Conflux moments transform

It was a conflux moment. Just after I awoke on the morning of April 8, 2013, I felt a God nudge: “Sign up for the Doctor of Ministry program at Northern Seminary.” Immediately, I began to argue with God. “But Lord,” I said, “it might be too late to sign up.” God’s answer was simply, “Check into it anyway.” My arguments continued, “But Lord, I am too old for this” to which God replied, “You are never too old to be faithful to my call.” My questions continued, “What will John say? What will Gilman say? How will I find time?” Despite all my questions and arguments, I continued to feel that nudge from God to take on a huge new challenge in my life. You know the rest of the story. About two week later, I applied to Northern Seminary and in June this year, I received a Doctor of Ministry degree in Spiritual Formation. That conflux moment resulted in my spending five wonderful and challenging years of learning and growing and expanding my knowledge and skill for ministry, as well as growing in Christ. It was an invigorating, life-giving experience. But it all began with a conflux moment–a God-nudge.

So what is a conflux moment? According the Sue Nilson Kibbey, a conflux moment is “a living encounter between you and the heart of God.” She goes on to explain that it is a communicating moment of new, divinely communicated clarity. It can be a mini or major breakthrough that you feel inside. Conflux moments, if we act upon them, can result in small, but clear shifts in spiritual landscape, leading or pushing you forward along your discipleship continuum to spiritual maturity. A conflux moment can be so deep with motivating conviction that it leads to a whole chunk of spiritual transformation. They can result in intellectual insight or heart conversion or spiritual nudging. Accord to Kibbey, all these are aspects of conflux moments.

Now I have to admit that “conflux moment” is new terminology for me. Previously I had referred to such moments as “God-incidents” or “calls.” But I like the phrase “conflux moment” because it speaks not only of God’s presence, but also of God’s leading. When I looked conflux up in the dictionary, I found that it is another form of the word confluence, which means “an art or process of merging.” That is exactly what a conflux moment is: The merging of God’s nudge or inspiration or leading with our lives; the merging of God’s Spirit with our spirit.

Looking back at my life, I realize there have been many conflux moments–big ones like the nudge to go to Northern and small ones like a rainbow in the sky at the very moment I needed affirmation from God I was going in the right direction. God is ever seeking to bring conflux moments into our lives. Responding to God’s conflux moments in our lives helps us grow in Christ’s likeness.

Of course, we don’t have to respond to the conflux moments God sends. As in all things, God gives us free will to respond to or ignore his leading. But Kibbey suggests that “a person who has developed deep spiritual maturity has transversed a path punctuated with conflux moments that have been tended, rather than ignored.” Conflux moments are our opportunities to allow God’s Spirit to direct and enrich our lives in him. In addition, we can open ourselves more fully to conflux moments through personal daily habits like Scripture meditation, reflection, journaling, silence, group accountability and other disciplines.

Now that I know what conflux moments are, this is my prayer for you and for me: May God bring us many conflux moments in our lives; and may God give us eyes to recognize them and hearts to respond. Amen and Amen.

Thoughts of Faith usually appears each Saturday on the Focus o Faith page. To submit a Thoughts of Faith, email jhoutman@mariettatimes.com

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