“My desire”

Desires. We all have them. Some healthy, some rational, some well…aren’t. Desire drives us; they move us forward or in some cases backwards. They push us to our goals or they can push us to our destruction. Desires are complicated, in the makeup of our person our desires have the capacity to overtake our wills and our resolve in a matter of seconds.

Desire is inherently for our good. We, being fashioned in the image of God, have a Divinely established portion of our souls where desires are produced. God desires. He desires for all to come to salvation (2 Peter 3:9). Jesus desired to gather Jerusalem under His wings, but they refused. So, from the standpoint of scripture, desires are not bad in themselves. Now understandably, God desires out of sheer delight. While we as fallen humans, desire out of a need we feel. That “need” is the source of the fountain of desires. We all need something. Being the sovereign Creator He is, God knew exactly what would fill that cavernous need deep within, and it is found solely on the person of Christ Jesus. Desire is what God placed in the soul of man to drive us to the foot of the cross.

What’s your desire?

Paul was a man eaten up with desire. A desire so strong and secure that it would even drive him to martyrdom. What was it? He tells us plainly in Philipians 1:23.”…my desire is to depart and be with Christ…”. To be with Christ, to know Him intimately (Philip 3:10), to share fellowship with Him…even if it meant losing his head. Paul wanted to be where Christ was.  Every other desire he had was founded upon this one; to know Christ. The extremities of Paul’s desire aren’t easily duplicated or forged. Simply put: you can’t fake this kind of desire. It’s the kind that overtakes you like a wildfire, it consumes everything it touches. Why would someone seek so hard after Someone they had never seen? Why would they risk comfort and worldy pleasure? It was simple for Paul. God had desired him, by seeking him out and saving him on that dusty road to Damascus. Paul started that journey with one desire in mind, to kill or imprision all who belonged to The Way. (Acts 9) Yet masterfully done Christ showed him what he needed, what he was after. He showed Paul Himself. The unfolding of revelation blinded the Apostle from anything other than Christ.  From that point on Paul was ate up with a new desire-Christ Himself. You see Paul had been desired, sought out and now his heart throb was to seek the One who sought him.

Im not a writer. I’m not eloquent in speech. I’m a terrible speller. I have more insecurities than you can shake a stick at. But deep within is something that pushed me beyond those insecurities to start this blog: a desire. A desire that wouldn’t quit. A desire that would deflate the giant in front of me. A desire that engrafted courage into my weakness. A desire that has taken over my heart. What is it? Christ. I don’t desire to have a lot of followers, or for people to be in awe of my posts. My desire is to finish my race, fulfill my ministry, bring forth a harvest for the Kingdom, and fundamentally “for Christ to be honored through my body.” (Phillipians 1:20). I want my life to be a fragrant offering before my Lord. Im just an average woman, seeking out an extroidanary Savior. Am I there yet? Not hardly. I make myself sick by the lack of  fervor I sometimes display. But “I press on to make it my own because Christ has made me His own.” (Philip 3:12). Christs own relentless desire for me catapults me into a wildfire like desire for Him. He has placed an upward call on each of lives. ( to know Him more intimately, to glorify His name and to advance the gospel) Desire pushes us there. Some will make it, some will not. It’ll depend upon who/what sits on the throne of your desires. Don’t settle for spiraling downward when you were made to soar upward! Take what’s been given to you- Christ Himself, the fulfillment of every desire. His desire is for you beloved.

“I am my beloveds and his desire is for me” SOS 7:10

 

 

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Promise of Presence 

Joy. It’s the epitome of the season. Yet, for many of us it’s an act. We pull our fake facade of contentment over the empty groaning of our souls. We are masters at masking our discontent with smiles and scripture. Our lives seem together and orderly but deep within there is chaos and disorder. The echo of emptiness bounces off the walls of our hearts and into the channels of our minds. We can’t shake this. This thing that has the attention of our hearts. 

Something has grabbed our hearts attention. Everyone of us has something on the radar of our hearts. It could be anger, stress, brokenness, disappointment, unfulillment…whatever it is, the beat of our heart echos the pain. 

Whatever has the attention of our hearts also has our energy. We go to bed with it on our minds, we wake up with it still there, it consumes us. Our emotions, our choices, our conversations, our plans…they all revolve around this thing that has our hearts attention because when something has our hearts it has our lives. 

