Know He Calls, Pray We Hear

Artist: Sean Seal
Follow: @ArtistSeanSeal

A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy.
So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
1 Samuel 3:8,9 (NIV)

If we never step out in what we believe is God’s call, will we ever do His will? Are we so afraid of making a mistake, wasting our time, and disregarding urges of deeds, that we do nothing? We shall cry over and over: “Lord, what is Your will for me?” Do we know that He calls many times and our preoccupation with our own thoughts and wonders, plague opportunity, minimize our ability to see and to hear? God is speaking, be silent and listen.

I plead to know God’s will. Each day I start with the same question: “How can I serve You Lord?” Then I move on with my day. As I walk forth into a new day of life in this world, I take my second step as the instruction of the Lord intersects with my first. I did not wait. My biggest problem is I place the Lord on my calendar, my timeline. I have it reversed and O the opportunities I may have missed.

My lack of patience saddens me. I yearn so deeply and passionately to do what is right. Even as I place myself in the proper prone position of humility, I wander inside to another place. Again, God’ s instruction comes and intersects my awareness one step prior to where I am currently. This is anguish as it is my busyness that propels me passed His opportunity. He will catch up though, He knows me and my heart.

I am unique in His eyes made of love and knit in all the richness of His handiwork. His fingerprints are all over my life. “I am here!” I answer a call. My thoughts then drive me from mindful to mindless. O yes, He calls and I am oblivious. Think: The conversation that irritated me at work, the talks with my wife, my thoughts on parenting , my boredom, my constant living on the horizon rather than in the moment. All are God’s first call.

Then it happens again: Still can’t resolve personal issues at work, still bored, or why do I continue not to listen? God’s second call. See the way it is? Each event in my life is an opportunity. It is not a ‘pick and choose’ situation, but most certainly my actions reflect discretionary listening. Maybe God wants me to stop and drop all of my current methods of processing thoughts and just shut-up for one! Yes, cease internal conversation and walk toward Him.

How shall I ever know what God wants, unless I sit and quietly explore events in my life in real-time? Stop and pray and then listen. Each moment, if necessary. Then certainly I say “Here I am, Lord” and run to Him. This is for hearts that desire the fullness of all God offers. It is a passion to know fully how to live a godly life. Mistakes sometimes are magnified: by our reason only because God forgives the big and little. Go easy on these mistakes!

We are born-again to walk on a path of compassion and love. But before that, we are on a path in a loving relationship with God. Jesus – thorns and nails – shed blood for our walk. Our duties are not discretionary. Our obedience required. But, as I said, go easy on mistake you make. Mercy sheds a shadow over our room. We are seated by the Ark. We are at the seat of Mercy because mercy comes from the Cross and Jesus, my beloved friends, is the manifestation of mercy and grace. All for us, uniquely.

So, examine the events of your day. Don’t place your shortcomings under a microscope, rather see all joy in God’s attention to you specifically. Then pray. Just pray.

Rick Stassi

October 28, 2012

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God’s Moment

We shall pray for many, pray for one.
For those who stay and those who run.
For dissipation of Wars with terror fraught,
For the increase of Peace, an awesome process wrought.
We pray To feed the hungry near and away,
We emanate a hope upon the Son’s majestic ray.
With God, we lose ourselves in a moment now,
To see all heaven in reverent bow.
We can pray without limit for all,
In our timeless moment with the Lord,
to Whom we call.
For all upon a moment still,
We seek the guidance of godly will.
And emerging in His heavenly Light,
Is a fragile man now upright.
So, I pray for all whom hope is lost,
God gives me time – temporal tossed,
To a deeper place with God in a moment spent,
To intercede for all with prayers to heaven sent.

The Eternal Moment

Incline your ear, and come to Me.

Hear, and your soul shall live;

And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—

Isaiah 55:3 (New King James Version)

Like the sun that rises and falls, there is finiteness to my day. I too rise and fall from slumber to slumber, moonlit darkness to moonlit darkness. All is in my temporal life: A day, a step, a moment. How shall I spend this moment?

I awake to a new day and God beckons me to His feet. Scurry I must lest the churning gears of my invention will drive me to a halt: A coughing and choking stop. I roll from bed to my knees and I ask God. I ask Him to give me strength. I ask Him to help me to step on His path laid perfectly before me now. It is the path I did not see at first glance at my dawn. I was already too busy thinking three days ahead and already losing grasp of the current moment.

Jesus did not think of three days ahead as He labored toward Calvary. He knew, of course, of His eventual rise; but, He knew also His day of sacrifice. I wake up and know this day is a gift because of that sacrifice and although I indeed submitted my life to the Lord, I do not endure what Jesus has endured for me. I incline my ear to the Lord and He reminds me grace is my foundation. The foundation holds each foot captive – steady and sure.

