Monday, January 14, 2019

Divine Breathings

I am a big believer in what is known as 'gap analysis.'  Simply stated, gap analysis looks at where we are, where we want to be and what we can do to close the gap between the two points.  If we are honest about all three things (current, desired, actions) our lives can become constant growing and learning experiences.  That's where divine breathings come in.  Thomas Kelly, the Quaker writer, expresses divine breathings saying, "But deep within, behind the scenes at a profounder level, we may be in prayer, adoration, song and worship having a gentle receptiveness to divine breathings."  Kelly is speaking about the active work of the Holy Spirit.

He expresses the problem (our starting point) like this ... "The problem we face today needs very little introduction. Our lives in a modern city grow too complex and overcrowded.  Even the necessary obligations which we feel we must meet grow overnight, like Jack’s beanstalk, and before we know it we are bowed down with burdens, crushed under committees, strained, breathless, and hurried, panting through a never‐ending program of appointments."  Sounds a lot like January in the pastorate!

So ... if that is where we are, and we desire to be uncluttered, unhurried and free to serve God as He calls, what do we do?  Kelly encourages us to listen, be receptive and be obedient.  Listen to the Holy Spirit which, in Hebrew and Greek definition, is 'breath.'  Here is how John (14:25-27) says God's Spirit will work ... "I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught."

Here is the key.  It takes effort, intentionality and desire to develop this spiritual discipline.  John says God's Spirit will speak to those Jesus has chosen.  John 14 says God's Spirit will give us 1) truth, 2) clarity, 3) friendship and 4) a reminder.  What an amazing assurance of God's presence and provision!  So ... let's listen, follow and live a life of growth and excellence!  Where are you?  Where would you like to be?  What is God saying to lead you from point 'a' to point 'b?'  Listen! Follow!  Live! Randy

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