This morning, I drove over to the local park to have my Spa Time with Jesus. (Those of you who listened in to the Woman Inspired Conference get that reference.) For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, I shared with the girls that the word 'delight' is actually a feminine word meaning "to find pleasure in", but it also has a sub-definition of "to pamper". When we are truly delighting in God, the end result will be a sense of serenity and joy that the best massage and/or facial can't begin to rival.
It has been my personal, constant prayer over the past months to not only work out my salvation based on the love of Christ towards me, but to be able to attach a full range of emotion in the act of returning worship to Him and serving others. My faults are legion, not the least of which is my being a book nerd who often chokes on the information that is desperately trying to journey from head to heart. Considering also that I'm not a skip-through-the-daisies-holding-hands kind of girl, full engagement of all the sympathies hasn't come easily for me. However, I don't think I singularly decided one day that I would like to have my compassions ignited. I believe this is a continued work of the Spirit to mold me into the woman He desires. He desires my delight. And I desire to be delighted. Not in a superficial, blubber-at-every-Hallmark-commercial kind of way. Rather, in a way that all of my heart, mind, and spirit are equally and fully employed where all things Christ are concerned. I don't want a chance to view the Dead Sea Scrolls to excite me more than seeing and participating in the life of one who has been transformed by them. I can say the God-words to Him and to you and I can mean them, but I want to feel them.
Have I lost you yet?
My reading this morning took me to John 15 and the oft-quoted passage on the Vine and the Branches. Verse Five particularly resonated with me, "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."
As I prayed through the relevance of this verse, it occurred to me that what I desire is a Holy Possession. What I want is to be enveloped by Christ but also indwelled. On one hand I don't want you to see me, but God. On the other, I want to be changed in such a way so that I look like Him either way. For lack of a better visual, I thought of the Exorcist-type movies I used to watch before I got some good sense and how the unholy possession would completely arrest the entirety of its victim. Shouldn't a Holy Possession have the same effect, but hopefully with a decidedly more lovely result?
How do desire, delight, and possession relate you ask? I wondered the same thing. That is until I remember the words of Philippians 2:13 which say, "It is God who causes us to will and to act according to His good pleasure." It is the Holy Possession of God causing me to desire my mind, body, and spirit to be fully taken over by Him in equal measure. And that is for His good pleasure of seeing me walk in a way that doesn't just see black and white, but is willing to use thoughtfulness, sensitivity, and mercy as a foundational passion for the things He has called me to do.
John 15:5 ends by saying, "Apart from Him, I can do nothing." The word nothing literally means, "not even one single thing." Not even. I can't even get out of bed in the morning to please Him apart from our mutual agreement to abide in one another. I don't have the power to be the woman He envisions lest He is the one functioning through my flawed will. What a God we serve who would want such a thing. Who considers us worthy to be joined in such a way. It makes me want to cry.
Which hopefully is a good sign He is answering my prayers.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009