Lowered Wings

Do you see it? The hawk with outstretched wings effortlessly positioned in mid-air upon the ocean breeze?   I took this picture with my phone last month while visiting the pacific coast.  This hawk had my full attention as I watched the breeze lift him, and hold him, and position him in the most beautiful way high above the earth without much struggle on his part.  In fact it seemed that he didn’t struggle to maintain, or strain, at all.

The first chapter of Ezekiel describes a beautiful vision of being in God’s presence.  Verse 25 says, “And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads as they stood still with lowered wings.”

What is the significance of these words: “They stood with lowered wings”? People often ask, “How can I hear the voice of The Lord?” This is the secret: these “living creatures” (v.5) heard the voice when “they stood still with lowered wings.” We have all seen a bird flutter its wings while standing in place.  But in this verse, we are told that “there came a voice … as they stood still with lowered wings.”

Lately, I have tried to stand still before The Lord to hear what the Spirit is saying to me, for my life, right now, and yet I feel that my mind is fluttering out of control.  My thoughts flap around me making it nearly impossible to stand still and hear God’s voice.

Oh, how much energy we waste! How much time we lose by refusing to lower the wings of our spirit and become totally still and quiet before Him!  The fluttering of our own attempts to fix things, figure things out, defend or promote ourselves.  Oh the peace we would enjoy if we simply became still before The Lord and allow the wind of His Spirit to lift us high above the problems we face and give us a new vantage point.

Starter prayer to get still: “Holy Spirit, I desire your wind to lift me above my circumstances today, and to give me a fresh perspective of my situation.  Help me to be still, to lower my wings and know your voice today.  I choose not to flutter in your presence but instead to be calm, and trust you in a brand new way. Thank you for your unfailing love and patience with me.  I trust you, and because of Christ Jesus I can pray this way. Amen.”

(Some concepts in this meditation were taken from, “Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings”, L.B. Cowman, June 16th)

“The Grease of God”

While preaching this Sunday a phrase came out of my mouth in a way I had never considered quite like it before. It’s about the grace of God and how it works in our souls, in our situations, and in our relationships similar to how grease does on gears.  Merriam Webster says that grease causes to occur smoothly; to hasten the process or progress of; to smooth the way; facilitate.  High quality gear oil increases stability, load-carrying capacity, rust protection, and prevents premature wear.

This word picture has been growing in my imagination about the grace of God in our lives, or the way it came out of my mouth Sunday, “The grease of God.”

The scriptures are smeared with the concept of the grace of God, especially in the New Testament.  And some of our favorite hymns are about the amazing, great and awesome grace of God.  Also, we know that our sins are forgiven because of the unlimited grace of God.  But to consider the grace of God as grease, or gear oil, that literally works in our daily lives to ease our situations, to cause acceleration in a process, to make the gears of a business deal shift forward with ease; or for that relationship that rubs you the wrong way to function the right way.

Hebrews 4:16, “Let us draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and grace to help us just when we need it.”

James 4:6, “But God gives us even more grace, as the Scripture says, ‘God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.’”

May all of us accept more grace today by first humbly acknowledging to God that we need it, and then expect that it will begin working just like the scriptures promise.

Prayer for more grace: “Gracious, giving God, your Word says that I can approach you boldly and receive mercy and grace to help in my time of need.  Please grease my life with your wonder-working grace today.  I trust that you hear me when I pray, and I delight with confidence that you are responding to me even now.  Thank you for more grace and for more awareness of you working in my life today.  It’s through Christ Jesus I pray, amen.”