Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Desperate but Disciplined

I'm desperate in what I don't know ...

"As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when will I come and appear before God?  My tears have been my food day and night ... Why are you in despair, O my soul?  And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. O my God, my soul is in despair within me ... Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; all Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me" (Psalm 42:1-7).

... while trying to be disciplined in what I do know.

"Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness... For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline... You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin... All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness" (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 1:7; Hebrews 12:4, 11).

I don't know life in the kingdom.  I'm seeking it as commanded and thirsting for it as my spirit drives me and crying out for it as my heart grows more desperate; but I don't yet have it.  I don't have plans for getting it.  I don't know what needs to happen for God to move in forming it.  So I cry out, without preconceptions except the one that unless the Lord leads clearly and empowers supernaturally, unless he builds the house, our labor will be in vain.  In this, I cry out and actively wait for him because I'm helpless.

And yet, I do know I'm being personally pruned and disciplined.  I do know that the Father has told me to surrender my appetites, specifically those of food, sleep, and physical comfort.  While I don't pretend to know what path will lead to the kingdom reality God desires for us, I do know this one next step he's set me to.  In this, I prayerfully choose and act because I am not helpless, but rather - responsible.

So I'm desperate, open to anything, needy for Christ and his kingdom, crying out as a blank canvas hungry for the Lord to create in beautiful and unexpected ways.  And I'm disciplined (or trying to be), set on something specific, the small thing I can do that is before me.  I don't know how they relate.  Then again, how does walking around a city seven times relates to its walls falling down.

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