In Matthew 2 we see the story of 2 types of seekers. One is superficial, the other is sincere. 

The superficial seeker was Herod. Herod focused on the threat of the present over the promise of the presence. Superficial joy is obessed with the apparent. It’s stuck in the moment and misses the miraculous. It has the appearance but lacks the substance. 

The sincere seeker(s) on the other hand, set their hope in the presence of God over the threat of the present. 

The wise men rejoiced when they saw the star; notice they didn’t wait until they got to house where the child was, they rejoiced when they saw the star. 

The star was the promise of His presence. The men were wise indeed for their  hope was not locked on the present moment but on the promise that God is here. 

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of our souls, a hope that enters in beyond the veil, where Jesus has gone…” Hebrews 6:19

In the Old Testament, the temple/tabernacle conplex was divided into two main parts. The holy place and the most holy place, a veil separated the two. No one was allowed to enter the Most Holy place except for the high priest and he could only go in one day a year. Why? Because that’s where the Presence of God dwelled. The Skeinah glory of God honored in between the cherubs. This was more than a building it was the promise of His presence. That is where our hope is to be anchored, not in circumstances but in His presence. 

Joy in the Greek is the word Chara and means “exuberant pleasure, delight.” Its experienced when our soul finds its delight. 

Our hearts groan, we have a need that the present cannot satisfy. We crave goodnees that this world cannot give. 

Yet, There is a place where our need can be meet….

18 Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” 19 And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, 22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.” Exodus 33:18-23

There is a place…a place where your soul can be satisfied; in His presence. 

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

The Hebrew word dwell means, “to keep the attention directed.” While abide means “secure”. When God has the attention of our hearts than our souls will be stable no matter what comes our way. 

Joy is a choice. But to choose joy we must choose His presence. 

“…in your presence is fullness of joy.” Psalm 16:11
The joy of His presence is the pleasure our souls crave. 

The question is will we choose the threat of the present over the promise of His presence? 

How much more? 

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:13

How much more do you want? 

The answer to that question will no doubt be determined by what it is that’s being offered to us.  

More coffee? Yes, please.

More debt? No thank you.

More compassion? Absolutely.

More judgement? Not so much.

What about the question “Do you want more of the Spirit?”

Desire. That’s where our answer to any question comes from. Our desire for more is dictated by our awareness of the possibilities laid out before us. We settle because we don’t understand the abundance offered to us; we have come to the conclusion that we’ve reached the zinth of His presence. Abundance seems to be an illusion. Like it’s only for a select few. But could it be we only see a few experience it because only a few ask for it? 

At any given moment we can ask: Is it possible to have more of Him? And the answer would be “So much more”! 

Sometimes it’s not that we don’t want more of the Spirit, we’re just content with what we have. But then something shifts; our circumstances become pressing as fatigue and frustration flood our hearts; we may not be suffering but we’re not comfortable here. It’s not painful but it is pressing. Discomfort has a way of raising us up to fullness. We are never more apt to be full than when we are being stirred within; Never more desperate than we we realize what we’re missing.

Throughout the scripture death brings life; the rousing of stagnant souls is seen from Genesis-Revelation; Dry bones find fresh flesh, collapsed lungs are filled with air, still hearts start to thump…

Stagnant and cold. Unproductive and passive. That’s us. The genius of resurrection is that it raises the cold heart from obsecurity to boundless heights; it rescues us from ordinary. 

“For you have died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3

Because our life is found incapsulated by the Word made flesh, we are lifted from the ordinary to soar on the heights of His victory. When Christ was raised from the dead the victory was won but it wasn’t until he was raised to His place of authority that the victory was released on those who believe. After he rode on the clouds, traveling back to His throne, He poured out His Spirit, the same power that “worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him in the heavenly places…”.This power, resurrection/ascension power, has been injected into the believers life by the presence of the Spirit. He raises us above…above the struggles, above the abuse, above the threat, above the hurt, above the shame, above the discomfort…to fullness; He has seated us with him in heavenly places. That means any power that is suppressing you  has no authority to hold you there. 

The victorious life is depicted by one who lives above the watermark of common. It’s easy to be swallowed up by the current of commotion, we find ourselves fighting the tide the chaos of ordinary brings. It pulls our minds into the torrent of superficial thinking. We set our minds on what is seen, on what is around us. We are obsessed with the obvious and because of that we are classified as ordinary; a life that leaves no impression. 

