Monday, October 08, 2007
Interestingly now, after just reading the Bible for a couple of days, I'm starting to feel a better connection with Abba. Personally I think it's nothing really to do with comprehending the Bible. That is important, no doubt, but better not as important as first understanding and recognising your Father's voice. I'm still sinning, but I hope you're not expecting people to jump out and yell I'M FREE immediately. You're in for alot of disappointment I fear.
Today I want to talk about something I received from the Lord yesterday. I couldn't sleep (what is UP with the weather now?) so I tried to wait upon the Lord "for my portion". Now if you've got eyebrows raised, firstly I've never been good in waiting upon the Lord. To put it bluntly and in worldly terms, there's only so much I feel I can trust in the invisible. But that's about to change, in Jesus' name. C'mon everyone say amen.
And as for my portion, for a long while I've been feeling like I wasn't receiving as much as I should be getting. I cry, I laugh, I jump in the auditorium, but once I leave, it feels like nothing has happened. Now if you aren't in any ministry at the moment and you feel like that, that's already a signal to start feeding more. But as a server, I feel like it's almost a responsibility, my responsibility to be sure that I'm full and overflowing in the Word before I even think about giving back. So I took a step in the dark and told my ministry leader that I thought it would be good for me to chill out a couple of months to concentrate on receiving the Word in season. And she didn't deny me it, but nevertheless asked me to go to the Lord and ask Him what my portion is. Because, she said, I don't believe you don't receive anything while serving. And I couldn't agree more. Gee, it's because of that that alarm bells are running off in my head in the first place. Where is my double portion?
So there. I'm asking for my portion. I was asking my friend about all this lack of receiving the other day (bordering on whining...), and he asked, "Have you tried just keeping quiet and waiting on the Lord for an answer?" Well good point. I might have unconsciously been whining whywhywhywhywhywhywhywhyWHYWHYWHYWHY when actually the Lord's been trying to speak but hasn't had the chance with all that racket. So I took a couple of meditative breaths and then whispered, "Lord, what do you want me to see? ...... What is Your Word for me? ... What is my portion?"
My eyes flew open. Jeremiah 2:22... was there even such a verse? I got up and felt around for my glasses, my LED torch, and my Amplified Bible. Well I put my glasses on the headboard when I sleep, my AMP Bible is always on there too, and the torch was there because I was reading my Bible in the dark a couple of days ago. Whatever, you don't have to know. God provides, ok?
Jeremiah 2:22 (NLT)
No amount of soap or lye can make you clean. You are stained with guilt
that cannot be washed away. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!
Wow, you think. What's with that condemning tone? He must have done some big-time holy crimes to have had the Lord snap at him like that. Well let's disassemble this verse.
The second sentence, You are stained with guilt that cannot be washed away, clearly explains that whatever you tried to do in the first sentence (we'll get to that in a minute, hold tight) never could and never can save you from your sins. And that's that. That's final. The Lord has spoken, now stop arguing.
That, brothers and sisters, is the inflexibility of the law. And consequently that was how the Lord had to present Himself, as Chief Justice. Yes, or no. Two simple options. And an equally simple answer -- no.
What can wash your guilt away? No prizes for guessing Jesus Christ, our Savior King! It's the only option on the list anyway. You can't get it wrong. Whatever Jesus went through is the antithesis of what we have today as children of God. His flesh was lacerated that ours may be spotless. His sinlessness was turned into sin epitomized that we may have a slate whiter than snow before our Heavenly Father. He bled and bled and bled that our sins may be washed clear of us, dislodged, displaced, and dismembered. And if He has bled for us already, why should we bleed? It's unnecessary. Unnecessary and unfair.
So. Jesus can wash your sins away (1 John 1:7). Fundamental concept. Now, let's look at the first sentence. No amount of soap or lye can make you clean. What in the world is lye? Turns out lye is the cleansing agent attained by running water through ashes. In fact, it's none other than everyone's favourite alkaline in the lab, potassium hydroxide, KOH. So I looked up the symbolism of water and ashes. In the Old Testament, in other words in the Abrahamic tradition or covenant, water symbolized grief or fertility. Ashes symbolize mourning and penance, as well as purification (hence Ash Wednesday). So the equation goes grief + mourning/penance = cleansing. Or K+ + OH- = KOH. I do think the first equation fits this post better though.
