Lets get to it. Today I had a conversation that inspired this blog. During the conversation I talked a lot. It was painfully obvious I needed to get something out. To the young ladies that endured our conversation, thank you.
I love the Old Testament, more than the new. I rely on it more to understand who God is than I do the New Testament. Why? Well, I have thousands of years of history, verse some 70 years. I do view the Bible as a history book, God’s history book of the world. How He created it. How man devolved, and His interaction with man. Because I look at it as God’s history book, I don’t look at the men of the Bible, godly or not, as His mouthpiece, but rather God’s recording of lives of these men. An example are letters of Paul. Just because Paul wrote it, doesn’t mean God said it or He agrees with it. Paul is a man just like me, with his own set of flaws and struggles, that would inevitably come out in his writings. I believe his legalist nature before his conversion was a continue struggle for him, that isolated him later in his life. More on that later. My point is, I get a much better sense of who God is through the Old Testament, much more so than the New Testament. Please don’t think I don’t value the New Testament. I do! There is much to be learned in both, The bottom line is they both combine to make a history of earth.
One of the things I’ve learned from the Old Testament, is how God interact with His people. What specifically did I learn? God does not interact with people for the most part, but with the individual. People get in the way of that relationship, and by that, I mean the church. The church is a two edge sword. It can encourage believers in Christ and be a place where the Spirit draws men together, but it can also stump the spiritual growth of a man. In fact, I think that’s a given.
You can start at the beginning. God did not create 100 men, but one individual. One man, and with that man He walked in the garden, and gave him the best of life. He created him in His image, for fellowship. He wanted to know Adam and watch him grow as a man. Though out the Old Testament, God isolates a man. He deals with him one on one. Abraham was told to leave everyone one. God listed family and relatives!
“Now the L ORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you;” Genesis 12:1
This is also a good example of a godly man not follow God’s direction, even while he follows it. God told Abram to leave his relatives as well as his father’s house. God said, “And from your relatives…” before He said his father’s house. First thing Abram did was take Lot, his nephew, with him. But God stuck with Abram and blessed him, even though he could not follow the simplest of instructions. Many men in scripture died for a lot less.
Back to God deals with individuals, not people. The list of God’s interaction with men as individuals is long. Moses, David, Isaac. As you read the Bible, you see people were by themselves when they encountered God. When He called them it wasn’t in the mist of the congregation. It was out in the wilderness. God also speaks to His people through individuals, not as groups
My own encounters echo this theme. I continually struggle and I am deeply flawed, but my biggest victories in Christ have come when I am all alone and no where to turn or no one to turn to. Often, I am not even in a good spiritual place or full of the spirit.
Now I have felt God’s spirit often in church, during service or Sunday school. I have felt Him at retreats. It is a great sense of worship, but that’s not what I am discussing. I am describing those moments when God moved in my life, changing my circumstances or delivered me. Now. When God’s given me instruction or lead me, or healed or made a physical change in my life, I was alone.
I referenced a conversation that inspired this blog. During it one of the ladies talked about getting those that she ministering to the next level. She commented that it turned on how well a job she had done on presenting who God is. And I feel for her there is more to it, but this was her first response. My thought was the only way these ladies get to another level in their relationship with the Lord is for her to get out of the way. These ladies are His. He is responsible for them and He wants to draw them to Him. Her challenge is they seek Him instead of her. Instead of making that phone call, they call out for His name, get quiet before Him. Does this happen in a night, a day, week or is it years. Think of the stories in the Bible and how long some men had to wait before they heard from the Lord or God called them back, i.e. Moses. In other words, the veil has been torn from top to bottom and we are called to enter into His presence, to commune with Him as our Daddy. Abba Father. Its time for us to walk with our Father in the Garden. It is quantity, not quality that is the emphasis. Quality is important, but as any parent knows quality comes out of quantity.