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 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 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

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


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
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