hearing God

God: Intellectual

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The seminar came about at the start of the year, when everyone tends to cast a vision for their life, dream dreams, create a bucket list, etc. The speaker referenced the brain’s left and right-sided processing. However, she clearly believed and purported that God only speaks to us through the right side of the brain because the left side is “intellectual” and therefore “fleshly thinking”, in other words the left side of the brain was only good for merely logical processing and not spiritual.

Ridiculous. Please humor me a moment while I fuss and fume, and proceed to correct this very bad teaching.

First, our whole person is created in God’s image, and there are not parts of us that are pleasing to Him while other parts are degraded. Psalm 139 is loaded with insight about the ways the God has created us and knows intimately the man or woman He has created us to be.

“My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth…”

Not only does He know what He has created, He is immensely pleased with who you are, and how you are wired. Why would God, as a King and Father, send His Son if He didn’t think you were worth His sacrifice?

I love Jeremy Riddle’s song, This is Amazing Grace. Give that a whistle sometime. https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Bethel-Music-Jeremy-Riddle/This-Is-Amazing-Grace

Anyway, I digress but this speaker suggested we should abandon logical thinking because only the creative thoughts were Spirit-led. Can you imagine?

Scripture shows us God is pretty good at conveying His thoughts to us, and putting plans in motion. He uses all manner of ways to communicate with us. You see a raspberry sunset and you cannot help but think, “Wow, God sure know how to use His crayons!” Okay, I’m kidding. But truthfully it’s difficult  to see a sunset and not have a sense there’s a higher being outside ourselves, one who is wildly creative Himself.

Second, we should ponder the nature of God Himself.

This is God Omnipotent, the God who knows all things. Translated, He’s really smart and He’s designed His people to use their noggin. Especially when understanding His plans for our lives, He fully expects us to take advantage of the amazing intellect He has given us just as He has. Do you suppose that God who has created all things did so without engaging His intellect? Doubt it.

For the unaware, logical processing that occurs on the left side of the brain produces some of the most artistic and beautiful creations ever created. Systems that run, your iPhone and your car, are absolute works of art. Of course they are based in science and technology but you don’t think Michaleangelo might have used mathematics when He sculpted The David or painted the Sistene Chapel? Google Golden Ratio and Michaleangelo or Fibonacci, and you tell me. When spaceships beautifully and exquisitely orbit planets, let’s broadly assume it takes a bit more than crayons or a paintbrush.

I’ve had the privilege of working with some brilliant men and women over the years. While I have skills and brains, and I can hold my own in a crowd, these are the folks in whose presence you are humbled. From them I have learned this: One of the most astounding thresholds to cross is when science ceases to be science, and becomes art. That is to say that when the most intelligent people cannot explain why something works but they’ve tapped into the repeatable patterns that reveal truth and prove hypotheses. It’s then they just have to stand back and honor the pattern, honor the proven theory. It gives a deeper meaning to truth as well. Repeatable code. Finding the art in science. Those are moment of pure beauty.

This year? Dream big. Use your noggin … agree with God that His creation of you is amazing, and fling open the windows of possibility! What will you do? Who will you become? I can’t wait to see!

Love you!

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Saving The Whales?

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Not long ago I was looking at some career options and while considering these things I felt as though the Lord was showing me how to understand His heart a little more.

A quick story… when I was a little girl, my friend and I got it in our heads that we needed to save the whales. We attended a rather smallish church and not one that had a particular vision for whale-saving. We decided to make a poster and put out a jelly jar to collect the funds. After about a month we’d collected about $2.75. I confess that those funds may have been abused, and were probably used at Dairy Queen. My bad.

You’ve heard the phrase ‘the favor of God’? It’s jargon, really, but it probably refers back to Scripture. Some might call it ‘good karma’ but as Christians we believe that God is behind the good things that happen to us and we give the credit to His heart toward us instead of chance or electromagnetic airwaves. That’s mainly because we’re in this personal relationship with Him and, as His children, we watch for Him to provide for us… to open doors of opportunity, to grease the skids relationally, and generally make things go successfully. That’s our reality. We have God’s favor as His beloved kids.

There’s another climate in which we interact with God which I’m going to call permission. You’ve been there I’ll bet. You get this great idea in your head, ala saving the whales, or you decide ‘I’m going to become a yodeler.’ Beautiful. Nothing wrong with yodeling, or saving the whales incidentally. It’s just that when the idea is our own, we sometimes find ourselves in a situation where Father God nods and seems to say, ‘Go ahead. S’ok. I’ll catch you on the other side of this thing.’ Nice. It has $2.75 in a jelly jar written all over it but out of our determination we make our poster ‘Save the Whalez’ when in fact its really our own program and He’s just waiting for us to get a grip.

Last, it seems there is a place in our journey with God which is that of commission. Commission is easy to spot because a person starts the explanation of their plan with words like, “You know, I never thought in a million years I would find myself doing this BUT…” This is the place where somehow we’ve gotten a hold of an idea that originated in the heart of God, and we’re getting on board with Him. We’re bumbling our way through each step, looking to Him for help and direction. We certainly enjoy what we’re doing but we can never seem to quell the amazement that the idea didn’t first begin within our own heart. In times like these I submit to you Father’s words, ‘Ah, kiddo. I see you’ve got My heart here. Ha! I love this! I’m prepared, Girl, to move mountains as you step into the free-fall of a trusting walk with Me. Take a step. I promise I will be with you. I will provide for you, and I will give you nations.’

Nations. When we shift out of save-the-whales mode and take on the dreams that were founded in His heart, we will never lack for resources, comfort, courage, or fruit. Reader Beware: These things may not come in our timing! They may not go the way we are convinced they should, believe me. But being given over to His purposes will result in His renown, His glory being made known to throughout the earth. Whole nations are presently coming to God, coming into deep relationship with Him, and it’s a result of the obedience of ordinary people like you and me. We can truly expect Him to accomplish the purposes of His own heart.

The Courage to See

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There are sights I’ve seen as I’ve travelled through life that simply could not be replicated with a camera or words. No matter how hard I would try to show you what I saw and how I felt when I saw it, the breathtaking Caribbean sunset or the snow-covered Swiss countryside would remain truest in my own mind’s eye.

Something unexplainable happens when we perceive a thing of beauty, and attempt to capture its image or our thoughts of it on paper. Expression of its beauty is mostly about me … what I felt, what I saw, what  was thinking when I saw it. It’s an entirely different thing of beauty when you see it, and capture your own thoughts.

This is also true in one’s journey with God.

No one can have that relationship with Him for you. Each of us stands alone before Him. With regard to my journey, I can show you what I see, what I hear, what I say, but in the end it’s still my experience.

I have had the pleasure and challenge of walking with the Lord through many decades. I recall learning to be in relationship with Him as a very young girl, and then coming to understand the thoughts and intentions of His heart. Then of course there was the tricky bit of letting Him see my heart, my thoughts … and being real with Him. There was nothing sophisticated about it and no flashy terminology to describe the priceless exchanges between us.

Even as the years have flown by, I find that nothing has really changed from the time I was a little girl. The most important things remain. He speaks. I listen. I speak. He listens. He acts on my behalf, and I’ve been learning to obey Him. There is no one closer to me than He, and that won’t change. When I look into His face I can feel, and even see what is on His heart.

It’s my desire to share with you, as I write, my glimpses into the realm of the Holy Spirit, the realm of God. I find He makes His home among ordinary things, a stable, a manger, a cross. And so we have to look twice sometimes to see things the way He sees them. It takes courage to see the unseen, and to walk with God. My challenge to you then, Friend, is that you would look around you and begin to see things as they really are.