faith

Why I Like Rhinos…

 

 

Rhinos are incredible animals and a wonderful picture of a life lived by faith and not sight.  Did you know that a rhino can only see 30 feet in front of him?  They have absolutely no clue of what’s beyond that 30 foot mark. You could totally make fun of a rhino at 31 feet and he’d never see it, but at 30 feet, watch out!  In addition, a charging rhino moves at 30 miles per hour. Pretty fast! And at their weight and speed, you definitely don’t want to be in their way.

So picture a charging rhino, moving at 30 mph and only seeing the first 30 feet in front of him.  There could be a wall at 50 feet out and the rhino wouldn’t know that when he first starts running.

This is one picture of my faith journey – I am a charging rhino, trusting that God’s laid out the journey ahead of me and has given me enough room to make course corrections when I need them.

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Come, Lord Jesus, Come

In this war-worn, grief-stricken, arrogant, selfish world that claims not to need you, Jesus, there are still voices crying out for the promise You are.

Mine is one of them!

My voice has been quiet for a while, but lately, it’s been waking up. If I’m honest, I’ve sometimes shushed it, giving it “the teacher’s look” I’m known for – especially when it threatened to become loud and unruly like a table full of seventh-grade boys. But Lord, I don’t want to shush it any longer – and truly, it’s refusing to be quieted. I want my cry for you, Lord, to reflect a true desire to know more of you. Remind me to refuse to be stifled, to be insistent, to run after you like I ran as a child after the ice cream truck.

Father, I want to sit on your lap and hear your voice. I want to rest there, call you Dad, and hear your dreams for my life.

Jesus, I want to walk beside you into this world’s dark places and with you, introduce our Dad to those who need to know him. Walking with you is less scary than doing it on my own – you know me, timid and shy of new situations and hating to be unknown. But with you, I don’t have to be. If you’re there, they won’t see me, they’ll see you and you are known.

Holy Spirit, call me daily to the life of a mushroom-eater. Remind me that risks taken for God have great rewards, even if they are costly. Remind me to take time out to rest on Dad’s lap and let his voice wash over me. Remind me whose I am, who walks beside me and who lives in me. Remind me to run like a rhino toward the life you’ve designed for me.

Come, Lord Jesus, come – I need you.

**Note: My references above to running like a rhino and being a mushroom-eater come from Erwin McManus’s book The Barbarian Way – a book that profoundly changed my perception of the Christian life. Rhinos run at thirty miles an hour, but can only see thirty feet in front of them. “But with that horn pointing the way, rhinos run forward full steam ahead without apprehension…. Whatever’s at thirty-one feet needs to care that the rhinos are coming and better get out of the way.” (pp. 137-8). The mushroom-eater image can be found on pages 51 and 52.

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A High View of God, Part II

Yesterday’s post was an introduction to today’s topic. If you haven’t read it, click here.

Francis Chan refers his readers of Crazy Love in Chapter 1 to a youtube video called Awe Factor of God when talking about developing a high view of God.

I encourage you to take a few minutes and watch it. When I first watched this video, I must admit that I was unimpressed. After all, I’ve seen these images often enough that they’ve become commonplace. But when I watched again with the purpose of developing a high view of God, I saw them in a different light.

Psalm 8 comes to mind in the form of one of Keith Green’s How Majestic is Your Name from my early days as a Christ-follower.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Thy fingers,
The moon and the stars, which Thou have appointed;
What is man that Thou dost take thought of him,
And the son of man that Thou should care for him?

To have a high view of God means that I will acknowledge his majesty, sovereignty and power, his incredible creativity and might. When I look at the universe that God has created, I cannot deny him or his attributes.

When I allow myself to think too familiarly of God, my perspective skews. He becomes commonplace, a friend, a confidante–the angel on my shoulder. My own sense of self-importance inevitably grows. I begin to think that I can “help” God, or that He needs me to accomplish his purposes here on earth.

Who am I? I am but a speck of dust on a tiny planet, orbiting a tiny star – one star among millions.

God does not need my help.
I am a created being, not the Creator.
The planets and stars will continue to spin without my input.

Psalm 104 is an excellent place to begin rethinking my place.

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A High View of God

A friend of mine and I recently traded book suggestions and it’s interesting which two books we had recommended. She recommended Francis Chan’s Crazy Love and I recommended Erwin McManus’s The Barbarian Way. We had both been profoundly impacted by these two books and so we recommended them to each other.

It just so happened I had Crazy Love on a bookshelf at home because my husband read it about 18 months ago. So I picked it up, watched the Chapter 1 intro video on youtube.com and the ripple effect began.

Chan asserts in that video that those of us in the church can be so familiar with God that he “becomes common”. He asks, “When you say that name [God] that represents this amazing being, is there an sense of awe in you anymore? This sense of shock that “Wow, that he is this holy, amazing, incredible being…. If your high view of God, doesn’t affect how you think of him, then his name is just another word in the sand.”

So I’ve been pondering my view of God, is it a high view or am I too familiar with him so that I denigrate his majesty, holiness, awesome power and might?

Working on a playlist that will remind me to set a high view of God. Here’s some lyrics from one of my favorites:

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame

My heart and my soul, I give You control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise, become my embrace
To love You from the inside out.

Lyrics “From the Inside Out” by Hillsong United (2006)