Fully Possessed – or – Too Much Information. You Decide.
This morning, I drove over to the local park to have my Spa Time with Jesus. (Those of you who listened in to the Woman Inspired Conference get that reference.) For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, I shared with the girls that the word ‘delight’ is actually a feminine word meaning “to find pleasure in”, but it also has a sub-definition of “to pamper”. When we are truly delighting in God, the end result will be a sense of serenity and joy that the best massage and/or facial can’t begin to rival.
It has been my personal, constant prayer over the past months to not only work out my salvation based on the love of Christ towards me, but to be able to attach a full range of emotion in the act of returning worship to Him and serving others. My faults are legion, not the least of which is my being a book nerd who often chokes on the information that is desperately trying to journey from head to heart. Considering also that I’m not a skip-through-the-daisies-holding-hands kind of girl, full engagement of all the sympathies hasn’t come easily for me. However, I don’t think I singularly decided one day that I would like to have my compassions ignited. I believe this is a continued work of the Spirit to mold me into the woman He desires. He desires my delight. And I desire to be delighted. Not in a superficial, blubber-at-every-Hallmark-commercial kind of way. Rather, in a way that all of my heart, mind, and spirit are equally and fully employed where all things Christ are concerned. I don’t want a chance to view the Dead Sea Scrolls to excite me more than seeing and participating in the life of one who has been transformed by them. I can say the God-words to Him and to you and I can mean them, but I want to feel them.
Have I lost you yet?
My reading this morning took me to John 15 and the oft-quoted passage on the Vine and the Branches. Verse Five particularly resonated with me, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.“
As I prayed through the relevance of this verse, it occurred to me that what I desire is a Holy Possession. What I want is to be enveloped by Christ but also indwelled. On one hand I don’t want you to see me, but God. On the other, I want to be changed in such a way so that I look like Him either way. For lack of a better visual, I thought of the Exorcist-type movies I used to watch before I got some good sense and how the unholy possession would completely arrest the entirety of its victim. Shouldn’t a Holy Possession have the same effect, but hopefully with a decidedly more lovely result?
How do desire, delight, and possession relate you ask? I wondered the same thing. That is until I remember the words of Philippians 2:13 which say, “It is God who causes us to will and to act according to His good pleasure.” It is the Holy Possession of God causing me to desire my mind, body, and spirit to be fully taken over by Him in equal measure. And that is for His good pleasure of seeing me walk in a way that doesn’t just see black and white, but is willing to use thoughtfulness, sensitivity, and mercy as a foundational passion for the things He has called me to do.
John 15:5 ends by saying, “Apart from Him, I can do nothing.” The word nothing literally means, “not even one single thing.” Not even. I can’t even get out of bed in the morning to please Him apart from our mutual agreement to abide in one another. I don’t have the power to be the woman He envisions lest He is the one functioning through my flawed will. What a God we serve who would want such a thing. Who considers us worthy to be joined in such a way. It makes me want to cry.
Which hopefully is a good sign He is answering my prayers.
“not even one single thing”.
I need to think about that for a while.
What great thoughts and imagery. Thanks for sharing them with us.
Uhmm….can I just say Amen?
And girl, you know I gotta add this: 2 nights ago Nate was channel surfing, and there was a history channel segment about the historical Jesus (don’t get me started). Though there truly were many intriguing facts, I let out the big ‘oooh’ moment when the host of the show was standing in front of the Dead Sea Scrolls and wined to Nate about wanting to see them. Bless ‘our’ hearts :)
Yes, ma’am. That is just what I needed today!
Such a powerful reminder. Thank you!
Oh sister- our hearts beat in tandum.
Is that how you spell that word?
Anyhow, precious post. You make God smile!
Hey, Lisa! This was great! Lots of things to reread and ponder and pray about! I LOVE posts like that!The scripture from John 15 is our Women’s ministry verse! I simply love it! I am SO SO glad that I’ve found your blog! What a blessing.
I was not lost one bit…you had my words in your mouth at the beginning with how you want to be. I know exactly where you are coming from.
I have been too far from God too long. Satan took my heart and turned it into a stone. Now I am letting God break that stone and my desire is for others to see Him, His joy, His forgiveness, His peace and His love through me.
I have been in every session of AWI. It is a heart-filling conference for me.
Your session was awesome!! Thanks
Lisa — this post got right to my heart. Thank you for speaking what I’m feeling.
“Not even one single thing.” I loved that. And I loved this post! And really, I just love you.
Wow… great post! Thank you for sharing this…. I was blessed…
I don’t get it.
Ha just kidding. You are like John Piper though…sometimes I have to reread the sentence at least twice! ha
When you said you was not a hand-holding-skipping-daisy-girl or whatever I so thought of us holding hands at the Beth Moore conference and we were probably both gagging. You didn’t want to hurt my feelings and I didn’t want to hurt yours by not agreeing to it so we just went along with it…hahahahahahhahaha
Maybe next time we can “delight” in it…..or we can just skip it..haha
I love that you are a John-Piper-God-nerd. You inspire me to study more!
“Apart from Him, I can do nothing.”
I LOVE this! It really says it all. I have just began reading your blog, I have to say you are quite inspiring. Thank you!
The verse from John 15 is so special to me. It is my “Life Verse” from the book by Jay Payleitner (if interested) I was entry Sept. 22, with this verse.
Thanks for making it fresh for me this morning.
Lisa, this post SO reminds me of Oswald Chambers’ thoughts on “abandonment” to God. I am such a fan of your writing, and the way you express what we know in our heads, but long to feel in our hearts.
Haven’t been here in a while and I LOVE the new look! Blessings, friend…Bonnie :)