I have a new resolution: offend myself daily.
You see, I get comfortable easily. Too comfortable. I get swept into my own world by my own broom. I slide into introspection, I make less eye contact with people (exacerbated by three years in the Middle East where eye contact is often culturally inappropriate), I read the Bible like it’s a book and not the LIVING WORD, and I approach the Love of my life like He’s the guy who was the love of my life years ago, but now He’s just common – I know how He likes his eggs, which socks are His favorite, and the name of the neighbor kid who painted His bike in fourth grade when Mrs. Mullen suggested they get creative and paint their bikes one summer – the summer the neighbor kid didn’t have a bike so, He painted someone else’s. You want facts, I got ‘em. You want memories, I got ‘em. You want a marriage certificate, I got it.
But you know when you see couples, with no rings on their hands and no kids in tow and you can tell they’re married and madly in love by the way their eyes lock? The way their countenance sizzles in the other’s presence?
THAT. I want more of THAT. Constantly.
Instead of sweeping myself into my own world, I want to sweep God off His feet. Haha!
To do so I have to stretch myself in love continuously. I have to keep the passion alive.
I have to get uncomfortable – that is to say, outside my comfort zone.
God wants me to sizzle in His presence more than He wants me to be comfortable. Haha. Marshmallows don’t stay the same when you put them in the fire, and neither should I.
Therefore, I do things I don’t want to do to reach something I love: more passion and intimacy with God; and the added bonus of bringing people into LOVE intersections with Him. A couple months ago I was in the grocery store, walking amidst the pretty little vegetables (and the big, not-so-pretty ones too (sorry, root vegetables)); and I was so drunk on love for God I was weaving in the aisles, singing a tune, laughing at how beautiful the vegetables were (each one like a love letter from heaven), and I noticed an elderly woman stooped over her cart as she choose tomatoes to adopt and take home. I was overwhelmed with the desire to hug her. Haha. Then I was intimidated (by the way, INTIMIDATION IS STUPID and we all need to kill it stone dead in our lives) so, I paused to act on my desire and she left the area. And then I went after her. Haha. I found her next to the canned food and went up to her, “Hi. What’s your name?” “Juanita” “Hi Juanita, I’m Dawn and I saw you by the produce earlier and I realized you have so much sweetness and I just really wanted to hug you! Would it be okay if I gave you a hug?” “Oh, yes!” she said with a huge grin on her face. We hugged. And I went on to tell her how God sees her and how important she is in her family. Her composure grew more and more confident and as we parted she said, “Well, anytime you see me in the store you are welcome to come up and say ‘hi’ and give me a hug.”
Haha. I flitted away, half-skipping, half-laughing, half-on-earth.
What dividends my discomfort produces!!! Haha! Not just one woman grinning and confident, but TWO!
And so, when I say I want to “offend myself daily” this is what I mean. I want to get out of my box, my laziness, my realm of what I’ve experienced thus far in my life, and fall into the great, wild expanse of God.
A couple weeks ago, I had a sudden opportunity to go with some friends to Santa Cruz, CA to a church I wanted to go to since I returned to the states in September: The Santa Cruz Church. The church is most known for its pastor: John Crowder, the leader of a group called “The New Mystics” – believers living crazily, beautifully, blissfully snockered on Jesus. (http://www.thenewmystics.com/ ) John has written two books on the mystics of old – believers who had radical physical/spiritual experiences (floating, trances, glowing). I’ve read all of one book, and half of the other. They greatly impacted me. And I love that their ministry is making people uncomfortable, pulling them out of their religious chariots (remember when Philip hopped into the eunuch’s chariot in Acts 8 and explained the scripture to him and he got baptized? I LOVE THAT STORY.), and loving the more grimy places of the world with Jesus’ never-ending hug. Haha.
Anyhow, their ministry also offends a lot of people – which I basically see as wonderful. Haha.
A lot of the time,
we need to just get over ourselves
and get into Jesus.
Well, the service at The Santa Cruz Church that night was splendid. The presence of God was so free – as soon as I walked into the building it felt like a spider monkey grabbed my hand and pulled me up into the treetops. Where, I must say, the view is most break-taking. Worship time was luscious. The sermon was tasty: God often gives us joy just for joy’s sake, rest just for rest’s sake, it’s not for an end – it’s because He loves us and wants to bless us. Yeehaw!
After the sermon, we had communion. I knew we were going to have communion that night and I was going to get really impacted and rocked because as we were driving to Santa Cruz I saw an image of the last supper in the sky with my spiritual eyes and as I laid in the back seat hanging out with Holy Spirit under the waves of worship music, I started to cry and shake as God spoke to me about giving me rest simply because He loves me and I’m worth it. Haha. He’s teaching me how to receive. I highly recommend the lesson.
So, we had communion. Haha. Communion had me. Worship revved up again and I got frozen in worship, until I heard my friend Joanne say, “this is my friend, Dawn” and I opened my eyes to see who she was introducing me to and that’s when I collapsed to the floor. Hahahahaha. Holy Spirit konked me. I was on the floor maybe an hour, unable to move any part of my body. The weighty presence of God was taking me into deeper rest. In time, I could move my arms, but as they prepared to close the building I had to be carried out. I had almost no control over my legs. My friend Damali pulled her car up to the door and a bunch of people poured me into the backseat. I slumped over for the 45 minute ride to Damali’s mom’s house. It was sheer bliss. All of it. Love was all over me, in me, on me. I was a waffle with Jesus’ syrup in all my squares. Mmmmm. As we parked outside the house I asked God to give me the ability to walk inside so as to not make a disturbance in the house so late at night. Lo-and-behold, I walked inside. In pretty short order I flopped onto the bed to sleep, my body smitten with Him, my heart at rest, my mind peaceful.
The Father of Lights gives good gifts to His kids. And that was one wonderfully GOOD GIFT. I’ve been “out” in the spirit many times, but that was the first time I’ve had to be carried out of the building – haha, every other time I regained mobility before the place closed. It’s so good for us to lose control, to look ridiculous, and to get blasted by Jesus! His PRESENCE His PRESENCE His PRESENCE! To be swallowed by His Presence and digested by Glory is one of the best things on earth! It transforms us. It fills us with more of Him. It activates the realities of faith already in us. It plants revelation of God into our every part. It takes us into heavenly places and shows us unspeakable truth. And every encounter with His presence is some of the most fun I’ve ever had. <God, I love you! You have my heart!>
And oh what fun it is to offend yourself!
I recommend it. Get out of your comfort zone. Get radically obedient to His voice. Get crazy. As I told a friend recently, “what will really bring the fullness of revival and universal transformation will be the CRAZINESS” – the willingness to not care what people think, to look like a ‘fool’, to pursue invisible things outside of earth’s value system and to live a life caught in the sizzle of His eyes.
Offend yourself and
get caught in the sizzle.
Haha. <deep sigh, weak knees, girlish laugh, swoon…>