Imagine That – Faith Like A Child - Purity 1273
Purity 1273 02/13/2024 Purity 1273 Podcast
Purity 1273 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of twin waterfalls spilling over rocks
and emerging from a dense green rainforest comes to us from Dave Baun
who shared this scene along with the
following thoughts on social media back on February 6, 2024. Dave wrote:
“That moment when you hear the water while hiking to
a waterfall and you begin to imagine the scene. I have a good imagination, but
I never quite match the reality that appears before me when reaching the
waterfall. This is Horseshoe Falls at Mt. Field National Park. One of many
beautiful waterfalls all across the amazing island state.”
Yeah our imagination sometimes can’t conceive of the
wonders that the Lord has in store for us in our lives. Sometimes our
imaginations run wild and build things up to epic proportions and we get
disappointed and other times we go into an experience imagining the worst only
to be pleasantly surprised. Before
coming to faith in Christ, I was super reactive to those disappointments of
failed expectations but now since walking in the Spirit for a while, and when I
am keeping in step with the Spirit, I can find joy and peace regardless of what
I encounter, because I try to live in the context of God – you could say “I
imagine God is with me” but when you know the truth of who He is, how He is a good,
good Father who loves you and cares for you, and how He will never leave you,
you know that His presence is not just the wild imaginations of an unbalanced
mind but is reality itself and it is only when we fail to see Him in our lives
are we deceived.
Well, It’s Tuesday and I took a report from the higher-ups
in my corporation seriously yesterday and took a preemptive day off from work
today but the predicted “snow-magedon” of 7-13 inches hasn’t shown up yet. No matter, I don’t like traveling or working
in the snow and if it comes later doesn’t come at all, I am not disappointed
and will use the day off today to pack my suitcase and pray for clear skies on
Friday morning as I will prayerfully take a flight to Orlando and a Disney World
I’m not like a super “Disney guy”, although I have
been to Disney World three times in my 51 years on earth, and really didn’t have
plans on returning to the Magic Kingdom, but when the Lord blessed me with an
unexpected windfall and I realized that I could bless my wife and two youngest
step-children (whose previous family vacations amounted to extended day trips
to local county fairs and camping excursions that rarely, if ever, left the
Empire State) with a Disney vacation, I decided to “book it, Dano!” The Lord
has given us one life to live and invites us into the adventure of living and it's
up to us to answer the call to see what’s out there and to give God glory
through our joy.
As the Lord would have it, during this season where
I will spend some time reflecting on the joys from my childhood in the “happiest
place on earth”, I am being invited to
examine my life through the awe, wonder, play, and imagination of a child as I
am enrolled in Renovare’s Book Club and am currently reading Lacy Finn Borgo’s “Faith
Like a Child” and while I have had found some of the book's concepts and ideas
to be cringe-worthy to my theology and practical sensibilities, overall I love
how it invites us to “play” and see our relationship with the Lord with the awe,
wonder, imagination, and reverence that can so easily be lost and forgotten
while we try to “grow up” in our faith.
God wants us to be delighted in our lives and in our
relationship with Him and engaging in “play” and using our creative
imaginations as part of our walk of that are being shown to be “childish things”
that should not be left behind as we mature with the Lord.
A.W. Tozer famously said “What comes into our minds when we
think about God is the most important thing about us.”, to which I have
retorted back in “What we do with what God’s word says about us, is the most
important thing about us.” And while I think we may both be on to something
here, whether we just think or do, both processes are going to require our imagination.
Imagination is important in spiritual formation – we can’t grow into progressive
maturity and freedom if we never imagine it’s possible. That’s why I blog – to inform people with the
fact that the abundant life in Christ is possible and to inspire them to “seek
the Lord” with their imaginations to find the life of peace and purpose that He
has for them.
And as we try to walk into this life of the Spirit, we need
to flow in the joy of the Lord with an inquiring and playful spirit. Play is important for our mental, emotional, and
spiritual well-being. Play not only relieves stress but can also address some
of the root issues that cause us to be stuck.
I read the following passage in Borgo’s book this morning about the
simple game of “peak a boo” and share it here to share what I have learned:
“Child psychologists tell us that this form of play is
essential for children, whose greatest fear is abandonment. The repetitive play
of “Where is Mama?” and then “There she is!” confirms the child's fear
indirectly through play and reinforces confidence that the parent will return.
