Societies today are confounded by division on virtually every issue. The church, meant to be a unified and righteous role model is also divided, at times even on basic doctrine upon which the Word is perfectly clear.
A friend asked me a question this morning: “In your opinion, other than sex, what are the top two things a man needs from his wife?”
It isn’t an easy question to answer, and answers will doubtless be a very individual thing. The question deserves pondering, it deserves time for honest consideration.
I am always struck by how familiar the ancients were with what we today call supernatural. Accounts of seeing an angel, fiery chariots, or other manifestations are common throughout the Bible. Jacob wrestled with an “angel” who was God Himself. Indeed, the angel of the LORD (YHVH in angelic form) appears numerous times. No one ran away in panic. No one was ostracized for claiming such an encounter. Instead, they conversed with, debated, and honored.
As I looked at today’s devotional reading plan, I felt a pull to read just these two chapters. I checked in with the Spirit. Was this just me being lazy? Shouldn’t I suck it up and stay on task and read the full plan for the day? No, the Spirit seemed to say to me. “This is what I have for you today.” I am glad I listened to the Spirit’s prompt.
The last three weeks have been an exhausting sprint. I’ve been consumed by a number of projects, each with its own urgency, and even holiday travel which, because of work, necessitated two roundtrips in one week. My exhaustion was real, to the point I had trouble sleeping which only added to the difficulty.
An acquaintance recently asked me this question: Can you identify a landmark in your life when you first realized you can see in the spiritual realm?
After reflection I had to answer no, I cannot. There was no landmark moment. It has been a journey from outright rejection of the concept of seeing in the Spirit to acceptance that it could be possible, and from there to pursuing it in my own life.
I have always thought of the fruit of the Spirit as byproducts of a life lived in concert with God’s will. A healthy tree produces healthy fruit, an unhealthy tree produces bitter or shriveled fruit, or none at all. A dead tree is dead and a dying one is in the process of approaching death rather than growing and maturing into fullness of life.
The world is enamored of knowledge, too often pursuing it for its own sake. Knowledge, however, is only the beginning. Pursuing its understanding and wisdom is needed to complete the process and bring confidence to our application. Understanding how to view the relationships between knowledge, understanding, and wisdom is a good starting point.
Last night, I was awakened in the middle of the night by the Spirit, and felt an urgent need to pray for a friend who is undergoing a severe trial. As I prayed, other urgent needs for other friends came to mind. As they came, I prayed for each over the course of nearly two hours.
This is the first in what I intend to be an occasional series, in which I share my journal notes from daily scripture readings.