Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Walking with Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension - Day 16 - It's Universal: God's Love Includes All People

Though what happened to Adam had a negative effect on all humanity, what happened with Christ has a much greater positive effect on all humanity!

Adam believed a lie and became subject to sin, fear and death.
Christ believed the truth for us and freed us who had all our lives been subject to bondage through fear of death!

Through Adam came sin and fear and death.
Through Jesus came grace and truth, and He brought life and immortality to light through the good news of grace (God’s attitude of peace and goodwill toward man).

Adam’s heart was darkened when he believed lies, and these lies trapped and bound him.
Jesus came announcing freedom to the captives and sight to the blind (both spiritually and physically).

Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and became bound in a system of performance and works, thinking he needed to do good to earn God’s favor and that anything less would bring God’s vengeance and curse.
Jesus was and is the tree of life, and He freed us from the law system, showing us God’s way has always been unconditional love and freely given grace (acceptance), and that nothing we do or don’t do could ever change His heart toward us!

Adam’s sin made him feel alienated in his mind from God, and he couldn’t see who God really was – it was like a veil was over his mind, a veil of religious thinking, and he couldn’t see the glory of God within him, couldn’t know who God really was.
Jesus’ righteous act freed our minds, for He redeemed us – He came and claimed what was His own, what He had prior claim to, us! He showed us the glory of God in His own face, that whoever had seen Him had seen the Father – He revealed God as Father!

Adam’s sin deadened or dulled him in some ways from sensing the Spirit’s work in his life, even though the Spirit was always present.
Jesus activated the Spirit’s presence in us in a new way, sending the Spirit into our hearts to assure us of God’s love for us, to echo within us that we truly are God’s children, and heirs!

Adam was of the earth, earthly, and the lies of the enemy made him feel that was all he was at all, someone from below.
Christ was of heaven, heavenly, and He showed us the truth that we are made of God-substance, a part of us is eternal – that we are also from above!

Through one man’s disobedience, sin entered the world, and death through sin.
Through one man’s obedience, there came justification (proving our innocence and likeness to God) and life!

In Adam, all died.
In Christ, all are made alive – we have been raised with Christ and seated in heavenly places with Him!

Because of Adam’s believing a lie, sin ruled in many ways.
Now because of Christ’s believing the truth, grace rules and has the final say!

Because of Adam’s sin, death reigned.
Christ came saying ‘Your God reigns!’ And He has the keys of death and the grave! We reign in eternal life with Him! Life wins, Life reigns!

Because of Adam, everyone forgot their origin in God and their family name.
Because of Christ, all the families of the earth will remember! The sleepers will awaken to God’s glory shining on them! And everyone will turn to the Lord and worship (from Ps. 22).

Because of Adam, everyone feels left out.
Christ shows us noone is left out, all are reconciled! Christ shows us in His forgiving attitude that God is not counting our sins against us, that God’s favor and goodwill is toward all mankind, all are revealed to be included – in!

Because of Adam, all have made themselves into sons of disobedience, though they are truly still God’s own created children.
Because of Christ, God has brought back and redeemed (rescued us from vain thinking) what is His own – His children!

Because of Adam, all were dead in sins (unresponsive to relationship with God). We were made for relationship with Him and we were hurting because we were missing out on enjoying that relationship our hearts longed for, being bound by lies about God and thus afraid to interact with Him, thinking He was mean or distant or demanding.
Yet Christ brought life to the dead and restored the fellowship we were missing, opening our eyes to the fact that God was never against us, He was always right there with us, open and friendly and ready to interact with us. He showed us that God was not scary or distant but safe and embracing us, and we were able to relax and enjoy real intimacy with our Papa!

Adam’s sin affected humanity, because all were from Adam, and we were all ‘lost.’
But Christ’s work affected humanity more, because before we were from Adam, we were formed and found in Christ, chosen in Him and dearly loved as God’s own children, before the world began! We were all found before we were ever lost! God’s prior reference and claim upon us was safely preserved in Christ and we are found in Him, no matter what happened here on this earthly timeline!

Though sin is shown to be great, God’s grace is always shown to be greater still!
Oh, the depth of the riches of God’s foreknowledge and plan!
It saves us all, includes us all, rescues and forgives and frees us all!
As my old pastor used to say, “All means all, and that’s all all means!”
God has consigned all under ‘disobedience’ that He might have mercy on ALL!
ALL humanity was included in His life, death, resurrection and ascension!

Though all creation was subject to futility, corruption and frustration, ALL creation will be freed into life and expansiveness and joy!
Though all became disjointed because of Adam, because of Christ ALL things will be summed up in Him, restored and set right through Christ – there will be the ‘restoration of ALL things’ (Acts 3).
And God will be ALL, and IN ALL!
Hallelujah!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fields of Grace

 Child In The Meadow

We are His dear little children, walking with our Papa in fields of grace!

"Praise be to God for giving us through Christ every possible spiritual benefit as citizens of Heaven! For consider what he has done—before the foundation of the world he chose us to become, in Christ, his holy and blameless children living within his constant care."    Eph. 1:3-4  PHP

"We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand - out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise."    Rom. 5:2  MSG

"He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved - surprised to be loved!"  Ps. 18:19  MSG

"Because you’ve always stood up for me, I’m free to run and play."  Ps. 63:7 MSG

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Innocent Little Children


Little Boy Running We are such sweet little innocent children, living constantly in our Papa's tender care!  He sings over us constantly, is so delighted in us, we can do no wrong in His eyes!  He is so proud of us, and it shows in His beaming face, His smile that's always upon us, the way He brags on us to the whole creation!  And we've always been this way to Him, always been His little innocent ones...

We called ourselves ugly and unworthy, but our Papa never did!  We called ourselves rejected and shameful, but our Papa never did!  We called ourselves evil and sinful but our Papa never did! 

To Him, we have always been His good little innocent children, His beauties, His cherished ones, the apple of His eye, His pride and joy! 

We mess up but He says, "They don't know what they are doing, they are infected with a lie that distorts their perception!" This infection with a lie, this wrong belief, doesn't bring forth His wrath but instead brings forth His compassion!

The things we do wrong are cries for help from a trapped soul! He sees us as wounded little ones needing love, not as rebels or sinners needing condemnation and punishment!  Oh what a relief that He always sees me as His little innocent beauty, His cherished little baby who can do no wrong in His eyes! He knows our heart is good, He made us that way, we have His very nature, which is so pure and sweet and good - it's pure love!!

