Hi friends, I’ve missed you. I’ve missed my fingers tapping the keys and sharing things with you.
Warning! Disclaimer! I am writing this while being on a God-soaked, spiritual high. If you’re a Christian, you know that kind of high I mean; it’s experienced, typically, when you come together with fellow believers and this special anointing fills the house or the church or wherever you happen to be. I liken it to a feeling similar to coming out of a warm shower, slipping into the most comfortable baby soft pajamas and then resting your bones between crisp, clean sheets and a fluffy pillow for a peaceful rest. It’s so good. Altogether comforting and enveloping. We want to just stay in those moments for as long as possible, don’t we? We just want to inhale the fresh smells and feel the billowy elegance of it all.
That’s what this spiritual high is like. My husband and I joined a few dozen other pastors, along with a couple hundred fellow believers for a Holy Spirit Conference that OUR pastor, Dr. Mark Barclay, holds a few times each year in various locations. I believe this is my 4th or 5th attendance. I can’t even begin to tell you my favorite part because it could be the amazing fellowship, friendship and support we get to experience with Pastors connected with Dr. Barclay~ NO battles for position or recognition, NOTHING but love. That’s not always seen in the body of Christ, sadly, but it IS in regard to this network of righteous preachers! My favorite part could also be the praise and worship that invites and ushers in the Holy Spirit in a way that “entertainment” praise & worship teams cannot. Maybe my favorite part is watching people be touched by God in every single meeting over a 4 day period. Maybe my favorite part is when I am personally touched so deeply that my senses are a little numb to what’s going on around me; the carnal world feels as though it no longer exists in that moment or two or that hour.
This is what we will experience someday when we reach heaven, I believe. This euphoric thing that words cannot touch.
How long I lived without the possibility of these experiences because of the choices I made or because of the climate I resided in~ one where God was not FULLY invited. Because of its relevance to this post, I must tell you about a time, several years ago, that someone close to me chastised me for “always having that Christian station on the radio” and I promptly, without thought, turned it off and replied “then we won’t listen to it anymore”. Surely you can see how blatant my message to God was but, if not, I’ll help you out. “God, you aren’t welcome here if your presence irritates someone. This someone is important to me and I care more about what they think than what you think. I honor and respect them more than I honor and respect you.”
That stings. It stung God and it breaks my heart every time I recall it. I despise recalling it.
I didn’t invite God FULLY in and I missed out on this spiritual high I often partake in now. I was lukewarm. I was uncomfortable with where I was and wanted more but I felt unable to be FULLY in without FULLY losing some people and things in that decision… and so I stayed in the uncomfortable yet comfortable place of stagnation.
I’m so grateful to true, authentic people of God. I’m so grateful to my husband who has the unenviable position of not only being my local church pastor but my husband, as well. I’m grateful that I can reflect on what was, see what is and joyfully anticipate what will be. I’m grateful for all of the tough seasons along the way~ even those things that appeared as loss. What I have gained far surpasses anything I’ve lost and that may be the biggest understatement of my life.
So I want to just leave you with this…you know that person or thing you’re afraid you’ll lose if you become a radical, all-in Christian? Stop worrying about it. Let God work all that out (and He does, I promise you!). Just surrender your fears and reservations and get ready for the ride of your life.