Wednesday, March 11, 2009

revisiting adoration

I shouldn't be surprised really. It's happened so many times before. I am meditating or pondering on something or maybe even delighting in something and out of nowhere the subject comes up in another context. Maybe it's in an article I'm reading or a movie that shows up in my mailbox or a conversation with a friend. This time it was in my first week at my new job. In the first sermons I'm participating in as a part of my weekly service planning role. And it is spot-on, exactly what I was longing to learn from the Spirit. Through my friend and new boss, Pastor Craig Shields.

If you didn't read my first post on this inner discipline of adoration, this post will make more sense if you do. It's all about a passage in Job that almost made me quit aspiring toward the spiritual disciplines. Specifically the adoration one.

The Job passage without all the qualifiers about how God loves me, really and truly. About how God sent His Son Jesus to rescue me. About how much God wants relationship with me. About how God has forgiven my sins and given me a new name and made me a new person with exciting possibilities, dreams, passions and gifts. Not one word of that is listed in God's three-chapter long tirade against Job. God only talks about Himself and He has the audacity to be angry with Job. This same Job:
Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” (Job 1:8, NLT)
So Pastor Craig is preaching a four-week series titled The Fear of God. And guess what passage he digs into during week 2? Yep. I just can't get away from it!! But even before week 2, I am already convicted. The Spirit is answering prayer and delivering truth and conviction to the innermost part of me.

For example, you might remember this question from my journal excerpt: Where do I fit into the scheme of the universe You describe to Job? Listen to this statement Pastor Craig makes during week one of the series:
Most of us in our life have probably received a yearbook. What is the first thing you do when you get a yearbook? You look for your own picture, right? You're flipping through there asking Where am I? And it's great if there's an index because then you see all the page numbers you're on. We look for ourselves first. That's exactly what we do when we open the Bible. We start flipping through pages and we start looking for us. What does God say about me? How does He feel about me? How can He bless me today? How do I live my life? When the truth of the matter is that the Bible is not primarily about us. It's the revelation of God. It's about Him. We're second. He is revealing Himself to us in Scripture. (*note* P. Craig's yearbook analogy was from an author he was quoting, but I failed to get the name)

For me, this is the foundational issue with that Job passage. I am looking through the passage looking for my picture. Every other passage from the week I spent on the adoration theme had some sort of human interest element for me. Creation, New Jerusalem. Even the Isaiah passage on Day 1 of that week includes the most precious of reminders: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned. Nor shall the flame scorch you.

And 1 Peter 1:3-9: Because Jesus was raised from the dead we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in Heaven -- and the future starts now!

But Job? Job is all Father, Son and Spirit and His creation of the universe -- all parts of the universe except for me or us humans. This frightens me for reasons I am having a hard time articulating. Insignificance and insecurity sitting in an unnamed wound. Free me, Father, Son and Spirit that I may adore You fully.

*picture at the top* This is what google image brought up when I typed in Betelgeuse. The week we discussed God's glory in His creation we watched a video clip of Louie Giglio talking about our "star-breathing God". Pay attention to the size of this star in relation to the size of earth's orbit. Astounding.
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