Taking it to the Next Level

So time has slipped by and I missed a week of posting.  Trying not to let that slide into two weeks so here I am at the eleventh hour … again. 

I actually started a post earlier in the week but never finished it.  By the time I got back to it the topic no longer interested me so I’m starting over.  Seems I’m starting over in a lot of ways these days.  You think I’d feel like I’ve actually learned some stuff at this point, but I know I’m still at the beginning of the beginning in the most important pursuit of my life–which is simply knowing him.

I sound like a broken record.  Seems like everything I write, everything I say, everything I pray always comes back to this –”that I may know him.”   There really isn’t another topic that interests me all that much.  It’s even more at the forefront of my mind and heart lately because I just don’t feel like I’m pursuing Jesus as passionately as I have in the past.  I feel way too distracted way too often.  Although, as always, he is so incredibly tender and sweet with me and so graciously makes his presence real to me in so many ways every single day–I have often thought lately that I’m not pressing into him, not seeking after him, not longing for him like I have in seasons past.  That’s not okay with me.

I’ve prayed for him to pursue me. I’ve prayed for my heart to be awakened.  I’ve done everything I know to do to position myself for greater revelation of him – but more often than I would like I still find myself feeling just a little bit flat.  I can’t manufacture passion, it’s either birthed out of his heart and into mine or it’s just hyped up emotions.  I don’t do hyped up emotions.

Every time I ask the Lord about it, it seems he just sort of smiles at me and tells me I’m in a good place.  I want to believe that’s really what he is saying, but sometimes it’s hard.  Yet he is so incredibly patient with me. He seems to be going to great pains lately to let me know I’m where I’m supposed to be doing what I’m supposed to be doing even though I would rather he challenge me into a place of deeper devotion.  Instead he loves me where I am and just keeps smiling at me.

I stopped by the prayer room tonight because I wanted to sit in his presence without distractions.  Not long after I got there Rob, one of our worship leaders, was talking about pressing through those “plateaus” we experience with the Lord.   It’s so tempting to just “top out”–to get to a place we’ve contended for and then camp out there rather than continuing to press on for an even deeper revelation of his heart.  My heart was so stirred.  The desire to know him more and want him more is so deep and real in my heart but it just doesn’t seem like there is much I can do to translate it into action these days.  I asked the Lord if I had hit a plateau, thinking maybe that was my problem.  He just smiled (again) and shook his head no.   Then immediately he gave me a cool little picture that sort of brought the season into focus…

I saw a series of multi-tiered platforms.   I was up on a high platform, but there was a ladder suspended from the top of the next platform.  I had grabbed the ladder and had climbed nearly to the top – it was a long climb.  Right above my head–actually within reach–was a trap door that accessed the next level.  I knew that once that door was released, all the blessings of that level–which included the answers to many prayers prayed in previous seasons–would be poured out.  Along  with the outpouring a way would be made to actually inhabit the next level–through the open door.

When we first break through to a new level we’re standing firm on that ground.  All the wisdom and revelation, all the fruit and blessings of that season are fresh and real.  But we’re not called to camp, we’re called to keep moving upward.  As we climb, the farther away we get from the breakthrough of the past season, the less certain and secure things seem.  So much so that by the time you get to the point where you are actually within reach of the next level, you feel like you are sort of suspended in air with nothing familiar to hold onto.  The things that were so prominent in the last season drift into a haze because you’ve climbed so far above them.  It feels really uncomfortable. There’s no place left to climb–the hard work is done.  The only thing you can do is tug on that rope and get ready for that latch to give way. 

I guess it really is a good place.  Doesn’t always feel so good but I know it is. What’s even better is I know that when that door gives way–what will be poured out is more of him.  More wisdom.  More revelation. More of his presence.  More of his heart. 

I can’t seem to do much to make it happen sooner, but it helps knowing it is so close–within arm’s reach.  He has heard my prayers.  He knows my hearts desire is to be wholly his and to burn with holy passion for him–always. Whether or not I feel that reality in the moment I’m praying is irrelevant.   He likes hearts that want to move toward him–and he moves toward them.

Hmm … I think I’m starting to understand why he’s been smiling. 

“I press on to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Phil. 3:14

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