After abit of pondering, I came to this awesome conclusion. Not because I thought it up at 2 in the morning, but because it brings the message across in no uncertain terms.
No matter how much you may grief and mourn at your mistakes, you'll never ever be able to cleanse yourself of your sins and your mistakes. The law makes doubly sure of that. Instead, only Jesus can wash it away, and make you totally clean and devoid of sin in the Father's eyes, so that He need not judge you, but instead embrace you with love.
You think I'm gonna stop here. But I'm not. Ahh just kidding. Take your time in feeding. Don't bite more you can chew, because you'll just spit it out anyway. Or even worse, vomit it out along with the other stuff that could have been digested and put to good use had you stopped at the appropriate time.
How does this apply to me? I'll share with you, and hopefully if any of you are experiencing the same problems as I am you will find this useful. Many times I sin and then I start bashing myself. Do it, then ohhh God why did I have to do that? That was totally unnecessary. This just happens everytime. What is wrong? Lord stop me please I'm sick and tired of it. I cry, I moan, I try to gnash my teeth even though I never really got the hang of it. But why do it? Why bemoan your fate under law when you can do nothing to change it? Plead hug threaten to kill yourself, nothing's going to happen. Ecclesiastes 6:11 (NLT) says, "The more words you speak, the less they mean. So why overdo it?" No matter how much you bash yourself, you'll do nothing to wash those sins away, much less change the habits that cause you to commit them. Instead, why not look to Jesus and His finished work, and see yourself clean? See him bleeding, pouring blood, disfigured FOR YOU. See His finished work, a work so powerful that even when you fall, you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and carry along as if nothing ever happened. When you bring yourself to such a place, the devil or demons cannot plant emotional seeds that will send you spiralling out of control. That happens when you choose to let them grow and fester by thinking about them. But don't even give it a chance. Look up, don't look down.
Look to yourself and you'll only find sorrow and disappointment. Instead, turn your eyes upon Jesus, and see yourself clean, pure and dazzingly, blindingly white. And when you walk knowing that the eternal score of sin has been settled on your behalf, you can walk with your head high, and bad habits, evil barriers and crippling thoughts will come crumbling down as you breeze past them. Peace be with you all.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Rewind. Restart. Play.
After 9 months in hibernation (yeah my baby. Heh heh hur hur buhhh...) I decided to start this blog again. I was lazy to do so earlier because of my masterplan for my own domain site, which would decidedly be more Web 2.0, but since that seems to have sunk a little further back down the horizon, I figured I might as well make some use of this space.
These few months I must say have been terrible for me. After the spiritual high described in the earlier posts of this blog died down, as all good things do, my life went back to crappy status, and then fell even lower than before. I cried, yelled, cursed, shouted at God at my computer and at Satan, and if anything worked it was only awfully temporal.
I keep bemoaning my fate to my brothers and sisters in Christ. And each time I keep realising hey, I haven't been reading my Bible. Well that's it isn't it?
No it isn't. It's so hard to keep up the habit of listening to sermon recordings, let alone conduct a full quiet time routine everyday.
I told my friends that I couldn't feel God in my heart, and that His perceived absence was making a loud sickening echo in my heart. Today our Father prove Himself present and watching when a brother and a sister told me the exact same thing.
Quiet time. Everyday.
Many doubts have assailed me over these months, ranging from easily dismissable doubts, to cold nagging ones, to downright blasphemous ones. Doubts are still hitting me like the wind whether I'll really be able to start and keep a habit of worship/sermon listening, prayer and Bible reading everyday. But I will choose to dismiss that in the supreme name of my Savior, my Lord Jesus Christ. After this I will be studying a chapter or two of Ecclesiastes, followed by some prayer. I ask you to stand in faith with me that through the overwhelming grace of our Lord, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Amen.