He knows we mean well, we just get confused when we think He doesn't love us..He knows we've been lied to, deceived, tricked, trapped in a false perception , thinking He's against us..He knows we've pulled back from Him in fear and thus aren't experiencing the love that we were meant to enjoy, and He knows without that love we feel empty and in pain and seek wrong ways to deal with that pain and to try to feel okay with ourselves.

He doesn't ever yell, rant or rave at us.  He doesn't ever harm or hurt us, doesn't ever lash out at us or punish us.  His way is healing and restoration, not punishment and furor!  He doesn't want to pull us down, shame us, or wound our hearts.  He mends our broken hearts and massages them with the love we need so desperately.  He knows we need love, not judgment!  


We need His love like we need air!!   His soothing presence is pure LOVE and makes the hurt go away, fills the deep need for acceptance and belonging, frees us to look into His face and realize we are safe in His arms and special to Him, makes us see we are His little innocent ones and have been all along!  And we blossom and bloom in the atmosphere of His grace and delight over us, as we hear the song He has always sung over us with joy, the love song of the ages, "I've always loved you and always will!  You are My beloved child, My innocent one in My image and likeness, in whom I am well-pleased!"

Papa understands! He says everything is okay, I love you, you are mine, you are wanted, I am for you and never against you, never left you, am always here for you..Daddy's got you, you are safe, you are loved, you are home!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Walking with Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension - Day 15 - God's Permanent Commitment to Us in Christ

Religion makes us feel separated from God, on our own, an independent ‘self’ that must do all the right things in order to get ‘closer’ to God..union with God is seen in religion as the goal to strive and strain toward..yet within religion this union is an unattainable goal since noone can meet the supposed ‘requirement’ of perfection in conduct, words and belief. Religion tells us we must be perfect in order to be close to God, acceptable to God. But grace, the good news of Jesus, turns religion on its head! Grace says we already ARE in union with God and that we can’t get AWAY from Him! Our minds may be confused, we may be living as if separated and feeling so alone, yet this is just a lie – we are always with Him and He with us, and that has always been true! We were made of His very substance, His very DNA and divine being, so that we can truly say He is in us as the most real, basic, fundamental part of who we are. And our spirit is of His Spirit, thus we are always connected with Him spiritually. Also, since He fills the whole universe and holds all creation in His hand, we exist in His Presence at all times and there is no part of this whole creation that is outside or truly ‘separated’ from Him!

Yet religion, with knowledge of good and evil, its requirements and obligations, its system of performance-based acceptance, of ‘you must earn blessings by good works’ and ‘you are cursed for your bad works’, only makes us feel separated and hopeless to ever have union with God. Because of religion we think we don’t have what we have – union – and thus we can’t enjoy this union we have! We pull back from God mentally and emotionally and feel awkward about opening up to Him. We don’t really enjoy real relationship, openness or fellowship because of fear – fear that God is a fair-weather friend who will only be there for us if we behave right, who will desert us or reject us if we fail, fear that He is only nice to us (blessing us) when we behave, and that He’ll turn on us in anger and punishment if we mess up (cursing us). Who can feel close to a god like that? Religion’s god is unapproachable and union relationship with him is unattainable – so religion is a game that is unwinnable!! Yet if religion is a game that is unwinnable, grace is a real love commitment that is unlosable!! For He has permanently shown His commitment to love and be with us forever in Jesus’ incarnation!

Jesus came and tied us to God permanently (I believe we were already tied together and in union in our spirits and now we are tied together even more strongly in human flesh – at least that is the way I understand it right now). Jesus is God and He is man. He is God and man in one body! Jesus shows us what we humans are, that we are in union with God, God compatible – not separate from God but made of Him and existing in Him and even indwelt by and in union with Him! He shows us we aren’t hopelessly alienated from God – that is only in our minds, heaped upon us as we try to live under religion’s demands and perspective. We are actually one with God and He with us! Union with God isn’t an unattainable goal but the starting point of our journey from which we launch out into real life and the pleasure of enjoying friendship with our Father! Our reference turns out, not to be Adam (who felt he was ‘just flesh and dust’, which left him feeling separate from God), but to be Christ (who knew He was in the Father and the Father was in Him)!
Finding out that this is our reference helps us realize that we can actually have a real relationship with our Father and not feel like pulling back in shame or in fear of what He might do to us. For Jesus comes and gives us a different and true picture of the real God! This God is for us and will never leave us, no matter what we do! This God is so committed to relationship with us that He took on our human flesh form, permanently tying Himself to our humanity. 

He is the mediator of a new covenant between God and man by being both parties in the covenant at the same time, joining us together in such a deep way in human flesh and cementing our union forever in His body! In Jesus, we (God and people) meet and join hands in intimate relationship! God is saying to us through Jesus, “I’m here with you, always have been and always will be. I am not going anywhere. I am never getting out of this relationship. I am never pushing you away or rejecting you. For I have tied us together forever and there is nothing you could say, think, do or even believe that will break this union we have! I will never leave you or let you go! I will be here for you through thick and thin. You can’t shake me! You can’t get rid of Me! I am in this relationship for keeps, and I will hold you close to My heart forever!”  As Robert Capon says, "You can't get away from a love that will not let you go!" 

I love thinking of how committed God is to us, so committed that He would become a man and stay that way forever – a permanent commtment to be in union relationship with us, tying us to Him and Him to us forever in such a way that we can never be apart, so that everything that happens to Him happens to us, so that wherever He is there we are also in glory, so that we are hidden forever with Christ in God, so that He is with us always even to the end of the age, so that nothing can ever take us out of Him, nothing can ever come between us, nothing can ever ruin our relationship, nothing can ever separate us from Him or His love!! Cemented together forever!   As Kristian Holmes, a facebook friend and mentor, says, God's favorite word is IN!

I have so much to learn and grasp, but isn’t it so wonderful to meet Mr. Grace?! Almost too good to be true, that He would love us and bind Himself to us in such a way, and yet, it is true! It makes me think of the verse in Hos 2 I believe it is, in the Message Bible – “I’ll marry you true and proper, in love and faithfulness, I’ll neither leave you nor let you go.” THAT’S faithful love! THAT’s security! THAT’s grace, THAT’S the real God I’m starting to come to know! 

He told me recently in a dream, that basically, “You haven’t really known Me yet..” and I was excited to think He is more wonderful than I have ever believed, known or dreamed! Can’t wait to get to know Him in an ever deepening way…I’ve spent my whole life being afraid of Him, thinking I was shameful and a disappointment to Him..just as many people have probably felt..but how wonderful to find out more and more how accepting and loving He is! And there is infinitely more to encounter in Him, for He is infinitely more loving than we could possibly imagine! Wow!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We Are in a Wide Open Space

 Mary-Anne Rabe sings a wonderful song called "Wide Open Space" about standing in God's embrace, with 'nothing between us but love and freedom' - !  This song has been going through my mind and heart during my waking hours lately, and what a beautiful message it shares! 

