Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Inner Work

“The work that God is doing in us is always as important as the work God is doing through us.”

I read this statement this morning and was challenged by what it said. I completely agree with it...to a point. I certainly understand what the author was working to describe, but I actually think that the work God is doing in us is more important than the work he is doing through us. You see, the work that is happening in me, is the source from which I have to function for the work He is doing through me. Without the inner work, the outer work suffers. Oh it’s possible to carry on for a while, especially if you have a well from which to draw. But at some point, that reservoir will get depleted.

I realize there are times when we are called as leaders, as individuals, as families, to function “at the end of our ropes,” - when we must move out in total faith and lean only on the strength and power of the Holy Spirit. However, if I am not focusing on the inner work the Holy Spirit is attempting to do in my life, then when I have to step out in bold faith I am only stepping out on a thin branch of connection to the vine. But if I spend time focused on the inner work of the Holy Spirit in me, then my connection is thicker and stronger so that I can actually step out in greater confidence.

To put it in the language of the Master, if I abide in Him, then I will have the ability to accomplish even greater productivity for and with Him (John 15).

I am thankful for the way this quote sparked my thoughts. I think I just need to say it a little differently:

“The work God is doing in us is always more important than the work He is doing through us, because the work God is doing in us, fuels the work He is doing through us.”

Friday, January 13, 2012


I have a great friend who is currently working on his Master of Divinity degree. As a result, he is reading tons of great resources, which frequently leads us into long, fantastic discussions of theology and culture, which just happens to be the focus of this blog!

Recently he was studying (and wrote an exceptional paper, btw) the religion of consumerism. Want. How our culture, and consumerism in particular, is actually in the business of creating want in our lives. We always want the latest and greatest. And then when we get it, the next item is right there on the horizon waiting for us to come and get it. It's a system that is never fully satisfied.

Obviously this has caused some great discussions about Christ becoming the only source that can truly supply our want in life. In fact, just last night he shared some thoughts with me related to the Eucharist and how when we come to the Table of Grace we are tangibly consuming the One who will truly fill. Great stuff!

So this morning I turn to today's lectionary reading and I discover these verses:

I said to the LORD, “You are my Master!
Every good thing I have comes from you.”
LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
You guard all that is mine.
You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Psalm 16:2, 5, 11

God has already declared He desires to be the source of our want! His desire is to satisfy the cravings of our souls in a way that goes immeasurably past any temporal want. He invites us to become participants in the fulfillment of eternity - now!

Later today my oldest son is leaving for WinterCamp with our high school ministry, ClockWork (you can follow the weekend on Twitter at #CWWC). My prayer today is they would experience the incredible, eternal presence of the living God in such a powerful way that they can discover He is the true source of their want.

Oh yeah, and I want to continue to live into that Presence today too....

Friday, January 6, 2012


Today is the day of Epiphany. One of the things I love the most about this day is the clear play on words from the title of the day. It is the day God's Church remembers the coming of the Magi to visit the Christ Child. They had an epiphany in their own lives when they followed that star and brought their gifts humbly to their King.

I just finished reading another blog (http://www.transformingcenter.org/2012/01/seeing-stars-the-epiphany-of-our-lord/) by Ruth Haley Barton, about choosing to follow God's star in our own lives and coming to our own sense and place of epiphany.

This is a day when we recognize that we can look for God in the most unusual of places and circumstances, and discover Him in ways we did not expect. It's a day that reminds us that God is still mysterious and will reveal Himself to us in the most unlikely and unique moments of life. It's a reminder that He is still invested in creating ongoing epiphanies in our lives. We just have to keep following His light

Happy Epiphany!