Foster finishes up chapter two by offering one more counsel to those in a wilderness time with God. His advice is simply to "Wait on God. Wait silent and still. Wait attentive and responsive. Learn that trust proceeds faith." I was talking with a friend last week about spiritual disciplines and I commented that one of the most difficult practices is that of solitude. Waiting on God is difficult. In silence with God our minds keep rehearsing every trouble and reviewing every unanswered question. We don't want God to confront us with the real issues buried deep in the inner man. We use the imposter self to defend and rationalize our own way. Our struggle with God is one of trust. God can finally begin his work once we trust him and surrender. Waiting on the Lord is so important. Personally, my strategy to make it through has always been to refuse to quit. There is no going back and no retreat. Jesus Christ is all there is for me. He is everything and without him there is no meaning or purpose in life. So after all my self pity, spiritual pride, excuses, striving and self reliance are gone, I hold fast and wait on the Lord.
Foster tells us to "firmly and deliberately...say, 'I do not understand what God is doing or even where God is, but I know that he is out to do me good.'"
Just some things I've noticed. We Christians, mostly on the evangelical side of the spectrum, although I find myself more and more moving away from that label for myself, are more closed off to the world than we will admit. Honestly, it feels like we're fearful of contradictory worldviews, doctrines, or even opinions from tribes other than our own. What are we afraid of? It seems many of us are very unsure of our beliefs. Deep down we know that too often we believe what we believe because it's what we've been told to believe. Our beliefs become integrated into our identity, and we naturally resist the possibility of those foundational changes. That is hard for everyone, but if we adopt a new normal that change is normal, we may just grow and learn more. This is something we don't want to talk about, but we must. We need to learn to tolerate some spiritual insecurity and hold loosely to our beliefs. Only then can we have beneficial conversation around these issues an
What are you praying for? We should know what we need to prayer about. That should be in the forefront of our minds. Start your day asking the Lord to help you be kind, extend grace to other, and practice patience. It too easy for our focus to shift during the day. We need the Holy Spirit to keep reminding us to live and respond to each moment God's way, not our own. Be open and prayerful. Let God remind you as many times as is needed. Say "Yes Lord" every time and make the adjustment for the 100th time if necessary. Don't give up until you reflect the fruit of the Spirit in that situation or conversation. Live with a sense of awareness to what God desires throughout your day. That is how we move forward and honor the Lord with our lives.
I read the following excerpt this morning from "The Philosophy of Sin" by Oswald Chambers. Since we were talking about "Living in the Later", it struck me about how critical it is for us to walk in obedience to the vision of truth that the Holy Spirit reveals. Being open to the vision and walking in obedience will lead us to greater revelation. Take a look at the story of Cornelius in Acts 10 . Cornelius was obedient to the vision he received from the angel and he sent for Peter. He did not look at all the circumstances and consider that he was a gentile, but he considered the voice of the Lord and knew God would make a way to bring the Word to his home. At the same time God was preparing Peter with a vision which he also responded to and God was glorified through it all. Hold on to the vision God has given you. Follow it through until He completes it in your life. Don't be afraid to let your life be consumed by His vision and His voice. "The health