I have been seeing a lot of one particular word recently. Therefore.
Therefore does the job of flagging-up what comes after and linking that with what comes before. In the bible that is important. It means we can spot that what came before is relevant to what comes after. And learn.
e.g. I saw God and walked with Him and know many things what He told me and showed me, and all that I have written here so that you might know as well. Therefore. Continue doing what I have written here, and seek diligently as I still do for you, and you will rest in the Lord and the Lord will rest in you.
I learned another word yesterday. Exhort.
That is the bit after Therefore. The show and tell of bible language. “Blah blah blah blah. Therefore. Exhort exhort exhort.” Job done. Time for a cuppa.
Apparently sermons are done this way as well. “Blah blah blah blah. Therefore. Exhort exhort exhort.” Job done. Time for lunch.
It is also how we are “taught” to think: “Blah blah blah blah. Therefore. Exhort exhort exhort.” Job done.
It is so ingrained that it (sadly) works against us: I find it really difficult to stick with the “blah blah blah” stuff, and I see others who can and who nod their heads and look interested. Therefore. I am a bad person and do not love God, or myself, or my neighbour enough.”
“Blah blah blah blah. Therefore. Exhort exhort exhort.”
And so to the “The Shack.”
A book about God – or maybe not.
On a beach in Majorca some few years ago I read The Shack. And one phrase penetrated my heart like no other. One phrase that was to become a lifeboat in choppy waters, a moment of truth for me then and now, a phrase that was God lifting black marks from the page and branding them on my soul. He did that for me. On a beach in Marjorca. It changed my life then, it brings me back to sanity and Him now, I try and live that phrase with Him each day. He did that for me. One phrase.
“I can only be with you in the present”
God said that to me. I can only be with you in the present.
So when God talks to me, and the words come through this keyboard? Why these words? What impact will they have? Who might they touch? Why will they touch? Who does and does not read them? ????????
That is not my “present moment”. That stuff is God’s moment with others. Not mine.
My “present moment” is to drop a pebble of the moment in the moment. Because He wants it so. End of.
My hearing and sensing is of Love. My knowing must be neither hurtful nor selfish. And my responsibility is neither for the future nor to “save every soul” (or any soul).
It is to know God. It is to follow God. As best I can. And I am finding as I trust more and more in this present moment – I am finding that doing “stuff” follows as night follows day follows night.
And the future – the consequence of my “present moment doing”? That is God’s moment with others. My responsibility (and I have nicked this from another) is to be alert to God in the moment (thank you another).
I can only be with you in the present. He did that for me.
And you know something? I am not even sure if that is the “precise phrase” any more. I passed my copy of The Shack to someone else ages ago.
So I googled that phrase this morning. And what came back was pages of religious fervour. Critiques, analysis, debate and isms and ologies. What came back was: “Blah blah blah blah. Therefore. Exhort exhort exhort.”
BLAH BLAH BLAH When Young said, “I don’t feel responsible for the fact that it [‘The Shack’] is tampering with people’s paradigms” or how people think about God, the crowd responded with clapping, cheers, and laughter. The emerging church loves to tamper with traditional Bible doctrine and there is no fear of God for doing so! THEREFORE (known here as “CONCLUSION”) EXHORT EXHORT EXHORT “The Shack” is another building stone of the end-times Tower of Babel. God’s people must be exceedingly careful in these days of awful apostasy. The Bible warns: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:25-26). http://www.wayoflife.org/database/shackscoolgod.html
(so I relied on my own dodgy memory for the “precision” – or not – of the phrase written on my heart)
I am not a fan … Of isms and ologies. Of papering over God in the name of cleverness. Of worship in the detail and ritual laid down for me by other clever people. Of God as a celeb on a pedestal (nor Jesus, nor the book we call the bible, nor much “stuff” I am told to idolise, to kneel and shut my eyes, to be reverent, to distance myself from Him). I am not a fan of God in that shape and pedestal form.
I am a fan … Of that good old batmobile he screeches around in. Of that clunking loom with the wondrous words. Of him tapping me on the shoulder as we talk together – him pointing out a particular word or thought. Of the way he lounges around when I do this keyboard stuff.
I am a fan … of our relationship – real – personal – important – life-changing – soul saving. The one I have so powerfully “only in the present”. That present which does – and has – changed my future and my past. Without any effort or ”try harder” on my part.
I can only be with you in the present. He did that for me. That is Love.
And you know something (He tapped me on the shoulder as He does)?
“When you get it like you just got it – I am your fan. When you are with Me in the present? I am your fan. In every moment we are together.”