Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Understanding Spiritual Formation

I continue to marvel at how God forms me spiritually.  My beliefs are constantly being challenged by reading, relationships and circumstances.  Over the years I've hardened then softened then hardened again.  Many thoughts and ideas morph.  But when a light bulb moment comes, well, I cannot remember ever changing on one of those.  

Because God gives me TRUTH in pictures that is how I speak this truth.  I am so confident about it, at least for my own life, that I have no shred of interest in defending it.  It just is.

One of the first pictures I remember is "God's truth will rise to the top."  Decades later I believe this more than ever.  Why is this so important to me?  I need not defend what I believe because it is not my truth, it is God's.  I may or may not believe the true Truth about this or that issue.  I am a work in progress and I promise you I am doing the best I can.  I want to know what is true and I believe that God's truth will rise because the Holy Spirit will lead me into all truth.  Why argue and defend ideas as if the truth is MY truth.  I want to listen to others because maybe what they are saying is the cream, after all.

Have you ever been perplexed about something that the majority of people around you seem to understand?  This doesn't happen to me often but when it does I can get pretty vocal.  Take the A.C.T.S. model for prayer.  Specifically the "A".  About fifteen years ago I was involved in some pretty large prayer gatherings.  We would start out with the "A" Adoration.  We would drone on.  "You are lovely."  "You are holy."  "Your power sustains the universe."  I did not understand it at all.  We were praying to God and yet we were telling the God who knows everything snippets of information about Himself.  About a decade later I had an epiphany about the whole process.  We are saying these things to REMIND OURSELVES of God's great attributes.  In a way it still feels a bit hokey to me.....we are praying to God not each other, correct?  But at least now it makes more sense to me.  Is this what others understood all along?

My latest piecing of events and my thoughts together has to do with the Lord's Supper.  It is a pretty solemn event that I've never really understood apart from New Testament incidents of it taking place. I just have never been able to conjure up great enough feelings to go with the retelling of Jesus' last few hours before his death.  Lately a small group has been discussing the resurrection of Jesus.  It's pretty scary to listen to people ask hard questions, make unfamiliar statements and all the while remember that the cream of God's truth is still truth even if we miss it right now.

During my musings about our discussions I came to another really big idea that is going to help me understand why I participate in the Lord's Supper.  Our culture is unfriendly to Christian thought.  The lines are getting so fuzzy about right and wrong.  We are so hammered by unchristian thoughts that it seems to me the Church is becoming diluted by the age we live in.  The farther we get in history the further we get from the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  For myself, my spirituality and my face is toward God and God alone.  Yes, of course I know that the reason I have a relationship with God is because of the work of Christ on my behalf.  BUT I live in the now of my relationship with God.  My ephipany of late has been that the reason Jesus told us to "do this in remembrance" of Him is because we were going to lose track of the fact that it is because of Him we have this new life.

Maybe my "aha" moments are "duh" to you.  That is OK because probably many of yours are not light bulb moments to me.  The point is the Holy Spirit is moving, leading and teaching us into the path of Life.  


  1. Thanks for the musings, KT. They are appreciated, though I may not have anything profound to respond to them with.
    In response to your comments about "The Lord's Supper": It seems that you're on to something. It's not untypical that we turn the event of "remembering" into something that is supposed to produce a divine result (spiritual feeding, etc.). It seems to me, that it's about recalling together the event that cleansed believers' of their sin & gave them hope and access to God. It suggests to me the "hope" that the earliest Christians clung to. For them they hoped in the promise of resurrection from the dead and the doing away with death all together. Because of Jesus' willingness to trust His/our Father through the event of Calvary, we can look forward to the "not yet resurrection" while actually experiencing the "already of resurrection" in a changed life by His Spirit's power.I need to remember all this MUCH more than I do!!
    Thanks for the stimulant! :) ♥U

  2. thank YOU for the comment.

  3. Loved this, Karen. And the one about "why do we tell God snippets of information about Himself?" In my weekly big prayer meeting at BSF Leaders', we spend a few minutes at first just worshiping - and focusing on His attributes is exactly what you said - to remind ME of who He is, what He is like, in truth. In fact, I have started a little 3x5 booklet with a page for each distinct attribute - and a few verses citing it - and when I pray I focus on one for that day. Don't do it daily, but it is helpful. i wish I remembered that attribute throughout my day...maybe that will come.
    You write very well, just like you talk when you and I are in a great discussion. I don't get notified of your blog posts though (wish i would) - I went looking for your blog and so found this. Thanks for sharing!~

  4. Thanks for the thoughts. Though, I still get shivers of revulsion at any canned, planned, or organized adoration. The analogy of a father coming home from work to a family of fawning droning scyophants reciting the same words over and over is repulsive. The real relationship Father wants to have with us shouldn't include formulas, acronyms or instruction manuals... :-)