How wonderful to be at this place of oneness with our Maker, to be IN Him who is ALL - all love, all beauty, all peace, all joy, all embracing - and to simply BE in His arms.  Nothing required of us, nothing demanded of us, nothing expected of us..we can simply relax there in His embrace.  Nothing to do, nowhere to get to, nothing to attain, nothing to become, for we are already in a place of wholeness, perfection, harmony, completeness, and delight.  We are in a place of unconditional love and total acceptance, and we have never been out of that place, which is His very heart!!

We find ourselves where we always dreamed of being, safe in His arms of love for all eternity, cherished, valued, cared for, celebrated!  He has always seen us as His delightful and very good children, innocent and lovely.  And we find we have been there all along, for He never let us go, He never abandoned us, He was never apart from us..we have always been His own dear children, covered in His love, gazed upon with tender affection and friendliness.  We have never been alone, for He has always been here, always been our friend that sticks closer than a brother, always supported us, always believed in us, always carried us.   He has always loved us and always will..He has always been for us and always will be...He has always been our Papa and always will be!

What a wonderful place to be, in His heart, in His love, in His presence, in His tender gaze, in His arms..what a wonderful place of stillness and joy it is...a place of rest and pure satisfaction..a place of sweetness and delight...a place of expansion and freedom...a place of childlike wonder and awe, as we gaze on the face of Him who loves us so, who is PURE LOVE and nothing else!  Thank You, Papa, for this union relationship we share with You, this oneness and communion!  This LOVE that is better than life, this ACCEPTANCE that fulfills our deepest longings, this PRESENCE that is so gentle, so tender, so invigorating and happy!  What a wide open space is Your heart of grace and love for us all!

(You can listen to this song by using the player on the side of my blog, Wide Open Space is in the playlist from the album, No Distance...)

"Wide Open Space"
by Mary-Anne Rabe

Justified by Your faith
I'm at peace
Reconciled to You
You've done everything
Nothing left to add
You gave Yourself
And now I give myself to Your love

Chorus:
Here I stand in this wide open space
In this wonder of Your embrace
Spotless and clean,
There is nothing between us but
Love and freedom

Here I will abide, face to face with You
Here I am alive, face to face with You

Beholding You, I've found grace
The reflection I see
Awakens in me, who I am
My true identity, revealed in You

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Walking with Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension - Day 14 - Jesus, Fully Man, and thus so Approachable and Non-Threatening!

To think that God became a man and that it was actually a pleasure for Him, that He loves expressing Himself through human flesh and that we are compatible with Him – it is so amazing to me! It makes me realize that He is actually at home in a human, that He and I share likeness so much that He is comfortable in human skin. Our humanity isn’t shameful to Him but a delight to Him. Our humanity is not a negative to God but a positive!  He likes being in a human body, actually enjoys it - in fact, humanity is His preferred residence and address!  His dream home is humanity!  It's been His plan all along to become one of us, wow!  That is how perfectly compatible we are with God - we fit perfectly together!

It is so amazing to think God is comfortable being a human that it shows me that He is really and actually like us! Since we are truly in His image and likeness, that means that we are like God, and He is like us!  He enjoys laughing with His friends, He enjoys feeling the sunshine on His face, He loves to watch children playing together, feels everything we feel and has similar reactions to things here on earth that we have. He cries at funerals, He loves being invited to dinner, He likes telling stories and having kids sit on His lap.

Jesus is just so human! He is so approachable, so knowable, so nice! So non-threatening, so non-judgmental, so kind! He is not scary but inviting. Not boring but intriguing. Not harsh but gentle. Not aloof but knowable. Not irritable but friendly. Not a weakling but strong. Not untouchable but huggable! He is someone that draws people to Him, with His love, His beauty, His kindness, His grace! He shows us the face and nature of God, and we find likeness with what He shows us! It seems that God’s personality is like a human’s, wow! This makes me feel so drawn to Him, so comfortable with Him, even so ‘liked’ by Him! Known and understood! Cared about and valued! Accepted and befriended!

God became flesh and showed that God is somehow like us, which also shows me we are somehow like God! The core of our character, the basic essence of who we are, the nature of man, is God-like! Andre Rabe says in his book, Word Made Flesh, “there is no conflict in God’s design between the nature of man and the nature of God.” Wow! I was made of Him, made of His substance! His nature is my nature! He is pure love and at the deepest level, so am I! I was made by Love, of Love, to live in Love! Therefore a love relationship with Him is going to be the most fulfilling thing in my existence, for experiencing His love and a loving union relationship with Him is going to meet the deepest needs of my heart. This love relationship is what it means to be myself and to live according to my true nature, amazingly.

I read this week that when a person thinks of God as distant and harsh, brain patterns are formed that actually cause degeneration and even sickness. But when the same person meditates on God as loving and kind, new brain pathways are set and the brain is rejuvenated, as well as the body! We are actually healed by love! Jesus came and showed us who God is, that God is love – He was fully God. And He also showed us who we are, that we are love – He was fully man! Just pondering these thoughts about God as love and ourselves as love, too, as mirror images (reflections or expressions) of Him brings healing to our souls, our emotions, our bodies and our lives. Wow! Thank You, Jesus, for being so human and so approachable, and for showing me myself in Your face!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Walking With Jesus From Incarnation to Ascension - Day 13 - Jesus, Fully God, Who Tied Himself to Me Forever!

God is pure Love.
This wonderful God, who is at the core pure and perfect Love, had a wonderful plan.
He planned to take on human flesh and become a person, a man!
He would still be 100% God, showing that man is compatible with God Himself inside.
He would also be 100% man, one of us, understanding us and knowing our human experience.
He understands me completely, He gets me!
And He is human permanently, He chose to take on and be in this human form forever!
What a commitment, and what a revelation!

I just want to talk to Jesus about it right now, as I feel so touched by what He did:

As I started seeing the commitment You have made to be with me, dear Jesus, something shifted inside me.
Something deep down just fell into place, and a place of deep longing was touched.
I realized that You have tied Yourself to me forever.
And by doing that, You reveal to me that that means You won’t leave me!

You will always be a human, always understand me..
You will always be there for me, always be with me in my humanity!
I realize that at my lowest points, no matter how messed up my thinking or acting may be, You’re there!
You’re the Friend who sticks closer than a brother..
You have tied Yourself to me forever, no matter what..
You are committed to me and to our relationship..
You aren’t going anywhere, won’t leave me or abandon me..
You are in this for the long haul, for good, for ever!