If we are occupied with the obvious we are forfeiting the power offered to us by our Father. We uncounciously bind ourselves to things that make sense, to the rational and the safe. Yet Our lives are not to be defined by what we see: by suffering or  even by our influence. Our lives are buried in Christ, the fullness of Him marinates our life with the aroma of heaven. 

A steak is placed in marinade to soak in flavor, to cause it to loose it’s blandness. The longer it soaks the more flavor the steak has. So too with us; the longer we soak in the presence of The Spirit the more our lives loose the bland “taste” of ordinary. 

So, how much do you want? 

Access had been unlocked and He’s waiting. 

The Weight of Obscurity 

7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.9 Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:“You are now pregnant  and you will give birth to a son.You shall name him Ishmael,[a] for the Lord has heard of your misery.12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him and he will live in hostilitytoward[b] all his brothers.”13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[c] the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi[d]; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.  Genesis 16:7-14

She felt used and misunderstood. She was seen but people only saw what she could do for them. Her dreams, her desires, her plans seemed to dissolve by someone else’s itinerary. She felt the brunt of someone else’s decision and was left with the consequences. Hagar (Hagar was Sarai’s servant who was given to Abraham to try and fulfill the promise of God through Human Resources. The idea was she would conceive and give Sarai a child that way. But it didn’t work out like Sarai planned. Like anything that comes with the flesh, dissension and jealously drove a wedge between the two women. So, Sarai treated her “harshly” scripture says.) carried more than a child with her as she ran away from her harsh circumstances. She carried the weight of being seen but treated like she fell in the cracks of oblivion.

We’ve all been there, seen but treated like we weren’t. The sacrifices we make go unnoticed, the commitments blown off, the loyalty taken for granted…we feel used and worst of all looked over. Like some how our best wasn’t good enough and as a result our dreams dissolve in the shadows of obscurity. We had more to offer, we have great potential but it’s not noticed. We end up watching someone else get the promotion, the title, the grade, the car, the friends, the husband, the child, the applause…someone else seems to get the product of promise, someone other than us.

Maybe you’ve never been there , in Hagars shoes. Where it seems everyone’s sucesss is at your cost. Where things are happening but at your not in it. Some of us know the burden of obscurity all to well. The weight lays heavy on our souls as this question swirls like a cyclone through our mind: does anyone see?

They say they do but we’re not so sure. So we hide behind our schedules and use our callings as camouflage; we feel obscure so we hide. That’s a tale as old as time; Satan convincing us we are obscure and as a result, we try and hide from the One who is searching for us. He’s clever alright. Knowing the fatality of obscurity is in it’s irony; that if we feel unseen our instinct react as though we are.  Eve did it in the garden and we still do it today. As Adam and his help mate heard the gentle steps of the Creator coming their way, they hid. In Genesis 3 God called to His prize and said “Where are you?”. The Almighty knew where they were so why did He ask? He didn’t just want to know where they where He wanted to see them. God asked Hagar the same question as she was running from obscurity; “Where have you come from and where are you going?” She was in the wilderness, pregnant with a promise she had yet to receive. The wilderness is often a place where we are at a crossroad of where we used to be and where we are going. In a place where promise is growing but it hasn’t began to show. It’s a place of encounter; where promises are pronounced. But Hagar didn’t know that. She only knew the burden of obscurity. But Someone saw. God found her in her obscurity and spoke a promise into her present. Nothing’s as obscure as the present because we can’t see beyond it so we think we aren’t seen either. Hagar was stuck in obscurity, pregnant with a promise that she had yet to receive…maybe in those times when it feels like I’m stuck in obscurity my situation is actually pregnant with a promise I didn’t even realize God made. Maybe in those times I feel used and looked over, Someone has seen and that Someone has promised that there’s future beyond the present. Maybe what seems obscure and unimportant is actually the stage for our purpose to be born.

Many of us will find ourselves in between where we were and where we are going but don’t be mistaken, that is NOT obscurity. God not only knows where you are He sees you there and your situation is pregnant with promise. The beauty of being a child of God is not solely in being known by Him but being seen by Him; found in His promise.

Rest in what seems like obscurity knowing that He is the God of seeing; Jehovah Roi. And instead of hiding in the harshness of the moment look for the one who looks for you and after you. For the darkness of obscurity melts in His embrace.

