Friday, March 15, 2013

A Sign?

God, I feel so alone.
Why do I feel so alone?
I feel alone in making these decisions.
But is that really true? This is the same thing I said to You yesterday. Why am I feeling the same way today? Why am I still struggling to get to You?
Is it me? It must be.
Am I really alone? (Alright, I know the answer is no.)
But do I really have to depend upon others’ words or upon circumstances through which I can infer Your movements?
Why do I need that? Why do I need such tangible things?

My best friend spoke with me about the fact that my faith is much more experiential than his. I said that this may be the case because my faith is weaker than his—I needed the experiences. Do I still need the experiences? Haven’t I learned anything from Living Waters?
Although, one could argue that Living Waters is extremely experiential, an opposing argument could be made: that I have learned to encounter God right here and now—all I need to do is press into His Spirit.

Can I make a decision without seeing a vision or a sign?

Mark 8: 12 “Sighing deeply in his spirit, [Jesus] said, ‘Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.’”
Luke 11:29 “As crowds were increasing, [Jesus] began to say, ‘This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah.’”
John 4:48 “So Jesus said to him, ‘Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe.’”

It’s interesting; it was the connection of wickedness and asking for a sign found in Luke 11:29 that first popped into my head. But because I am taking Hermeneutics this semester, I began to ask myself more questions: Where else does Jesus talk about signs? Are these passages applicable to me? Is the connection between wickedness and asking for a sign truly there?

I want to explore this last question a little further. Does asking for a sign imply that one is wicked? Does being wicked imply that one asks for a sign? Or is this just pointing out that these people are wicked AND they are asking for signs?

Most of the signs asked for in the gospel are meant to signify that Jesus is the Son of God. So what kind of sign am I asking for? …. A sign that my desire to go to Narrow Road Ministries is from God. So, in a sense, the sign I am asking for is similar to the signs of the gospels—both are asking if something/someone is from God. Am I wicked for asking God for a sign? I wouldn’t go that far. But it does reveal my weakness of faith. It reveals the immature alignment of my spirit with the Spirit of God. Because if the alignment was mature, I am guaranteed that I have the mind of God.

1 Corinthians 2:9-16
“but just as it is written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which not have entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him.’ For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is approved by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

Am I spiritual enough to have the mind of Christ?
That was a dumb question.
I am regenerate.
I have the Spirit of God within me.
I have the mind of Christ—
whether I am used to exercising it or not.
I have the mind of Christ.
But where does that get me?

I remember once hearing someone wise say, if you think that the Spirit might be leading you to do something—as long as it is not sin, or amoral, or plain destructive, etc—just do it. Worse comes to worse, it wasn’t the Spirit. But you are not actually worse off for the choice/action you made.

Matthew 5:37 “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.”
James 5:12 “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall into judgment.”

Okay, so I am not considering taking an oath. But I do need to be respectful and certain when I respond to NRM. This is why I find the suggestion given to me—to fill out other applications as well—so unsettling. Because I want to give my yes wholeheartedly to NRM.
And if they turn me down? you ask. Well, then I will begin to search elsewhere. (….Which means I should give my yes soon—for my own sake, as well as theirs.)

Do I need God’s confirmation? I suppose the confirmation will come through God’s words to the leaders of NRM. They are the other half of this potential, God-centered relationship. If I am at peace in my heart—which I am—and they are at peace in their hearts, then together, I believe we will have found God’s favor.

Oh, Lord, have Your way.

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