Yes I incline my ear because I want to hear with clarity, God speaks loud and He speaks sometimes softly, but surely, He speaks. I do not wish to miss a word.

Even as the day starts and stops and the night are the same, each moment is part of an hour. A moment is where I need to be sometimes. Life will unfurl like a banner. Then it will be folded and placed away. All things come and go and in a prayerful moment, I can see many things. I can talk to many other souls. God gives me all things and all ways to see these things. It is eternity in a moment as I commune with Him. There is no time – only my time with the Lord. He lays the universe before me in this time. My soul shall live everlasting in His covenant.

There is His glory in all things in this moment. God captures my time in small increments because He wants me to build my day step-by-step. As I walk these steps, His majesty unfolds. I am so pleased I did not tarry three days ahead, there is so much happening now. There is eternity in this moment and my soul shall live forever. Everlasting is His promise. O how I love Him.

…and the sun will come up and I see heaven and earth through the eyes of wonderment: Still a child, still a man. All at once I see life from innocence and weariness, but it is all good because I am in God’s promise. I slow down my life to this moment. I see His face and He is beautiful

This is life under God’s hand. He pours wisdom on we who ask. He stands ready to talk as we incline our ear. Yes we focus our entire moment on Him. He will respond because we are in a covenant.

In a moment enrapt in His presence, there is no time. No past and no future. Only an infinite universe open to explore. God takes our hand in that moment and shows us all creation. Treat each moment with Him with reverence.

We shall pray for many, pray for one.
For those we know and those we do not.
For dissipation of Wars that cause His children to run,
For the increase of Peace, an awesome process wrought.
We pray To feed the hungry near and away,
We emanate a hope upon the Son’s majestic ray.
With God, we lose ourselves in a moment now,
To see all heaven in reverent bow.
We can pray without limit for all,
In our timeless moment with the Lord,
to Whom we call.

I wake up and roll from bed. O how life can make me weary. O how the enemy makes me cautious! I am ready to evade his distracting noose. I see past all things ill for the things that are in God’s glory. It is a bright light and it is eternal. I encourage that all we think in one moment is heavenward or down. Do not choose down and please he who will deceive. We already so easily fall on that path in one waking time of discouragement. Onto your knees and incline your ear to God. He turns a moment of temporal distraction to an eternal view of beauty. We make a choice. We choose God.

Rick Stassi

October 17, 2012

The Back-Swing Times

I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. Ecclesiastes 3:14 (NIV)

The pendulum swings. It travels to the right and the gleeful rise and the joyful sing. There is accomplishment in the days ahead. There is promise. There are relationships that reconcile and sickness healed. The smiles abound and there is plenty to await. Good things. New things. The optimism of a newer days.

Then back it comes. The arc of the path of a swinging pendulum. We hold on to optimism but our grasp slips and on our downward trajectory we go. Someone is angry, our life is less exciting. Time is slowing to a crawl as pessimism pervades our mind. It is too hard to hold the weight of the pendulum on the side of optimism. The weight of life is too much. So we fall.

God planned this for us. He does not expect us to see through the lens of happiness every day. How shall we learn? His wisdom falls upon the ears that will hear with humility not the ears that are hearing the gleeful, proud sound of optimistic laughter. Yes, His wisdom needs to come upon we of a bigger perspective. You and I see heaven. We are co-heirs inheriting a place at the ultimate banquet of all good. We will be perfected, judged, and commended for all we have done in this life. Importantly our time of the back-swing of the pendulum will certainly be mentioned at  the Seat of Mercy.

We shall endure the back-swing : No, we shall prosper in the back-swing times. Think of the difference between endure and prosper. I would rather prosper. These times remind us that prayer is necessary. Let us realign ourselves with our Father. He ignites our attention. Give all of yourself.

Lest we forget: Prayer is necessary when the pendulum swings to and when it swings fro.

 This is life and nothing that we see or hear is new. All has been passed down through all time. Hand-to-hand from the beginning surely toward the end. We are not special in that way. We will not see something that has not already been endured. Our task is to master and nurture a relationship with God. In our talks at night and in the morning, God reminds that in all times, He is with us. To and fro. We shall not lose sight of Him, but we shall take in His imparted wisdom. We shall fear Him.

