I don’t have a single thing to say nor is there a single thing that I could do that will make Abba love me more.
I could turn pirouettes or be covered in mud and yet He would still snatch me up in His arms and plant kisses all over my face.
When I am hard on myself, He still adores me.
When I am scared, He still adores me.
When I don’t trust Him, He still adores me.
He loves me when I’m a jerk. He loves me when I’m sweet.
He loves me when I have compassion and He loves me when I’m selfish.
He is for me when the people around me aren’t.
He sees the best when others see the worst.
I could run away but why would I? He is the only one that will never give up on me.
If we took ourselves, our agendas and all of our ideas and turned them backward, we would have the character of God.
He isn’t anything like us.
He isn’t concerned about building buildings. He isn’t concerned about our ambitions to be known, successful and recognized. He’s concerned about building people.
He’s concerned about building me into what He has called me to be so that I can bring glory to Him. Not to myself. Not to a ministry. But to Him.
God has a sense of humor. If you haven’t figured that out, then I feel really sorry for you. I say this because he speaks in the most surprising ways sometimes.
I was working most of the day today and had my iPod earbuds embedded into my head. Music causes the day to go by so much faster and makes mundane chores enjoyable. I haven’t listened to a lot of secular music in years though I will occasionally put some Pandora Radio on if I’m in the mood. For the most part, I prefer to soak myself in some really anointed worship music. But today I found myself staring at the listing for Norah Jones album “Come Away”, which was her very first recorded album. I haven’t listened to the complete version of this CD in about 4 years and was honestly obsessed with the CD when I first bought it. But because it was associated with a former bad relationship I sort of avoided it for awhile. For some reason I decided to go ahead and put it on. When the title song “Come Away” came on I stopped in my tracks and found myself wondering about the lyrics.
I don’t think Norah is a believer… but I’m pretty sure God is speaking right now.
“Come away with me in the night
Come away with me and I’ll write you a song
Come away with me on a bus
Come away with me where they can’t tempt us with their lies
And I want to walk with you on a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high
So won’t you try to come?
Come away with me and we’ll kiss on a mountaintop
Come away with me and I’ll never stop lovin’ you
And I want to wake up with the rain fallin’ on a tin roof
While I’m safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you to come away with me in the night
Come away with me”
I can’t even begin to tell you how I felt the Lord speak to me in almost every single line. Not only that but soon after I was done listening to that album I put on a podcast by author John Eldredge. In the middle of the podcast John states “I was driving on a beautiful day awhile back and that song by Norah Jones… “Come Away with Me” played on the radio and I knew the Lord was speaking to me through this song.” I was sort of stunned. Once again, I am amazed at his tenderness over me.
I will write more on the meaning of these lyrics when I have time.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Jesus lately, or at least trying to think about Him. Every believer will say that they want to be like Jesus but do they realize how next-to-impossible this is without daily dying to ourselves and depending completly on the Holy Spirit for help? He was FALSLY accused of being crazy, of having demons and of blasphemy yet he never defended Himself, and even if it appeared that He was, He wasn’t trying to maintain his own reputation… he was doing it to speak truth about the Kingdom of God. Before He was crucified, as His accusers testified falsly against Him… Jesus remained silent. This perfectly innocent man (unlike the rest of us) didnt’ say a word to try and preserve His status before men.
“7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ”
I want this eternal reality like Paul had. This reality that is confident in a God who is able to keep me… an eternity that I can see before me… that I can set my eyes on and know that the opinions of men are nothing compared to the “surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus.” I want to know that when I stand before Jesus, His opinion of my life… well His opinion is the only one that matters.
I could go around and around in circles trying to defend myself every time I am accused but if I did that it wouldn’t be about the Kingdom… it would be about… myself and only bring division to a Church that is suppose to be representing that Kingdom.
The outpouring of the Spirit that is happening right now is wonderful. Let’s face it. The lives and hearts of many are being restored and transformed by the power of God. It may look silly, unsanctified… what ever little irksome adjetive you want to ascribe to it but it is REAL. Unfortunately I traveled to the Awakening over the Thanksgiving holiday when many IHOPpers and visitors were home visiting family and so the atmosphere wasn’t as intense as I thought it would be but some friends are saying that the presence of God is even more intense right now than it was when it first began. I experienced the weighty presence of God when I was there and received some really significant words of knowledge that impacted me a ton. Those are all fun experiences, to be filled with joy of the Lord, to feel the fire of God on your body, to hear a powerful word of knowledge.
