Saturday, February 18, 2012

Adjust your Sails to Catch the Spirit

Sailboats are beautiful. It is so relaxing to watch them glide through the water, letting the breeze carry them. I have felt the Lord reminding me to be a sailboat, led by His Spirit.

Go With The Flow- I am a planner, a controller. If I were in a ship’s crew I would be the navigator. I want the Lord to show me the destination and I will help and direct until we get there. Upon arrival, we promptly set a new goal. I have good intentions. But I think I will try sailing in a way that allows the Lord to be the navigator and make changes to my direction as we go.

Listen to the Breeze- Learn to hear and respond to the leading of the Spirit. God’s spirit has been poured out on the earth. It’s everywhere. It is in you. So it is everywhere you are, always whispering. We don’t have to set a meeting, or go through certain prayers, or read 2 chapters. Just have a willing and open heart. Many times we sail along with the Spirit and don’t realize it until we look back. I wasn’t sure at the time, but yes, the Lord was there and He led me through those waters. From my experience the Holy Spirit will definitely do a few things. He will draw us into the bible, either by reading or by listening. He will be gentle and loving, not demanding or condemning. Our challenge is to be led by His breeze and not to be blown about by all the other distractions on the lake.

Don’t be a Motor Boat- It is awesome to serve the Lord. Our zeal makes us want to get up and DO something for God. Accomplish some real change for Christ! I want that so badly. But we humans can get into such a hurry that we become the leader. I am profoundly guilty of this myself. Our service for God can actually cause us to disconnect from the flow of the Spirit. Turn off your motor and sail for a while. See if the wind is blowing fast and furious today, or if it is time to just float and enjoy the sunshine.

Like Flags of Glory- I have this vision of many sailboats on the lake. Moving like choreographed dancers. Their sails are all different colors. They are high and beautiful. It is peaceful. It is joyous. It is God moving among his people, the church.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It’s Valentines Day… Again

One Valentine’s Day I was at my grandparent’s house when Grandpa proudly brought home a giant heart shaped box of chocolates for Grandma, just like he did every year. He set it on the counter in front of her and she cordially smiled and said, “Thank you.” I was very excited to see all that candy and wondered why she didn’t seem to be. What a grand gesture he made! Then I noticed that, just maybe, she seemed a little more like an obligation than his passion?

Just like Grandma I am not one of those predictable wives that wants the same gift every year. My interests are constantly changing. For a few years I really wanted Lowrey’s Chocolates and it was the only time of year I got them. Some years I longed for a rose, some years I craved a weekend away, one year it was a really soft caramel-colored stuffed bear. The point is my poor husband cannot cruise on this. He has to be in tune to me daily. You see, if I am wishing for chocolate covered strawberries and he gives me Whitman’s chocolates it just magnifies the fact that he is not intimate with me. Maybe life is too busy and pulling us in different directions, or maybe something else has taken the place of me being the apple of his eye. But something is off. And even though I will stay married and eat my yummy candy, I will probably have a little ping of sadness in my heart.

Intimacy is not quick, it is not easy, and it is not for cowards.

The husband and wife relationship is God’s way of showing us a glimpse of what our relationship with Him could be. The Holy Spirit is not saying the same thing to us year after year. We are growing and our world is constantly changing. If our conversations with God and our prayers are the same as they have always been, maybe we are causing that little ping of sadness in God, an unfulfilled longing, a missed connection. Maybe something else has taken priority in our lives and God is not number one. Maybe we are too busy or preoccupied running our own lives to daily connect and be intimate with our Heavenly Father.

Being together is not the same thing as being connected. A man can be in the room with his wife and not know what is going on in her heart that day. We know God is always with us. But unless we talk to Him and listen to Him we may never truly connect.

How wonderful a wife feels when her husband shows her that there is nothing more important than her and he will not allow anything to come between them or their time together? She can rest in his love. She can feel safe and she will bloom. And her greatest desire becomes blessing him. And the cycle of love spirals upward.

Yet God has done that very thing! He will not allow anything to separate us from his love. But we have free will. What will we allow? Will we protect our time with God? Will we turn our thoughts to Him? Will we cultivate a love that spirals ever upward? Just like the wife, the Holy Spirit longs for true intimacy. After all, we are the church, and the church is the bride of Christ. Is there anything more intimate than that?