Am I throwing out the baby too?

I feel like I am beginning to embark on the trip of a lifetime.

As I reflect back I know my life seems to have been filled with much travel. Travel is a part of my life yet most of my travel has been without my wife. These trips do not seem to have left a lasting imprint in my life, they have not been the trip of a lifetime. I have travelled primarily because I have been invited to speak/teach. These trips have taken me to places like Spain, India, Korea, and Africa.

A few years back, when Penny was very ill with cancer and there didn’t seem like much hope for her survival I embarked on what I thought back then was my first trip of a lifetime!

Penny had always wanted to travel to Bolivia to see where I grew up and had spent the first 16yrs of my life. It was an incredible journey yet one filled with a bit of fear and trepidation. There were times when I wondered if I had made the right decision! Penny was quite ill and in a lot of pain. She could not sit up very well and had to lie down most of the time.

She was such a trooper! I remember when we took a boat ride on Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, with our destination being Sun Island. The sunset was incredible, breathtaking, yet we were very high – over 4000 metres high! We landed on the shores edge and began our journey on foot up the mountainside of the island. The llama’s thankfully carried our luggage. We had to rest every few steps because of her pain and because of the altitude.

Travelling along in a houseboat on one of the tributaries of the Amazon was also an incredible experience. Penny loved fishing and caught many piranha while I swam in the river. Seeing the wildlife as we travelled slowly down the river was such a delight to behold – especially watching the pink dolphins swimming alongside us.

Showing Penny the boarding school I attended was also quite a significant time for me. I was not to discover how significant it was until later in time. But this stop ended up being the fuel that helped to further my healing, especially emotionally and sexually. You see, boarding school was the place I had been sexually abused for several years and so it was the place of much pain and heartache for me. My wife has been an integral part of my ongoing healing. To take her back to this place and to relive the memories was actually quite a healing thing for me.

I reflect back on that journey and think how significant it was for both Penny and myself. To share a very important part of my life was fun, exciting, healing and very rewarding. Penny’s health held up well and we can still share in the fond memories formed on our trip together. It was a trip that drew us closer together.

It really was a watershed moment in my life. My healing continues…

Now, I believe that I am going to be embarking on an even greater journey, the trip of a lifetime. This journey, though, will have a far greater impact on my life, spiritually speaking. Again, I will have the joy of sharing this journey with my wife. I am just so grateful that I have the wonderful opportunity of sharing my journey’s of a lifetime with my wife. 🙂

I have felt for some time a call to Africa and a call for a deeper revelation of the presence and the power of God in my life. I have believed that these two would somehow intersect in Mozambique. Finally, after waiting for a few years, I felt the Lord encourage me to step out and to travel over this August (2011). Everything seems to have “fallen” into place.

But what fills me with even more fear and trepidation is the knowledge that I will be speaking to thousands of people and that they will be expectant – for God to move, for God to heal, to deliver, to set free.

I was going to soak all this up, to be unobtrusive, in the background, enjoying and observing a wonderful move of the power and the presence of God. It seems as though God has other plans! It seems as though God sees the best way is to actually “throw” me out there in the front of it all and to watch his power and presence being manifested. When God “shows up” I know it will not be because of me!

You see, I actually struggle a fair bit with my way of thinking. God has been working on this but I still do struggle. I realise that in the past I have thrown out the baby with the bath water. I don’t like religiosity or super-spirituality and I think that much of what is called Christianity is a lot of hokus pokus and is actually the work of man in the flesh. I try and distance myself from these kinds of things for they only bring much pain and condemnation to others as well as confusion. Much of the accusations laid against Christians is deserved.

I have been confronted by it many times. I am sure that many of these people are well meaning people. I have been in line, waiting to be prayed for and the person praying for me has his/her hand against my forehead, pushing while praying. I’m told to relax and let the power of God touch me. It’s hard to relax when there is pressure being applied to your forehead! If God wants me down then he can do it without the help of the pray-er.

I get this distinct feeling that the pray-er actually believes that the person falling down is being touched by the Lord. It leads me to believe that many people are more caught up with the manifestations of the Spirit than they are with the Spirit of God. As a friend of mine said – people are seeking the heat rather than the Spirit.

What I have realised is that I have allowed these experiences to actually shut myself down from manifestations. In other words, I have thrown out the baby with the bath water. I have become so sceptical that I steer as far away from manifestations as I can. This is wrong!!

Who am I to judge how God works in another? Who am I to determine that it should be this way or that way? Who am I to judge whether what the person is experiencing and manifesting is real or not? That is not my place. It is between the Lord and that person. But, I have allowed myself to become the judge and thus deemed them to be excesses, unBiblical, not of the Spirit. I am sure I have grieved the Spirit because of this.

I am repenting…

I am asking God to help me work through my “stuff”; my struggles; my prejudices.

I see this trip to Mozambique as the place where God will deal with me, confront me, loving help me and guide me in his truth. I want to be free from my scepticism and my judgemental attitude.

This is why I see this trip to Mozambique to be the trip of a lifetime for me! I believe it will be a time where I will experience the power of God like never before. I will see people being healed, restored and being set free.

The odd thing is that I am in love with Jesus, I do hear him and he talks to me and shows me many things. I have just shut off this vital part of my relationship with him and I believe it’s time to change that! It’s time to step out, let God be God and let him do what he wants when he wants and where he wants and that I am not to judge, presume or be skeptical and that I will be willing to participate in whatever he is doing.

This is my heart cry. But I need help. I need help because I think I’ve thrown out the baby with the bath water! I want to seek the Spirit and not the heat. I long to see the Lord use me, for his Spirit to flow through me. I am willing…

This is my journey. What about yours? What has God been doing in your life and teaching you? Have you kind of ‘thrown out the baby with the bath water’ too? Or are you seeing miracles of his healing power?

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This entry was posted in Gratefulness, Journey of a Lifetime, Journey of Life, Manifestations, Memories, Relationships, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Am I throwing out the baby too?

  1. Owen says:

    Paul, thanks for this reflection, which I came across via LinkedIn. Your position sounds a bit like my own — including to the Mozambique connection. My wife and I are contemplating going next year (2012). How did it work out for you?

    • lannalife says:

      G’day Owen, thanks for your comments. I do appreciate them.

      I’m still trying to put thoughts together for my trip to Mozambique trip. I am finding it hard to put things down!! It was amazing and incredible and it did change my life in ways I am only beginning to see and I’m sure I will see more in times to come. I will try and blog my thoughts once I get back to Thailand in a few days.

  2. Maggie says:

    Thanks Paul,
    For sharing and in that challenging my thoughts. I recognize what you are saying. I am skeptical because of it but at the same time not wanting to keep it out of my life. It seems to go together with fear, judgmental thoughts and wanting to walk away from it because it makes me feel angry and insecure. And yet i know that it is part of Gods kingdom. The thing that scares me the most in that is when i stand in front of people and people expect me to do the same.
    I have a fear to let people down. But then it is not about people it is about God! And if i am standing there to impress people then ….
    I think it is about letting God be God and being real as you have already pointed out. It is not about what people think of us or what we think about people. It is about God and that should make it easy but it not always the case…
    May God bless you in your struggle to honor Him above everything else!

  3. lannalife says:

    Thanks for your thoughts Maggie. I’m so sorry I have been slack in responding! I had “laid down” my blogging for over a year now and am beginning to yearn to get back to it. God is teaching me so much and I want to be able to express what I am learning. You’re so right though, it’s all about God and should never be about me. Me just seems to keep getting in the way, though! 😦

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