Thursday, July 27, 2006


I have been thinking through lately the correlation between time spent in prayer and our expectations of God to move in and around us. It seems to me that those who have deep prayer lives have greater expectations of God. They expect God to open opportunities, influence coincidences, create "chance meetings", do miracles, and change them in the process.

Those of us with weaker prayer lives have lower expectations. Our "God-confidence" is low. We don't view ourselves as all that usable. We don't see God moving and working around us. We are blind to the "chance meetings" throughout our day. We miss opportunities to love people and talk about Jesus.

But maybe that is the necessary safeguard on the Christian life. Maybe we really aren't given more than we can handle. Maybe we are used to the extent that we are willing to be used. I don't mean "willing to be used" in terms of "wanting to be used." I think we all want to be used by God. But few of us are willing. I think willingness to be used means receptiveness to the Holy Spirit. I think this receptiveness is probably born in prayer and intimacy with God.

I don't know how prayer works. But there seems to be correlations between expectations, usefulness in the Kingdom and our time spent in prayer.

Friday, July 14, 2006

a quick thought on knowing God

I thought about how to describe what it is to know God. So many of us sing worship songs about knowing Jesus or knowing God. We share our faith with others and we talk about a relationship that we have with God or how amazing it is to know God.

But we understand when we say this that we don't know God fully. God revealed Himself fully in Jesus Christ. But we are still learning and growing more into the knowledge of who He is and what He is about.

The biblical sense of the word "know" has sexual intimacy as its connotation. And if the church is the bride of Christ and he is our bridegroom than maybe this sort of allusion is appropriate. To say that I know God means that I have intimacy with God through Christ. But even this is hard to understand or wrap my brain around.

Maybe knowing God is like knowing a famous person. When we say that we "know" a famous person what are we saying? I think we are saying that we see a little more about that person than the general public. We are let in on what their personality is like when they get off stage.

But more than that. When we say we know a famous person what we really are saying is that they know us. What we are really saying is that in a crowd of people, they would be able to recognize our face. And just maybe, they would remember our name.

It feels special to know a famous person because it means that they know us better than others. And further, it means that we are known by someone important. We are known by someone with status. This makes us feel good about ourselves. So maybe that is how it is with God.

When I say I know God, I really just mean that he knows me. And I am known by someone who has no greater status. It does more than make me feel good about myself. Being known by God is the very source of my identity and being. It is the starting point from which the rest of life unfolds.

Maybe this means that I am just a God groupie. But I think that is ok. After all, it will be my Father who is the One coming off-stage after the show to hang out with me at the after party.