I am absolutely loving how God is pouring out His Spirit with truth on a younger generation! I am obsessed over two books I am reading. They are changing my life. Michael Kelley has written a new book called Boring; Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life. And Zach Neese has written How to Worship a King. Both of these young men are young enough to be my sons....or at least a nephew. ;) Let me see if I can do both books justice by describing them a bit. But please...don't take my word for it. RUN out and get them both!! You'll be so glad you did. Both guys have a great writing style and the truth they're teaching is very similar. But don't read one without reading the other. I promise you won't be disappointed!
In Boring, Michael convinced me early in the book that God is in the ordinary. How many of us are always looking for that one big next thing--the one where God will use us or appear to us? Or we may be looking for one emotional spiritual experience after another. But instead, we feel stuck in the mundane things of life--changing diapers, going to work day after day, picking up kids from baseball, working on a car, or cleaning house. It's easy for us to believe that God is holding out on us. (Which is the same lie Satan told Eve: "Did God really say that you can't eat from any tree in the garden?") When, in fact, Michael says, "God is not a miser. He's not holding out on us. There isn't anything else if you have been given Jesus...He's given us everything He has to give in Christ. In fact, the very idea that there might be something else is a direct challenge to the love of God, and ultimately the subtext behind Satan's words in the garden in Genesis 3." God is in the ordinary. Wherever you are, God is there. You carry the presence of Christ, so He is in the ordinary. And do you realize (as Michael so aptly points out with his many examples), that every time God did something extraordinary in the Bible, it started out as an ordinary day? When God says he works all things for our good, it means ALL. Not just the big things. He's using our conversation in the break room, on the playground with the kids, while getting our car serviced---all these things for our good. How many times have you had a very normal conversation that turned into something life changing? God uses the normal, boring things in our lives and can...one day...show up in a big way.
How to Worship a King isn't unlike Boring. Zach Neese uses the tabernacle to explain the protocol of worshiping the King of kings. And through his video series based on his book (which I'm watching with a small group), he explains how we are priests and carry the presence of God with us everywhere we go. Knowing that we carry the presence of God transforms the ordinary into a meeting with us, God, and the people we meet. God tabernacles with us. He explains how we must enter through the gate with thanksgiving and praise in order to meet with God. I love how he said in the third video that every time God meets with us, it's through the same triumphal procession as when Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey with people praising and waving palm branches. Jesus is the gate...and we must enter the gate through praise and thanksgiving. He goes through each step of the tabernacle explaining what it means for our lives today. It's an exceptional book. It's like David Dietz said, "I started out highlighting the things I wanted to remember...and now my entire book is highlighted!"
What God has taught me personally through these two men: Be content. Quit looking for the spectacular and divine moments. Instead, praise, worship, and believe you're carrying the presence of God. That makes each moment divine. Can I give you an example? Yesterday, Andy & I went to Amarillo to visit two people in the hospital. We went in total awareness that we were carrying the presence of God with us. We didn't know what that was going to look like as we went to minister to two families. Both visits were very ordinary. But we carried the presence of God with us--which made it divine. Then we went to lunch at Olive Garden and out of my mouth popped something to our waiter I'd never done before. It wasn't premeditated at all. I told him Andy & I were going to pray for our food and asked if there was anything we could pray for him. He told us several things going on in his life and we kept our word and prayed for him. (Of course, we left a nice tip and a note to encourage him.) It was an ordinary lunch that became a tabernacle between the three of us and God.
God has been in the process for years to bring me to this new understanding...taught to me by two young bucks! I'm so grateful God is using a new generation to bring truth to me.