We are nearing that time of year when everything goes completely schizophrenic around us and we are somehow drawn into certain chaos. Traffic gets crazier, retailers are desperately clinging to the hope that God will perform the miracle of transforming red ink to black. Starbucks is banking on the fact that all things cinnamon and spice will draw you in. Moms are busying themselves with Turkey dinners and stuffing, dads are hanging lights and inflatable snowmen, and kids can't stop telling you what they want for Christmas. Our lives begin moving at such an increased pace that we rarely have time to just sit down and soak it all in. I'm writing this to remind each of us that if there's ever been a time to stop and savor the moment, that time is now.
"Let us come before (or into) His presence with THANKSGIVING; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He IS our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion." - Psalm 95: 2-8
What I mean by "savoring" or "soaking it in" is by literally making the time to come into the very presence of God almighty. That, as His children, we are not only afforded but offered the right to enter into that heavenly presence. So, as you are going about the insanity of the next few days and weeks, take extra time to consider the God you believe in and have trusted your life to. The same God that made the seas, the mountains and all the earth is the God that welcomes you into His presence. Into the deepest of all depths. I'd even go so far as to say that this passage invites you to take a step further. Rather than just sit on the couch (or in your bed) to talk to the God of the universe, get on your knees. "Submit yourselves to God". Kneel before the Lord your Maker and invite His presence to consume you. Pray that you would hear His voice clearly and that He would enable you with His grace to obey. Pray against the natural tendency of a hardened heart. Pray that you would not withhold your heart against God or against anyone in your life that may have wronged you or vice-versa. Now is the time to go to those people that you may have harbored bitterness towards and ask their forgiveness. Come clean and then as you come into God's presence your heart won't be burdened by the weight of your sinfulness. Invite God to do a work in the last 5 weeks of this year that would radically change the outlook of your life as long as you live. Big things are happening in the world around us and the days are getting shorter. Pray that God would reveal His good and perfect will for your life and that you would have the God-given desire to walk it out.
This is where I am at right now. With every day that goes by in 2008 I realize that I'm that much closer to finishing my time with Tooth & Nail. I'm about to be stepping more fully into the promises of God's provision and calling over my life. Potentially hazardous times lay waiting ahead but there's nothing that can replace the joy in my spirit and the increased faith in my heart to do what God has called me to. We can't even step out in faith without first being caught up in the very Presence of God and then being transformed by it. Let's make God's presence our first stop this Holiday season. Nothing else will suffice and as the world seemingly spins out of control around us, we'll be established by the deep root of God's love for us.