All my life I have been so afraid of being left alone, being abandoned or rejected.
Like many people, I think.
And the way I’ve sometimes acted has pushed people away and has been a big mess, really.
I’ve acted on the lies I believed and brought about some junk in my life, and also depression and fear.
Yet, there in the gutter of my life You find me, You hold me, You bring God Himself to my situation and sit right down with me in the gutter, understanding and loving me right where I am in all my confusion and hurt and pain!

And You don’t leave me there! You bring the divine essence of LOVE to bathe and heal me, to open my eyes to the truth of my belovedness, to bring healing and restoration to the painful places, to give me hope again!

You show me that we are in this together and will never ever be separated, for You’ve disconnected the lies’ hold on me through taking me with You through death, and You’ve raised me up into the fellowship You share in the Trinity in heaven, enjoying Your very life, and so I will live forever with You and cannot fall into the death grip of lies anymore! Lies can’t have me, because Life and Love has got me forever!

You didn’t just tie Yourself to me, You tied me to You!
You didn’t just enter into and understand my problems, You took me into Your perfect loving relationship with the Father!
You didn’t just enter the death trap prison of lies I’d gotten into, You freed me into enjoying Your life!

You brought God, Daddy, Papa, Love Himself to my experience, thank You, Jesus!
And You tied Yourself forever to me in Love, never to leave me or forsake me.
I am understood, I am cared for, I am safe, I am accepted, I am loved!
I love You, Jesus!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Walking with Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension - Day 12 - Jesus is Our Origin and Our Destiny

"It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for."   Eph. 1:11 MSG

God is opening my eyes more to understand more about the Incarnation, and I wanted to write some more thoughts here: The Word is the sum of God’s thought, the expression of His very Being, His sharing of Himself, the outshining of who He is – Jesus Christ is the final and clear Word of God, the express image of His Person and the exact picture of God in a flesh body!

This Word of God became flesh and appeared in tangible form on earth, and looking at Him we saw what we ourselves were made of, saw our design and origin, saw ourselves truly for who we really are, saw our true identity! We saw that we are expressions of God as well, saw that we are like Him and are actually His children, derived from Him as our source and belonging to Him. We saw that we are in Him, connected with Him, for His is our origin and life in whom we exist! We also saw who God is, what the essence of God is, His true nature and identity! Some of the Old Testament accounts may have confused us about who God is, made us wonder if He was mean or demanding or harsh, but we could trust the picture of God that Jesus gave us, being His exact image and likeness, the final word about Him! And what a relief to find out through Jesus what God is really like – loving, caring, non-judgmental, forgiving, healing, kind, generous, non-vindictive, non-retaliatory, approachable, open, welcoming, accepting, inviting, good – full of GRACE! So in Him we see God and ourselves, too!

So what I am seeing so far is wonderful: Jesus showed us our origin in God, that we are from Him and thus truly His children. Jesus showed us God’s true nature was that of a loving, gracious Father and also our own identity was that of beloved children. So He revealed to us our origin in God and our identity as God’s children.

But now God is showing me something even more beautiful…Jesus also showed us not only our origin but also our destiny in God! The Word is our very origin, for through Him we were made and of Him we were made – He is our blueprint, our spiritual DNA and the very fabric of our being! So being our Origin, Creator and Original Design/Blueprint, He has a connection and a claim on us that is prior to and superior to the connection we have with Adam, or Adam’s sin! God is showing me that part of what that means is that when Jesus came, He truly represented man in a bigger and deeper way than Adam, because we came from the Word before we ever came from Adam! So everything Jesus did He did as the true head and origin of our race, and so everything He did applied to us, was passed down to us, became true of us, affected us! He took us into His reality and brought us with Him into everything He did, every choice He made, everything He experienced, all the way through His earthly trust and obedience to the Father, through His death to sin on the cross and to His resurrection in life and ascension to reign in glory by the Father’s side! That’s our history and destiny now, all wrapped up in what Christ did!

I like to walk in the little patch of woods behind our house every morning and see the sun filter through the leafy trees, and it is there that I ponder the things I am learning in the class, and God walks with me and helps me understand things. The other day I was thinking with Him as I walked, thinking about all the mistakes I’d made in life and some of the messed up areas of my experience. I was feeling pretty bad and ashamed of some of these areas. And God started showing me in a new way what Jesus did and is doing for me, that when He came, it was like He went back into the garden (which had become a wilderness because of Adam’s sin) and where Adam had fallen into temptation, HE overcame the temptation! Where Adam had eaten of the knowledge of good and evil tree and made a space for evil to ‘exist’, and thus saw things unravel from their true design, Jesus ate only of the Life tree and didn’t allow evil to ‘exist’, thus things came out just as they were designed to be! Where Adam’s fall had sent creation in a downward spiral toward nothingness, Jesus’ trust in God sent creation on an upward spiral into eternal life in enjoyment of God’s presence in and through all! Jesus entered this mess we humans had made and worked everything backward into life..He rewrote my history and gave me His destiny, for my existence is truly all wrapped up in Him now, not in Adam! Jesus had a prior claim on me that went back farther than Adam, so all He did representing me becomes mine and outweighs anything Adam had done! The grace of the cross and resurrection outweighed the fall into legalism! Life outweighed death! Light eliminated darkness!

It reminded me of a movie we watched with the kids – Meet the Robinson’s. In this movie, two orphan boys share a room in the orphanage, and one boy (Louis) keeps the other little boy (Goob) up late one night because he is working on a science project. Because Goob had not gotten his sleep, he falls asleep during the championship baseball game, missing an important catch, causes his team to lose the game, and suffers the anger and rejection of his teammates. Goob’s life degenerates from there and he never recovers from this terrible day – he turns to a criminal lifestyle and wants to ruin Louis’ life. Through his evil deeds, he the world gets taken over by an evil robot (you’d have to see the movie for this to make sense, but anyway..) Louis, however, becomes an inventor and builds a time machine. He has a chance to go backward in time and save the world from the evil robot..and while he is back there in the past, he goes to the baseball game that fateful day, calls out ‘Goob!’ loudly at just the right moment, awakening Goob, who catches the baseball, causing the team to win the championship game, making him a hero and changing his life into a good and happy one! Louis actually changes Goob’s destiny through his one simple act of kindness! And he saves the whole world too! There is a scene in the movie where the whole world, shrouded in dark colors, all ruined and ugly, suddenly gets transformed into a beautiful world full of color and sunshine, all because of Louis’ going back and fixing history to make it come out right..I love that scene, and it makes me think of what happened when Jesus died and rose, it was like washing the whole creation with grace and life and transforming everything from the decay and degeneration into nothingness into the way it was designed to be all along, full of God’s beautiful and glorious and radiant LIFE, LOVE and LIGHT!

