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Faithful Living

"I gained a wonderful insight this week into one of the ways that God interacts with us. My experience with God was not planned nor initiated by me. Likewise it was brief; ending almost as suddenly as it began.It occurred in the early morning Wednesday as the sunshine brightened my bedroom just enough to rouse me from my sleep. At first I resented the intrusion, for I had spent the first half of the week running in 20 different directions and had cut back on my sleep to accommodate the long list of “to dos” I had set for myself. When I noticed that I had awakened ahead of my alarm clock, I relished the thought of 30 more minutes of sleep, for I did not feel completely rested or energetic. Then again, I reasoned, if I rallied earlier than planned I would be one step ahead of the schedule I had fashioned for myself late the night before.It was at that very moment, feeling weary and indecisive, that I heard the chorus and felt the words soothe my tired soul: Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me; spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Mold me Move me Fill me Use me Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.I sat up in bed and smiled. It was one of those occasional moments I fondly refer to as my “left field” experiences. They are quick, intense, and invigorating. They are surprising, insightful, and energizing. They are also verbal but I cannot physically hear them with my ears and if someone else were to see me they would not hear the sound I was hearing. Rather, the sounds and the words I “hear” reach down into my soul.Best of all, “left field” experiences are soothing. That is because it is God’s spirit moving and refreshing me when I lack the ability to move and refresh myself.If you have attended a Christian worship service in the last few years, you will probably recognize the chorus. Written as a wonderful transition piece to move congregants from focusing on praise and worship themes during a service to providing additional insight into the pastor’s message, this simple chorus has never touched me like it did this week when a little heavenly touch was just what I needed.As a Christian I believe that God exists in three forms: God is my Father, God is the Son (whom I know as Jesus), and God is a Spirit. To simply this complex concept a bit (a concept I will, by the way, spend a lifetime incorporating into my understanding), consider that water exists in liquid form, as a vapor, and as ice. This practical example brings the idea down to a manageable consideration. We are promised that while God remains apart from us, and Jesus came and went, the Spirit lives inside us and we are never left alone to fend for ourselves.Some days I get so busy I do not notice this indwelling. But when I hear music that praises God, when I sense an urgency to respond with prayer, when I detect something dark and alarming, and when I experience a “left field” moment, I know God is there. Deep inside. Teaching and reminding me that He hovers, closely.There is nothing scary or strange and no bravado about this. It is amazing and private. It reminds me of a great promise God makes in the Bible: that when we are scared, tired, confused, not thinking clearly, or in any way incapacitated, God’s Spirit will move and work within us. And the great comfort of such a concept comes to me when I learn of great suffering that inevitably scares me as well as breaks my heart. God is there at all moments. He is a God that not only nudges us to live better and higher, but also comforts us when we need a heavenly touch.The key to such experiences, I believe, is to acknowledge your need for God. It is to take time to be quiet and listen for God’s Spirit. It also involves being extremely diligent about putting into your heart and soul good things. Sing Psalms put to music. Memorize prayers. Set Bible verses to memory. Study the Bible. Pray. Fellowship and play with people who believe as you believe.Such interaction sets into motion a relationship with God that will occasionally work independently of you to surprise, soothe and elevate your daily life.---------------- Joan Bay Klope is a freelance writer and former editor of Christian books published by Gospel Light Publications. She can be reached at jbklope@hotmail.com. "

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