Sunday, July 31, 2011

(day thirty-eight) Why Jesus?

First things first. I think there's a praise report in order. About a month ago I met a young woman who was searching big time. She was very honest about her past, which revealed a painful marriage as well as being deeply involved in the muslim religion. She knew a whole lot about the bible and wasn't afraid to ask questions... but Jesus was her roadblock. In her case, she got so involved in the muslim way of life that to believe Jesus was also God would not be a good "turn out" for her. We knew there was nothing we could or should say to "convince" her, it had to be the holy spirit to reveal the truth. So... my mom, a good friend of mine, and i started praying. We knew that it was going to happen on God's watch and through a supernatural event.

The other day my mom felt led to give her the book "Heaven is For Real", which is awesome by the way! She thought she could read it on vacation, but instead she read the whole thing in 6 hours. Last night she stayed up crying out to God and praying. Before she fell asleep she asked God to open her heart and reveal the truth to her so she would no longer live in fear of this agonizing decision about her faith. As she slept she had a dream where my mom, my good friend and i were all present. In the dream we kept telling her to come with us. When she woke up she knew that Jesus was who He said He was, and God was God. She chose at that moment to surrender her life completely to the Trinity and receive all of His love for her!!! Yahoooooooo!!!! We just got a call from her a few hours ago and celebrated! I can't wait to see how God rocks her and moves through her in this life! I love how God doesn't get stressed about the pace of our journey or the path he chooses to bring us there... perhaps, He delights in it.

Today in church Pastor Dan spoke in Romans 8 about us receiving the spirit of adoption as sons and daughters, not the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. As his adopted kids we cry, "Abba Father!" and our papa hears us. Just like my friend who wrestled daily with the truth of God, we are caught in a tension between our current earthly situation and our future salvation. He said that when you see the future it shapes and dictates how you view the present. For example: whether you know you'll win a million tomorrow or it will be your last day on earth, you will live according to that promise today. God knows there is struggle and decay on this earth from the effects of sin... but He also says it's not even worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed to us one day. Our acceptance of our very own adoption, glimpses of the kingdom on earth, knowledge of the word, and direction of the Holy spirit lead us to a place where our visions of heaven can run wild! This should be the very thing that determines our response to the present.

I used to be the person who was only different than the world because I had made a "decision" and went to church. I watched the same things, said the same stuff, listened to the same lies, reacted the same way, was quite careless with my body, fearful, depressed at times, and most of the time confused as to what God was doing in my life. Don't get me wrong I had times of joy, revelation, conviction, and relationship... but I was not free, and there wasn't a whole lot of evidence in consistent healthy fruit. I think a huge misconception is that when we are "saved" that's it. Then we become a better or worse christian at that point. Well, that's a bunch of bull in my opinion. Yes, something magnificent happens when we are "saved"... but there is a constant process of sanctification that happens as He's restoring us to Him. He wants us to live FREELY even on earth. Free as kids who love the heck out of their dad, and it becomes very visible to all those around because of the way we treat ALL of His creation in our response to His love.

B90: (Job 13- Job 31:16) I tell you what, every time i start to read Job i'm ready to get out of there! But even in the midst of all the depression and darkness, there are tiny bits of light and hope. One particular thing stuck out to me in Job tonight right after my friend Matt had shared a special story with me. Job says, "What is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?" (Ch 21:15) I feel that if we were being completely honest, most of us have asked this question at some point in our life. If not, maybe we should. Not to undermine His power or authority.... but so that you honestly know WHY you follow Him. I mean, we might know the sunday school answer but do we REALLY know for ourselves?

Matt said that one of the kids he has been mentoring was recently saved and had an amazing vision the other day of confirmation. He had just asked himself this question, just like my friend i mention in the beginning of this blog..."Why Jesus?" In this vision He saw himself and his friends behind bars. At one point as they were crying out, a man came and released them. Instead of following the man who released them they ran away and were captured again. This happened several times before they realized the one who had been releasing them must know what He's doing and must have great compassion on them. All the sudden, as they began to follow where He went... they discovered it was Jesus. He finally understood that Jesus was the only one who can truly break us free from our bondage of sin and slavery! One of the beautiful things Pastor Dan mentioned today in the sermon was, "what the law could not do for you, Jesus could."

Tonight as I was reading in Job, this song came on by The Swell Season. It's one of my fav's and I'd love to share it with you because I think it's very timely to what the spirit of God is saying now. When I hear the words: I hear the struggle, pain and cries of Job, myself, and all of you. Then I hear our Father coming to our rescue and begin feel the hope, redemption, and unfailing love. I pray your soul is lifted up today so high that you see yourself through His eyes.

I don't know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can't react
And games that never amount
To more than they're meant
Will play themselves out

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You've made it now

Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can't go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I'm painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It's time that you won

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You've made it now

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You've made it now

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