He swallows up evil, sins, shame, guilt, wrong beliefs, lies, false identity, struggles, depression, sickness, decay, accusations, condemnation, violence, suspicion, feelings of separation, hatred, wars, religious thinking, and even death…swallows it all up in Life! He makes His history and destiny mine! He takes all the messes I’ve made in this life and works them into victories..makes sin work backward into innocence…makes nothingness of lies into the substance of His reality…makes darkness into light…makes death into life! He will make everything come out right in the end, right all wrongs, making everyone friends again, healing all hurts, making everything whole and perfect…He has already done it all, already reconciled all to Him, and I really believe that all will come to experience that fully, that it will be fully manifested at last! Heaven on earth, in us and through us, and the future has already started! To me, the Incarnation was the beginning of this wonderful unworking of death into life! Wow, it just gives me such relief and joy that He has made everything okay and will manifest that okay-ness, that completeness, righting all my messes and making everything beautiful again in my life..it gives me such hope and joy…not one of my messes or sin disasters is permanent and beyond fixing…He has already brought harmony again through the cross and will manifest this making everything well between all people, so we are all enjoying our relationship with God and with each other…all will be well..and God will be all in all!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Walking with Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension - Day 11 - Jesus Reveals God is One - and in Union with Him, so Are We!

  • (I wanted to talk about something I am learning about God, how He is single and not a mixture, so I hope that is okay!)

    God is showing me something so beautiful! He is single, a singularity, not dual, not a mixture! He is ALL good and ONLY good, PURE love and acceptance without a hint of anything else! He ONLY sees good and NEVER evil, because evil and sin are not things He created, therefore they don’t even have a real existence in His kingdom, and His kingdom is the only real reality! (I am not saying evil acts don’t exist, like murder and abuse. I am still learning about this, but I think I am just saying that the root of those acts is a lie, the lie that we are separated from God and unlovable, and belief in this lie creates a space for us to act out of these lies, but the lie is still a lie, still unreal!)

    God has a single eye. He only sees what’s real. He only sees eternal truth. He only sees what He created and what truly exists. He doesn’t believe in lies! He sees only good! He sees only purity, radiance, beauty, joy, peace, light and truth! He sees only Jesus in and through everythng He made, His goodness and love permeated His creation, which He calls ‘very good.’ We fell into living under a lie and lots of wrong actions occurred, there was terrible fallout from these acts, but still God persisted in seeing reality. He held on to what He knew to be true, to the really real – that we are and always will be His very good children, connected to Him by the bonds of love, existing within His presence, breathing His very Spirit, originating from Him who is Pure Love and therefore pure love beings ourselves!

    And God’s very thought and view of reality became flesh and blood, showing us tangibly who He is, a oneness of love with no mixture or shadow! Jesus shows us the real God! He shows us God is ONLY Love, Peace, Acceptance, Life:

    Jesus showed us He is LOVE! God is single. He is pure. He is only love! He isn’t any mixture of anything else, like hatred, struggle, irritation, or frustration. God is never frustrated or mad with us! He is pure unconditional love, which I am seeing is the absence of blame, condemnation, getting even, making people pay for their wrongs, etc.! God doesn’t ever condemn. He isn’t ever judgmental. He isn’t ever punishing us! He doesn’t even see sin for it doesn’t exist in His realm. His eye is so single! And He sees us, being one with Him, as single too – as ONLY good, ONLY loving, ONLY innocent, ONLY pure, ONLY light, just like Jesus and just like Him! We are in the same image of singleness!  Jesus came to show us the truth - that God is love and so are we, and that Jesus is the beloved and so are we!

    Jesus demonstrated that He is PEACE! He is pure peacefulness, with no strife, no violence, no harm, no harshness, no rudeness, no force, no pressure, no demands! He isn’t pushing and shoving us. He isn’t a violent God! He doesn’t demand blood in order to get payment for sins so that He’ll be able to forgive – requiring payment is retribution, not forgiveness, isn’t it! Forgiveness is when you let something go without requiring payment, when you release the person from having a debt or having to pay for the wrong! When you think about it, God doesn’t have a need to forgive anyway, because He doesn’t see sin in us, only what He created and what’s really real, His goodness! He sees ONLY Jesus in us, for that’s who we’re made of and one with, He doesn’t see within us any evil at all! It’s not in His reality, the only real reality! So forgiveness and the cross and the blood must have been for US, not GOD! 

    Jesus showed us He is ACCEPTANCE! God always accepts and affirms us. God never shames! God never condemns! God never punishes! That’s not what Unconditional Love acts like, for Unconditional Love always accepts, affirms, delights, helps and heals! Unconditional Love doesn’t see us as rebellious wrongdoers deserving punishment; Unconditional Love sees us as confused children who need reassurance, care, help and healing! We condemn ourselves, we punish ourselves! We were the ones feeling shame and blaming ourselves and judging ourselves and needing a payment of blood so we would be able to feel free; that was all for us, for God didn’t need those things to be able to be around us. He has been one with us all along, and when Adam and Eve sinned, He didn’t blame or shame or refuse fellowship or require payment, He kept on accepting and loving and delighting in them, kept on wanting to fellowship with them.

    Jesus shows us LIFE!  He came to rescue us from the effects of sin/believing a lie about Him and ourselves..believing this lie was destroying our lives, as if sin was eating us up within, sucking us down into nonexistence because we weren't enjoying the relationship with God that is our birthright and is truly LIFE to us!  We were missing out on that, trapped in confusion and lies, subject to corruption and decay, with things unraveling and falling apart, tending in a downward spiral towards death.. and Jesus came to rescue us from those lies that were eating us up and killing us and bring us into enjoyment of the LIFE and presence of God that has always been within us, for we have always been one with Him and He with us!

    When Jesus came, the very oneness and wholeness and purity that is God took on flesh and became visible! Jesus came and showed us who we really are, shattering the illusions and lies of ‘not-like-God’ and ‘separated from God’ and ‘evil, shameful in our humanity’! He showed us what God is like, for when we looked at Him we saw the Father. And He showed us what we were like, for when we looked at Him, we recognized ourselves and saw ourselves! And He showed us what our union with God looks like, for when we looked at Him, we saw Someone living out not out of lies of separation but out of the true reality – UNION with the God of pure love and life! He revealed the truth about us, revealed that we are of God, in God and one with God who is single in goodness and love and light, so we too are single in goodness and love and light!

