A Couple of Quotes

I’m just posting some quotes that I’ve liked this week.

The first one my friend wrote about in our school newsletter, but I thought it was nice for this time of year:

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“Advent creates people, new people. We too are supposed to become new people in Advent. Look up, you whose gaze is fixed on this earth, who are spellbound by the little events and changes on the face of the earth. Look up to these words, you who have turned away from heaven disappointed. Look up, you whose eyes are heavy with tears and who are crying over the fact that the earth has gracelessly torn us away. Look up, you who, burdened with guilt, cannot lift your eyes. Look up, your redemption is drawing near. Something different from what you see daily will happen. Just be aware, be watchful, wait just another short moment. Wait and something quite new will break over you. God will come.”

I’ve also been reading in F. B. Meyer’s book The Secret of Guidance. I liked many of his quotes, but here is one I particularly liked:

“If you do not know what to do, stand still until you do. And when the time comes for action, circumstances, like glowworms, will sparkle along your path. You will become so sure that you are right, when God’s three witnesses [the Word, the Spirit, and circumstances] concur, that you could not be surer though an angel beckoned you on. The circumstances of our daily life are to us an infallible indication of God’s will when they concur with the inward promptings of the Spirit and with the Word of God.”

I suppose those quotes don’t even seem to be connected, but I just liked them both, each a reminder to look to Him and to wait on Him. When I wait uncertain of what to do, I can trust God will reveal to me perfectly the steps to take. And look up — keeping my eyes heavenward — when I’m tired and busy this season. I don’t want to miss either the beauty of the season or the beautiful things He does.

Seek and You Will Find

Hebrews 11:6
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Matthew 7:7-8
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

I love verses like this, and I love it that we have a God who keeps His promises. Repeatedly in Scripture, we see that the one who seeks finds, that when we draw near to God, He draws near to us, that He hears and acts on behalf of His people, that He rewards those who seek Him. Pretty amazing!

I’ve really needed wisdom this week for a number of things. God brought something into my family’s life that was unexpected. His Word and love for Him seem to require that I should respond in a certain way, a way that demands I give more of myself than I would naturally be inclined to do. Something that may not be easy or natural. I look ahead and wonder, “just for now or how long?”

The other morning, I knelt and asked God about it. You know how sometimes, you just want God to be very clear about what you should do in a situation, but you also realize that maybe He doesn’t need to be any clearer, for the Bible has already shed perfect light on how we should respond and obey. Nonetheless, I sought God. Though my words felt just like words, I asked Him for the faith to believe that there was power in prayer and that He could show us what we should do. I wanted Him to reveal to us something confirming about this whole situation.

That afternoon I went to pick up my son early from an event at church. I was able to sit down and hear the testimony of a college student who is working this summer with the children. How could it be that what he shared was identical to what I was thinking and we are dealing with? There’s the answer, right there. It was very clear. I couldn’t help the tears from flowing as I sat in the back of the room, realizing there is really no mistake about what God would have us do.

There is joy in believing and obeying. There always is, no matter the situation. I sense God providing for what He asks us to do. I sense my heart giving way to His will. I praise Him that He did answer me when I called and He did it quickly!

I’ve been reading A Quest for More by Paul Tripp. He is, in fact, speaking at our church tomorrow night, and I am excited to hear him speak. He writes about how we were made for transcendence, but Satan offered Adam and Eve an independent glory, or autonomy. “The quest for autonomy will always crush transcendence.” So rather than living for the huge glory of God, we can end up living for “shadow glories filling the dim cubicle of my own glory.” Living for my little kingdom instead of His.

Now this is the part that got me: “Most of us have learned how to celebrate our inclusion in God’s great and glorious work, while functionally caring for little that does not directly address us. In doing this we have Christianized our autonomy. Essentially, we are asking God to give his endorsement to our attempt to shrink the transcendent glories of his kingdom to the size of our circle of personal concern. And even though we are trying to live inside of God’s boundaries, we have still manufactured a life where self is at the center. It is quite possible for our Christianity to be quite narrow and selfish and to not be aware of the shrinkage.”

That’s just a snippet, but he goes on in a way that let me see I like to serve when it’s in a way that pleases me. Oh, I want to please Him, and I want to do His will, but it’s nice when it lines up with my will! There is so much more, and He often calls us to things that are not easy, but the blessing will no doubt be incredible when we obey Him. And He’ll continue to expand our view.

Praise You, Lord, for rewarding those who believe You and diligently seek You. Thank you that you can be found! Thank you that Your Spirit is at work in us to make us more like You. Thank you for teaching us your ways.