Purposeful Seasons

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Drawing close to God will destroy our assumptions about who he is. That is a good thing and shouldn’t be a surprise. A growing relationship is a learning process that helps us discover things about ourselves and the other, replacing error with knowledge. We assume many things about God and about his motives. People will proclaim “God won’t let” this or that happen, and I will think, Don’t be so sure about that. The notion develops when we are not intimately acquainted with God in a bond cemented by relationship in the best and worst of times, often at his behest. It is to trade insight of his character for low-level spiritual experiences that do no more than keep us excited and “churchy”

In my post Some Cake for Your Journey, I warned: “We must be cautious about living for spiritual experiences.” I spoke of mountaintop and valley experiences that God purposefully brings into our lives beyond our day-to-day life with him, which can often seem mundane. I emphasized that if we’re not careful, we’ll get caught up in spiritual experiences and only seek earth-shattering God-moments and despise God-ordained hardship.

But herein is our problem rediscovered, for God uses the mountain and valley in his own way. The mountaintop, as we deem it, is a desirable, transcendent encounter; God sometimes grants us these moments of presence and power. But do we stop to think that he may also call us to climb the mountain to harden us or to persist with one in our lives until our faith matures to when we can speak to it and it be gone? That’s tough by his design.

Or the valley? We regard the valley as a place of woe, of trouble and testing, fraught with danger. But a loving Lord may choose to answer our prayers for relief or just love on us by hiding us in a beautiful valley, by calming streams, to rest and strengthen us.

We must be listening and learning wherever we are.

So it doesn’t matter the mountain or the valley or faith experienced in the mundane middle. We trust in the one who orders our steps. Regardless of the experience, his purpose is a richly wholesome relationship that increases our lives in unimaginable ways.

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4 thoughts on “Purposeful Seasons

  1. First of all, it’s great to see a post from you! I’m not sure why it just now showed up in my email.

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Much of today’s Church is trying to create experiences that are often “low-level” as you mentioned. We’ve addicted believers to these experiences rather than to a relationship that develops with time.

    All of us experience mountains, valleys, climbing, and mundane times. If we are experience junkies, we’ll soon fizzle out when the next one isn’t better than the last. Drawing close to God through relationship will create deeper experiences that create a love for Him. That love will sustain us through whatever season we find ourselves in.

    Good word and good to hear from you.

    • Hi Chris. The post was begun on the post date but just publicized. I think you’re right that we’re caught up today in creating experiences. Churches have become spiritual mills, churning out the next product to keep folk hyped up on God rather than knowing him. And getting to know him is a rugged experience, no different for us than for the stalwart giants of faith we read about that lived ages ago. We desire their connection with God, but we don’t want the persistence it takes for the quality relationship we admire. But it’s available to us all. It’s not about experiences. Knowing him is the experience, and how glorious it can be even in the darkest night!

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