Ten down eighty to go! Yahoo? Ha. This morning started off quite early, and i'm here to tell you that 4:30 actually does exist! I spent the first hour trying to convince my body that it wasn't still night even though it was dark, so confusing. Sorry body. There was a very good reason for this insanity, i promise. Let me explain: The past few years i've dreaming up an organic fair-trade coffee shop in my head and trying to figure out how in the world it could become reality. Well, this year i quickly became close friends with a girl who ends up buying a coffee shop- wanting to do it organic, fair-trade, economical... and wants me to help! Crazy how our God works huh? She also wants it to be an outlet for my photography and mission work, so i can encourage others through the shop!!!
Moving onward... today was cram packed full of a constant flow of revelation once again. Conversation after conversation... all followed the same themes which kept confirming the light God had been shedding on His gospel of truth.
Legalism vs. Love: in law and life. I'll probably cover this in more detail later, but since we are on the subject of law i think i'll pose a few questions God gave me earlier. As we can tell these books are full of rules and laws. It seems as though God is pretty strict and uptight about it all at first glance. And although His judgement and love go hand in hand... i believe Love came first. I don't believe He created us to judge us, but because He loved us. But now, because of sin... there has to be perfect sacrifice (blemish-free) to cover that sin. Before it was an animal, and now... it's Jesus. I was thinking eventually we would've run out of un-blemished animals. Who knows??
Part of the comparisons between the old testament and new is that the old reveals the power of sin... and the new reveals the power of righteousness. (hang with me here...) So, If this is true... then once sin was introduced in the world, if it wasn't taken care of and atoned for... there would be effects of that sin. God says in Lev 22:9 that He is the one who sanctifies. At this point, He's able to cover us... and in a sense protect us from the harm the enemy can bring because of our exposure. Now, I'm beginning to see it. If sin is not atoned for... the enemy will then have rights to deconstruct that person... not because God is not love, but because He lets it be our choice. If sin is continually not atoned for, then eventually their children and childrens children (whether they sinned or not) are going to suffer the effects of sin. Have you ever heard of the passing down "sins of the father"? Crazy huh?
This started coming together for me today even more. Look again at Lev. 21:16-24. Now my sister looked at this with her compassionate heart and said, "Lindsey, it's not fair.. i just don't get it, why would God not allow people in that had disabilities, it's not their fault." I agreed with her, but immediately sought further into the heart of God... knowing His compassionate heart for all people and being somewhat bothered by this scenario. Then it all started to make sense (or so i think, you may have a completely different opinion). So... if sin had never been introduced to the world, we would still be living in paradise. Since it was introduced we live in a fallen world with fallen bodies. Right now, we look at the globe and see many diseases, cancers, hunger, thirst, murders, affairs, blindness, pain, troubles, etc. Now, i think that all of these things... could be the effects of sin un-atoned for for many many generations. They are like toxins that have just saturated the world so much, it's hard for us to get away from! The hope is that the Lord can still use all of those troublesome things for HIS GOOD! And i don't believe they are "punishments" directly from God- for He loves His kids, just the mere fact that we live in a fallen world with an enemy! This is also why I believe God wants us to be as healthy and strong as possible, if we have weak places the enemy likes to creep in. So Dad's blood covers, protects and IS LOVE.
Back to Law... I think a lot of time we simply think God is having a power trip with all these rules. But what we don't exactly see in the beginning is that what rules really do- reveal our heart. The law tests our heart because of what comes out when we are faced with it. Our response reveals our fruit and it either glorifies Him in it's ripeness or doesn't in it's rottenness. Which again, just exposes our DEEP need for Him as messy broken humans who are made WHOLE in Him.
When faced with "rules" is our heart honoring or onry? Are we following them out of legalism and a fear of punishment, or our intimate love for the father? Do we desire God's will or our own? Do we align our hearts with the word or with the world's? Do the rules expose our selfishness or selflessness? Do we question the father's faithfulness or the foes friendliness? Do we hold on to his promises or call the rainbow a mirage?
These are all questions i've been asking myself lately that surely bring a fair share of challenge! I know our hearts can be deceitful, even more the reason to be so near Him so that our heart becomes like His. I also had a thought one last thought for you today: Are we just responsible for what we see, hear, or know? Or are we really responsible for EVERYTHING that is written in the word whether we've read it or not? My mom said an IRS man once told her that there is no excuse under the law. So even if you had never heard it, because it's written in stone you are accountable to it. Hmmm... I wonder if THAT'S where that expression came from? I'll be pondering over all these questions I'm sure for the next few days. I'd love to hear some feedback too... I wanna grow from what you are learning too :)
P.s. Speaking of "legalism"... Just so you all know I didn't eat amazingly healthy today and I didn't have a second to workout. And you know what? I'm ok with that... gonna get up tomorrow and move on! haha. It's not a race, it's a marathon... and God is NOT intimidated by your journey or anyone else's for that matter!!! So, get out there and LOVE on the world today :)