Thursday, November 14, 2013

Raising Daniel or Raising Cain?

Charisma has an article today from someone who used to be one of Obama's bodyguards. The headline reads, "It's worse than anyone thought." 

Admittedly, I didn't read this article. But scrolling through and seeing the title, my heart had one thought - If it's worse, then it's a great opportunity for the believers close to him to be Daniel to a perceived "Nebuchadnezzar". 

We (believers corporately) are living in the hour of great opportunity and yet we persist to talk rather than declare, slander rather than love. The evil one has become our (unbelieving believers) ally in the name of God. 

Interesting that gold miners never stopped to "bash" the dirt while digging for gold. They just tossed it aside as fast as they could with a laser focus that was intent on discovering gold.  

This is an hour of opportunity. We can keep staring at dirt covered people, caked in worms and debris and cry foul, partnering with the adversary to point out every problem. Or like the extravagant Father who buried his face into the skin of a son who'd spent days in a pig sty kissing him repeatedly, we can pursue the dirty with love and offer them safe passage home. 

When it comes to politics, believers are often like cats with claws, viciously scratching up and tearing down everything and everyone that holds a view opposing to their beliefs of pro life, death sentence, gun control, welfare and taxes. When did the issues outweigh loving people? 

Like the elder brother pissed off that the younger son freely chose a differently lifestyle, we make a list of every negative thought, action, belief and voting record of the perceived younger son. 

Again I ask, where are the Daniel's who will arise and serve the demonic with honor, with love, with great compassion (see Dan. 2 & Dan. 4)? 

Father's love is so transformative. It allows us the freedom to be ok with people who are not like us. It allows us the freedom to love people without needing to convince them to change and be like us. When love wholly woos us and transforms us, we become convinced that love can do what debate, fear and slander never will. Love is enough because God is enough and God is love. Love isn't passive, sloppy or weak. Love is kind. Love is full of chesed (mercy). 

At the root of both the religious and political spirit is fear. How many times have we heard it said, "I'm afraid of what will happen to us if "this man" - not even worthy of the honor of being called "President" - remains in office?" "I'm afraid that people are sleeping on the issues. They don't really know. I've got to wan them. I've got to tell them. I've got to convince them that this guy I out to hurt us, destroy us! Impeach him! Impeach him!"  And so the heart filled with fear rants and rages, isolates and ostracizes. And all of that fear - Fear of what will happen to my country, my money. Fear of what will happen to people if they have too much freedom, if they aren't controlled and "directed" - becomes the motivation for our discourse, in the name of God, of course, instead of love. Perfect love casts out fear. 

Let me encourage you today, set aside your political agenda for one moment. Take your colored lenses off. Take a deep breath and ask Holy Spirit these two questions: 1) Holy Spirit, how would you like me to partner with you in praying for our president (mayor, congressman, governor) today? 2) How would you like me to direct my words, my prayers to declare a heaven filled solution to our world (name of your city, our government - local, state and federal) today? 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Outta Sight. Out of Mind.

Ever walked out to your garage in search of something? In the frey of discarded and stored things, you discover an item you forgot you had. Something precious. Something often used but now tucked away. You pick the item up, recalling with fondness its use. Perhaps you dust it off and bring it back inside. Relationships can be like that. Contextual in nature, we move from one season to the next. People once connected to you through context no longer at the forefront of your daily interactions. Tucked away, like items in the garage. Stored memories of happy times, fond times. 

I've traveled so many diverse paths in my life's journey, I for one, am grateful for Facebook that bring those often tucked away contextual relationships back inside my heart and the walls of my daily life. 

Even more than that, I'm grateful for friends that continue to pursue relationship even after the context of our situations have changed. 

Stop for a moment. Think about it. In the busyness of life, whom have you pursued this week? Cup of coffee? A quick "thinking about you" text? Shared meal? 

In the heart of every person is the longing for pursuit. Placed within us by a good God who said, "it is not good for man to be alone."

The pursuit of another is modeled in our love relationship with the Godhead. For He beckons us, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." 

Connectedness is the result of requited pursuit. I bless you today to experience a sense of connection with God and with others.