As far as the “WHY” behind what we are doing this year…? Simple answer is obedience. But let me preface a longer answer to that question. Before I do, if you haven’t checked out my blog post around the “WHAT” – UPDATE then I would encourage you to. It will make more sense of this post.
It has been several years now that we as a family began asking the Lord to reshape our hearts and lives to look like disciples of Him (Jesus) versus spectators for Him, who have a language and theology around Him with very little reality of Him in our lives. Prior to that time many of our inner motives and outer actions were unto glorifying or protecting ourselves while maintaining an outer perception of holiness.
NOTE: I have blogged extensively on this in the past but wanted to quickly summarize it again for those who are seeing it for the first time. One blog series that goes more in depth is “Exposing of a Pharisee…Me”.
CONT….For me personally, the Lord ripped off significant blinders of pride from my eyes and revealed, in detail, major issues of jealousy, envy, anger, rage and the list goes on. It wasn’t just a one time encounter where I felt a little bad, repented and then moved on. No…I had trained my inner motives with efficiency, to pursue self-interest in almost every encounter I had with people. I had shaped the extrovert, charismatic side of who I was to exploit the smallest of situations and exalt myself in whatever sly way I could. And the worst part was that I didn’t see my own blindness but actually justified and validated it through Christian jargon. The depth of insight the Lord gave about my heart reality sent me to my knees in some serious humility and led to major shifts in our family over time. The Lord had me take several steps back from any platform leadership, knowing the distraction and idolatrous investment I had given to it in the past.
As a result of God’s mercy in revealing the filth that I had nurtured for so long, there was a deep, gut wrenching understanding of my brokenness as a human and the deep need for Him to lead me to the cross by His Spirit. In His tenderness and through many tearful prayers, God has been uprooting many things and sanctifying my life through the means of strengthening me to take up my cross daily while keeping the hope of His return in sight. The process continues as I keep Jesus before my eyes through the Word of God and prayer.
With all that said it wasn’t until I realized the depth, capability and blindness of wickedness I had been living in, as well as receiving His mercy, tenderness and seeing His patience toward me, that I understood the dynamic love of Jesus on the cross, the high calling to follow His example and suffer, how repulsive wickedness is to Him and how that defines the Biblical “end game”. For way too long I had minimized the reality of sin in context to my life and classified most of who I was as being “pretty good” based on outward living while my inner life was filthy and comforted by self-righteousness. I had deceived myself and was like some of the priests of the Word who would see themselves as self-righteous in doing the duty of the law (while inwardly living sinfully) and bringing a sacrifice to fill in the gaps. (Malachi)
And so much of what God has done in us came in context to Him redefining our theology in the Word through the place of prayer. Revelation around the cross, the Holy Spirit and the Day of the Lord shook Grace and I to the point of causing significant “tremors” in our everyday life. We became sick of just talking theology and debating philosophy while it changed nothing but the information and thoughts of our brain. Basically, it rarely or barely drove us to love but primarily strengthened and bolstered pride, driving us to trust in the opinions of men.
With all that said, we know that this year holds varying layers of things for our family to grow in but overall is about us learning to follow the leadership of the Spirit while gazing on the life of Jesus. Allowing Him to lead us “to the cross” just as He did with Jesus (which I will be probably be blogging about in the future) and seeing Him move in power for the purpose of bearing witness to the coming Day of the Lord.
For years we have had such a hunger to walk according to the Spirit and not just talk about the things of the Spirit. As our theology became more than just a label and the truth of the Word gripped us day in and day out to the point of shifting certain life functions, we were confronted by the Lord in so many ways and God has led us to this point. Over the course of this season, Grace and I aim to blog around the Word in relation to some of the things I am mentioning in this post.
Simply, God is teaching us how to be sojourners in this age through the leadership of His Spirit. We know that our journey is unique and not for every family, but is necessary for where the Lord is leading us. Yes, we know that this season in our lives seems a bit crazy to some but we can’t sidestep His leadership. We did that for way too long under the umbrella of ministry and so many other things. There is a mountain of uncertainties ahead of us but we desire to “come up leaning upon our Beloved” as a family. We know that when this year of traveling ends there will be plenty more for the Lord to do in us, but we do know that this time is significant to what the Lord might do through our family in the future.
We want to ask for prayer. Even if it is just right now and only is a few words. We ask for prayer. Not that our journey would be comfortable or logistically flawless. But that the Lord would give us grace and strengthen us by His Spirit to rejoice and give thanks even in the midst of whatever trials may come as He prepares us for the Day of His return. If you feel as though the Lord has spoken to you something specific for us, please don’t hesitate to share it if you feel you should.
