Life is packed full of little moments, when heaven meets earth like the waves meet the sandy beach.
I pray daily for eyes to see God and for ears to hear His voice. If you have followed me long, you know that my journey is one filled with thin spaces, where the veil is lifted just enough for me to feel the kiss of my Abba God.
What are some things that block my senses from the awareness of these gifts of His nearness?
1. Avoidance of pain: I have found that avoiding pain often also means avoiding the touch of the comforter. When we seek to numb or to run from the pain that cries to be felt within us, we also miss out on the glory of the peace that passes all understanding. When we grieve we present our broken hearts before the Mender of all hearts. So many people with whom I have talked have expressed fear that if they begin to let themselves feel their pain that it might never stop, or that it may swallow them whole. When we trust God with our pain, cry out to Him, and process with trusted friends, the opposite happens. We can let down our guard, release the dam, and take the first deep breath we’ve had in as long as we can remember. God is big enough to carry our pain with us. He’s strong enough to bear the weight of our anger, even when it may be at Him. And, beloved, I can’t promise how long the night might be, but joy does come in the morning. So do you want to experience more of the joy of heaven on earth? Start being real with your hurt.
2. Worship of comfort: The desire and pursuit of comfort also often blocks authentic encounters with the Spirit of God. Where do I brush up with heaven most? Far outside of my comfort zone. This is a reality that often frustrates me, but I serve a God who calls me from shallow waters into the depths of His glory. This often looks like obedience when it would be much easier and more comfortable ignoring His voice. It looks like laying down my agenda and saying yes to God’s nudges as He softly whispers that caring for Jesus is caring for others even when it feels inconvenient. When I walk in obedience to the voice of my Lord, when He calls me to places outside of the realm of my own natural capacity, I am primed for the supernatural.
3. Bitterness: It eats us up inside out. Bitterness with God also is a sign that we haven’t fully brought the spectrum of our emotions to our Father God. When we hold onto offense and cynicism with God and with others, we lose sight of joy, delight, and compassion for others. We also slowly loose our sense of the kingdom of God in our midst. Release from bitterness starts with acknowledging our hurt and pain, leading us back to my first point. There is no pain that trumps the rot that pet bitterness causes to destroy us from the inside out. And love, as we learn in 1 Corinthians 13, is willing to see the best in others, rather than hold onto offense. Our glasses of offense and bitterness cloud our vision of glory.
This list is not exhaustive. I have more, but this feels like a lot right now. But so is God’s goodness, His mercy, and His lovingkindness.
“I count all things a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be garbage so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings , being confirmed to His death; in order that I might attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
Philippians 3: 7-11