    Jesus reveals the truth about God, ourselves, and our oneness with Him! He is the ultimate message from God to us! God is single, He is ALL love..And we, being one with God, are single, too! We too are ALL love! We are light as God is light, with no darkness in us! We can have a single eye, looking ONLY at how God sees us – as a singularity, as pure wholeness, in simple goodness with no darkness mixed in at all, just as God Himself is pure and whole and only goodness, light, love and life!! And we can enjoy the fact that we live, move and exist in the One who is only love, light and life with no shadow or turning! We can enjoy this union oneness and complete unity with pure LOVE Himself!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Walking With Jesus From Incarnation to Ascension - Day 10 - Free to Be Me Through the Law of Liberty!

Wow, I love the law of liberty! Trying to live under the old law literally killed me in so many ways! I burned myself out trying to keep all the rules and never felt good enough, never felt I’d ever arrived at the destination of being acceptable to God. Instead I spent my time examining myself (and others!) for flaws and living such a defeated life. Finally I gave up. I decided the Christian life was ‘too hard’ and I checked out mentally. I didn’t try anymore. I felt at my lowest. I felt I’d failed to be the Christian I was ‘supposed’ to be. And it was at that point that God began speaking to me about grace! I found out that all I was wanting to be, He had already made me – perfect, acceptable, complete, holy, righteous! I found out that I was under grace (unconditional free acceptance and love from God), not law (you must do things in order to earn acceptance). Now with learning about my original identity in Christ, I feel like God is expanding my mind even more to see just how free I am to be myself. It was like I never realized ‘myself’ was so good already! So complete and whole and loving and trusting! And that I have been that way since before time began, wow! So now I am under the law of liberty, oh what joy! This law simply says, “See yourself in the face of Christ, and be yourself!”

I love the law of liberty, and what a difference it has made to be under it! There is no more obligation or pressure to perform with this law. There is no requirement to be kept or else punishment will come. There is no pointing out of flaws. There is no ‘must’ or ‘should.’ There is no ‘work’ to be done to get the blessing. There is no high standard that I must struggle in my own power to reach. There is nothing I HAVE to do!! The most beautiful activity imaginable is the main focus: just looking into the face of the Beloved, Jesus, and seeing my own face there, that I too am the Beloved! Seeing that love and affection He has for me and realizing I am perfectly celebrated and adored and pleasing, just as He is!

It is like He takes me back to that time before creation, and there is just me and Him, and He is looking at me with such wonder and delight, all smiles and joy, and there is such brightness and innocence and beauty in that place, a place where sin has never been thought of, a place where no bad thing has ever happened or ever will, a place of perfection and pure love and happiness and security! And there I am in the midst of the Trinity’s love party, being looked upon and adored for all eternity! I am innocent! I am beautiful! I am special! I am flawless! I am embraced! I am accepted! I am loved! And I feel this hush of awe and wonder fall over me, and all I want to do is look at Him and just bask in His smile, in His love – all I’ve ever wanted is to be accepted by Him, and He accepts me completely, is completely satisfied and overjoyed with me! I am so overwhelmed with happiness because all my dreams come true in Him, in that gaze of love and adoration that He has for me!

Wow, I see myself mirrored in Him, that is what is happening! I am just like Jesus! I am just as loved, just as worthy, just as perfect, just as accepted, just as amazing, just as beautiful, just as good and kind and wonderful as Jesus is! All I want to do is just love Him and love other people, for I see we are all just like Him, made in the image of God our Father and therefore perfect, good, lovely, and true! He is true and we are in Him who is true, in His Son, Jesus Christ! The law of liberty has that effect on me! It takes away obligation, pressure, strivings, feelings of needing to do more and improve and get better, takes away feelings that I must do something before God will act or bless, feelings that it is all up to me, takes away feelings of failure and shame, feelings of inadequacy and not being good enough, takes away fear of punishment, fear of not measuring up, fear of being a disappointment, fear of losing Him or losing my place with Him…it takes away all that with one look into His eyes!

For I look in His eyes and see all is well between us, that He never had a problem with me, the problem was my perception being off..I never needed to do more or be more, for I was made complete and perfect and so pleasing to Him already, just like Jesus..there is nowhere to try to ‘get to’, some amazing holy state to try to reach and then be able to ‘get’ blessed or loved or accepted, for I am already there in the place of perfect love and blessing and have been since before the world began! I was never shameful, hopeless, rotten or unworthy or unloved, no! I was always just as Jesus is, in God’s image of love, and so good and pure at the core, so valuable and beloved!

This wonderful law of liberty brings me to complete REST in His arms! I find I can simply be myself, for ‘myself’ is pretty wonderful, just like Him! And it is so easy to be yourself, isn’t it? There is no strain in that.

And the wonder of it is that as I am simply being myself, HE is expressing His very life and love through me to this world! And the more that happens, the more He shines forth in love to others, till one day the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, shining out from within us! For we are His glory, wow!

When I shared this post in the class I was taking, another student wrote this comment:  "While reading your post, I see you at about 6 years old in a precious swirly dress, dancing around outside in your yard on a beautiful spring day, without a care in the world!!! You are so free and so happy to be alive and so overflowing with love that every person that passes by, you take by the hand and begin dancing with them, until, soon you have a yard full of people of all ages and races dancing for joy with each other."

How wonderful just exploring the riches of His Presence, His kingdom, His love, His perfection, His freedom -  ALREADY within us!  Not trying to ‘get somewhere’ or ‘get more knowledge’ but a journey of discovery where we explore the depths of what is already within us, isn’t that so? Wow! I feel it is like exploring Aslan’s Country in the Narnia books, isn’t it, the further inward we go the bigger the “heavenly country’ inside us, as big as all eternity, for we are exploring God Himself in all His love, joy, peace, and freedom – inside us, wow!   And this exploration, this inward journey of discovery, is joyful and exuberant and full of inner ease..not stress..it is pure REST!  It is recreation!  It makes our holy vocation - knowing Him - a holy vacation!  Completely invigorating and yet also restful and relaxing!  And the experience of His presence is so wonderful, free and delightful that He just draws the whole world into the dance, the joy, the exuberance, the rest, the glory of His presence and love and life!

What a wonderful law to be under, the law of liberty!  It is the law that takes off the pressure, that has no expectations, that brings no penalties, that causes no shame..instead it frees, validates, encourages, uplifts, invigorates, and brings rest to our souls and joy to our hearts!  His presence, His love, His favor is LIFE, buoying us up and carrying us along without our effort, without our help!  Hallelujah!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Free to BE!