Wonder of the Word 

The word of God has saved my life. I mean that literally. Without the guiding light of Scripture I would have stayed on the dark path I found myself on many years ago. Quite frankly,  It saved me from myself. I was my own worst enemy, my mind was against me. So, its my passion for others to see the worth of the Bible; for women to realize that all they need can be found wrapped in the scared writings of scripture. It’s the breath of God blowing through our our spiritual lungs, it’s the key to our chains, the scalpel for our infirmities, it’s the salve for our wounds and it’s the honey for our tounges. We have no greater privilege in the West than to be able to own our a copy of the breath of God. People in foreign countries risk life and limb for a copy. Some are willing to chose it over food.  In Corrie Ten Booms book “The Hiding Place” it tells of her heroic actions as she risked her life to smuggle a small copy into the concentration camp. Why would someone be willing to risk their lives for a book? Because life isn’t worth living without it. It’s the greatest necessity we have. I believe that to my core; because America is living proof you can be prosperous outwardly, having all your physical needs met, and be wasting away inwardly. Our souls need the word like our lungs need oxygen. Without it we’ll suffocate in our own flesh. 

Where we are found lacking it supliments us, when we’re tired and weary is refreshes us, when we are hopeless it gives us courage, it silences fears and defines our identity. It directs our course and sets us free. 

It’s not a chore or checklist to mark off; it’s a privelege. To crack open the very words of God Almighty. The same words that threw stars into place, that holds back the tide, that sustains the earths rotation, that feeds the lions and the swallows. This word has cosmic impact; but we push it aside. We choose our favorite TV shows, social media, or sports over the Word that could change the course of our lives. Everytime it’s opened it breathes change. Maybe that’s why we let it lay; We are content in our chaos. Or maybe it’s because the chaos around us has confused us to the point that we truly believe it’s over our heads, we can’t grasp it. Or maybe the confusion isn’t about clarity but about power. Maybe amidst the chaos of privelge we have surrendered the greatest privelge known to man; hearing from God. 

Pause and consider this: that God Himself speaks to man. 

Why? Why would such Soverignty and Majesty correspond with such frailty and brokenness? 

To fix us. To save us. To make us whole. To strengthen us. 

But we choose entertainment over fulfillment. 

God wants to speak into your darkness. He desires to heal you, to restore you, to guide you. But we must listen first. 

I’m so grateful for God is doing in His church. He’s moving. But may we never be like the crowds in Jesus time, who liked to be entertained by Him but not conformed by Him. They liked to see the miracles but they turned in disgust at His words. John 6 shows us that there were some who because of His teaching, “turned back and no longer followed Him”.  As these turned their backs to the Son of God, Christ asked the 12″do you want to leave as well?” Of course Simon Peter answered and said “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

As disciples we must not only be in awe of His works but of His words as well. Fair weather Christians marvel at the works and excuse the word. True disciples see the eternal aspect attached to the words and allow it to change them. 

To be disciples we must be taught. That means we must listen. How can we be disciples with a closed bible? 

The great commission will never be fulfilled if our bibles are closed. You can’t make disciples without it. 

And if it remains closed so will our chains. 

Cosmic Consequences 

“At that time Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,Sun stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the valley of Aijalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies….then the sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. There has been no day like it before
” Joshua 10:12-14

The day a mans prayer effected the cosmos; the sun rose just like any other day but unlike the previous days, it was in no hurry to set. It hovered in the sky, locking into place for a set time, setting only when victory arose.

That day the plea of man had cosmic consequences.

James says that the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. The Greek work is actually enabling power, engeraumene. If you look close you can see the English word energy tucked into the ancient construction. The word by definition means to be enabled to do (in the passive form) or able to do (in the middle voice) which is the structure of the word used in James 5:16. The significance is that our prayers are able to do because they have been enabled by the Spirit to do; the ability lies in the enablement. The prayer of the person who prays in the Spirit has cosmic consequences.

To shake the world, to leave a mark, to stamp it with significance…that would be cosmic consequences.

The gift of prayer assumes that not all of life is predetermined but that our petitions move the heart of God and in doing so, they move His hand. Yet, it is our prayers that are shaped by providence, prayers that are modeled after His heart-that move His hand.

Prayer has the potential to unlock providence, to expose the hand of God in any given area.

