Sometimes the Holy Spirit surprises us with words we didn’t expect and hadn’t realised we needed to hear. Those times can be like a scented breeze on a warm day, impossible to force, and utterly welcome. Sweet refreshing words, straight from the heart of God.
This morning was one of those times for me. I saw this tweet:
@DallasAWillard: Intimate friendship with God is the Christian viewpoint made clear in these passages Ex 29:43-46, Ex 33:11, Ps 23, Isa 41:8, John 15:14.
Dallas Willard (1935-2013) is one of my favourite authors, he is a thinker, a lover of people, and most of all a lover of Jesus. So when I see something he has written I like to take a moment and hear what he has to say. You can always rely on him to have something good for the soul, and for sure this will feed your spirit and sow to your soul. It doesn’t strengthen fear and insecurity by letting you dwell on the negatives….Feed what you want to grow.
Maybe you’d like to sit down and enjoy this breeze with me.
That’s where I’ll meet you; that’s where I’ll speak with you; that’s where I’ll meet the Israelites, at the place made holy by my Glory. I’ll make the Tent of Meeting and the Altar holy. I’ll make Aaron and his sons holy in order to serve me as priests. I’ll move in and live with the Israelites. I’ll be their God. They’ll realise that I am their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live with them. I am God, your God.
And God spoke with Moses face to face, as neighbours speak to one another. When he would return to the camp, his attendant, the young man Joshua, stayed… he didn’t leave the tent.
God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure. You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of my God for the rest of my life.
But you, Israel, are my servant. You’re Jacob, my first choice, descendants of my good friend Abraham.
I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.
These are such life-giving, refreshing passages. This truth is what draws me and does my heart good when I’m flagging. No beating me to work harder, but a drawing to one side to refresh me and lift my head. Oh Jesus, you are amazingly kind…not a trace of the Egyptian slave master about you…you are friend and saviour..all the way through. There’s not a bone in your body that is irritated with me.
Sometimes we need a bevy of verses like this to drip down into the soul and reassure us that, yes, he does want to be close with us, he really does. It isn’t just us wanting his attention, but he wants us, too.
I’m not going to ask why…
I’m just going to grab this truth and hold it close to savour the scent rising from it. Like newly baked bread or freshly washed clothes…
If you’d like to know why Dallas Willard is so highly regarded by so very many, then get hold of this book, it is a treasure and will change how you see most things for always. I know it sounds like hype, but this is for real.