It is so wonderful to find out He is all grace, isn't it, all acceptance and love! There is really no obligation on us, we are loved and accepted for free, taken into His heart and held forever totally by His initiative, without our having to do a thing, just for free, a gift, wow! 

Thank you Papa that we are free from all 'shoulds', free from all pressures, obligations and penalties, free to just BE Your beloved children!  Free to dance, free to sing, free to smile, free to play in the rain, free to love others and love ourselves, free to talk to You anytime, free to relax and rest, free to sleep peacefully, free to dream, free to enjoy each day, free to really open up and be honest, free to be ourselves, free to really live, to live with carefree abandon, knowing that You will always love us, always accept us, always hold us, always take care of us!

We are free to BE!  Free to be who we really are, because who we really are is wonderful! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Walking with Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension - Day 9 - What the Law Could and Couldn't Do...and What Jesus Did!

God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature (our distorted mindset confused by lies!), could never have done that.
The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.                       (Rom. 8:3-4)

“Why did You send the law, Lord? It seemed to always make me feel so condemned and terrible. It seemed to always just increase sin-consciousness and also condemnation. It seemed to make me feel so bad about myself, that I was just a rotten sinner, making me feel so far from You! Yet the law is good and holy. Help me understand Your purpose with the law!” I feel my heart was saying this to God lately, and I feel that in many ways He answered me, especially through studying Romans 7.

(I put the Romans 7 passage at the end of the post, for easy reference... )

From my study of Romans 7, I learned several things:
- The law is holy and good.
- The law didn’t make me sin, the law didn’t bring me death – sin did that – the lie of separation!
- The law pointed out what sin was and pointed to sin as the source of my problems.

How did it do this? By showing me that deep down I wanted to keep the law and agreed with it, and by showing me that I couldn’t keep the law in my own strength no matter how hard I tried. Thus, if I wanted to keep the law but couldn’t, something else must be present affecting me, another law. It was the presence of sin, the fallen mindset of unbelief, the lie of inferiority and separation, that produced death in me! So when I sinned, it wasn’t me but sin in me doing it, the sin wasn’t coming from my core true self but from the lies and corrupt thinking that said I was evil, separate from God, not like God, not good enough, needing to become better!

- So the law actually showed me I was good inside and wanted to do right.
- And the law showed me I couldn’t do right on my own, thus pointing to the problem being, not me, but sin in me, a fallen mindset, a lie that had taken hold in my consciousness and was destroying me!
- The law showed me that I wasn’t the problem, sin (the fallen mindset, slanderous lies about my identity) was!
- The law showed me the problem was sin, this delusional thinking!
- And the law caused me to see I needed a deliverer and thus look for one, thus pointing me toward Christ!

The law couldn’t free me from sin but it could show me that the source of my problems was sin (the bondage of a lie) in my flesh, like a foreign tyrant brainwashing me into thinking I was a sinful-natured and separated-from-God being who needed to ‘try harder’ to become holy and close to God. And all my trying only produced failure and condemnation and death. Sin used the law to actually kill me, but there was hope! The law was a pointer to Christ!!

What the law couldn’t do, Christ did! He freed me from the tyrant, the lies that had taken hold like a poison in my mind, making me live out of a delusion that I thought was real. He condemned, not me but sin in me!! And He put away sin through the sacrifice of His own life for me, for when He died, I died with Him, and all connection to sin/lies and all delusion/sin’s control over my life from sin was removed!!
He came and redeemed me – I found out one meaning of ‘redeem’ means to come and claim what is one’s own, to come and get something because of a prior claim upon it! Jesus had a prior claim on me going back before creation itself, where I was known by God in a place of innocence and union! He showed the image of God and revealed that I was of the same image, showing Himself to be my kinsman-redeemer and able to free me from servitude to a foreign master, the lie of inferiority and separation. He proved my innocence and belonging in His Father’s family, and He is not ashamed to call me sister!

His law of life superseded the law of sin and death that had a hold on me, and through death He even took me out from under the law of commandments, so that I am now under the jurisdiction of Christ alone! Sin and death are not ruling over me any more; Christ’s life is the rule over me now, and this rule is the law of liberty! Before, no matter how well I did, it wasn’t good enough, and I was condemned to die. But now, no matter how bad I do, I am complete in Him, and I am sentenced to eternal life with Him! Tied to Him forever, there is nowhere to go but up! Hallelujah!

I feel like I am definitely wanting to understand more and am still learning..but right now I am seeing it like this:   I feel the law was God coming in and speaking our language, the language of performance that we’d adopted, and showing us through that very language, (which wasn’t His main way at all – His way is always grace and unconditional love and relationship) that deep down we wanted to do the right thing, but we couldn’t because there was an enemy in the midst – the lie we were believing about being ‘less than God-like” was actually killing us! We were trapped by this lie and couldn’t get out, that’s what the law showed – it showed we needed a Savior.  The law couldn't save us, it only pointed us to the One who could! And so then the beautiful Savior came and rescued us from lies, revealing so perfectly the truth of our identity as ‘good and innocent beings in God’s image, equal to Him, made of Him, compatible with Him, created of divine substance as a unity with Him’ – thus freeing us from the lie that had held us down! Now we are free to fly along enjoying the wonderful union relationship with God that is our right as His children!

[Here is the Romans passage I studied, with the triumphant verses in Romans 8 as well: 
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.                                       Romans 7:7- 8:4]

Saturday, March 1, 2014

I Know by Mary-Anne Rabe

Just reading the lyrics to this song brought me to tears!  He loves us so much!  There are no contradictions or lies stronger than His voice confirming the truth about us!! We are loved, and His voice will prevail over the voices of accusation, condemnation, shame, low self-esteem, unworth and inadequacy!  His voice will win out over those other voices and we'll come to peacefully rest as He whispers in our ear, "I am for you, I am with you, I am holding you....I accept you, I love you, I delight in you....I am in you and you are in Me, we'll always be together, we are forever one!"

Here is a link to the song, if you want to listen: "I Know"


I Know
by Mary-Anne Rabe

Deep within me I know the truth
Though sometimes hidden it's never hard to find
I just listen and I have found Your voice like a whisper
But always so profound

Chorus:
And I know You are with me and I know You are for me
I know, yes I know You are in me

Nothing present nor things to come
No troubles nor trials in this life
No feelings no doubts nor fears
Could ever separate me
From the knowledge of Your love

(Chorus)

There are no contradictions greater than Your confirmations
There are no lies more persuasive than Your truth
There are no voices louder than Yours
Crying within me, Abba Father
I am Yours, I am yours

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Grace Is... (by Alan Paul Stevens)

Here is a wonderful quote from Alan Paul Stevens, a fellow blogger and friend - check out his blog, Prism of Grace, where he shares his thoughts, poetry and wonderful quotes on the grace and love of God and the finished work of Christ!

