What if, sometimes, I met God and began, "How are You doing this morning?"
I say, sometimes, because relationships are dynamic. I can't say I've ever had a friend who never begins our conversation by asking me how I'm doing; and I've never been a friend like that, either. At least, that's what I thought before this morning.
This morning the Spirit prompted my visit with God with a familiar prompt, but He spoke it differently. I heard it differently.
I heard, "Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning," prompt from Psalm 143:8, not as, "I want to hear Your loving-kind words for me this morning," but "Your Lovingkindness, I'd like to hear Your lovingkindness."
Isn't God deeply emotional? He is. I have as many names for Him as I have descriptions of His character. This morning I add the name Lovingkindness.
"Lovingkindness," I began, "how are You this morning?"
Maybe I've never asked like this before because maybe I've always assumed that I know how He's doing. I'm thinking that's a pretty arrogant assumption on my part, seeing as how He is God!
Maybe I've always assumed that because He is so great and powerful and complete in Himself, and that because He loves me so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die, to really die, in my place because sin leads to eternal death and He doesn't want to see me utterly dead, that He, therefore, has no need to share anything other than what things are centered on me and how I may live a repentant, resurrected life in Him.
I desire to live for God. I need His righteousness to live for Him.
He has given me His righteousness, and more. He has made me His righteousness, just so completely through His Son, that I may agree with Him when He says, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
All true; "But," I ask myself this morning, "has my desire to live for God actually short-changed my relationship with Him?"
Its an odd question that I don't really know how to ask because how can living for God, by His righteousness, short-change my relationship with Him?
I'm grasping for an answer as impossible to hold onto as wisps fringing a sailing cloud. I can't grasp a wisp, but I've felt clouds low and "on the deck" before. They feel cool, damp, refreshing. And there's a different wind inside them. A different breath.
I've touched wisps of clouds before, and if a wisp can whisper, then I'm touching a wisp and hearing myself whisper, "You, You, You. You are great. You are powerful. You are complete in Yourself." I pause a breath here, and an unfamiliar wisp of a thought sails just within my grasp.
"Ah," I touch it barely and timidly, "I need You," I take a breath, "because You want me."
I can't grasp a wisp, but I've felt clouds low and "on the deck" before. They feel cool, damp, refreshing. And there's a different wind inside them. A different breath.
I hear God breathe confirming words, "I loved you first."
What does Lovingkindness have to say?
Just what is on His heart?
What would He like to share with me, for His sake?
How many thoughts, ideas, feelings is He bursting at the seams to share with me just because they are in Him and He likes talking about them?
I ask Him, and He doesn't answer with the popular, "It's all good!" Others do. And when they do, I confess wanting to challenge, "I didn't ask who God is, but how you are doing."
Do we tend to hide behind the light of God when we're asked how we are doing and respond with who God is?
I can't hide in the light, but if it's blindingly bright I can. God's light is so glorious that not only can I hide behind it, but if anyone looks straight at it they die.
I don't think God ever intended His light to curtail fellowship. No.
Yet, isn't that what happens when "How are you doing" is answered, "God is good?"
I need to stand in His light, not hide behind it.
I need to fellowship with other believers in truth and light, not use the truth of who God is as a curtain I draw closed against fellowship.
What if I answered, "How are you doing," with, "Thank you for asking!", and then followed up with, "I'd love to share with you, but there's probably not time right now. Do you have time to get together this week?"
Stand in the light like that, all curtain drawn wide open welcome, and watch fellowship happen.
God must be pleased with responses that open the way for fellowship; and all the more as the Day approaches.
"Lovingkindness," I address Him this morning, "what's on Your heart?"
He answers immediately, "Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple for My name, you did well that it was in your heart, nevertheless you shall not build the temple" (1 Kings 8:18).
I didn't scratch my head and say, "Huh? What's that got to do with it?" I didn't. Yeah, the Spirit speaks strangely at times, but He makes clear what He's saying.
I heard clearly, "You do well that it is in your heart to honor Me. Your intentions are good. Nevertheless, I have ideas about this."
Funny. He comes to my aid, just like He promises, when I ask Him what's on His heart.
God has ideas to share. Emotions.Thoughts.
He has so many things to share!
He doesn't use words to put me off when I really want to know what's in His heart and on His mind.
I'm starting to trust Him with the heartbeat of my life enough to come to Him to ask Him what's on His heart.
I want to know Him for the sake of knowing Him.
Yeah, I also want His direction in my life, but I have that. He just has given it and always will give it because that's what He does.
Maybe I'm starting to see a bit beyond what I want from Him and starting to just want Him.
Maybe I'm trusting that He will supply all my needs; that He knows all my thoughts, everything I do, what's on my heart and that He is involved.
What if I begin focusing our visits together on connecting with His heart more than on telling Him what's on mine? Oh, I'll make my requests known to Him, but with thanksgiving because He already knows.
Make requests of Him like this, and the weight of the requests will not be consuming.
Share the thoughts of your heart with Him and with this kind of thanksgiving, and you'll hear the whisper, "You do well to share with Me what's on your heart."
Requests made with thanksgiving are really confessions of His trustworthiness.
His direction, "Do this to honor Me, not that. This is for you to do; that is for someone else I have in mind," will be heard in the calm.
written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig