy moments” where the portal opens, but I do have them, and when I do it is a full on experience of the holy. All senses engaged and working at optimal level. The ability to see the grand and large work of redemptive history clearly and the surety of it. Sight deeper than my physical eyes can ever dream of. The ability to hear the deep, holy, strong and terrible voice of the Triune God of all. The paradox of good and terrible at the same time. We think of those as contradictions. God calls those holy. The smell of holy air that has not been tainted by rot and death. The taste of holy air that is not diluted with other things. The feel of the touch of the divine when its evident the Lord holds you in his gracious and powerful hand and will never lose you even if he graciously disciplines. Those holy moments are rare, but they are real. They build deep and lasting memories. Those holy moments destroy the lure of the world, the flesh and the devil and help me to live as though knowing the Lord is better than treasure and abundance (see Psalm 17:14-15).

So, maybe you are not constantly in the spiritually “on” position. I’m not either. But I have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus alone to the Kingdom of Heaven and the Lord graciously gives me a few Isaiah 6 moments (I do mean few) that beat back the rush of the fall and give me a greater longing for the full revelation of the Kingdom and the coming of the Lord to make that experience the full on reality of eternity future. Come Lord Jesus, and until then keep us in your grace and captivate our sight with holy things.

Just Keep Reading Scripture even if sparks aren’t flying

Sometimes bible reading does not produce fireworks in my soul and the audible voice of Father telling me, with precise detail, what to get done today. Sometimes those things do happen, and boy is it refreshing.

If you follow any strategy for reading Scripture you will find there are days that you slog through and just get it done. Well, there is more going on than we can often perceive. Spirit is at work making us holy, even when we sleep, so he is even more at work when we are interacting with him in his word.

Therefore, read and keep on reading. Study and keep on studying. Read and pay attention to even the family trees. It’s all inspired and useful for our training in righteousness.

I ran upon this statement about bible reading on Josh Harris’ blog that he got from his brother who quoted it from Geoffrey Thomas….whew….anyway, I put it below for you to chew on and enjoy. So, enjoy:

“Do not expect always to get an emotional charge or a feeling of quiet peace when you read the Bible. By the grace of God you may expect that to be a frequent experience, but often you will get no emotional response at all. Let the Word break over your heart and mind again and again as the years go by, and imperceptibly there will come great changes in your attitude and outlook and conduct. You will probably be the last to recognize these… Go on reading it until you can read no longer, and then you will not need the Bible any more, because when your eyes close for the last time in death, and never again read the Word of God in Scripture you will open them to the Word of God in the flesh, that same Jesus of the Bible whom you have known for so long, standing before you to take you for ever to His eternal home.” – Geoffrey Thomas, Reading the Bible