Saturday, April 15, 2017

Prepare Your Minds for Action

I awoke Friday after dreaming.  I was in a house of happy, playful people in the dream.  The environment itself was sloppy and chaotic.  I had some form of authority there, but I can't recall the degree.  As the dream progressed, I knew I had plans on leaving and going oversees, but I didn't want to tell anyone. I was just about to leave their company, the dream began to fade to black, and I heard a voice say, "You're called to do this."

The epistle lesson in the Daily Office in the Book of Common Prayer on Good Friday was from 1 Peter 1.  Verse 13 struck me.

Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.

The preparation and discipline for coming action I like a lot.  With a comforting sense of hope today on me, I can easily focus and trust in the grace from Christ coming to us in revelation.  Alleluia.  I am truly encouraged!

Is it merely because of my dream?  Is it by virtue of scripture confidently received and digested into my spirit?  Yes to all the above!  God has spoken to me in language I understand and value.  First, my dream life is an avenue of the Spirit's communication to me I've learned to appreciate. 

Verse 13 comes from an author who followed Jesus and is quoted in the Good Friday morning's gospel lesson conveying self assurance that he'd never leave Jesus, but its Jesus who tells him in the next moment he'd be the one to deny Jesus three times that evening.

Secondly, the language of irony to bring a point to light has always been a means of communication I've valued.  The Lord is speaking to me these days.

April and I are becoming more aware the Lord wants us to grow more comfortable with who we are as a couple and as individuals with callings on our own lives. We're preparing our minds for action.  As I've written recently, I believe the Lord has spoken to us who we are and not to forget. Again, the words of Peter, Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.

Though traditional, liturgical Christianity calls believers to temper down the celebratory nature of Easter the days before in Holy Week and recall the suffering and abandoned Christ on the cross for the sins of the world, I remember our Christ died on the cross once for all.  I was struck with two videos and a song on Friday that spoke to my spirit and mind.  These artistic expressions I embraced passionately and reminded me who I am and whose I am.  My mind is being prepared for action.

The first was a song that played on my shuffled playlist of 12 hours of music on my iPod.  It played twice in ten minutes.  I'm inclined to believe the repetition of this song was the Spirit's language to me.  God often speaks to me in music.

The song, Jesus, We Love You, from Bethel Music on the album, We Will Not Be Shaken, is a simple contemporary worship song.  It encouraged me to openly praise my savior I love by name, Jesus.  It also came to me that morning as I felt the fresh wind of hope in my life.  For this alone, I was moved. 

I heard it once, then I heard it again.  This time the verses spoke to me.

Things that we thought were dead, are breathing in life again.
You cause your Son to shine on darkest nights.
For all that you’ve done we will pour out our love,
This will be our anthem song.
Jesus we love you,
Oh how we love you,
You are the one our hearts adore.

One could think and believe things are dead, but Jesus breaths life into us and shines despite our darkness.  We pour out our love in song and speech.  Jesus, we love you.  In experiencing his grace first, I respond in love.  This is who the Lord is to me, and this is who I am, a child of God who loves his savior.  This prepares my mind for action. I shared this lyric video on Facebook Friday morning.

I then posted a video from the movie, War Room.  Its a story of a family that learns the spiritual life and power in diligent prayer to our God who hears.  This scene shows the wife defiantly declaring to Satan in her home Jesus is Lord of this home, and he cannot have her husband, marriage, children or her joy.  

Many in Christendom do not believe in the personification of evil, but this belief is not necessary to be a Christian.  I believe Satan and his minions exist.  We've suffered from spiritual attacks and warfare over the last few years like never before in our lives because, we believe, we've said yes to God and his callings on our lives.  This scene spoke to me Friday. It is vigilant and encouraging.  My mind is preparing for action.

Lastly, I posted on Facebook a video from Puddles the Clown singing Pinball Wizard to the tune of Folsom Prison Blues.  It simply made me happy.  The fun and slightly creepy performance entertained me a lot.  It spoke to me.  It told me, again, who I am, what's fun for me, and that's ok.  God still loves me, and this is how God made me. 

Sometimes being prepared and disciplined for what's coming begins with knowing afresh who you are.  Simply stated, I love Jesus who first loved me.  I'm aware of what evil lurks in darkness, and there is necessary combat.  Finally, joy and fun can be found in this world in various, innocent forms.

Am I called to travel overseas in a calling from God?  I can't say for sure, but I'm preparing for action by thinking and knowing you I am and whose I am.  I invite you to join me in preparation.

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