One man in particular I met today has been walking/ hitch hiking for 3 months making his way from California to the east coast. This man... William... has now been in Jonesboro, Ar. for 3 days. Immediately when He sat down my friend and I simultaneously noticed the spiritual baggage he was carrying almost before we noticed his physical baggage. This man was weary, tired, beat up, and lonely. He'd been rejected, mocked, and taken advantage of. He sure did talk about his problems a lot... but He also talked about His LOVE and hunger for the word of God. He seemed as though His bitterness was just about to get the best of him and he was about to give up on the human race. God's grace had been sustaining Him thus far and He knew it... but my friend and I both new He had places in his heart that had been scarred on this bumpy road that needed to be healed. He knew the truth forwards and backwards, but He needed a divine intervention. I got a picture of Jesus in the wilderness being tempted and Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and then God sending angels to minister to His weary soul afterward. I felt as though that was what God was doing in that very moment. Not that we were his angels, but that He was allowing this man to rest in His presence and softening the rough edges right in front of our eyes! It was crazy to see the difference in Him when he got up to leave. I knew we had all 3 been in the presence of angels sent straight from God to love on us and fill us back up with Him.
One of the things the man carried around with Him was a sign that simply said : THANKS. At first I thought it was so cars would pick him up or something but then I realized it was for God. He said that He holds it up to heaven every single day in adoration and praise for a God who provides for all His needs moment to moment. This man truly knows what it's like to live on faith alone. So although He may have walked away refreshed... I walked away with an extra measure of faith and encouragement to let more of my "stuff" go.
One of the most profound things I think I heard Willy say was: "When you attack someone that satan has crippled then he gets double the victory". This got us talking about how we interact with broken people all day long... in some areas of our lives we are too. What i mean is that we are not and will not be made perfect until that glorious day... but we DO have the opportunity for more freedom and healing in our lives until then. If the enemy is the father of all lies, and he seeks to kill, steal and destroy... then everyone we encounter that has broken places has probably believed a few of those lies. In some ways they are crippled by the enemy if they sit and act out of a victim mentality.
The lies are toxic and will make our spirits sick, weak and susceptible to more lies. Sometimes we take it upon ourselves to gossip, say or think mean things, or even shut a person completely out because of whatever reason we deem worthy through earthly measures. Most of the time we did not agree with what they did or how they acted. But does that act deserve the same in return? We have no more rights because their disappointing act came first... and we are responsible for our own action or response no matter what they've said or done. This is very CLEAR in the word and revealed in the heart of God. He is the judge, not us. Most or all victimizers are victims themselves.... but it's more or less a series of lies they've believed that have enslaved them allowing outside circumstances to control their internal feelings which control their response to life.
Have you ever thought or said these things? "Well they're an adult.. they should know better" , or "i can't believe a christian would act like that", or "i really thought they were raised right", or "that poor girl, she never had a chance", or "how dare they treat me like that, i'm...." the list goes on and on and on. I know at least I have shamefully thought some of these at some point in my life. This could be a clear indication that a) we feel as thought they've made their bed and deserve to lie in it (no grace or humility) b) we think we have certain "rights" because of certain earthly positions c) we don't see their need for freedom and healing rather see them as just evil people d) or perhaps we don't even desire for them to have more freedom and healing in their lives... or desire to see them stand in a place of victory rather than a victim.
I'm sure I'm leaving some stuff out here, but all I'm asking is that we walk into the light ourselves and choose to see with His perspective rather than our own. You see... as followers of Christ it IS very possible to be unoffendable. In fact, we need more believers who KNOW their Dad so well and have so much confidence in their position as His kids that they are saddened by these things rather than effected by them. We REALLY don't have to take things personal. I know it sounds crazy... but it's true!!! I used to be so insecure in who I was trying to be instead of claiming who God created me to be... and said I believed and loved and followed Him... but never really walked it out in obedience and truth. During this time I was so controlled by my emotions and feelings that just about everything hurt me. I was always a victim. Sometimes I even feel those lies creeping back in... but that's when we have to take control of those thoughts, throw them out with the trash, walk in the opposite spirit and get filled back up with the truth!
