Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dancing with God

 A friend sent me the short meditation below on how our relationship with God is like a dance.  I've added the song link because it fits the meditation.  

I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack

Play song
Greatest Hits - 2004 - 4:54

Dancing With God
When I meditated on the word  Guidance,
I kept seeing 'dance' at the end of the word.
I remember reading that doing God's will
is a lot like dancing.
When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.
The movement doesn't flow with the music,
and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.
When one person realizes that,
and lets the other lead,
both bodies begin to flow with the music.
One gives gentle cues,
perhaps with a nudge to the back
or by pressing lightly in one direction or another.
It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.
The dance takes surrender, willingness,
and attentiveness from one person
and gentle guidance and skill from the other.
My eyes drew back to the word  Guidance.
When I saw 'G': I thought of God,
followed by 'u' and 'i'.
'God, 'u' and 'i' dance.'
God, you, and I dance.
As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust
that I would get  guidance about my life.
Once again, I became willing to let God lead.
My prayer for you today is that God's blessings
and mercies are upon you on this day and everyday..
May you abide in God, as God   abides in you.
Dance together with God, trusting God to lead
and to guide you through each season of your life.
This prayer is powerful
and there is nothing attached.
If God has done anything for  you in your life,
please share this message with someone else.
There is no cost but a lot of rewards;
so let's continue to pray for one another.
And I Hope You Dance !

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love & Obedience

(Which is the chicken and which the egg?)

Which comes first, love or obedience?  In John 14, Jesus describes love as the motivator for obedience and obedience as the evidence of love.
  • Verse 15, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."
  • Verse 21, "He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me."
  • Verse 23, "Jesus answered him, 'If a man loves me, he will keep my word.'"
  • Verse 24, "He who does not love me does not keep my words."

Obedience is the test of true love.
Obedience to the commandments of Christ is the test of love to Him... for there are certain qualities of obedience, which are to be found in every lover of Christ, and which are never found in any one else, and it is to these we must attend, if we would know what is our character. Every lover of Christ keeps His commandments implicitly: that is, he does what he does because Christ bids him. The doing what Christ commands may be agreeable to my inclinations or conducive to my interest; and if it is on these grounds I do it, I serve myself, not the Lord Jesus Christ. What Christ commands may be commanded by those whose authority I acknowledge and whose favor I wish to secure; if I do it on these grounds, I keep man’s commandments, not Christ’s. I keep Christ’s commandments only when I do what He bids me because He bids me. If I love Christ, I shall keep His commandments impartially. If I do anything because Christ commands me to do it, I shall do whatever He commands. I shall not ‘pick and choose.’ If I love Christ, I shall keep His commandments cheerfully. I shall esteem it a privilege to obey His law. The thought that they are the commandments of Him whom I love, because of His excellency and kindness, makes me love His law, for it must be excellent because it is His, and it must be fitted to promote my happiness for the same reason. If I love Christ I shall keep His commandments perseveringly. If I really love Him I can never cease to love Him, and if I never cease to love Him, I shall never cease to obey Him" (Condensed from Dr. John Brown).  (from A.W. Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John)
Obedience is hard.  I sin daily and deliberately.  That does not mean that I do not love God.  He knows that I do love him and desire to love him more.  Failure in obedience does not prove an absence of love.  I know that I long to love God through obedience. I do the things God commands me not to do and I fail to do the things God commands me to do because my love for God is weak.    The proof of genuine love for God then is a ever growing desire to obey and our actual increasing obedience.  This progress in love and obedience is the evidence that we are in Christ and the Holy Spirit dwells in us.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. - Philippians 2:12-13
God initiates and I respond.  With Augustine I pray "Command of me, Lord, what you will and will what you command."

(See also: Piper on John 14:15-24 )