After all, prayer is the invitation of Gods will into ours. True, authentic, Spirit filled prayer, is the vehicle for the Kingdom to come to earth. It is the submission to His plan, the unlocking of His resources (Matthew 16,18).

There are things yet to let loose, things that are meant to be bound and our prayers play the deputy that serves the warrant.

The Lord not only heard Joshua’s plea, He listened. What would make the God of the universe inclined not only to hear mans pathetic words but to actually do as he asked? What causes such cosmic consequences?

Joshua was asking for further victory. Anytime Gods children ask for victory, even if they have already won-He gives heed to their cry.

That’s why we are more than overcomes, because victory isn’t enough for the Christian. We have been called to a further victory-a victory that exceed the status quo and doesn’t settle for good enough. The victory we are called to experience has cosmic consequences.

This type of victory is only realized through prayer. Even though Christ’s victory gave us this “further victory”, it is ours, marked with the blood and sealed with the Spirit. Yet, for many of us we don’t see the cosmic consequences of that victory because we don’t unlock it by prayer. We have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ in the heavenly places, yet we only tap into those riches on our knees.

Our prayers are used as the vehicle to usher in the unseen to the realm of the visible; where what is not is manifested and is seen for what it is. Our prayers offered in the Spirit, are the keys to the kingdom.

I will give you the keys to the kingdom and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19

Truly truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you if two of you agree on earth about anything, it will done for them by my father in Heaven. Matthew 18:18-19

Prayer has the power to bind and loosen, it holds the keys to unlock Gods will on earth and bring about the realization of the kingdom; that would be cosmic consequences.

To experience the consequences of the kingdom; the effects of living in submission to His rule and reign in every area. our hearts are to be melted to His, united, beating as one for the same purpose and passion. This compound beat is the consequence of communion.

Cosmic consequences are by products of the consequence of communion. Joshua was first introduced to us in scripture as a servant boy who couldn’t get close enough to the presence of God, he hovered outside the tent of meeting, hanging onto the presence of God. Communion came before conquest. Joshua’s prayers had cosmic consequences because they were the consequences of communion. The greatest prayer warriors are the people who have been impacted the most by the presence of God. Those whose hearts are marked by communion; that’s where cosmic consequences start.

Our prayers will only penetrate to the degree to which the Presence of God has penetrated us. Without communion penetrating our hearts, our prayers will never penetrate the world.

That day the sun stood still at the command of the servant-warrior boy, further victory was his because of the cosmic consequences of communion. Never underestimate the power of His presence; His strength eclipsing our weakness-that’s the cosmic consequence of communion. 

“…for the Lord fought for Israel.” Joshua 10:14

Keep Fighting 

“And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek with the sword.” Exodus 17:13

I don’t feel very brave. I feel like a coward. It doesn’t look like I’m winning, it looks as if I’m losing. It seems as though the waves are pulling me under. It seems like everything I touch falls apart. But what if I am winning, what if I’m indeed walking on water and in fact building the kingdom with one choice at a time? What if it’s all falling into place instead of falling apart? What if instead of my calling shrilviling up its actually plumping up? It’s hard to tell the difference between victory and defeat in the midst of the battle. I wonder if Joshua knew he was winning against the Amalek? (Exodus 17)  Or if he just kept pushing forward until the end revealed the outcome.  Everyone keeps saying how strong I am or how brave I am… I know better. I know I’m neither. I wish to be, hope to be…but this battle is getting oh so long and right now…I can’t see. I can’t see how the outcome is going to be. So, I cling to the promises of Jesus. I cling to them as a life preserver. Because I know at this point they are all that’s keeping me a float. My mind is a torrent of questions. Crisis has a way of creating them. So now my mind manufactors one every few minutes and demands an answer. My mind. It’s against me these days. Convincing me it’s all over and I lost. Telling me my time is done. But my soul argues those accusations. My soul begs me to keep my head up and in the battle. My soul is smarter than my mind. For deep within faith lives. Deep within the broken barriers of my heart lies a fortitude that overpowers the ignorance of my mind. Deep within lies something that won’t let me quit. Deep within is the abode of the Spirit. Emmanuel, God with us. Instead of a feed trough in a stable, he now lies in the manger of my heart. He’s there. He’s here….in the midst of brokenness, in the middle of devestation, right here where you are-the place you never thought you would be. The place where the hurt collides with the Healer. It’s here-in the confusion of our callings, in the chaos of our cumute to purpose that the battle is faught. It’s there in the margin of life that victory is found. 

