At the encouragement of my wife I am sharing my “daily” prayer with my blogging family. Thank you Honey. This one is from Monday.
For most of my life of following Christ I have learned the principles of God. And I am very grateful for this. I remember in high school my small group leader encouraged us to read Proverbs and Psalms. That was a very meaningful and powerful experience that set the stage for my desire for wisdom. During this portion of my life I was drawn to knowing and understanding God’s principles from His word.
In the last number of years I have grown in venture into God’s presence. This desire to become more aware of and acquainted with God’s presence was always there. I did not realize or recognize that his presence could actually guide me and leave me and shape me and give me concrete wisdom in the details of my life.
I have known and believe to this day that the Lord is my shepherd and I have everything I need (Psalm 23). In recent days I have been actually acting as if that was true in my present reality. That I could follow the lead of His spirit and he would provide for me and guide me like the shepherd He is.
As I become aware of God’s presence I see how his Spirit highlights or holds up different principles in his kingdom at different times in different ways. It is in the standing before Him in His community with open hands and an open heart that I have begun to trust in each moment that I can learn how to follow the lead of the Spirit.
It is becoming clearer to me that I want to spend the rest of my life with people who want to follow the presence of God wherever He leads. And, I really want to grow in this way of trusting the shepherd to lead me each moment so that I become the kind of person who does this naturally. And, to do this so that my children grow up seeing their parents trusting and following the lead of the Spirit so that it becomes second nature to them. It is my desire to bless them to live in such a way.
* (Note: This was written late Sunday night. I sensed the Spirit desired for me to write it and post it as it is rather than doing my “better get it perfect before I post it” type of thing. I am learning to act, reflect, and learn.)
Each morning I write out a prayer, often in conversation with Jesus over his word. Generally, I record my conversation with Jesus and share with a few friends. In this spiritual community we call this sharing our – My Daily Bread (See link for more info on this process from my mentor).
Today I share my prayerful conversation with Jesus about his words to his disciples when he says, “Why are you afraid you people of weak faith?” I share and hope this is an encouragement and inspires you to get to know and trust Jesus. At the very least you can see my relationship with Jesus.
When Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. A huge storm arose on the lake so that waves were sloshing over the boat. But Jesus was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, rescue us! We’re going to drown!”
He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you people of weak faith?”
Then he got up and gave orders to the winds and the lake, and there was a great calm. (Matt 8:23-26)
Jesus, I know when you are speaking to the disciples you are not insulting them, nor demeaning them by saying they are people of weak faith, but rather you are describing the reality of what they trust and how robust their trust in you is – it is weak. In the midst of a very scary situation for them (the boat is being tossed and turned) again, it would have been reasonable for them to be very afraid. Yet, in this moment you don’t comfort them rather you describe the reality of where they put their trust. Then, you give orders to the sea and things become calm (which I am sure they are comforted by this situation). In the previous moment you tell the disciples – “Let the dead bury the dead.” You are speaking some pretty strong words here. Very clear and to the point. What is going on here? Why did you need to be so clear and direct?
John, I know such clear and direct, confrontational kind of talk is not the way you normally talk, nor lead. And, I speak in many different tones and strengths. In these moments I am gathering a small group of people together for my life to be planted within them. In a sense it is very compassionate because they would not be surprised (well, not completely surprised) by what the cost will be in following me. In the formation of this early team I needed to draw the line and describe reality about what it means to follow me. It is a narrow path. Yet, it truly leads to life. Abundant life. But, initially and throughout the journey of following me, being with me, having me formed within – requires a surrender that most people will not choose. John, don’t you find yourself with clear choices of either the narrow way of forgiving Sungshim for a comment or look? Sometimes you’d rather (and you do at times) send her back a like-minded jab? Everyone who follows me goes through this process over and over again. This was the beginning of a new way of living for these disciples. On a deep level I was kind to their ego alerting them that if they were going to follow me their ego would need to die and surrender to my life within them.
Wow, Jesus, I can see this in a whole new way. This isn’t completely new, as you and I have conversed about these moments when you are quite intense. I need to be reminded again and again. I wonder when I have prevented your life that is in this form from budding because I was afraid of upsetting people. I ask for your wisdom, grace and love when these moments arise in my life. Deepen my trust in you to surrender to your life flowing within so that I can be clear and direct when you lead me in that direction.
Jesus, help me to attend to the way your Spirit moves within me so that I can grow deeper in my trust in you. Help me to take the risk of honoring your voice within me and go with you. Surrender to the Spirit’s moves in my heart and mind. Amen.
IN – I breath in your heart of truth and love.
OUT – I breath out the freedom of surrendering to your life flowing through me.
* Thank you to my wife for encouraging me to share this. Thank you honey!