It is true. We fear something each day from the tiniest to the largest thing. This fear does different things. It burns precious time of loving. It steals our heart of joy. It cloaks us with pessimism. It distracts from our fear in the Lord. For I believe the fear of the temporal things is inversely proportional to our fear of the Lord. This means: As our fear of the temporal grows, our fear of the Lord diminishes. We forget God is omnipotent. We forget that He deserves our full reverence. He has created all great and small. He is eternal. Fearing Him is the beginning of wisdom! [a]

Why wouldn’t we displace the temporal fear that rides freely on the coattails of the back-swing of the pendulum? Why wouldn’t we displace this fear with the mighty reverence for the God of all and too, my Lord who I sit with now. In gentleness He guides my thoughts. In kindness He reminds me of what is upright. In love He says I am His child. O pessimism be gone! There is the eternal that shall burn the temporal and I shall reap the harvest of God’s wisdom.

We all shall as soon as we begin to see there are good days and bad days, but there is nothing new under the sun [b]. For I have heard of temporal fear many times in these days. God uses many ways to contact me. So I listen. It took many shouts to grab my attention.

God wants us to see His awesomeness.  There is reverence for Him in our every step. It supplants our worldly fears: inversely proportional. As our fear in the Lord increases, our fears born of this world are displaced. Easy to remember. So we begin.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” Proverbs 1:7

..and the back-swing of the pendulum in our life is nothing more than an exhilarating ride through God’s awesome, reverent nature. Grab ahold of His hand! He quiets the seas. He is steady and loving. He knows because  He has seen all and there is nothing new under the sun.

Rick Stassi

October 8, 2012

fifty-five

Artist: Sean Seal

22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.

But as for me, I trust in you.

Psalm 55:22,23

If I look back even twelve years, I see a soul in death. One that looks inward to find the meaning of all things. It is the misconception of  spiritual reality to think we can reason a god without knowing God. Death is the eventual outcome of the inability to sustain life.

Yes, in retrospect, I was lost. So many are. I believed that what I saw and felt and cried and laughed were the direct result of god-in-me.

So sad that I was like this. Apathetic with no urgency to find God. Sympathetic to my meager self-reason.

Today is a day of reflection. I look back fifty-five years of life. I read Psalm fifty-five. I cry out to the Lord and thank Him that I am no longer counted with the deceitful and wicked. There is no pit awaiting. There is all good in You Father. So, I talk to You.

I cast my cares to You Father. Your burden is light as You bear the weight of all solar systems, galaxies, mountains, my heart… I cast my cares to You with so much love for me. I see it and I feel it and I cry and laugh in Your arms because now I feel with a real sense of being, of purpose. I feel. How great is the sensation to really feel in life. It gives me the ability to love and care. I feel for others. I walked the stone-ridden streets tripping and stubbing my toes, therefore I can have compassion. Compassion is the ability to feel ‘with’ someone which is one better step than feeling ‘for’ someone. I have walked in the shoes of the wicked and now in spotless white, my sin has evaporated to a cloud. Propitiation, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for all man-kind. Heaven is a place where hope shines eternal. It waxes infinite. God smiles from His place ever-watching. I can see.

I am sustained by the blood of Jesus. The Spirit abides in me offering confidence. Self-confidence is not what I mean. It is confidence that as I fall backward, God is always there to catch me. Not self at all. I am sure He is with me. The hairs stand straight up on the back of my neck. The Spirit is alive.

I am righteous because God made me fearfully and wonderfully to walk upright in the shadow of His wing. Yes words that, to me, mean He is with me. I know it and rest in that solace each day and night. It is blissful.

I am fifty-five today. Time passes quickly and there is still so much to do. Compassion will draw me nearer to one who sees no hope. The one who doesn’t care takes a little more time, but I remember I didn’t care either at one time in the past. I must speak the reason and rationale of God in the context a new generation will hear. God will give me this wisdom. I am happy with this task. “Lord use me” echos in the chasms of my heart and soul. I want You Father. I press in to You for closeness draws Your light to reflect off me. The Spirit inside, is the Light that emanates from me. It is all Your Light, Lord.

We grow older, but in the context of eternity, our life is fast. It is fast but God wants us to tarry at each moment. It just seems fast. He wants us to cherish each second with our wives and husbands and children. Do this: Cherish your day in the Lord for the past is gone, the future awaits, but today is our canvas on which we paint anew. It is the piano that sings out magical, wonderful worship. We all fit into these expressive acts. We sing a new song because each day is new. We paint on a canvas with all colors, warm and cold. They are the colors of God’s palette and they are pleasing to the eye. He is the painter, the musician, the potter, and we flow from His ever-creating heart. What a joy our lives are. Rejoice now.

Take the lessons God gives you and savor all. Crane your neck to see how He works. He will uproot us from our steadfast positions. Flow with His hand. Listen to the wind of the Spirit. Breathe in all the colors of His palette that is Life! We are living it and we are thankful.

So, cast burdens upon God. He gladly takes them. He is glorified by our obedience.

As for me, I will trust You Lord. I am a blessed year older in Your bosom.

Rick Stassi

October 2nd, 2012