The Epic Expedition

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Gracie loves adventures. She always says: “Let’s go Exploring!” which means she is ready to have a real encounter with the world! In these expeditions we breathe in the love and glory of the Lord as we walk through her grandfather’s farm; braving forests and fields, or walking our country road to the top of the “mountain.” I have often thought of our lives as “Adventures” with the Lord. But these days my perspective has shifted. Now, rather than just being on an adventure in the world, I see we are also on an adventure in the Lord. We are in a great exploration of encountering God’s Love and Glory. I am coming to the deep realization that this is no one-dimensional God!

I speak with people all the time, Christians and non-Christians, who have an incredibly one-dimensional view of God. I can’t say I’ve been much better myself! The other morning I was on my walk. It was gray and breezy. As I walked I was so overwhelmed with the Lord. My heart was just bursting for Him; a wild tangled mix of love and joy and rest and peace jumbled with tears of broken-heartedness and pain for those around me who are crumbling in the circumstances of life. When I reached the “top of the mountain” the gray skies opened up, the breeze intensified, and the rains came down. I stood with my arms stretched out and my face lifted to Jesus as the rain soaked my face and mingled with my tears. In this gentle, sweet rain I heard Him say: “I am crying with you, those same tears of Joy and Victory and Broken-heartedness.” I was crying and laughing and totally soaked— heart, mind and body— with my love for Him and His love for me. In Luke 10: 27 Jesus says: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. You see, God is not one-dimensional. God doesn’t just want my heart. He wants ALL of me! He’s not looking to take up residence in one space. He’s not one-dimensional— and He wants to fill all the spaces- my heart, my mind, my soul, and my body.

The richness of this realization is becoming more apparent to me! My friend Annie Laurie and I have been sharing some deep challenges the Lord has placed in both our lives right now. The challenges are completely different, but they are HARD! They are painful! We both know and trust deeply that the Lord is working, but we are both feeling a little “knocked about!” After a whole morning of pouring “out” to and pouring “in” to each other we went our separate ways and then something incredible happened! The Lord sent us each the exact same quote in different ways. Here is the quote:

Cottage_Frogs_IsImagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you know that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense.

thCA2VYXYTWhat on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of–throwing out a new wing here, putting on an  extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent cottage:but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself!

~C.S. Lewis

Annie Laurie and I were both hit to the core by the quote itself, but when we made the discovery that the Lord revealed the same quote to each of us; (one that is by no means popular or cliché) we were both breathless! God was telling us both that He is HUGE, and He is knocking us about to make room for himself to fill us up.

I am imagesreminded of Isaiah 6 when he says: “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” These illustrations just moved to prove how this is no one-dimensional God… The train of His robes FILLS the temple! The Earth is FILLED with His Glory! No- he is not one-dimensional— the word I would use is EPIC!  The more I see that, the more I want to have one Epic encounter with Him after another! I want the rich robes of His love and Glory to spill out of all my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength. I want to love Him with all of me!

When I love Him with ALL of me, and allow Him come and take up residence in all those spaces it means He will make further renovations to expand those spaces. When He moves in to fill and expand those spaces I can begin explore the heights and depths of His love for me. Like the fairy tale adventurer, I can get lost in the halls of His palace— the one He is building in my heart, mind, soul and strength— with His unfathomable love and care. And so can you!

ViewfrominsidetheNeuswansteinCastleBut you see, because He is not just one-dimension, as you explore the majesty of His palace, you walk by a window and peer outside. What do you see? A vast expanse of more! His love is on the inside and the outside! And its beckoning you to explore more! That “more” is right where you are now…. Here is the call to come with me on the Epic Expedition to take in the “Extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience its breadth! Test is length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!” (Ephesians 3:18, MSG) Let’s Go Exploring!

 

Please visit Annie Laurie at her blog: My Living Canvas. She is a most treasured and beautiful sister-in-Christ to me!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Steph Barnett August 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I love this Monica! The quote is especially great 🙂 Thanks for reminding us all that God knows what he’s doing and it is such an adventure!

Love you!

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Tamara September 3, 2013 at 2:52 pm

PTL for His Epic love, righteousness, mercy, grace, and for the plans He has for His people therein & within! I hadn’t heard that quote-what a good metaphor! The renovation process on a home is never fun but the end results are worth it. He is renovating this shack into a palace to reside within! Thank you Monica for another thought-provoking and adventurous LWG! I look forward to the next…

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Gina September 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Behind on my Life With Grace (new baby will do that to you). But I enjoyed this post and “meeting” your friend, Annie. I loved and could relate her latest post as well… helped me reflect on being a mom to a newborn. Every man has a mountain, right?

Thanks for sharing. Love you 🙂

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Christiana September 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Monica,
Thank you for this! I am in the process of renting space at the Hunter Mill Country Day School in Vienna. It is a preschool planted on a mini farm, hosting a horse, sheep, goat, chickens and bunnies. It is a magical place…. So today, I went on an Epic Adventured planned by The Designer and Love of my heart. I enjoyed the day with 18 running, jumping, singing, twirling 3 year olds. I got to help construct a train track—this is challenging to me, however, Bobbie helped me out. He was excited when I made a multi- colored bridge and a rainbow tree to embellish our oval shaped track. I fixed two pony tails, kissed a pinched finger, a bumped head, visited “Brownie” the brown bunny, read a story about crazy Monkeys, wiped some noses, pushed some kids very super high on the swings, I could go on and on….simply I had a great day :o)

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