Monday, March 01, 2010


"He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way." Psalm 25:9

"Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them." Daniel 10:12

I hope you don't get tired of hearing the words here "I had a dream the other night" because it seems that lately, those have been on the increase. My dream the other night was very short and simple, but I knew it was from God immediately, and have been thinking on it ever since- because I think it was a warning dream of sorts- and that is not something I've had many of.

I had a dream that I was sitting in my living room folding laundry- it was late at night and I was watching TV. All the sudden a loud noise entered the room- and it sounded just like an automatic garage door being opened. Then I looked up, and it actually looked like a garage door was being lowered, only it wasn't a door, it was a curtain. And as this curtain was rippling and falling, I felt such a sense of major loss being imminent- and I feel to my knees, pressed my face to the floor, and started crying out to God. Instantly, the sense of doom left, the curtain was gone, and the warmth of God filled my body from head to toe.

I think the warning here is where my focus is and could be. In my dream I was folding laundry and watching TV- two completely normal activities- but I was focused on my activities- I was focused on my works. The works of my hands. And when I think about that- oh my, how true it is! We can get so focused on what we are doing- on the physical aspect of what we are doing that we forget why we are doing what we are doing.

Yesterday the winter Olympics wrapped up. Oh, I so enjoyed watching every minute of them- what an enjoyable Olympic festival to watch! But the whole time I was watching, in the back of my mind I was wondering how many of these athletes are praising God for what they are doing. How many of them, in their everyday conversations with people, are giving the credit to God for their athletic prowess? I think of a few prominent athletes from the summer games, who in years gone by have bragged to the world about how awesome they are- only to have the years go by and reveal drugs boosting their performance. Pride goeth before the fall.

"Though his pride reaches to the heavens
and his head touches the clouds, 7 he will perish forever, like his own dung;
those who have seen him will say, 'Where is he?' " Job 20:6-7

When I do things... I'm trying to word this right... A few weeks ago we had a conference, and I always have people coming up to me telling me how much they enjoy the worship- and thanking me for what I do. I'll admit, I'm never quite sure what to say back- I thank them for their words, but I try to dismiss the praise they give, because without God, our worship team is nothing. Without the wind of the Holy Spirit stirring us up and causing the music to come out of us, it would just be another pretty music service at church. But it's the Holy Spirit who moves- who acts in us- but only because we say yes to Him. We say yes every time we are on that stage, instrument in hand, and then the Spirit takes over and breathes on the congregation through the music.

But we have to say yes. We have to humble ourselves and say that God does it through us- we have to keep our focus on Him, and not focus on giving a perfect "performance"- that's not why we are there.

You know, as I'm thinking about this- what a thin line we are talking about walking here. There's such a fine line sometimes between self-confidence and arrogance- or pride. Yet we really and truly don't want to cross that line into pride- because pride causes so many problems, and as my dream indicates, it can cause a barrier between God and myself. Focusing on my works and my abilities can effectively block the communication that God and I are building together. Because I have to keep Him as my focus. And when I humble myself and submit myself to him fully- His warmth and His love flood me to my core, and I want nothing more than to remain right there in His presence forever.

What's even cooler about this though is that as I'm typing this out this morning, God is speaking to me about this dream. Today is the first day of March. I have questions- I desire answers, but more than anything, I want guidance, and I want to maintain the patience that I have without panicking about our current situation. The verse I posted in Daniel gives me a key.

"Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them." Daniel 10:12

As I humble myself before God- as I take the time to set aside my "works" and focus on Him, with His love will come answers. I will get a response if I act in the first place. I can gain understanding by humbling myself before my God and waiting on Him and His perfect timing.

As I'm thinking on all this... I can't help but wonder how much more effective the church would be if we all began to put humbleness into practice. How many more people would we reach for God if we stopped patting ourselves on the back and started keeping our eyes on our God? God's love would come down from Heaven and fill us to our cores, and then, because we're so focused on Him, that love would start oozing out of us and reach out for anyone and everyone around us- a great big nexxus of love. If we keep our focus on Him, He will pour down so much love into His people that we will not be able to keep it in and it will overflow into the streets and the communities around us.

But first, we have to humble ourselves.

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