HIDDEN BY GOD
Since late 2016 I’ve been developing a lifestyle of deeper intimacy with God. I don’t say “spiritual disciplines” because it sounds dry and academic. I call it a new lifestyle. Pray, worship, Bible, other books…but so different than ever before. It’s not about something I ought to do, and it’s not another legal rule I have to follow. It’s simply every possible way to be in an all day and night companionship with His 3-fold majesty and His promise to be my constant light (guidance) and shield (protection).
Morning, evening, bedtime can be a bit more formal, following the “Rhythm of Daily Prayer” established by Ffald y Brenin Retreat Center/Wales. Yet even while reading the written prayers or appointed Psalm or Gospel verses, nothing is rote because it’s simply a skeleton which the Spirit regularly interrupts to make my prayer or reading more personal. For example, the Lord’s Prayer is included, but I don’t believe I can ever pray it all the way through! I get stuck and have to fill out one of the simple phrases with a flood of things I need to personalize before Him. So it’s the Lord’s Prayer and my prayers all mixed together.
Scripture enters in at various times of the day. An appointed Psalm and New Testament chapter. A New or Old Testament book I’m studying at a deeper level. A daily Facebook paraphrased, personalized Word accompanied by beautiful nature scenes and music. Constant slow, deep reflection and response to the love message between Jesus and me contained in Song of Solomon.
I take a three mile walk each day, and carry a homemade songbook with me that includes my favorite old hymns, gospel songs, and contemporary worship in both English and Creole, plus secular songs that I’ve re-written with “holy” words. I walk and sing and pray. Sometimes I walk and cry because I’m either so desperate or so happy, and people who walk or bike past me have quite a sight!
I’ve read about 25 books since I’ve been here in the US, and I’ve got about 15 more I hope to finish before I return to Haiti. I have a sense these books were hand-picked by the Lord. I’m actually reading very slowly, sometimes one chapter over and over because it’s as though the Lord Himself is speaking to me, burying truth deep inside me which He will bring up in future teaching, preaching, or mentoring according to His plan and purpose. I was an English literature major in college, always a reader, but my experience in reading now is profoundly different. It’s like everything is happening in slow motion as I savor each morsel that He Himself is planting within me.
In one sense I could call this entire time I’ve been away from Haiti a “Sabbatical of Spiritual Re-Formation” with “Papa God”, “Jesus Companion”, and “Spirit RiverFire” constantly above, beneath, and surrounding me. That’s my description of how it feels to me.
Now let me make an important correction. This has certainly been a holy holiday, but I don’t mean to imply that I’m intimately connected with God 24/7 and in constant touch with His will, voice, and direction. I can at times be completely confused and uncertain about decisions I need or want to make. Sometimes I know what He’s saying to me and sometimes I don’t have a clue. Yet the great wonder is that even when I’m confused, I seldom feel alone, and I never feel forsaken or abandoned. Depression, fear, and worry all attack me, but they don’t have a chance to last too long.
I’ve always preached and taught, that the most important foundation to spiritual revival is confession and repentance of sins. Yet it is only in this recent time that I can say I now live in daily repentance. My day cannot end until, at my bedside, I confess “before the whole company of Heaven that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, and in what I have failed to do.” And then I pause and remember…things thought, said or done with motives of pride or judgment or fleshly desires. Now every day I embrace Jesus on the cross (I visualize as I pray) and ask that the blood dripping down His body would be pressed into me, that I might be washed clean and humbled again to take up my cross and follow Him for another day and night.
I also have had fellowship with the Body of Christ through both the congregation my brother is part of and another one in the area that I often attend myself. I’ve been part of singing on a worship team, joining a choir for a Good Friday cantata, being part of a Home Bible Study, Sunday School class, Men’s Breakfast, and some special one-on-one sharing with the senior pastor of the local “mega” church.
This is my personal revival. Now may you also be blessed in Jesus’ Name, as you seek a closer intimacy and all-day sense of His nearness and love.
James Glynn, Pastor/President, HaitiRevival