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Showing posts from April, 2010

Follow the Leader

I was reading a book by Francis Chan about the Holy Spirit recently, and the thing that keeps coming back to me from that book is the question, "Are you trying to lead the Holy Spirit, or are you being led by the Spirit?" There's a big difference. I think many Christians (including me), believe in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, and we recognize the importance of involving the Spirit in our ministry, lives and decisions. But I think what happens a lot of times is that we see the Spirit as a means to an end, a tool to be used, a source of power and experiences, rather than as God, to be followed and submitted to. The Spirit gives us power, so we manipulate our experiences and conditions in order to receive that power when we want it for the results we want.  The Spirit gives wisdom and guidance so we try our hardest to get the Spirit to tell us what we need to know for the situations we think are important. We know we can't accomplish God's work on our …

You ask but you don't receive...

Aaaaa! So many things I'm learning, and I want to write about them all! So even though I should be writing a paper for my Masters, I will write on my blog instead. :o)
James 4
"1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble."[b]

I read James recently…

I'm asking for WHA...?

James 1:2-16

"2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

As long as I can remember, I've been asking God for wisdom. I'm not sure why I started. I just remember I decided one day that wisdom was something I really wanted.  I've always assumed that this passages in James means that if I believe when I ask for wisdom, I'll get it, and I pretty much stopped at that. But recently, I've been…

A Strange (but extravagant) Love

It is counter-intuitive to believe in God's love, especially when we are hurting... when it seems impossible that a God who loves us could allow or ordain such pain. It's the old saying that if someone has the power to prevent evil and does not, or the power to do good and does not, that in itself is evil. So how can we believe in a good God who allows suffering? It is easy to give a theological argument and brush off the question when the suffering belongs to someone else, but when it enters our own lives, that is when our true belief comes to the surface.

I have this picture of my faith being refined like gold, like it talks about in First Peter. I have a picture of my faith in a big pot, with fire under it, boiling, boiling, boiling... as slowly, all these ugly  impurities of doubt and anger and control, selfishness and pride creep to the surface. Boy, do we hate the fire! Not just because it burns, but because it injures our pride. Because when the fire is burning we see …