My attempts at blog maintenance are for the purpose of personal discipline, in order to capture the internal work of the Lord around the word given through my last book, REPO. As well, this blog may serve to convey in some very transparent way, my spiritual journey, in hopes that it might encourage others?
This morning in my prayer time, it was as if a shift occurred in my spirit. This has been a very “raw” season, a difficult time in many arenas of my life. Interestingly enough, as I write my second book, the “space” around that process has been a time of new understanding about just what it means to die to oneself. Following Christ has little to do with giving one’s self to Christ, as if we could lend ourselves to Him for His work. He cannot use me, nor can I improve upon myself to any spiritual good. I must decrease, even die, that He might increase. Any lasting good that would come from my life, is simply the superabundance of His life in me, overflowing from me. That good might appear to be of one’s self, but that is simply because His work takes on the nature of the one through which it is delivered, but never is it be confused.
This is a different perspective than those who might work hard and alone “for” Christ or for community, as opposed to those willing to abandon themselves and life’s benefits, so as to be fully devoted “to” Christ. The former is religion, the latter true Christianity and provides the stamina envied as we read the autobiographies of those who have shaped our faith and preserved nations.
This raw work that is prying me ever more from myself is a gift from God, though gifts of this nature one seldom prays for in advance. It seems to have emerged out of my misunderstanding of the word “reposition”, as given to me back on December 28th of 2008, becoming in part, the basis of the book REPO. My understanding that day was that if I would repent, he would reposition my life and replenish my strength for the delivery of His word and work through me.
All this became fresh within me yesterday as I reflected upon where I was one year ago, and the response given to me as I was sharing on that day during the MLK,Jr. Prayer Breakfast in Winston-Salem. That forum was truly a part of the repositioning that began occurring in my life, and along with other occurrences has provided a new platform for leadership, influence and impact in our city during this past year.
Yet, when we think we have God figured out, He takes a swift left turn, though always to our good. Shortly after that word to my life, I began to understand that this word, even this turn of events in my life, was for a greater audience than myself and my personal calling and thus the book published. Yet the repositioning of my own life seems of late to be less about His use of my life in these new circles of influence and more about some deep spiritual inner “repositioning”. His work is always inward and thus the use of the term “raw” in the title of this entry. Separation of bone from marrow, that’s the nature of His commitment to one’s inner life and so it seems with where I am.
The repositioning of my life had to date been external, yet now the necessary repositioning of my spirit is critical if I am to deliver upon that new platform provided. Mental health issues may be your concern at this point in my writing (sick humor) unless you have experienced the deep work of the Spirit in your own life, for there are in fact shades of overlap between body, mind and spirit…life is an integrated but hidden struggle between self and God.