December 16, 2011
Thanks for sharing, Richee! I have been thinking of you guys lately, and now I know specifically what to pray for. The Lord is doing some major stuff in our hearts, too, calling us out. We will keep lifting you guys up! :)
December 17, 2011
Thanks Angie. It’s encouraging to hear that the Lord is working in you guys as well. Say hey to your hubby from us. We should be in MN sometime in early January after leaving KC and maybe we’ll get to see you guys.
December 31, 2011
Richee!!! Hello my friend!
What an adventure God is calling you too & you have a 3rd child in the oven! WOW :D You have been such an example to me in your life of obedience to the Lord. I also appreciate your transparency. It makes me want to dig in deeper and see what I’m blinded from inside of me. :) Love you both so very much! I will be praying for you. I am actually moving to Norway in a couple days to help mobilize the worshippers! January 4th! It’s such a special season for the Body of Christ this next year & it’s so important for us to be abiding in the Vine & hearing God’s voice!! That’s a huge thing I’ve been clinging to.
Bless you my friend!
December 31, 2011
Hey Mary!!! What a blessing it was to get a comment from you! Thanks for the encouraging words sister and we are so excited for you and what you are about to do. Wow! Just a few days and you step into another incredible season with the Lord. Norway, you better watch out…Mary’s on her way! I agree with you that this is such a special season for the Body. Such a need for us to have ears to hear and eyes to see what He is doing. Love you tons Mary and we will take time to lift you up in our family prayer times this week. You would love seeing one of them in action. Me playing my guitar and worshiping/praying along with Arden playing his (out of tune) acoustic while singing and praying along. And Eliana sometimes twirls or gets hit by the neck of brother’s guitar. :) You would love it. Anyway, bless you sister as you leap into this next great adventure the Lord is calling you into. Your heart has always been so encouraging to us.
January 2, 2012
Is it wrong to ask in prayer that God would lead your travels through Nashville? =) haha only kidding, but I hope and pray that God reveals more and more how much He loves you guys! Blessings and safety on all of your excursions!
January 2, 2012
Thanks Prattster! Bro, we very well could be passing through Nashville at some point and would love to say hey to you. If we approach your neck of the woods I’ll let you know. Love you man and thanks for the encouragement!
March 20, 2012
Hey bro, it’s been too long. Its such a blessing to read your thoughts and ideas, but mostly to see your heart tha longs to Know Him and to Follow Him. Why do we, especially as americans, have to make it so much more complicated? After reading your thoughts, I felt the desire to go on a prayer walk from my house to the downtown area of the city I’ve been called to pastor a church in. How steeped in religion and American Consumeristic self-centeredness we are! God help us to see beyond the temporal! Why is it so hard for us to set our focus and vision on what’s truelly important, HIM! Instead we focus on all the physical temporal stuff tha gets in the way of us really seeing Him. We are so backwards. We want what God has for our lives but we don’t want HIM. Of course none of us would readily admit that, but if we could just focus on Him, knowing Him, everything else would fall into place. Granted, once it did, it would most likely look different than what we expected, but at least it would be what He wanted, not what we assumed or thought He would want. It’s awesome that you’re following Him in a travel trailer bro, I will definetly be praying for you. If you find yourself up this way, please hit me up. I would so love to spend some time with you, and I would so love to have you share your journey and your insights with the folks at our church. Be blessed, love ya.
p.s.- I still remember that day you came to visit me with my parents when I was in Teen Challenge. Dude, you encouraged me so much, and it helped me more than I could describe. Thanks.
April 2, 2012
Matt!!! I loved seeing a comment from you on my blog post bro! I pray the Lord spoke to you and encouraged you while you prayer walked in your city, if you had the chance to do it. I loved reading your thoughts in this comment. And bro thanks for the prayers. If we happen to swing by your neck of the woods then we will definitely stop in and give a shout. :) We would love to see you guys if the Lord brings us that way. And I also remember going to Teen Challenge with your parents. What a sweet time that was getting to see you. Bro, I don’t think you have a clue but one time you passed through 3 Rivers and stayed at my little shack one night. You taught me how to play 4 chords on the guitar and I never forgot them. That is what got me started in playing worship with just little ol me and now I lead our family almost daily in some type of prophetic worship. We call it Family Fascination time. So we both can say thank you to each other. Love you and Jess tons!!!