As The Deer…..

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God…”  Psalm 42:1

A few months ago I set about to come to a deeper relationship with God.   My process has chiefly been focused on reading and re-reading the many passages which reveal the character of God.  I also have spent as much time contemplating and meditating on God as I have spent on reading scripture.  This step, I have found to require far more discipline than I would have imagined.

Sitting silently in deep thought is an incredibly difficult undertaking for me.  My mind wants to wander to  other things and ideas.   There are few things as difficult in an age such as ours.   But there are few things which would be more beneficial  to us than a regular, disciplined and set time to think and reflect.

So let me get on to the outcome of some of things I have most recently discovered.   My yearning to know God in a deeper more intimate way, has led me to explore God as Trinity.   More specifically, I have considered recently God as manifested as the Holy Spirit.    Therefore, the following are some of my thoughts regarding the Holy Spirit.  I have come to understand that the Holy Spirit of God, while sometimes identified as the comforter, is also a disruptive presence to our own tendency to be complacent.  God brings an unsettledness to our lives.  He defies our attempts to hunker down and get entrenched in the familiar and the comfortable.

The Holy Spirit seems to defy easy explanation but here is a snapshot of some recent thoughts I’ve had.

 The Holy Spirit does not intend to enslave us and make us God’s robots.  The Holy Spirit stands at the ready to infuse us with resolve, courage and stamina to extend us beyond what we have perceived previously as being our limitations. 

 God desires for us that we reach our full potential.  He sends His Spirit to prompt, convict and empower us. 

The Holy Spirit urges us to move beyond slavish legalism.   The Holy Spirit urges us to allow God full residence in our hearts and lives through his agency. 

I’ll add to my own thoughts a quote from Walter Brueggemann which comes from a slightly different direction but hints at the same idea.

“….the discernment to which human persons are enjoined is not simply technical knowledge.  It is, rather, a sense of how things are put together and how things work in God’s inscrutable deployment of creation.  It is the delicate recognition that reality is an intricate network of limits and possibilities, of givens and choices that must be respected, well-managed, and carefully guarded, in order to enhance the well-being will by and granted by YHWH for the whole earth. “  Walter Brueggemann,  An Unsettling God,  The Heart of the Hebrew Bible,  p.72

A yearning for God yields more than information.  It yields an awareness to the ongoing agenda of God.  I will come to know God in direct proportion to my willingness to be moved by Him to carry out His work and His purposes.   Knowing God demands that I respond to His call to be shaped by His hands.

And the quest continues…..

About Gary Cleveland

An old chunk of coal waiting to become a diamond some day. I spend the bulk of my time focused on spiritual development. I teach, preach and stand by the hurting and wounded. I believe our heavenly Father offers us daily opportunities to discover who we are and what we can yet become. I serve as a bringer of good news in and around the city of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
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