He’s here. Right here. Keep fighting. 

Maybe that was Joshua’s key to victory, he locked his eyes on the Promise Keeper and kept fighting. He didn’t have extraordinary bravery-he had an extraordinary God. It was His presence that fortified the warrior. And it is His hand that fortifies us now. 

“He trains my hand for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.” Psalm 18:34-35

Familiar with Favor

“In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up.” Isaiah 6:1
   

Too familiar? Is there such a thing as being too familiar with God? King Uzziah exemplifies for us what happens when man restrains the holy by casualness, becoming too familiar with the hand of God. 
   King Uzziah was a prosperous king. Submitting under the hand of God, all he touched turned into gold. Years into the golden favor of Jehovah, the familiarity with favor caused the king to step across the boundaries God had set for sacrifices, assuming the place of priest, Uzziah lit incense in the temple. He had become too familiar with the holy, he was so accustomed to Gods favor, he took advantage of it. It’s a dangerous thing when Gods Chosen lose their wonder; Holy is mixed with the common and as a result glory is tarnished by mans touch. We bring God down, stuffing Him into our status quo; favor has become familiar. 
We are just as guilty as the prideful king. We make Gods favor about us. We expect it but we don’t marvel at it.

Christians who have had the opportunity to serve in a third world country will tell you the marvel of running water. After seeing an entire civilization who are without the modern  amenity of indoor plumbing, who retrieve their water from pits in the ground; muddy and dangerously contaminated. The people return with a fresh awareness of the favor we experience everyday. We know some live without-we also understand we are priveleged. Yet, the familiarity robs the wonder of it all. We treat the favor of God the same way. Our faith is muddy and dangerously contaminated by casualness. We are grateful, understanding the privilege that has been placed on our heads, yet we are so familiar with it-the wonder is submerged in the common and drowned by our smugness.
 
The death of Uzziah could have meant many different things to Isaiah; a year of loss or  disappointment. Even a year of change. Many speculations have been made over the tie between the leper king and the prophet. But could it be that the death of Uzziah symbolizes the death of casualness? That when he had taken his last breath, all that was familiar was shaken up? 

Nothing was as it once was. 

Many times God will shake up our lives to wake us up. Like a divine alarm clock, the winds of change ring in our souls to awaken us from our slumber. 

Nothing brings us out of familiarity like change. It’s here, in “the year that ______”, where we know nothing will ever be the same, that we are set up to see the Lord. He doesn’t like to be made small. He won’t stand for it. So, He shows us just how big He really is by removing our safety net, drawing us out of our comfort zone-onto the waters, to experience a fresh vision of glory. 
Change ignites awe. When the familiar walls of comfort zones are torn down, we will find that “comfort” has been blocking our view all along.  The ceiling of complacency obstructed the splendor of the throne. Change often tears the roof off our limitations and we are left in slack jawed amazement at this God we serve. 

This glory Isaiah experienced was wasted on Uzziah, because he grew too familiar. The king who had His favor never saw His glory because he allowed the holy to be tainted by the common. He lived a life where favor was expected but glory was never experienced. Isaiah, on the other hand, expected nothing-because he experienced the glory and that satisfied him. One was lifted up in his own eyes, the other saw God high and lifted up; one was never satisfied, the other was.

Is His presence enough for you? 

The mark of Familiarity is the unconscious dissatisfaction with favor. Uzziah wasn’t appeased with the anointing given to him, he had to have more. Gods presence wasn’t enough. The loss of wonder excuses glory as common. May we never grow so familiar with favor that we miss His glory, never so accustomed to His presence that we make Him small. 

Wonder widens our perception of God; it gives us eyes to see His glory. 

This is the people God will use; those who marvel at His glory-those who are satisfied in His presence. 

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying “whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”And I said “Here I am send me!” Isaiah 6:8

Here…in His presence, that’s the launching point for mission. Yet, as our lack of wonder keeps us from the joy of His presence, it will also keep us from the thrill of the mission. 

Without wonder, we lack willingness to go. 

How many of us can honestly raise our hands and say “Here I am, send me.” Casualness robs us of glory; glory that is only seen when heaven touches earth-through the mission given by God to man. The mission of bringing His kingdom come. 

We miss the mission because we miss the marvel.