I'm thinking again...
All the way through the completion of my college degree, I claimed a "pursuit to know God intimately" several times in conversations with friends and acquaintances. It was easy to speak in that direction because it would never be challenged by any of the hearers...just the comment itself seemed to imply that I was already at an intimate level with God.
Have you ever said or heard, "I believe Jesus Christ is my Savior and I trust Him whole-heartedly"...I have. However, I wonder if that statement was more of a claim than actual ownership. For example, when Chris Columbus "discovered" America...he claimed the ground but certainly didn't have ownership of anything...he wanted ownership...eventually he would have ownership (kinda)...but at that moment, all he had was an authentic claim.
I remember "claiming" my relationship with Jesus Christ. It was a Wednesday evening after CYC (can I get a holla from my fellow Crusaders!)...praying on my bed w/ my Mom.
I remember "claiming" my full-time call to serve God as a shepherd of his people...summer after my 7th grade year at youth camp when Gary Schnepp spoke and asked the "called" to come up on stage...also...Impact 90' Youth Conference helped confirm that "claim".
I remember battles with evil when Satan was trying to grab my "claim" or convince me to hand it over willingly...Junior year in college: Maybe I'm supposed to be a psychologist, not a pastor...Moral failure 18 months after graduating college: Maybe I'm not strong or pure enough to pastor.
My call is real...my claim to that call was real...my ownership of that call has now been refined by some of the hottest fires Satan has and I believe it now to be stronger than a simple "heritage". I wonder if there are people I encounter daily who are claiming a relationship with God, however their heart is aching for actual ownership of that claim. How many of us are craving a miraculous healing...a burning bush...a pillar of fire to guide our nights? Wanting that makes me feel weak. What if I required Katy to manifest physical proof that she loves me everyday? I see her...I can touch her...I can smell her hair...I don't need her to physically demonstrate her presence.
Isn't it tough, at times, to recognize the wonders of the human body and perfection of the rolling hills and jaw-dropping mountains? I know God made it all, but it would feel so good to smell his presence and feel the power of his hand on my shoulder.
I am called by God to share the Good News to everyone I encounter. Sometimes that's more difficult when I get so selfish in limiting how God can reveal Himself to me. "You must do this for me to believe!" How arrogant and immature! Hmmm...I wonder if I'm being taught something right now.
Marilyn Manson just came on the radio...perhaps that is causing a little "blockage". Haha...let me change the station. Great...Kelly Clarkson...not a whole lot better.
Here is a summary of my thinking right now: Is it my calling to help everyone I can to stake their claim and then teach how authentic ownership is achieved? Can that be taught?
Thinking to continue later (please give me your thoughts),