Walking in the opposite spirit: what does this mean exactly? I know I talk about it often. Basically when we are feeling, thinking, or saying crap things... we are INSTEAD to choose to believe the truth of what God says and speak that into fruition! The truth is what He desires for us and THAT is what will set us free! Right? So we must walk in that truth! It's ok to not FEEL great or to be honest with where you are at :) In fact that is healthy!!! Suppressing those things can actually be harmful. We just need to sift it through the perspective he gives us in the word, take it all to Him, hold it up to the truth and if it doesn't align we take it captive before it takes us captive!!!
And then all of this talk got me and my friend talking more about what God reveals in His word. Sometimes I hear people say..."I will do this, or that, when God reveals it to me". Or they might say, "That's good for you... but He hasn't revealed that to me yet." I understand there is a certain truth to that statement and it fully depends on what the other person is saying in that particular conversation. But the point I'm trying to get across... is sometimes we are waiting for God to come inside our house, sit down on the couch, and personally reveal how He wants you to live. Again, I understand there are specifics that sometimes we DO wait on the Lord for certain things. But what He's been showing me is that He's revealed it ALL of what we need to know and how to live in and through His word already. And what He's revealed in the word (whether we've read it or not) WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE for.
I've always heard that with my ears, but never quite understood it with my heart until I began this 90 day journey thing. All I know is that before I really dug in, I spent a heck of a lot of time comparing my life to others lives instead of to the word of God. I figured I was pretty "safe" if I lived a life marginally better than someone else. But I'm telling you... we are in serious trouble if we are not meditating on the truth and are measuring our walk according to the performance or velocity of others. How then will we really know the sneaky lies when they are approaching or if we truly are out of line? Reading the word more does not make you a "better christian" or more loved by God... because He already loves you at heavenly max. But He does command us to and obedience is His love language, so..... I dunno. I'll let you draw your own conclusions. It's simple: we obey Him because we love Him... and we love Him because He FIRST loved us EXTRAVAGANTLY.
This afternoon I got to go see "Courageous" with my good friend. I always tend to think those movies are going to be a little hokey, but it was really good actually. One of my favorite scenes was when the family was sitting around the table saddened by a terribly tragedy. The son says something revealing His guilty conscious and deep sorrow for his actions. The dad immediately gets up from the table, runs over to his son and wraps his arms around him and says, "I love you son... no matter what you've done, I love you." It was something along those lines... but they all just sat there hugging and sobbing. The dad's tears for his son probably ran down to his son's face as they embraced. I suddenly got a picture of the God of the universe doing the same for us every time our heart is broken, or realize our own human shortcomings, confess and run to Him. Before we can even get up out of our chair I see Him running over to us, tears streaming as He confirms this love He's always had for us and always will.
B90: (John 6:16- 16:4) I found a few parts of this very interesting but what stuck out to me the most was the mystery of what Jesus wrote in the sand that day in John Ch.8 vs 6-8. I was looking around the internet to see what theories were out there and one in particular really caught my eye. I've never been to seminary so I'm not sure what they're teaching... but this little theory is intriguing to me. (Keep in mind, it is JUST a theory).
John 7:37-44 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” So there was a division among the people because of Him. Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.
Jesus teaches on the living waters, He is rejected by some that wish to kill him for it. The next chapter (not sure if it’s the same day or weeks later, but I imagine the events are close together in time and chronological.
John 8:3-11 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
This is all great, but where’s the link?
Jeremiah 17:13 O Lord, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. “Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the Lord, The fountain of living waters.”
Is it possible that John 7-8 are a fulfillment of this prophesy and Jesus was writing their names in the sand? Hmmm, very interesting! Maybe you have seen this before, but it is new to me and I find it fascinating!