Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Little Heaven on Earth

Memorial Day weekend was fabulous this year. Knock on wood, the weather has been nearly perfect here in Southern California for about a month now.  But, Memorial Day weekend was perfect....bright skies, nice temps, ocean breeze, and very little fog all weekend.  We played baseball, grilled, went to church, grilled some more, had a co-worker of Steve's for dinner, played more baseball, and wrapped it up with the boys going to their first Dodgers game with one of their friends and......grilling some more! I don't care for going to the beach on holidays because it's packed. But, we certainly enjoyed the long weekend outdoors.  We took the long way home Sunday after church and that is often a spiritual experience all its own.   A little taste of heaven on earth!

So, it was a beautiful and wonderfully busy weekend but, I think by Memorial Day, we were all looking forward to not having to be anywhere and sleeping in.  Well, if you can call 7:30 "sleeping in."  God had other plans, I guess, because I woke up at 3:30 wide awake! I don't know any other reason.  I was PLENTY tired.  I wasn't worried or anxious about anything.  I WANTED to sleep. So, after 30 minutes of trying to doze back off, I didn't want to waste anymore time as it was obvious my brain needed to engage in something other than dreams, I decided to go downstairs so I wouldn't disturb anyone with a light. I took all my geeky, early morning stuff with prayer journal, my laptop, my notebook, my bible study workbook and my bible so I could spend some quiet time with the Lord. I, of course, got a little brain food, too.....some sprite and lemon wafers:) But, knowing how tired I was, I fully expected to fall back asleep as I began to write in my prayer journal.  But, I didn't and it was a lengthy entry! Then I decided that while everyone was asleep, it'd be a great time to watch the next session of the bible study on David that I'm doing so I could move on with the daily homework that I was behind on.  The session really spoke to me and I was so glad I had gotten up early to focus some attention on God. Just after I finished that session, I wrote down some thoughts in my handy dandy notebook. (Thanks to Blues Clues, I don't think I'll ever look at a notebook without saying the phrase in my head, "handy dandy notebook". I guess that would make the corner of my sectional, my "thinking chair"!)

There were some thoughts I just wanted to write down, not about the video session, but about my experiences with God.  So, I'm going to share those on here just as I wrote them that morning. 

Experiencing God
  • Nothing in this world is as profoundly touching or more exciting than having God reveal Himself to you.......Nothing. 
  • You don't have to be a Beth Moore or Priscilla Shirer (though He may use them to reveal Himself.)
  • You don't have to be a pastor with a master's in theology.
  • You don't have to be a certain age.
  • Anyone can hear from Him - He reveals Himself to those who seek Him.
 When He reveals Himself, there is no feeling like having a moment with your Creator. 
 - No drug can touch the deepest part of your soul.
 - No man can give you this feeling.
 - Not even seeing your child for the first time can give you this feeling.
 Those things certainly have a profound effect on us.  But, nothing touches us as deeply as having our Creator speak straight to our hearts:
 - whether under conviction
 - whether in instruction
 - and most certainly in words of love
Nothing comes close.  He designed us that way.  It's the privilege of those who believe in Him.
Drugs may take us to a place of euphoria for a while, but they don't change us. (Not for the better anyway).  We only feel despondent when that feeling is gone.  That's why people who do drugs do more and more of them trying to get back to that "high".  This is likely why you'll hear Beth Moore use the phrase, "Ain't no high like the Most High".
Now, spiritual encounters with God can seem as though they are emotionally draining.  You may reel from it for a while.  But, that's from being overwhelmed by the power and presence of our Holy God.  And we are changed by it....for the better.
  • However insignificant the thing is He has addressed, it is a feeling that can't be fully explained with any word in our current vocabulary - nothing else comes close. 
  • When it's significant - an old hurt healed or deep rooted questions addressed - we will be overwhelmed with emotion (exhilaration, "feeling alive", deep gut responses).
The explanation is simple....We are feeling the glory of God on us.  It's not a burden....but, it's heavy.  I don't think this earthly body can take too much of His presence....His glory revealed to us for too long.    That's why I say when a believer leaves this earth, sure - we'll miss them....but, we shouldn't mourn forever.  We should rejoice for them because they have left their shell of a body and are able to enjoy that feeling.....the feeling we can only withstand for a very short period of time for all of eternity. It never ends....and they never tire of it.   
I write things like that down sometimes to clarify, sometimes to remember, etc.  As I was writing though, the thought saddened me that there's many, many, many people out there who have no idea what they're missing.  More than that, there are many absolutely brilliant minds who don't even believe He exists.  Many of those brilliant minds in science and elsewhere today try to the explain spiritual experiences that I was making notes about with what they know about our brains.  They like to think that the moments we have with God, often referred to as "spiritual highs", are really just chemical triggers in our brains.....neurological responses to certain stimuli (music, sermons, etc.)...much like a drug.
Not to diss anyone's taste in movie/tv viewing but, it reminds me of the stuff of cheesy science fiction.  My husband and I have different viewing preferences.  Shocker, huh?  My husband mostly watches murder mysteries and sci-fi.  (British murder mysteries to be exact.  Thanks to Netflix, they are readily available for his viewing pleasure.)  Neither are really my cup of tea but, I have watched many of both genres with him and some of them were actually pretty good. But, I mention them here because, in many of the sci-fi movies, the computers (the brains) begin to start thinking and feeling. Remember 2001: A Space Odyssey? Any of you sci-fi or Will Smith fans see I Robot? Remember when Vickie "evolved" and decided that her "logic was undeniable"?  That's what scientists are saying, basically.  That we are a magnificent product of evolution....a machine that developed its own survival responses....including experiences with our Creator. 
Such irony in that to me. See, in the movies, those machines are either attempting to take over for personal reasons....or they simply think they can understand and run things better than their creators.  This sound familiar?  People thinking they are smarter than any possible creator?  See the irony? Those who subscribe to and teach that theory, in fact, are the "Vickie's" of our world.  And what's sad to me is that while they are searching for the secrets of the universe, there is a way for them to know what they couldn't possibly know.....Only one way......when God reveals Himself. 
Well, long story short....I had considered blogging about all of this that morning but, then I thought maybe it was too of those things He'd prefer for me to keep to myself as He often does.  That Memorial Day, I didn't read my Jesus Calling devo because Jill Savage had posted it as her facebook status.  (This is the one written as though it's Jesus speaking) Now, I don't read it everyday but, the next morning, the 28th, I did read it and this is what it said:
"Let Me anoint you with My Presence.  I am King of Kings and Lord of lords, dwelling in unapproachable Light.  When you draw near to Me, I respond by coming closer to you.  As My Presence envelops you, you may feel overwhelmed by My Power and Glory.  This is a form of worship; sensing your smallness in comparison to My Greatness. 
Man has tended to make himself the measure of all things.  But man's measure is too tiny to comprehend My majestic vastness.  That is why most people do not see Me at all, even though they live and move and have their being in Me. 
Enjoy the radiant beauty of My Presence.  Declare My glorious Being to the world."

Jeremiah 29:13
"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."
John 14:21
"Whosoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.  And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." 

A Little taste of heaven on earth......


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