Sunday, September 29, 2013

Adventures in Faith - {Washed}

I hate this. I’m sitting at my computer again begging God to change His mind. He’s been clear and I keep pushing, arguing, bartering, and asking for another way.

Unlike Jesus, who bowed before His Father and said, “Your will be done,” I keep dancing around the issue and asking for my will be done. Even as I type these words, disobedience flares in sparks of the heart. I’m tiptoeing around the line He’s drawn in the sand, wondering if He really means it.

But He’s drawn the line and I’m fixated on it.  I’m trying to hold his hand and walk away at the same time. I want to cross the line, blur it, change it, make it optional. I want my will be done.

But I yield. 

Once again, as I submerse myself in the soothing waters of our old tub, He speaks. It's here I’m baptized in repentance and submission.  In my tiny echoing bathroom, He speaks the loudest, breaking through the chaos of my desires and the pushes of my heart. 

It’s my cleft in the rock, like the man named Moses who saw the back of God: this simple bathroom where the Holy One passes by.
Or maybe, like Elijah who heard the Lord in a still small whisper, it is here in this humble place that I really listen.

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13

I am standing before a Holy God who is asking me what I’m doing there and I want to have an answer that is BIG and mighty, like the grandeur of the elements, but I can barely choke out a response and I can only cover my face. My little rebellion seems so petty in light of all He is.

I’m here to follow You. I'll give it all if it means having You. It's not what I say, but it is what I want. Truth be told, I'm still arguing with God there in that ancient fiberglass bathtub. I'm struggling to hang on to what I want; grasping at the dreams and plans I've built for myself.

But He's come not seeking what is mine, but me. He isn’t settling for my “good deeds” or my pathetic offerings, He is asking for it all. And I know I can’t hold it back, not for a second nor a year.

As I plunge beneath the waters in our old tub, I’m washing away resistance and the grime of my stubborn rebellion - an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ - and I pull myself up and out, washed in the water of His word.

This cleansing is just the beginning, so I towel off, get ready, and start the day. Because after the washing, the work begins.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.”  Titus 2:11-14

© Elisha Catts - Willamette Christian Church Baptism

(Scripture quoted/paraphrased/referenced: Luke 22:42 - Your will be done, Exodus 33 - Moses sees God's back, 1 Kings 19 - Elijah hears God whisper, 1 Peter 3:21 - "...appeal to God for a good conscience...", 2nd Corinthians 2:14 - " not what is yours, but you...", Titus 2:11-14)

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