Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Voice of Truth

It's been awhile since I have posted. I have a number of blogs that I have started due to different resources I have come across but I haven't been motivated enough to bring any of them to completion. And it isn't just an issue of motivation. I have been enduring a dry time in my spiritual walk. After such richness and depth over the past two or three years, I suppose I may have been due for a walk into the valley, but it is an unwelcome departure.

During this dry season I find my relationship with God losing its vibrancy and urgency. My desire to seek, to grow, to press into my Lord has been weakened. This is the real reason behind my absence from this blog. There is no doubt that the great majority of my posts have been greatly influenced by the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. I will occasionally go back and read past blogs and am absolutely shocked that something so insightful and full of truth came from my mind and fingers. The truth, of course, is that the ultimate source of that wisdom was not me but the One I call the Spirit and the Triune God. That is indeed the Voice that shouts the truth through these pages. As my spiritual growth stagnates that voice gets lost amidst all the other voices of the world, as well as those of my flesh and of Satan. I still hear God but my ability and desire to stay in that conversation has been neutralized.

As this is the third Saturday of the month, it is the day that I volunteer at Sunshine Ministries, which is a Gospel-centered mission and ministry for the homeless and poverty-stricken of downtown St. Louis. If my desire to seek and obey God is under severe attack, then it stands to reason that my desire to seek out and help the lost and hurting will also be impacted. That has certainly been the case although I often feel more accountable to other people than I do to God. Backwards I know, but that is a fact.

So this morning I wake up to my radio alarm. Getting up early on a Saturday morning doesn't excite me after a long week of work. However, the song on the radio this morning was "Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns. As soon as I heard it, I knew it was for me. This wasn't a random event. These were the first lyrics I heard this morning:

But the stone was just the right size
to put the giant on the ground
and the waves they don't seem so high
from on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
singing over me

I have giants in my life and I often feel powerless against them because I don't think I have the resources, ability or opportunity to overcome them. The truth is that what God has given me, when used for His glory and with His power, will overcome anything that stands in the way of living the life God has called me to live. I live too much with a bottom-up perspective instead of a top-down view, which can make problems seem so much bigger than they actually are. Do that long enough and you will be depressed, exhausted and defeated. I have been there and I am there. I'm just tired because I have once again allowed myself to live in the story where I am the center, where what I do and how I perform define who I am. It's confusing because I know where that story leads and yet I seem to end up there time and time again. It is good for my soul to know that Jesus continues to call to me. He continues to intercede for me. He continues to be for me. He just wants me to stop and listen.

We had 14 men come in this morning for breakfast, a Bible Study and an opportunity to take home clothing, food and basic necessities. One of the men is a bit off mentally but is one of the nicest guys there. He will approach you and say the same thing over and over and over again. You can nod and agree and try to move the conversation along but if he has a thought in his head and you want to talk with him you better be prepared to hear it A LOT. This is a paraphrase of what he was saying to me today (by the way, he calls me "New Chris" because there is another Chris who has volunteered there for awhile but who I have yet to meet):

"You got to let God lead the way. I can't lead, you can't lead, nobody else can lead. Got to let God be in front, we just follow, got to let God be out in front. Doesn't matter if you are young or old, God got to lead."

We talked for probably 15 minutes or more today and it was basically those words on a repetitive loop. And ya know what? I didn't mind one bit. Because he wasn't just rambling. He knew what he was saying. I knew what he was saying. I knew that God was using Reginald as his unlikely messenger perhaps...but prophetic nonetheless. I haven't been letting God lead. I haven't been willingly following. Try living that way and NOT have a dry season spiritually.

There are many ways God's voice of truth comes to us. Keep your eyes and ears open. God is speaking to you as He has to me today.

"Persuasion changes our thinking. Propaganda reduces our ability to think. (DiFonzo) God enables us to be persuaded by truth." - John Piper