This week as I was reading through John, God took me on a journey. I think I just want to share my raw, unedited notes that I wrote while reading John 9-10 one day. Then I will go into some summary of what God continued to reveal to me this week. He has been faithful to continue to grow my understanding of fullness from last week and has been present in my week more than ever before, putting praise on my lips and songs flowing from my heart when I wasn’t even thinking of singing. He is so GOOD!
My mind is blown once again from what God was teaching me that day. Have you ever been afraid of God really seeing you? Have you ever tried to hide all of your mess from God because you didn’t think He could be trusted with it? I know my hand is raised. Here’s the thing, a lot of well-meaning Christians, are preaching and living as if the blood of Christ isn’t enough for our messes. They say it’s enough to secure eternal life but once we are believers they act as if its not enough for the messes we continue to make as we learn to walk with Him. We are taught to hide our messes because we are supposed to look different from the world but in many ways we don’t. We find comfort in sharing our messes with fellow believers without fully surrendering them to the One who can wash them away. I listen to Mo Isom speak at Liberty University this week and she PREACHED about how Jesus isn’t afraid of our messes. He brought the woman at the well’s mess up immediately to her face and he didn’t run away or condemn her, He stayed and offered her living water. And she was the first person He gave permission to talk about what He had done for her. The devil wants us to hide our messes from God, because as long as we don’t surrender them to Him they remain and we are ineffective for the kingdom.
We as believers and unbelievers alike, don’t have to be afraid of bringing our messes to the Lord. In fact, in Him is the power to break those things off of us, even the repercussions of those things both for us and for the generations to come! How cool is that?! Dan Mohler speaks about this in the powerful Q&A I’ve linked below. He gives an example that was so poignant to me about even our failures as a parent. In Christ we can claim that our children not suffer the ramifications of our parenting missteps and trust that the Father is faithful to heal their wounds and still bring them to be all they were meant to be! That takes a load off, doesn’t it?!
Friends, probably my biggest take away from the week is the nature of God’s heart towards us. We often talk about the fruit of the Spirt that flows from us by the power of the Holy Spirit, but for the first time I recognized that that is the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit. Just pause and think about it for a minute. If Christ is in you and you are in Him, wouldn’t God be reneging on His promises if anger and impatience were flowing out of Him towards His Sons and Daughters, rather than love, patience, peace, joy, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control? Wouldn’t that mean that the cross wasn’t enough to satisfy His anger? Jesus is the physical expression of God, the Holy Spirit is the spiritual expression of God. God literally sacrificed of Himself for our salvation. And has also given us the Holy Spirit that we can be empowered to live out our anointing and calling and purpose. If that isn’t love, patience, peace, joy, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control (think of your own tendency when your children are slow to listen – typically what stems from me is anger and impatience – but not God), I don’t know what is. Literally my head and heart are exploding.
Believers, let’s stop hiding our messes in shame and staying stuck and ineffective for the advancement of the Kingdom. Rest assured that if you’ve strayed from the flock, the Shepherd will seek you out and gently lead you back into the fold. God is not in the business of behavior modification, He is in the business of transformation. Here’s the thing too, so much of what we deem sin and attach to our own identities is actually the temptation to fall back into things that God has already broken off. Dan Mohler says in the video below (listen at 2:04:40) that we need to think about our hearts in it, “if you feel bad, you are changed and its not you.” Let’s not identify with our messes but with the blood of Christ and as Dan says, “Don’t let what you did define you, let what He did continue to grow you…”
Unbelievers, there is no mess too big for God, even the messes and hurt and pain caused by His own people. I know that many of you have been hurt by Christians (some of you maybe even by me) but in those moments that they caused you pain they are not reflecting God’s heart towards you. For God so loved the WORLD [not just believers] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believer in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, emphasis added)
In this video, Dan thoroughly answers some deep questions that I’m sure a lot of us in the church have asked at some point. It is all soooo good! I wish I could narrow it down to a few specific questions to listen to buuuut I can’t. You’ll just have to listen to all of it! Haha!
Questions and Times:
4:16 – “What do we say when people ask why God doesn’t intervene with death, bad situations, etc.?”
25:51 – “In relation to our new nature, what do you think about deliverance ministry and generational curses?”
39:50 – A comment sin and death being a deceiving savior.
1:04:00 – “Can you comment on believing in the midst of a manifestation of illness, oppression, etc.?”
1:16:55 – “Do you think that the church has gravitated to the failures of Paul instead of the life of Jesus?”
1:30:40 – A comment on the fulfillment of the law from a Gentiles perspective.
1:32:40 – “How do we minister to our family and influence the environment, if they don’t want to hear us?”
1:42:35 – “How do I minister to someone whose been healed but the symptom and/or sickness came back?”
1:51:20 – A comment on experiencing fear versus having fear
1:53:00 – “How do we grow in faith?”
2:04:40 – “How am I sinless yet also sinful? How do I make sense of this tension?”