Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. ~ 1 Samuel 3:9

When I first began looking at the different ways God's people have come to worship him down the centuries one thing really struck me.  From the moment the Israelites begged Moses to go to God on their behalf [And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die Exodus 20:19].to the present day people are reluctant to stand in the presence of God themselves, reluctant to take responsibility for their own walk.  They want someone else to do the hard yards for them & then tell them what they should do.  It's one reason we have priests & ministers.  They've done the hard yards.  The rest of us get to excuse ourselves by saying, " Well, I'm not a theologian..."  I don't think God wants churches full of theologians...

For me one of the appeals of Quaker worship is that  this flimsy excuse is removed.  It means you have to risk much in worship: that God will be silent; that your conscience will rise up & accuse you; that you may publicly weep for you know not what; that God may get your attention & start whispering in your ear things you do not want to hear that will lead you into places you do not want to go.  It means you risk being wrong.  Very, very few of us are willing to risk so much.  There is nowhere to go, nowhere to hide.  You can't hide behind the music & pretend you've worshiped when you haven't.  You can't hide behind the prayers & pretend you've prayed when you haven't.  You can't nod your head wisely over the sermon & give up none of your sweet personal little sins.  You are stripped bare in the searching glare of the Holy Spirit & God himself holds you accountable ~ & I will be the first to tell you that that is a very scary place indeed to be.  It is an awful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!  I have also learnt in is the safest place I can ever be.

So for me there is no anomaly between Quaker worship & dealing with the Jewish Festivals & prophecy.  If I am listening for God, if I believe God still speaks to His people [& I do] then I should expect to hear from Him.  I should expect to find Him absolutely consistent ~ & I do.  As God walked with Adam & Eve in the cool of the evening chatting as intimate friends, so too does he walk with us today & if we are listening we will hear Him speak.

He is still saying the same things He was saying centuries ago: Draw near to me & I will draw near to you; Be thou holy as I am holy; Consider your ways...

How it must grieve the heart of God that so many of His people are still saying, "Speak to God for us".  [Exodus 20:19] Look at how scripture puts it.  We are the temple for the Holy Spirit [1Cor;6:19]~ & what has the temple ever been but the dwelling place for the glory of God?!  And how can we be His glory if we do not let Him in?  If we keep Him at a distance, afraid of what true intimacy with Christ will bring us. Moses said, "(I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid because of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) " [Deut;5:5] 

We are afraid to go up into the mount & face the fire of God.  That is understandable.  What if God is not who we thought He was?  What if we are consumed by the fire?  What if we become a laughing stock & our fellow Christians mock & condemn us?


What if the Lord meets us there & we talk face to face?  Will we not come down from the mountain so radiant with the love of God that we must needs veil our faces ?  And what if the unbelieving world saw that?  What then?


Mrs Adept said...

A lot of churched people have their pastors as the middle men.

If we take those middle men out, we will be FORCED to find God another way - a more serious way, a more fruitful way, a better way.

Ganeida said...

Mrs Adept: just when I was starting to think I'd scared everyone off! ☺ I agree. After all, God is not going to ask the pastors how our spiritual walk was. He's going to ask us. We really need to sort ourselves out before the Lord without the *middle men*. They have a role ~ but it is not to be our intercessor before God. That role has already been delegated to Christ.

seekingmyLord said...

You never scare me off. In fact, I think this post...well, do I detect a bit of similarity to mine before it?

I have been trying to set a side time to hear God more of late and also live in the moment more, which is both difficult for me to do and also strangely freeing. However, the downside is that I am on my computer less also. So, lady, when are we Skyping? I will probably have some free time tonight/your tomorrow morning when I return from my errands.

Ruby said...

A true pastor or undershepherd will not attempt to be mediator. Christ is our prophet, priest and king. A minister of the gospel is just that, one who points to Christ. Many "churches" are doing it wrongly but that does not negate the role, when performed as intended.
You haven't scared me off either Ganeida :-) I am really battling to have my turn on the computer these days and not posting at all. I plan to write to you about the things I have learned during the flood when time permits.
Please do not lump everyone into one basket because of people and churches you have experienced in the past. There are many of us trying to faithfully follow the scriptural principles of worship, no matter that you see things differently.

Ganeida said...

Seeking: Skype tomoorrow? We do need to chat.

Ah, Ruby. ♥ Not blaming pastors at all but people who rely on them whether the pastor encourages it or not. I actually agree with your points [shock, horror, gasp lol] I merely think we each must take responsibility under God for our spiritual condition & not rely on others to define that for us. Does that make sense? I am aware that some, even many, are faithful ~ but, & it is a big but, far too many are not. If you are amongst the faithful then nothing I say should concern you but if you are not I am happy to poke a little. ☺

I am agog to know what the Lord has shown you through the floods. Jeanne too. So much sadness at the moment.

Bear in mind I appreciate everyone's input to the random thoughts I put out there. They help me think through my positions more clearly & I most certainly value your thoughts & appreciate the grace with wich you deal with my very different philosophy on church life. Christ is the glue ~ & I thank Him for it! ♥

seekingmyLord said...

Is that your tomorrow or mine? It gets soooo confusing. I guess it is catch me when you can. I will be picking up my husband my tomorrow evening (your Saturday mid morning, I think).

joyfulmum said...

hmm Ganeida I agree I agree but I hope you were not having a go at me with what you said about the excuse of "i'm no theologian' from my previous comments:) I think I know you well enough by now to even ask you this question?
if it was me, i was just trying to say that yes I have studied the Bible and still do but wouldn't class myself with one that has studied it and knows much more than me:) I am always open to correction is what I was trying to say. Anyway, just airing my thoughts but I do agree that there are many that use others as a middleman so to speak. The good thing is that we are all going to have to give an account one day:)

Ganeida said...

lol Rosemary, I have proof I was refering to me. I say it about myself that other place. ☺ It's right there in B&W. No, I think Christ wants disciples, not theologians ~ more to the point.

joyfulmum said...

Thanks Ganeida:)

Ruby said...

We've had some very hard lessons this last few weeks about very much aside from coping with continuous rain, rising flood water and the sludge and debris it leaves behind.
I am not intending to blog about these more personal things but since you had asked about the hand of God in this recent time of trial I hope to write a brief note to you.
He does all things well and though he slay me yet will I trust him! Trying times indeed.

Ganeida said...

Ruby: I am particularly fond of that quote from Job ~ a man who knew about trying times. It has sustained me in some very hard places.

I did not mean to pry but I love to hear God's people testify of His goodness & faithfulness in the hard times. Much mopre so than the easy times. I pray it will be a blessing to you & you will be upheld & comforted throughout by the God of Peace. ♥

Rosemary: Any potshots are always at myself first. Others occasionaly get hit by *friendly fire*. ☺ I study too but my understanding is not from a theological viewpoint. Rather it is more experiential as I seek to work out the mechanics of walking in *the way*.