Sex without foreplay is possible but is certainly considerably “less” than the real deal. In the same way, our encounters with God can have an on-ramp or not.
God’s encounter with Saul of Tarsus was quite lacking in preliminaries. Saul probably set the standard for spiritual, emotional and physical whiplash in God-encounters.
By contrast, God’s encounter with the Hebrews at Mount Sinai had a couple of years of on-ramp before the grand event.
In between those two extremes are sundry different constructs. If you are looking for a new topic to freshen up your Bible study time, go through Scripture and explore all the God-encounters, examining the presence or absence of the on-ramps. Of particular interest are the on-ramps that lack signage.
When Naomi got backed into a miserable corner in Moab, there was no huge sign saying, “On-ramp to stupendous extraordinary moment of destiny and restoration of birthright!” But that crisis was, in fact, an on-ramp.
But I digress. I was recommending this study for you, not for me. I have more rabbit trails in my office right now than I have rabbits to bounce down them.
One of God’s on-ramps for me is to tell me something out of context or obvious. When He shows up and mentions that the sky us unusually blue today, He is giving me a hint that there is a game afoot, and if I am willing to come out and play, I need to decode the riddle He just casually flicked my way.
That happened yesterday.
I was cranking along in high gear and beyond, trying to end my Friday in magnificent shape. In the midst of my hard charging, task oriented day, God mentioned in passing that when He wanted to reveal the concept of ministering to the human spirit, He drew me to Baltimore with a completely different study.
In the process of pulling together a group to explore a specific topic in Scripture, it created an on-ramp for God to show us something we didn’t know we didn’t know.
In spite of my work focus, I was alert enough to get the hint. He is in the process of building an on-ramp. There is something He wants to show me that I am not looking for.
I wonder if it is about the big science project I have been carrying in my heart for years. I am very clear on what I want to do in the realm of science. It is outrageously immense, and if I am right, it could provide the bridge we have been looking for between the spirit and the body and spirit and soul, to massively speed up healing of all sorts.
I am also very clear that my huge dream might be too small, and God might have something tangential that could be the real deal. So I am pursuing my goal with Sapphire’s legendary fierce intentionality while at the same time, checking on the Holy Spirit’s whereabouts every hour or so, to be sure He didn’t turn right somewhere when I kept going straight.
So the on-ramp God is building might be about my dream, or it might be something totally out of context to anything else we are already doing.
We shall see.
His first move was yesterday morning. At any given time, I have a couple of “hard cases” in my world and a couple of impossible cases. There is one particular trauma we have been trying to solve for a decade and a half. Futility reigns. The other person is intermittently patient with my incompetence and allows me to try something new when I have an idea.
Yesterday morning, the old picture took on a new look with one more clue, and I went after the problem in a hard charging way. Time will tell, but I think that 15 minutes might have changed the rest of her life.
I noted and wondered about the uncommon power to bring freedom to this captive.
During the video workshop with the team in Innsbruck, it was like my connection with the Holy Spirit went from dial-up to fiber optic in speed and clarity. We expected a low-key, sod busting event, and we soared beyond anyone’s imagination. The impact of that God-encounter is already ricocheting around the world.
I noted and wondered at the uncommon perspective.
After lunch I got a call from one of my hardest working peeps. She pings me about twice a year, because her work ethic is so deep. Anything she learns from me, she implements painstakingly and thoroughly.
She was beyond stuck. God exposed a problem we didn’t know was there. I unleashed a fairly savage torrent of “history” against the critter, and it manifested worse than we have seen in years. The violence to her body was crazy. God said, “Don’t flinch. Pour it on.”
No new strategy, just pounding the seventh head of Leviathan with everything I had. Took a while, but she got gloriously free of something that had been going on for decades.
I noted. Power and boldness again. Hmm . . .
Meanwhile, all week I have been watching the weather. There is supposed to be a big storm hitting the southland on Sunday. Storms feed something deep in me when I can be out in them, or close to them. I pondered what it would be like to play in it. However, there is this thing called work and Sunday is my day for phone calls – all day long.
I waffled all week on whether to cancel one or another of the scheduled calls so I could make a quickie run into the storm.
Last night, my spirit asked, “What if this is part of the on-ramp?”
I pondered it briefly and then wrote everyone who was scheduled for Sunday and asked to reschedule. I only cancel commitments once every three or four years, but this situation seemed significant.
As soon as I had written the last email, clearing the whole day, my spirit erupted in excitement. Apparently the rascal knows something it hasn’t shared with my soul yet.
So . . . tonight I will go to bed with my spirit vibrating with intensity, undoubtedly compromising the sleep of my body. If some stray rain drop sneaks out ahead of the 9:00 a.m. predicted rainfall, I will probably hear it even if it is at 2:00 in the morning!
And on Sunday, I will be out of the office, being courted and loved on in the context of my beloved storms.
The King knows my software better than I do. I don’t know whether the on-ramp will be finished tomorrow and the revelation will come, or whether He will keep on building for another day or week or month.
But I suspect that when I get back to my great big, huge, massive, transformational science project next week, it will look different because of the on-ramp the King is building right now.
So here is to the God of Tangents. And the God of Storms. And the God of Courtship.
Since you all will be the most probable recipients of the treasures at the end of the on-ramp, I suggest you pay it forward by investing vigorously in my playtime in the storm on Sunday.
Copyright January 2016 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub – sizzling already