Creative Expression – Restrained Vision

That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was. (Luke 24:13-16 Message)

As I walk on the road of my own preconceived notions or my sublime presumptions, Jesus often draws near to me, in the midst of it all. When life’s events have placed more questions in my mind than answers, Jesus draws near – just to walk with me and talk with me.

Light on a PathThese two men were walking towards Emmaus, talking about Jesus’ crucifixion. Their minds were ablaze with questions. Their hopes– what could have been, should have been, and yet was not- seemed dashed to pieces as they faced the reality of His death. What now? What exactly happened?

Jesus enters into the midst of it all, just like He does for me. When He draws near, I often find myself in the midst of thinking, a process of questions. Why did this happen? What now? He walks besides me and sees my limited restrained vision, just as these two men on the road that day. Vision that is restrained by the power of presumption or assumption inhibits me from truly seeing, just like these two guys. Vision that is held in the power of its own process limits and restrains me from truly seeing.

He draws alongside, never forcing His way into my process, at least not at first. Like these men, I may continue to explain the events taking place through my ‘restrained vision’. He probably can’t help but shake His head as He listens to my words, just as He listened to the words of these men that day. At the right moment, in my own tension, He speaks. Here is how He spoke to these men that day. And sometimes, this is how He speaks to me.

Then he said to them, “So thick–headed! So slow–hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him. (Luke 24:25-27 Message)

listen.520In other words, His words silence me, just as it did for these two guys, catapulting me into a greater reality, past my restrained vision and limited understanding. I find His confrontations into my life as wonderful as His gently flowing words of affirmation and love. Both show me His intense love for me. Both ways open my eyes to see past the nose on my own fact. My pain often restrains my vision. I need a shaking down some days that forces me to rise above my own self-pity and introspection. It’s good for me. He’s always good for me.

They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open–eyed, wide–eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared. Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us. (Luke 24:28-32 Message)

Jesus stops me in the midst of my forward momentum many times. My eyes open to see, to truly see things that have been hidden from me. I get so excited at times at the revelation of truth, which lifts my spirit, that I want to detain Him at that point of revelation to sit with me, talk more with me, dine with me at my table. Yet, I have noticed, that just like these men, at the point of received revelation, sitting at a table of intimacy, He often is quickly up and away. Why is this?

There is more to say, more to see, and greater things to encounter. Being totally human, I may self-centeredly keep Him at that place at my table, receiving and receiving and receiving. Yet, He is up and away and now my choice is to follow Him with all that He has revealed to me, moving and living and having my being in Him. I can’t stay at this place of comfort. I now move in what I have received and take it out.

Yes, there will come another time when my presumptions will get the best of me again. That is only human. And on that day, He will draw near again to show me my shortcomings in truly understanding His greatness, His majesty and His being. That is called life. I go from glory to glory to glory, from faith to faith to faith. I walk on the road of life, wondering, asking questions, and thinking. He draws near, listens and even brings correction to me.

Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27 NKJV)

Christ in me is still revealing Himself to me as I live my life in union with Him. I am enjoying the journey.

Day to Day – Intersections and Crossroads

ImageGrace is reality and reality is played out on the world stage every day in each of our lives. Anytime our life intersects with another life, we are grace to that person, that situation, that circumstance – we are life in Christ, right then and right there. We cannot take for granted that humans have the innate propensity to be awakened to truth but then what? Truth can be so internalized in a subjective life that it is lived out day by day within the person but actually never flowing out of the person. That is impossible for me in grace. That is why in my life I continually see grace as moving and the BEING becomes the river flowing out of my life. That makes for exciting Christianity. The awesome reality that the person of Christ within me flows forth from me. Think about it, if we are even able to comprehend it at all. It is best to just trust it and walk it and live it as reality.

In our lives, we encounter GRACE INTERSECTIONS day by day, where the reality of grace flowing out of us by the person of Christ in us intersects with someone or some situation entering our circle of life in Christ. There is nothing to do at this point but to trust the Holy Spirit to lead us to speak, prophecy, listen or any number of ways to move in grace, into the realm of what is right before us.

Our lives intersect with another. At that point we should all give a large shout because that means that we are not on Facebook. Glorious! Christianity in raw action, not within the controlled environment of Facebook but alive and about with anyone, any belief, any situation, at any time. It’s called life in grace and I love it. This challenges me and activates me as Christ ‘LIFES” me.Image

John 14: 6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

When we encounter a grace intersection, there are brief moments where we are given the opportunity to show forth the living way, the person of Christ. In times past, I would look at people and see an opportunity to engage my inner prophetic library of possible solutions. Should I prophecy, break generational curses, shout a deliverance prayer, or counsel them on the benefits of self-focus and years of inner healing seminars? Yes, I know, that is a bit strong? A wee bit? Can I please say that? I can’t hear you so I will. Yet I do believe it needs to be said, in grace of course. I did it all but I have found a better way, a more excellent way. His name is Jesus and there in is my source, my supply and my provision.

ImagegWhen there is a grace intersection, real life people, I am face to face with their reality. I can see struggle, pain, anger, sin, imperfection, self-loathing, anger and on and on and on. I can see by Holy Spirit showing me. I then wait on God to direct and lead me by Holy Spirit to grace another with the glorious reality of His love for them. And, I may do it in various ways of expression towards that person. You can be assured of one thing in this though. Christ will get all the glory and be the sole focus of their healing, their salvation, and the reconciliation. I will move over and let grace flow and come alive in and through me. Grace in action is so glorious in comparison to grace reaction, which is what I see on Facebook a lot of the times. Inner squabbling and debate back and forth and back and forth. Enough already. Time for us to move out in grace or at least it is for me. I don’t want to call it evangelism. It’s better than that. It is Christ’s life “lifing’ me. Is that even a word? If not, it is now. Christ ‘lifes’ me and I love the irregularity and the tension of it all. Awesome Christianity in raw form is so good.