Absence is not permanent. Absence is perception, not lasting reality. Perhaps
play in the spiritual life looks like this too. Through play, the Spirit
accompanies us as we indirectly face our fears. We learn that God is never
absent from us.
Could it be similar to our experience of what Saint John of
the Cross and others called the dark night? In this “dark night”, God's
presence seems to go missing, and our connection with God and reality shifts.
We struggle to hear, see, or feel God. We wonder, Where has God gone? Our
sensory experience tells us that God is not present, but as the psalmist
reminds us, there is no place that God is not (Psalm 139). When the dark night recedes, we notice that
our trust in God has deepened, our picture of God has shifted, and we will
never be the same. The great monster of abandonment has been tamed, and now we
know that while our senses do dial us into God's presence, they aren't the
anchor of reality. The reality of God's love, we learn holds us even in silence
and absence.” (Faith Like a Child, Borgo,
Page 86, 2023).
I love how even the “dark night of the soul” is shown for
what it is – a misperception, a game where we falsely believe that our heavenly
Father is gone, when He never really leaves us at all, and it is only for us to
“play hide and go seek the Lord” if we ever want to find Him and where we eventually
discover that we were the one who was hiding from Him all along.
I love how my Heavenly Father plays with me – how He invites
me to find Him and how He guides me into new things that will challenge me to trust
Him and to grow into who I was always meant to be – a child of God with a
simple faith of a child that comes from knowing he is safe, accepted, cared for,
I think it’s sort of ironic that I’m reading this stuff as I
will be invited to revisit some of the joys of my childhood and to play and experience
it all a new but this time even though I will be older than I ever was, I will
be experiencing it as a man who knows he is a child of God and that no matter
where he goes in life his Heavenly Father is always with Him.
So I got the day off – snow or no snow – I’ll be packing my bags in joyful anticipation of all that the Lord has in store for me, with this trip to Disney, and all the days that lie beyond. So use your imagination if you must, but let’s play a game of follow the leader and you can follow me as I follow Christ and keep on walking and talking with God.
Bible verse come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By
John G. Kruis.
While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick
Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late
author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )
morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Communication, Gossip, and
Proverbs 29:19 (ESV)
19 By mere words a servant is not disciplined, for though he understands, he will not respond.
verse is the fourth of five passages of scripture that fall under the eleventh point
of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and
11. Do not hurt your
neighbor by gossip or careless talk; control your tongue.
verse indicates that words alone won’t be adequate in disciplining a servant
and that even though he understands the words coming out of your mouth, he will
not respond. Similarly, You can draw a horse to water but you can’t make him
drink – so likewise the disobedient servant won’t do what you say and the
unbeliever will not choose to follow the Lord even though that will claim to
fully understand what you are trying to tell him to do or about the truth of
the gospel of Jesus Christ.
understand the truth of this verse – mere words are not enough – the spirit of
a man must be touched in order for him to comply. Our faith in Jesus comes by the grace of God not
by the words we speak- but God will use our words sometimes – so say what needs
to be said and keep talking because even the most disobedient servant will occasionally
obey after a multitude of words and even the hardest heart can be softened when
the Lord’s will and the “right words” – the ones used by God – are spoken.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I
always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to
assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from “According to Your
Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A
Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.
As always, I share this information for educational
purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own
private study and to support his work. This resource is available online
for less than $10 at many sites.
MORNING READING: MARK 5
“The woman, fearing and trembling,
what had happened to her, came and fell down
before Him and told Him the whole truth.”
– Mark 5:33
Nothing is hidden from “the eyes of Him to whom we must
give account” (Heb. 4:13). All things are open and naked. This woman was
conscious of this fact, so she told Him the whole truth. This confession
brought her heart peace and she went away happy. The only real secret of peace
lies in the unburdening of the heart to God.
Acts 5 records the story of two who “kept back” that which
they professed before man to have given to God (v. 2). Man might have taken it
as the whole truth, but not so God. The result of this deceit was death.
First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is
faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
Lord, help me to be honest and open
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for the Path of Christian Discipleship
Stephen Olford and Heather Olford, According to Your
Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament, A Collection of Devotional
Journals 1940-1941 (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2008).