Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-13:14
Working together with Him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, NOW is the favorable time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
I’ve been telling you about my adventures with The Light and how it was never something that I sought out, but rather something that has been seeking me; pursuing me if you will. For months now I’ve caught glimpses of The Light, not knowing what it was and never really even noticing it until this last time. The event at my birthday really struck me. I fully embraced the Light only to have it once again snatched away from me but not before I got to truly experience the freedom and peace that it brought with it. And that’s what stuck with me, the freedom that I felt. Free like nothing on earth, free to make mistakes, free to be imperfect, free to be who God made me to be and not anything less than that! So while the Enemy had succeeded in sucking me back into his lie of darkness and the false light of the Law and legalism he couldn’t remove my experience of that freedom, albeit brief. He managed to deceive me and convince me that his lies were truth, but now there was the lingering question what is the real truth? You see the Enemy had me totally convinced that in order for God to bless me, or look upon me in favor I had to DO something, I had to be someone, I had to be perfect. He even had me convinced that in order for God to be able to protect me from the Enemy I had to protect myself with enough prayers, enough declaration of “in Jesus’ name”, enough anointing oil… all lies! All actions dependent on myself. The Enemy had me convinced that in order for God to respond to my prayers I had to DO something. LIE! I don’t have to DO anything, I need only to trust, to be still and know that HE is God, not me. You see all my actions, my works, were all depending on the Law. The principles laid out in Deuteronomy 28, when you do x, y & z, then you will be blessed. I was TOTALLY missing the point! Those principles will still work today, if we are successful in doing x, y & z, then we will be blessed. However, that is merely the glory of the Old Covenant; the transient glory that is still fading away. It’s not the permanent glory of Jesus’ blood sacrifice, it’s not the True Light, it’s the shadow of what was to come and HAS come already.
You see the Enemy is a sly guy. He knows that I’m stubborn and that I love Jesus. So he got to work in his craftiness early and taught me from childhood the Laws of the land. And not just to me, he’s done this all over our country; everywhere I look I see it. I couldn’t before though. In Exodus when we look at the story of Pharaoh’s reaction after each of the plagues we notice something. He bargains with Moses hoping that Moses will compromise his idea of freedom. From one plague to the next Pharaoh varies the degree of freedom that he is willing to allow the Israelites until finally he concedes defeat and allows them complete freedom.
Compromise is one of Satan’s favorite tactics, “OK, you can worship your God and your Jesus… but don’t mean any of the words of the songs you sing”. But this is where I am so proud of Moses and he gives us an extraordinary example to follow! When Pharaoh suggests that the Israelites present their sacrifices while still in the land of Egypt Moses counters with “It would not be right to do so, for the offerings we shall sacrifice to the Lord our God are an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? We MUST go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as He tells us.” While Pharaoh is willing to compromise, Moses is not! Way to go Moses! When God is working on breaking us out of the Enemy’s prison of lies Satan is going to do everything he can to get us to compromise, don’t listen to him! Do not compromise for anything less than God’s perfect Light in your life! It’s simply not worth it! I compromised for years by following the Law, to the letter at times, and it got me nowhere other than more pain, more suffering, more disappointment, more legalism and more chains. I was so focused on the “Thou shalt nots” that I completely missed the “Thou shall….” I cringe to think of the years of life and love and true freedom that I could have lived if only I had but known back then what I know now. However, God wasn’t done with me yet! No, He was simply using those years to teach me the real beauty of His grace.
While the Enemy has been clawing at me with doubt and tearing at my hope that God really can be so good as to have pardoned me once and for all, I have been clinging to what I KNOW. In HIM there is no darkness. His grace is radical! Radical like nothing I have ever seen or heard before. In HIM there is no darkness, no condemnation, no fear of rejection; only love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. In God there is Light and Truth and Hope and Faith.
Did you know that God has faith in you!?! I didn’t know that! But He must, because otherwise He wouldn’t ever use us to accomplish His plan! Think on that; ponder it for a moment won’t you. God has faith in YOU! Isn’t that amazing!?! God trusts YOU! And do you know what He is trusting you with the most? His heart. God has given you His heart. His living, beating, heart flowing with the lifeblood of Jesus Christ and placed it within You through His Spirit. How amazing is that? It’s a little intimidating to think about isn’t it? But don’t be intimidated, because that’s not His purpose. His purpose is for you to love Him back, to enjoy His presence in your everyday, mundane, doing the laundry, cutting the grass, washing the car life. It seems so simple, so… ordinary, so… un-god-like. Yet, that’s precisely what Jesus came to do! In the Garden of Eden, before the fall God walked with Adam and Eve. He had an intimate relationship with them where they talked, they were friends. God didn’t have a throne room where He sat and they came and knelt at His feet and worshipped Him with songs and wrote poems about Him. He came to them, in the garden, in the stillness, in the shade of the trees where the dew was still on the roses. He came to them. He brought Himself down to their level in order to be a part of their life. And they didn’t really know any different so they thought nothing of it. Until the listened to Satan.
