Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Manna of Relationship

"And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.  And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.  And behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elijah: who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.  But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.  And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah: not knowing what he said."    Luke 9:28-33

Have you ever been in a place like Peter was - where you wanted to build a tabernacle and "camp" in the moment, or you at least wanted to be able to re-live it or even re-create it at a later date?

One morning a few days ago, I was spending some time with the Lord and reading a devotional book. I was answering some questions from the book in my journal.  After the questions, I would look back to last year's journal entries to compare.  After the questions, I sensed the Lord reminding me that I couldn't re-create where I was last year at this time; this was a new year and He was doing a new thing in my heart.  As much as I tried to conjure up last year, re-visit the "tabernacle" and "camp" there this year, I couldn't.

When we have experienced an especially close time with the Lord, we want it to last.  Or at best, we want to be able to call it back at will.  Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with that desire.  But to try too re-create now what we experienced back then will only produce frustration, because then was then and now is now.

Trying to set up a "tabernacle" in the now is just as frustrating because we can't hang on the past experiences and expect to move on with the Lord.  He is a "now" God.

I don't think any of us really wants to have a Groundhog Day experience (remember the movie? I actually never saw it, but know the premise).  But sometimes we would like to re-visit a particular time when we felt especially close to the Lord or felt His presence in such a delicious way.

But God doesn't want us feasting on yesterday's manna.  He wants us to find Him afresh and anew in the moment.  Jesus Christ IS the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), but His manifest presence in our lives changes and we need to be open to how He chooses to reveal Himself to us at any given time.  We need to be open to receive what and how He chooses to give to us.

Lord, help me to receive that which your hand holds out to me today.
Help me not try to re-create what was, but be willing to see what is!

He is writing the story and He is the one who chooses what's on the next page, not I.  You see, if we could re-create those times, all we would have to do is come up with the formula and then apply it each time.  But God is not about formulas or how-to manuals.  He's all about relationship and He wants us to seek Him at all times for what He has for the moment we're in.

It's so much easier to follow a formula, isn't it?  

It's much harder and requires more from us to posture ourselves in such a way as to hear the voice of the Lord.  

We need to be attuned to Him; 
we need to seek Him; 
we need to read His Word; 
we need to keep our hearts right before Him; 
we need to seek the Holy Spirit's presence and anointing.  
We need to be still and quiet before Him and wait on Him.

Relationship takes times.
God is all about relationship.

He wants us to know Him as He knows us.

What does His hand hold out to you today?

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