Doin' The Shuffle
    The Rolling Stones and Oswald Chambers.  I'm not sure those two have ever been used in conjunction with each other, but the Stones, or rather, one of their songs, came to mind by way of a couple of questions asked by Oswald Chambers.  Chambers questions were, in effect, can the Father help Himself to my life, all of my life, and, when standing in the light of His Word, can I stand, or do I have to shuffle?  The first question is deeply penetrating.  Can He help Himself to my life?  When guests join us for dinner, true hospitality invites them to help themselves to as much of the fare as they like.  The Father, in Christ, is not a mere guest in our lives, though we often treat Him as such.  He is our life.  When we experience Him as such, no part of our life is off limits.  There are no "secret rooms" we don't allow Him access to.  It all belongs to Him.  We love to think about helping ourselves to all the riches to be found in Christ, but we rarely entertain the thought that it is His right, His demand, that He be able to help Himself to all of our life, all of ourselves.  Can He?  Does He?  To my life?  To yours?
    As I said, it's a penetrating, convicting question, but the second is even more so, and it brought to mind the Stones song from the 80's, "The Harlem Shuffle."  One of the lyrics was "Doin' the Harlem Shuffle," which was a dance.  When it comes to the Lord and His Word to us, can we stand in it, receive it, be shaped by it, live it?  Or, do we do a dance before Him, trying to evade, trying not to get exposed, to keep parts of our hearts, minds, lives, "in the dark," and so "safe" from Him?  Do we do our own spiritual dance/shuffle when He seeks to shine His light on our attitudes, habits, pleasures, lifestyles, ministries, sins?  At the Red Sea, the Father told the people to "stand still and see."  When we carry out a nicely choreographed shuffle, we don't have to stand still, and we certainly won't have to "see," all those things that we don't want to see.  About us.  About others.  About Him.  We just dance away from them.  We just keep "doin' the shuffle."  
    Maybe the greatest tragedy in our attempts to dance the shuffle before Him, is that we deny ourselves the dance He calls us to with Himself. It's a dance of intimacy, of oneness with Him.  It's a dance where we're not looking to see what our feet are doing, but into His face, to see Him, to see His heart, as He looks into ours  There is nothing of beauty in the shuffle, but there is nothing but beauty in a dance of grace with the Father. That's the result of a life that welcomes Him to help Himself to it.  We don't shuffle before the light of His word and His eyes, we melt, hearts and all, into His heart, and His life.  Spiritually, we'll all do a dance.  Will we dance away from Him, or with Him?  Will we keep doing the shuffle, or will we melt in His embrace?

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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