I love pondering the grace of God, a subject so rich and vast that I feel I'll never come to the end of all there is to see, know and enjoy of it!  I feel we'll be feasting on His grace for ages and ages to come!  He'll be continuously lavishing His grace on us for all eternity, as we constantly enjoy just living in His loving and gracious presence!  And we'll just be praising Him for the glory of His grace forever and ever! 

It makes me think of the beautiful verse in Ephesians, where Paul is speaking of how we have been saved by grace:   "Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus."    (Eph. 2:7)

Here is the quote from Alan, a wonderful definition of grace:

"Grace is unmerited, unearned and undeserved favor of God in Christ Jesus, a Person not a doctrine nor a teaching but Someone who died, rose and now seated in the right hand of the Father who continually and consistently praying and advocating for us.
Grace brings freedom, liberty, joy, peace, righteousness and most of all intimacy with our Abba Father, it is not something we possess nor take hold of but Someone who has caught us by His loving arms and warm embrace.
Grace has defeated sin, depicted the curse of the law and destroyed self-condemnation and self righteousness… Grace does not start nor work outside of us but begun and deals inside of us."

                                                                                                 Alan Paul Stevens

Monday, February 24, 2014

Walking with Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension - Day 8 - The Law Was Temporal - More Thoughts..

But when the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born subject to [the regulations of] the Law,
To purchase the freedom of [to redeem, to ransom..] those who were subject to the Law, that we might be adopted and have sonship conferred upon us [and be recognized as God’s sons].

He came and subjected Himself to the law we chose, came into our legal, performance-based situation, and freed us from it, that we might be recognized as what we truly are, God's sons (not slaves having to earn our way by keeping the rules, but beloved sons and heirs by birth)!

Here is another thought I had about the law and why it came about in history..I am realizing that the law way was never, ever God's way or His nature or His preferred way of relating to us.  Yes, perfection describes Him.  But in relating to us, He always relates by love and acceptance, never by perfect standards to measure up to, never by performance.  He is completely self-sharing, self-giving love.  He is Daddy, Lover, and Friend and not Employer, Judge or Punisher!  Back in the garden, there were two trees.  And Adam and Eve chose the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the tree of law, the tree of judging right and wrong, the tree of self-judging (judging oneself deficient or 'not good enough', measuring oneself, passing judgment on oneself).  God was the Life tree all along, the tree of grace, acceptance, unconditional love and life!  But because we chose the tree of judging and self-improvement to try to meet a standard, a way of performance where we earn our way and 'get what we deserve' (either having to earn rewards or getting punished for failures).

God is all love.  God is always with us, for us, on our side.  God knew we had been lied to by the enemy and had believed lies of inferiority, being made to think we were not already 'like God' and thus needed to 'do' something to 'become like God.'  He knew the frustration and sense of unworth, the failure and sense of alienation this would bring.  He knew this path was a dead end, a path that would unravel our lives, bringing decay and death.  He knew this way would distort our understanding of God Himself and cause us to withdraw from Him in fear and shame, thus missing out on the intimate love relationship that was our right as His created children.  He was not going to leave us in such despair, no! He was going to rescue us from this mental death trap of lies and shame!   Yet this was the way we were thinking now, we were infected with this law/performance/self-judgment virus...so He chose to enter into our ways of thinking, enter into our 'good and evil' perspective...He chose to speak our language of rewards and punishment and performance - law - choosing to relate to us on our level, in a way we'd understand..not to validate that way of living but to turn it on its head, show us that it was only ministering death to us, and deliver us out of it!!!

He came down and spoke our law dialect in order to rescue us from its grip!  He related to us by law for a little while because that is what we wanted and that is what we understood, so that He could show us the culprit in our problems was the enemy's lies that made us think we needed law to 'become' or to 'get close' to Him, when the reality was that we already WERE complete and like God, never needing to earn our way but already perfect to Him, accepted and loved and lovable.... and already WERE in union with Him, God being the very deepest part of our very being and our spiritual DNA, our life-source that was holding up our existence and had never left us for a moment!!   Jesus then entered into our way of thinking in an ultimate and radical way...He actually took on flesh and became human!!  He entered into our world in the most radical way, by becoming one of us!  Christ came to show us who the Father is and who we really are - we can see the truth of God's nature and our own by looking into the face of Christ, the God-man!!  He came to remove the lies of inferiority, shame, alienation, and judgment by a 'harsh God' off of us for good so we could be free of this law perspective and enjoy the life tree that was our heritage all along!

God's way was never law, was it!  His way was always love and grace!  We can see everything in history, in scripture, and in our lives from the foundation of love, union, acceptance, and grace!!  It is all about a relationship of just BEING with our Father, not a performance system of earning/being judged by our DOING....It really is all about love, not law!  His wider story has always been a love story with us..the smaller story of the fall, the failure to keep the law, the cross and redemption from sin's hold, that is a wonderful story, but the story it tells - of fallen people being rescued from sin and lies - does not tell the wider truth about us, that we are the perfect and lovely beloveds of God, the sons of God who had rights to the full inheritance all along!  God's reference point has always been something outside of our history here on planet earth.  Our smaller stories have always been wrapped up in His larger story:  the story of a Papa loving His perfect children, a Lover overwhelmed by His beautiful Beloved, A Friend sharing life with His equal!

God has truly and in the deepest way NEVER really related to us through law and performance!  He has ALWAYS related to us from a place of perfect innocence, acceptance, union, and love!  That is where He has had us since before time began, no matter what our smaller stories were saying here on earth!  Nothing we think, say, do or even believe could ever change that!  He has kept us safely in innocence and love in His heart and mind, In Christ Himself, (the logos or original thought/word of God) all along!  His original thought about us has always been love and acceptance,  union and relationship!  We were found in Christ, located in Him before we were ever 'lost' here on earth, and so, to God, we were never really 'lost,' were we?  He always had us in His heart of love, no matter what played out here on earth!  He has ALWAYS been grace and love, not grace sometimes, law sometimes!   God didn't change in character or attitude from one covenant to the other..what changed was our perception of Him and ourselves and our relationship!!  God showed us through Jesus that our relationship has always and ever been based on unconditional love and forgiveness, not ever truly on law and performance!  WOW!  It is blowing my mind and coming real to me in such a new way, a deeper way, that He has always been about love and grace!  It is so good to see everything through the eyes of God’s love! To see it through the lens of relationship and romance and friendship, and not ever performance!
May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14