on spiritual formation


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I know that life is caught between the now and the not yet, and it's in that middle of time, the now, that sometimes seems to cloud of my vision of the not yet. I am sure you can relate. Like all of us with cloudy vision, I needed to see Jesus, and dwell on his words and dring up his love, grace and forgiveness. I wish I could tell you some amazing story of a shaken office, and a thundering voice from heaven. But instead, my story of renewed vision, purpose and grace came through a phone call from a trusted friend. We talked of spiritual formation, sin, and forgiveness. It dawned on me, that after messing up, and I often do that I love my guilt more than I love the free gift from God. I know that sounds absurd, but it's true. I have drug myself through the mud on many occassions, because I didn't think God would want to forgive me again for such and such. But you know what, I know that in light of all of this, that when I doubt forgiveness and dwell on guilt I am declaring that I don't believe in God's power or ability to do what He said He would do and does. Does that make sense? So, my friend and I were able to get to a place where we both caught such a glimpse of the Master that we couldn't help but bounce a little from the energy and excitement of just being a part of His family. I don't have the exact quote, but something from Brother Lawrence that has impacted me tremendously has been this: He writes about he when he sins, and he does, that he doesn't dwell on the sin and make himself pay for his mistake, he instead offers up his sin to Christ and moves on. I know that may sound simple and I am not trying to give license to sin freely because you can just confess it and move on. What I am saying is, is that through these words I am accepting my limitations and my weaknesses as a human being, but also realizing that as a new creation in Christ, God isn't through with me yet. I live as a new creation because of the Spirit's presence in my life, and through his empowerment I am able to be more like Jesus. Something that came out of my conversation yesterday was that spiritual formation isn't about doing, but it has always been about becoming. But we tend to gravitate to the former. If we just read more of God's Word, if we just spend more time in prayer. If we do this, and if we do that. What we are doing is living in a state of guilt, franticly racing to and fro and hoping to mature. What if less is more? What if we are already doing enough, but because we are so frantic about the way we do things that we haven't allowed God to communicate to us? In all of our other relationships, at least the ones that work, there has got to be two way communication. Do we really think it's any different for our relationship with God?


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