Psalm ninety-one four.

wings

Last night I was listening to a message on the Sevenfold Spirit of God {Revelation 1:4, 4:5} and the speaker mentioned God’s physical attributes as described in Scripture – that He has nostrils, arms…and wings. What? Wings are for flying insects, birds and angels. The staid, austere Ancient of Days most certainly does not go about flapping His feathers. How undignified.

Seriously, I thought that. A winged God just sounded silly to me.

“He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge.” {Psalm 91:4}

“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are silly to her and she is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” {1 Corinthians 2:14}.

Ouch.

I feel like God is really challenging me in this season to weigh His words and conform to them, rather than forcing Scripture to fit my preconceptions. He expects me to take His Word at face value – rightly discerned – and to act accordingly. That sounds simple and straightforward enough. But the church at large has all kinds of biases against the veracity of the Word of God. Some of us are uncomfortable with elements of the supernatural – partly because they are foreign to us {how tragic is that?}, but mostly because we don’t dare set ourselves up for the possibility of being disappointed. Some don’t like certain manifestations of the Holy Spirit because they offend our sense of propriety. We would rather serve a God who doesn’t embarrass us or call too much attention to Himself.

Remember when Jesus sent a bunch of demons from two possessed guys into a herd of swine who promptly flung themselves off a cliff? Yeah, that. The whole town rushed out – not to thank Jesus for restoring the men to wholeness, but to beg Him to go somewhere – anywhere – else. When it comes down to it, most of us would really prefer a God who behaves appropriately. One who doesn’t drive ordinary farm animals to suicide.

As a good, orthodox Protestant, I firmly believe in the infallibility of the Word of God. But when God looks through me, He and I both know that I don’t unequivocally trust everything He says. I can give ascent in the abstract, but I don’t always grab hold of His promises because I’m not sure how reliable they are in the here and now. I’m willing to go right to the edge of the boat and cry out to Jesus, but stepping out into the raging storm? Not so much.

And it turns out, I’m not alone. When I mentioned to people – good Christian brothers and sisters – that I was leaving my secure government job for a not quite fully developed foray into pro-life advocacy and writing, a few of them thought I was brave, but most thought I was flat-out crazy. Responsible Christians just don’t do things like that. They lay up for themselves pension benefits, 401(k)s and tax-deferred annuities. They don’t make waves and they certainly don’t walk headlong into them, especially in the dark of the night.

I think it’s funny that Jesus waited until the fourth watch of the night {3am to 6am} to call Peter out on the water. I mean if you’re going to step out in faith, it should at least be in the light of day when you’re fully rested. Definitely not after being tossed and turned all night, freaking out about whether you’ll live to see the morning. That’s just not ideal.

But such is our God. He beckons us into the most terrifying, heart-pounding circumstances and then promises He will be there to shelter us.

I really want to know THAT God, wings and all.

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Interim.

I’m getting ready to embark on a rigorous writing project and have been using that as an excuse to do anything but write until the project “officially” begins in a couple of weeks. Mostly I’ve been hanging out with friends and family I haven’t seen in months and trying to recover from five years of living inside a pressure cooker. And this is somewhat embarrassing, but I’ve somehow become hooked on House Hunters International, which is ironic since not only do I not own a home, I really have no earthly prospect of purchasing one in the near {or distant for that matter} future. So in the meantime, I exercise my home-buying skills vicariously by telling people on the other side of the screen not to contract for that overpriced and sterile high rise apartment in Singapore, to shrewdly negotiate the key money for the cozy {euphemism for tiny} flat in Tokyo, and to take a few days to sleep on the romantic but sweaty notion of restoring the castle “fixer” {i.e., ruins} in the South of France. Such is the life of a houseless, unemployed lawyer.

But my lounging, leisurely lifestyle is about to change. I traveled across the nation to work on a project and it’s time to get to it.

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