But I don’t want to just have experiences. The restoration that is happening in the lives of of God’s people isn’t just about a cool phrase or a charismatic cliche or hype and excitement. These encounters have to point to Jesus. And they do!… the difficulty in this is that we have to REMEMBER that it is about Him. That when someone gets set free of homosexual tendencies that it is the kindness of the Father being manifest in their lives. His attributes are being revealed through the transformation that is being imparted. Many are being surprised at the goodness of God in this hour.
Let’s use this move of God to find out about Jesus!
To be like Jesus means we embrace humility and love those who deny and despise us. We see His heart open wide and weep for Israel as they drive Him out of cities and attempt to stone Him. We see how he reacted in love and tenderness towards Peter’s denial of Him. As He hung bleeding from the cross, arms open wide, taking upon Himself the sin of us all, He loved from the depths of His being, feeling the pain but not reacting out of it. In the cross He won our battle and succeeded but He succeeded by walking through disgrace. He was not pretentious but was truth itself. He healed the sick. He raised the dead. He did not withhold the gifts the Father gave Him. He was not self-sabotaging but came as an example to us of true Life. He did only what the Father told Him to do and did not withhold out of insecurity or pride. In the midst of rejection, He spoke truth boldly yet lived to serve humanity.
To be like Him means that we end the self-sabotaging, self-deprecating and false humility. We walk out our gifts not to esteem ourselves but to serve Jesus and man. We don’t shrink back because of our fear of failure but in meekness within the bounds of intimacy we offer all that we have.
Last week my mom called me in a rage explaining that she and a friend got into an argument. She and this friend have known each other for years now but one day, her friend, out of nowhere declared that Jesus was in fact not God. “God wouldn’t die for me”, she responded, “that’s ludicrous!”. My mom was indignant. How could this woman say that? Her friend had grown up in a very conservative denomination. My mom pointed out the famous John 1:1… “1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” I mean… that’s pretty self-explanatory. I’ve had some pretty stiff disagreements with people who have said that you can still be saved and not believe Jesus was God. WHAT???
Yesterday, I was meditating on this verse and hope began filling my heart. We cannot be saved unless we believe that God, Himself, came to earth as a human because He loves humans and wanted to identify with humans. Only God can be perfect as Jesus is perfect and in order for us to be saved we had to have the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Nothing can remedy and restore our souls but the perfect blood of the perfect God-man. The blood of bulls and goats was not enough. And not only this but the blood of Jesus has supernatural elements that empower us to walk in holiness. It has allowed us access into the very presence of God, to have communion with Him and to allow Him to speak to us and teach us and empower us to walk worthy before Him. Jesus did not stay in the tomb. That was not the end of the story. We cannot have relationship with Him unless He had risen. He cannot speak to us unless He is alive.
I love the rest of the passage as well: John 1:1-5 ” 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood[a] it.”
Jesus was the very Word of God. He was the method the Father used to communicate to His beloved ones. He loved and desired us to such a great extent that He sent His beautiful Son to come and teach humanity truth. The Father and Son had such wonderful fellowship, even from the beginning of all things. Before the earth was formed, they were in relationship. Jesus, the Word of God, breathed life into every living thing. He is the source of life. The source of light and truth and darkness cannot overcome it. This Light is so powerful that darkness has no chance against it. Even when the wicked rages against the Light and goes to battle against it, there is no defeating the light. The source of life cannot lose the battle with death.
The darkness does not understand the light… mainly because it’s deeds are evil and it does not want to turn to the Light. The darkness loves to remain the way it is. If Light challenges darkness (and it will), the darkness will hate the Light.
Walk in the Light while it is still day.
I was meditating on John 17:23 this morning.
23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
It is astounding to think that God the Father loves us as much as He loves Jesus. Jesus is perfect and obedient and beautiful and has never once turned His back on the Father yet the Father loves us as equally as Him.
I thought of the parable of the lost sheep and how the Father left His Son to hang on the cross. He left Him… so that the Father could come after us. So that the Father could be in relationship with us… the mangy, lost, disobedient, unruly sheep….