Which god?    God or god?

“Thou shalt have no other god before me.”  (Exodus 20:3 KJV)

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An Unhurried Day With Jesus

February 21, 2010

I almost didn’t do this tonight. We went to this thing at church today – called “An unhurried day with Jesus”. It went for about 6 hours – and 3 of those were just me and Him. We had a topic given to focus on – Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians:

Eph 3:14 For this reason I kneel before the Father,
Eph 3:15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
Eph 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
Eph 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
Eph 3:18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
Eph 3:19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Eph 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
Eph 3:21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


So with a topic like this, why would I not want to write something? Sometimes I feel like I don’t have the time or the energy – there’s too many other things – I’m too tired – whatever. I’ve felt like that a lot this year. Yes – it hasn’t even been two months yet – but it’s been a very tiring two months.

At the beginning of the session, we were asked to pick one or two words or phrases that we thought would be of meaning today. Given everything that’s going on – and my need for some real peace – the choice was pretty simple:

he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
and
to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us

because what I need seems like more than what’s possible right now.


So – since I don’t want to write tonight – does that mean the day was a bust – that God didn’t come through –that I didn’t get any kind of peace at all?

I could answer that now – but I’m not going to. Let’s look at the day first – instead of going straight to the end. There were a few questions that the leader asked to get us going:

  1. “why are you here today?” Especially today. Times when I do actually take the time to be with God – it’s when I’m most at peace. And I really need that today. So while I would have been here anyway just to force myself to take the time – it’s something I very much need now.
  2. “what am I hungry for from this prayer?” God’s strength to be able to give me inner peace.
  3. “What do I think God wants from me today?” Given the timing – maybe to reinforce in me His proper place in my life and His ability and power to to take care of “my” problems and find peace though Him.
    (BTW – this is like the 3rd time in the last few days I’ve felt like God is trying to tell me this. Maybe I’ll actually get the message this time?)

There were a couple other things that stood out from the preparation:

Anyway – we all went off to different places to spend some unhurried time with Jesus. As usual for me – I had my computer for writing down thoughts – research if needed (it wasn’t) – and of course, worship music. So as I’m listening to the music, I enter some of the more powerful thoughts:














































So my conclusion – written right after that:

It seems like maybe the most difficult times to “remember” even the little that we do know about God’s love – for me at least – isn’t when things are good – and it’s not when something really bad happens. I think I’m usually thankful for the good things. And when something totally beyond me happens, I think I usually turn to God.
And God has given me the ability and confidence to deal with most of the things that come up in my job.
But when it gets hard – is when there are just an overwhelming number of those things that I could normally take care of with the knowledge and skills that God has given to me. For one – or two – or even several – of these things at one time – it’s a challenge and it feels good to overcome them – and be thankful afterwards that God gave me the ability to do these things.

So when the number of things gets too high for me – and that’s where I am now – I have to remember – I can, and should, and need to – call on Him in those times too.

So I modify Paul’s prayer to become:

I pray that out of his glorious riches he will strengthen me with power through his Spirit in my inner being,

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within me,

And now another song come one – Tommy Walker, of course (Yes – I really like his music. Need to go back to CA more often to hear it, but I really like my current church, so it has to wait until we have “time”.)

Anyway – the song is “Make it Glorious”, with the words:

Make it glorious,
Make it wonderful,
The praises of our King!.

So yes – it was a good day. It was a very good day. While it lasted. But then it’s back to “real” life, at least life in this world. And how quickly I forget.

And so that’s why I didn’t really want to write anything tonight. But I think that’s all the more reason to do it. And it’s true – it was a good reason. I got to listen to more worship music – like right now Tommy Walker singing “Just Worship”, including the words “to be lost in Your presence”. And I got to spend some more time with Jesus – writing this and getting lost in His presence.

While I’m checking out the spelling and all – one final song - “This God, He is our God”, Tommy Walker again. Yes – He’s my God. And I’m so grateful for that.

Good night!




Song Title / Artist

Key Words

Thoughts

Hallelujah, We Will Sing – Tommy Walker

salvation and glory and power belong to our King

We sing this – we believe this – so why don’t we take advantage of what He has offered to us?

Give Us Signs And Wonders – Tommy Walker & C. A. Worship Band

We receive your power

At least we could, if we’re not in too much of a hurry to even remember that it’s available to us.

I Believe, I Believe – Tommy Walker

All my hope is in Him above

… unless I’m too busy to even remember Him

Imagine – Amy Grant

I can only imagine

How true. We can’t even begin to know what it would be like to actually walk with Jesus in person. But we can’t even imagine if we don’t take the time.

Knocking On The Door Of Heaven – Matt Redman

knocking … crying … praying …
watching … looking … praying…

All the things we do and ask so that God will answer our prayers. But in those times when I’m most stressed and most need Him, how often do I forget to do these things – or really take the time when I do remember?
Note - This is when I started to actually use “I” instead of “we” – to personalize it.
And in spite of all those times when I forget or don’t take the time – all those times I must be disappointing Him – He still loves me and wants me.

Awaken The Dawn – Craig Smith

It wasn’t the words on this one – just the music

Jesus saying to me - “You don’t need to make a special day for Me. I’m always available – just call for Me.”

Speak To Me – Tommy Walker

I am Your servant, I am listening, I am waiting
Speak to me Lord, speak to me

I can’t even take the time to ask for help or for peace. How can I even hope to find the time to listen – let alone do what You would say to me if I was listening?

Lord I Run To You – Tommy Walker

Lord I run to You

Jesus telling me, “Yes, you should run to Me – especially in those time that you don’t.”

Lord I Run To You – Tommy Walker (again)

there’s nothing that’s too hard for You

So when things get the most overwhelming – why is that so hard to remember?

The River Is Here – Andy Park

The river of God fills our hearts with cheer
We rejoice because the river is here

And it is here – always!
We just need to remember to drink from it.
Up to now it’s been pretty dark in the room, because the only light comes in from a stained glass dove in the ceiling, and it’s cloudy outside. But just now the sun must have come out – because the room is brightened from the light coming through that dove in the ceiling. Just as my spirit has been brightened by this realization – that the river of God – the fountain of life – it is here – always!