Friday, January 29, 2010

Jack Hammer Moments

It's good to be back! Had so many deadlines and obligations to fulfill - - but Praise God He got my attention January 1 and kept communicating the necessity of redirecting my steps for 2010.

He requested not a resolution but a renewing, restoring and rightful request of much-needed reordering of my priorities.

Ahhh - yes it is good to be back blogging.

Contentedly curled up in the well-worn leather wing back my two Persians purred in my lap. The paperback that had lain on my bedside table unread for many nights was now in my hands ready to be devoured. Yes, this book had spoken to me many times. I enjoyed reviewing the basic lesson every servant of God must learn: that to display the fruit of the Spirit in one's life - the breaking of the outward man must occur.

Release of the Spirit by Watchman Nee is an anointed book. Each time I pick it up I am blessed. It is always timely. Always relevant with lessons God is teaching me but I am too distracted or stubborn to heed.

Today was no exception. I read two chapters today: "Before and After Brokenness" and "Recognizing The Thing In Hand". You can look inside the book at Amazon ;) click here. Did I care that my coffee was cold? No. That the phone rang and it was right next to me? No. I didn't pay attention to anything but the convicting words on the page before me. That is - - until my eyes landed on page 25, which was explaining how we can remain free of distractions when we are fully in the presence of God under the power of the Holy Spirit.

On page 27 I read, "Through the merciful working of God the outward man and inward man must be separated. Then what affects the outward will not be able to reach the inward. Though the outward may be engaged in conversation, yet the inward man is fellow shipping with God."1

Wow!Bells went off in my head - struggles I had all my life to "be in the moment" and to have full focus no matter what - - were revealed to me as a result of not having my inward man in accord with my outward man. I read on as if my very life depended on it. Clarity cleared the confusion in my head. I took a deep breath and realized I hadn't exhaled. Expectantly, I read on for more....Unconsciously I read the same sentence twice. Then a third time. Suddenly I could not understand the sentence I had read though I read it three times!

Then I heard the noise. Next door a jackhammer reverberated my neighbors concrete. Grrrrrrr. Then silence. I realized the irony in what I was passively participating in at that very moment. I was learning how to not react in my outward man and being put to the test as I was understanding the concept for the very first time. Here I was reading how Brother Lawrence didn't give the clanging dishes in the other room a second thought - for no matter what was happening around him - he was in the presence of the Almighty. He was spirit-led! How exciting!

I chose to appreciate God's humor then and there. I put the book down for a minute and thanked the Lord for His Word, His people like Watchman Nee and Brother Lawrence who under the guidance of the Holy Spirit were obedient to the call to explain the relationship of the inward man versus the outward man. A heavy concept to understand but with God guiding them, they have helped this sinner to understand why I had been struggling with becoming easily distracted and needing to run away from others just to "be" with God.

I decided to finish the chapter I had begun and this time, I had better success reading the sentences. Some sentences I only had to read twice. The jackhammer did what it does best - it made noise. But it didn't bother me so much this time.

I can't wait to walk in this new-found understanding of Holy Spirit living. I truly desire for my outward man to be broken so I can be used of God no matter where or when!I look forward to those jarringly loud "jack hammer moments" when all I will truly hear is God's still small voice.

1 Watchman Nee, The Release of the Spirit, copyright 1965, Sure Foundation Publishers p. 27