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

Your Ways, O Lord

Artist: Janina Kobel

4 Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.
Psalm 25 (NKJV)

Am I ever there yet? Where is there?

My life is good. I count the blessings bestowed by God and I feel good. I think of things yesterday that caused me angst, I see the very same all but forgotten today. I remember self-pity or maybe harsh words. In my heart, I was serious. Today all is new and forgotten – a wisp of burden floating to heaven. I am refreshed and born again. It is the unique ability to regenerate today yet retain all learned yesterday. Each day is a series of steps on a path the Lord unrolls before me like a velvet carpet. The steps of my life, the path of the Lord.

There is sadness in David’s psalmic voice. But there is reverence for God. Sadness is sometimes lamenting what I see as failure in my character. God sees no failure. I am a child of God. He lifts me beyond lament. The sound of  my voice is really sincere praise.

Yesterday’s anxiety is all but forgotten. I remember how I worried. I sat with sweated palms and forehead and prayed. God spoke:

Have courage, you are my child

Trust me, you are my child

I am with you, my child

Worry evaporates like the mist of water on a hot surface. All to heaven. Isn’t is funny how steam rises like my burdens rise to heaven where Jesus accepts my small thorn. He adds it to His collection that circumvent His head. I am sorry Lord. I do not wish to hurt You. But He is reassuring. He has paid the price and His grace covers me. His pain is now in His heart and it is for those who are stepping daily on the path of the wicked. I can help You Lord. Tell me how I can be Your servant. Maybe I will remind the wicked of Your grace and salvation. It will ease Your grief. I believe this is Your way. Teach me how to be a servant.

Release my burden like the rising steam

Renewed and supple near Your stream

The thorns of my burdens scratch Your head,

But, it is Your heart that grieves the path of the dead.

I give myself to Your court. I pray to You with expectancy. I cast all hindrance. For I see the path You have laid before me and at times I just stand. It is as if I am at an intersection. Right or left? Your gentle hand takes mine and leads. “Come with me“, I hear You say. I follow and my heart melts. He is beside me. There is joy.

God is omniscient. He is with me and He is with you. His heart grieves for those who push away. I can help. I can plant a seed on the bank near the water that flows of Life. The soil is fertile and seeds quickly germinate. Roots take hold. The vine grows and He counts one more as His child. How grateful I am. This feeling of peace I feel this moment is authored by the same God that created all Life and everything there is before me under and beyond the Sun.

I wait on the Lord. Even as the both feet are on His path, I may not know how to proceed. I step forth with the instilled boldness and courage You give, Father. If I do not step out and meet Jesus, I may miss the wonders and teaching that lie on the road to Him. Sure, He is with me! He is everywhere. But there are times that command stepping out. The end to one means may not be the real end at all! In other words, I may seek out Jesus for one reason and in the walk toward Him, a lost lamb crosses my path and I divert attention to it. A different end from what thought.  My self is vanquished.  I now have a different purpose, a good deed to do for God. I serve Him. The lamb bleats and grazes on the bank near the stream of the Living Water. How wonderful to help. Maybe I did. I hope. It suffices me to know He will tell me all my life in the Mercy Seat as my eyes meet His at last and He says: “Well done good and faithful servant“.

I dream, I lament, I pray. I seek to be reverent. Show me Your ways O Lord.

Rick Stassi

September 22, 2012