Posts Tagged ‘mutual embrace’

welcomeOf course, back in my day (the dark ages, I guess), people rarely moved in together without getting married. Or, if they did, it was on the sly or somehow covered up. Now, this “moving in” business is quite the norm, but I have to wonder, how does that transaction go? How do you decide to make the plunge?

The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. [I John 3:24, NIV]

It’s not the same as marriage, not really. I mean, generally speaking, there is not formal document or witnesses to the decision.

Some people move in bit by bit. You know, he (or she) drinks a little too much and really shouldn’t drive home or it gets to be so late, that it’s more convenient to simply spend the night. And then some of the personal toiletries begin to appear and a couple of pairs of clean underwear and voila! A space in the closet, a favorite coffee cup, and an empty drawer. Won’t be long now.

Some people have a nice dinner and talk it over. They might even create plus/minus columns (in their heads) and talk through all the practical reasons to do it (cheaper in the long run, more convenient – or less – to work, better than phone call or skype, etc.)

Some people decide and then change up the place all together. Some people split their time between two places and have personal stuff at both. Some people move in and move out and then move in again. Lots of variety is possible when it’s temporary.

But the mutual arrangement with the Spirit is a little different. There is an invitation to move in, but the Spirit only abides in the areas we allow. If we want to close off the closets or the storage areas, if we want to keep one room for ourselves, if we want to put up “danger, keep out” signs on any part of our inner life, we can. Spirit is the ultimate roommate and partner.

If we ask.

There are only two rules: believe in the Christ, the son of God; and, love one another (other humans). No other clean up is expected. It’s not necessary to hide anything or wash the floors even. Spirit will come in and help with everything. If we allow it. If we want change, really. If we keep up our end: love God, love others.

Intimacy is not with the human form God (Jesus). Intimacy is with Spirit.

Whose voice will I listen to today?

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Come. It’s an invitation. Come see. Come along and be a part. Please come (don’t stay behind). Come with us. But it can also be a command: Come! Come here. Come on. Come away. Move! Why do I resist this word? Why do I want to go the other way? Why retreat?

Revelation 22:17, 20 b
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. . . Come Lord Jesus. 

It’s a commitment to come along. It means walking or running forward. Anything else is a decrease or standing still.

When I accepted the truth of Christ as the unique being He is, I did not fully understand the implications, but I did hear the call to participate in the God Presence anyway. It was quite simple, just these words, “Come … and drink.” And these words, “Come Lord Jesus.” And with my willingness to move forward, Christ moved closer to me into a mutual embrace.

Thirty-three years ago, a friend asked me to read the New Testament as an exercise, an acting exercise if you will. In the same way that an actor should read a script for the first time, I was asked to put these words, “if this were true,” at the beginning of the text and suspend all judgments until the end. It was in this way that I heard the invitation as well as the command, to come. Like stepping through a door, I knew I would be entering a different world. For awhile, I tried to straddle the threshold, but in the end, there is only, “come” and then a decision. It’s only after the decision that a person can really know, grow, and change. Even Yoda had it right, “Do… or do not. There is no try.”

I began this particular journaling/blogging walk through the scriptures back in 2009. It’s been a very slow investigation and yet quite revealing. Of course, there have been lost days and lost verses, so I assumed I would just start over again once I finished. But is there a point? Have I lost the momentum? Am I too scattered?

I felt an actual resistance to reaching the end of Revelation. That is, until I read that same call, that allure to drawing closer, the beckoning voice of the Holy Spirit with a promise of more and deeper. Come.

What will that look like? I don’t know. But I must go.

Last week, I went to Hershey Park (amusement park) and in an uncharacteristic and spontaneous moment, I agreed to ride a roller coaster with which I was totally unfamiliar. I did not know how fast it would go or how steep it would climb or drop. I had not been watching it while walking around the park looking for my family. We met up at the entrance of the ride and they said, “Come on Mom,” and I went. It was terrifying. But I survived, as we mostly do. I screamed, I prayed, I closed my eyes, I opened my eyes. I experienced a mini-life.

God does not intend for me to know much about the ride. He just wants me to come along.

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