Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dancing or Dignity?

          As the ark entered Jerusalem, David worshiped and danced to the point of becoming undignified (2 Sam. 6:16).  Michal, David's wife, despised David, and told him so: "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!" (2 Sam. 6:20).  David replied, "I will celebrate before the LORD.  I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes" (2 Sam. 6:21, 22).  Michal remained childless the rest of her life (2 Sam. 6:23).
          I've often thought that Michal was childless because the Lord cursed her womb.  But perhaps, since Michal wouldn't join David in worshiping to the point of humiliation, David withheld himself from union with her.
          Will we join to Jesus, the Son of David, when He is undignified and being with Him means we are humiliated in our own eyes?  Jesus became most undignified and humiliated at the cross.  Will we dance with Him when circumstances lead to a "cross" in our lives?  Or will we despise Him and choose the barrenness that preserves our dignity but means we can bring forth no spiritual life or fruit?

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Full of Glory

An excerpt from my booklet about Ezekiel that I posted last year.  I had this on my heart & decided to re-post it.  If you want to read the whole booklet, click here: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B2Y7ybCi0Y9gMzE3ZjM2N2EtMDU3Yi00NzFjLWE2YTQtNjM2MDgzYzFiNjNj


The popular view of heaven as part utopia, part family reunion, is not entirely unbiblical.  But it tends to make personal wish fulfillment the focus of salvation instead of Christ.  In fact, we could go so far as to say that for some, Christ is little more than the means by which their wishes will be fulfilled in the afterlife.  Heaven is also presented as a reward for good behavior, a place where we are finally free from suffering.  In the world to come, we will be freed from all forms of suffering caused by the effects of sin in this fallen world (Rev. 21:4).  But we will not be freed from glory, from the self-sacrificing, other-centered fellowship that is the divine nature.  Participating in the divine nature IS salvation (2 Peter 1:4).  If we haven’t had self-motivation eradicated but have only behaved until our desires are finally gratified in heaven, from what have we been saved?  By contrast, God has much more in mind than simply rewarding us.  He wants all things to be full of glory, to be permeated by that selfless inter-relating—“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). 
            What do we mean when we talk of all things being full of glory?  Let’s put it this way: imagine a world where every last thing is Christ: every river, every stone, every blade of grass.  This is something like what Ezekiel’s third vision shows us.  Christ is the temple, the altar, and the offering. He is the priest presenting the offering, He is the sacrificial flesh eaten by those who minister.  He is the land and each inheritance marked out.  He is the 12 tribes and the nation of Israel.  His Spirit is the river that makes everything live as it flows past trees of all kinds, which trees He is.  “Christ is all, and is in all” (Col. 3:11).  There is nothing in what Ezekiel sees that is not Christ.  And this is where God has placed us.  This is the One into whom we have been baptized (1 Cor. 1:30, 12:13).  Despite the conditions through which we sojourn, despite the lack of Christ we see around us and in us every day, God would have us know that our reality, the place where we live and move and have our being, is precisely this place where there is nothing but Christ, where Christ is the elemental composition of everything, where He is the length, the height, the breadth, and the depth (Eph. 3:18).

Thursday, October 04, 2012


            For some time, I have been in a season unlike any in my walk with the Lord.  Every day, often multiple times a day, I feel almost incapacitated by a sense of my own sinfulness.  This awareness usually comes through a moment of failure, a mistake made, a motive exposed.  Much of the time, the casual observer wouldn't see anything momentous or heinous occur.  But to me, even a pebble-sized fault feels like a soul-crushing avalanche.
            I am grateful I have been crucified with Christ.  I can't be cured, fixed, or made better.  Death is the only solution to me.  Thank God I no longer live, and that Christ lives in me.  Day to day, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal. 2:20).  Why He loves me (who has no attractiveness or purity) is beyond my comprehension.  It is enough for me--it is more than enough for me--to simply believe that He does.  And I thank Him that He did not leave me as I am but put me to death so that His beauty & purity could live in me.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Central's Been Mae'd

Mae Arink, a family friend, recently started a campus ministry internship at Central Washington University.  Please check out her blog if you are interested in campus ministry & devotional thoughts about God.  Her blog is called "Central's Been Mae'd" & can be found here: http://centralsbeenmaed.wordpress.com/