Sunday, January 4, 2009

Spiritual Adventure

As you know, I have encouraged you to find a piece of scripture to carry you through this new year (here), to replace those new year resolutions you no doubt will break if your like me. And many of you have! You won't regret this. My sweet friend Yolanda from Higher Ground felt God laying a descriptive "word" on her heart for the new year (you can read about it here) and it so stirred my thoughts. I begin praying for a "word" to add to my chosen scripture of Col 4:2-6.

When I went to She Speaks this past summer, a word and scripture was given to me after praying at the cross, places on a little laminated card which I cherish and carry in my Bible. The word was "secure" and the scripture from Deuteronomy 33:12: "Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders." How fitting! I was on a journey towards becoming secure in God's grace and I can honestly say I ended 2008 secure in God's grace and truth. So what might 2009 hold for me? What might it hold for you? What word, as challenged by Yolanda, captures your heart for your 2009 journey with Him?

I purchased two books for my husband's stocking this Christmas. Only one arrived before Christmas. Lelia from "Write for the Heart" introduced me to Mark Batterson's book "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day". My husband is enjoying this book and I plan to read it when he is done. Mark Batterson's second book "Wild Goose Chase: Reclaiming the Adventure of pursuing God" came yesterday. So on this lazy Sunday afternoon, I opened it's pages for a sneak preview and I have been drawn in. I must however put it down and finish the book I currently am in but I found my word that I have been asking God for within it's title and first chapter. I feel it correlates well with my scripture of Col 4:2-6 for 2009.

In this book "Wild Goose Chase", Mark refers to pursuing the Holy Spirit as "chasing the Wild Goose" (you have to read this book to understand where he came up with this-it's cool!). He writes:

"I understand that "wild goose chase" typically refers to a purposeless endeavor without defined destination. But chasing the Wild Goose is different. The promptings of the Holy Spirit can sometimes seem pretty pointless, but rest assured, God is working His plan. And if you chase the Wild Goose, He will take you places you never could have imagined going by paths you never knew existed" (pp.2)

Does that describe your heart, your desires, your life right now? Boy. I am there. Chasing the Holy Spirit, or as Mark refers to it-"Wild Goose", determined to know Him more. There is one descriptive word that comes to me over and over as I look at my relationship with God, His place in my life, my heart, my desires....it is what I anticipate in 2009-ADVENTURE--not just any adventure but Spiritual Adventure!! That is the word this author uses to describe what its like to pursue God. I am pursuing God more in all areas of my life, but specifically my prayer life. I sense an ADVENTURE ahead in 2009!! Do you?

Webster defines adventure as "an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks; the encountering of ; an exciting or remarkable experience". In briefly summarizing the key concepts I see being presented within Marks book, he describes spiritual adventure as:
1. pursuing the passion God has put in your heart (responsibilities)
2. trading in the routine for adventure
3. to stop living in assumptions
4. re-conditioning spiritual reflexes (guilt)
5. accepting divine detours and divine delays (failure)
6. playing offensively with our life (fear)

"If you would describe your relationship with God as anything less than adventurous, then maybe you think you're following the Spirit but have actually settled for something less--something I call inverted Christianity. Instead of following the Spirit, we invite the Spirit to follow us. Instead of serving God's purposes, we want Him to serve our purposes. And while this may seem like a subtle distinction, it makes an ocean of difference. The result of this inverted relationship with God is not just a self-absorbed spirituality that leaves us feeling empty, it's also the difference between spiritual boredom and spiritual adventure." (pp.4)

I'm looking for a grand spiritual ADVENTURE in 2009. A never ending chase! How about you?

"Wild Goose chase is an invitation to be part of something that is bigger than you and more important than you." (pp.11).


I leave you with 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 (The Message) as you ADVENTURE into this new year:
[4-6] Every time I think of you—and I think of you often!—I thank God for your lives of free and open access to God, given by Jesus. There's no end to what has happened in you—it's beyond speech, beyond knowledge. The evidence of Christ has been clearly verified in your lives.
[7-9] Just think—you don't need a thing, you've got it all! All God's gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.

Sweet, sweet words to my soul.

I would love to know your "word" or scripture for 2009. I am sure Yolanda would too!! Be sure to share them here and on her blog Higher Ground!!

His Maidservant~Pamela

10 comments:

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Two words immediately come to mind, but I will ponder a bit further.

Thanks for the prod and the book review.

Glorious week to you and yours~elaine

His Living Sacrifice said...

My scripture for 2009 is up on my site.

More of Him, less of me...

Yolanda said...

Pamela,

I know you are on to someting, the word secure to continue you on into 2009 especially going on The Great Adventure with the One who HOLDS you SECURE!

Rich and rewarding Siesta, thank you Pam and thank You Abba God!!

Lovingly as I reach for Higher Grounds,
Yolanda

Jenny Williams said...

Pamela, I work with the Threads team (www.threadsmedia.com) at LifeWay. Mark Batterson partnered with Threads to write his Bible study based on "In a Pit" called "Chase the Lion". He's actually working on "Chase the Goose" right now, which will release in May. I just thought you might be interested in these studies. You can find Chase the Lion at www.threadsmedia.com/studies.

Jill said...

Looks like a good book!! Thanks for sharing - I loved your words about being an introvert Christian. They made sense because that's who I have been, but over the last year things have been changing. I trust that will continue as the adventure of '09 is now underway! I have enjoyed your idea about the verse for a year and God's led me to 2 Timothy 4:5. The verse says alot, so I'm looking forward to how He applies it in my life in the days ahead. Thanks again for sharing, it's been a blessing to read your story. I pray God continues to work in and thru you, Jill

Carol said...

Pamela,

I love this. I've been wanting to write a blog about this and link to your original post, but haven't done it yet, now I'll have to link to both of these.

I've been praying for God to lead me to my verse and yesterday as I was reading he lead me to 2nt Timothy 1:6-7.

My hubby also love this idea, and has picked out a passage, and my daughter is going to pick one from her memory verses from the past year.

Thank you for the prompting. Also for the book recomendation, your's was the second blog I've read about that book today.

Have a blessed day.

Carol

Redeemed By His Love said...

Pamela,
You have spurred me on! I will have to pray and ask the Lord what "word" He has for me.
I have never read any books by Batterson. They sound interesting.
When reading your post about "adventure", Steven Curtis Chapman's song The Great Adventure!
Miriam :)

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I read In A Pit... last January when my pastor preached on it for six weeks. He is doing the same starting this month with Wild Goose Chase. I hadn't purchased the book at discount like I did In a Pit last year. Maybe I should buy it and just read it later when I have time. I just don't have time right now with my other two studies.

Beth in NC said...

Hi Pamela. Blessings to you! You have won a bloggy award. Please come to my blog to retrieve it.

Love,
Beth

Laura said...

Pamela,

I'm still listening for mine! He has been speaking so much to me lately that I'm having trouble settling. I'll keep listening...