Until they listened to the deceiver they were unaware that their nakedness was something to be ashamed of. They were naked and yet they had no problem sitting and talking to God Almighty for hours at a time. Although they knew that He had created them from the dust of the earth, it wasn’t something that they allowed to separate them from God, it was just who they were. Until they ate the forbidden fruit of knowledge.
Satan pointed their nakedness out to them, he pointed out to them that they were not equal to God, that they were not worthy of God’s companionship. By saying to them “you will be like God” he was pointing out the contrast between themselves and God. I truly believe to the depths of my soul that up until that point right there they did not realize that there was a difference between God and them. Why would they? He had come down to their level, he walked with them, and talked with them, they were made in His image – He LOOKED like them! Nothing about their circumstances would have told them anything different other than God made them to be His Beloved friends. When Jesus walked this earth in the flesh, the people that He grew up with had no clue who He is. If they had, they certainly would have treated Him a lot differently! I believe that in the Garden, Jesus was there with them. Today, we have that same opportunity to walk and talk with Jesus in a Garden of Relationship through our own lives. Jesus came as a MAN. Fully human. Yes, He is fully God, but if He wanted us to only see Him as God then He wouldn’t have come down here and put on the naked flesh of humanity. Jesus came to be KNOWN as human. He referred to Himself almost only as the Son of MAN. He wants us to know that He is like us, that we are like Him. He WANTS us to know Him as a person!
Right now I can feel the Enemy tearing at your souls to snatch away the hope that I’m trying to give you through Jesus. Don’t let Him fool you! Don’t let him deceive you any more. You are forgiven; you were made to be who you are. God made you and He doesn’t make mistakes He makes miracles! You are a miracle and you need to believe that with all your heart! Wrap your arms around that truth like a bear hug and don’t let go!!! God loves you, Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He died for you. But even more than that, to this very day and time He LIVES FOR YOU!!! He lives to pray for you, He lives to love you with everything He has and everything that He is! Jesus loves you exceedingly abundantly above all that you could hope or imagine!!! Grasp that, cling to that, hold on to that and don’t let go. The Enemy is trying to snatch that away from you with his slimy claws of doubt and fear and judgment, ignore him! In Jesus name believe! Believe that God IS this good, that He does love you this much that He is for you and not against you! Believe it with all your heart your soul and your mind! Believe that God is willing to die AND live for you every day. Believe that He is willing to pour out His love and favor for you in the midst of this tortured life that we live. He is Light, within Him there is NO darkness. Believe that with all you have! I pray that God is showing you His pure Light right now, that you can FEEL it permeating your soul and bringing you the freedom and peace that He has to offer, the peace that passes all understanding and human knowledge. The peace that you just have to experience to know what He is. The Light that you just have to see to believe. Because once you’ve seen it, you WILL know it and all other light will pale drastically in comparison to it. I now understand why I have been compelled to take so many photographs of the sun lately, because it is the closest I can get to describing The Light. Because the Son is The Light. Oh my friend, do not let the Enemy deceive you any longer. Do not let him hold you captive in his Prison of Lies any longer, fight for your freedom! Pray for your freedom from lies. Ask God to show you His TRUE self. Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance and don’t push Him back any longer. Satan has pulled the fluffy white wool of religious law and ceremony over our eyes for long enough, it’s time to tell him to go to hell and stay there! We want nothing to do with his lies any longer! Declare it my friend! In Jesus’ name, declare your freedom from lies, condemnation, judgment, falsehood, hardheartedness and declare your freedom to Truth and Light and Love and Peace!
In the plague of locusts God said to Pharaoh “How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let my people go, that they may serve Me.” My friend God is saying the same thing to Satan today on our behalf! “Satan, how long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me?” God is declaring your freedom today! God is declaring His name over you as His treasured possession His holy nation, His precious child.
In the first few plagues Pharoah promises freedom, but then changes his mind and denys them that promised freedom. This is the Law to a tee! It promises freedom, but by itself brings us nothing but more chains, more rules to break and feel guilty over. The promised freedom that the Law does bring is Jesus. Jesus is the complete and total fulfillment of the Law. Every single requirement the Law has Jesus has fulfilled those requirements. He IS the perfect sacrificial Lamb, in Him there is no darkness, there is no captivity, there are no more requirements. Jesus asks for nothing in return but respect and thanksgiving for what He has done for us. Personally I don’t think that’s too much to ask.