Have you ever been in a relationship where you “walked on eggshells?” I’ve been in a few of those. Actually I would argue that in my past some people probably thought of me that way. I used to be pretty moody. When you are moody and angry at life you will tend to have a short fuse. Maybe some of you had a mom or dad that was easily provoked to disciplinary instruction. Maybe it was a school teacher or another relative or a co-worker or a classmate. In any case you probably looked for “backup” when the tip toe dance around the fragile eggs began. Any kid will grab mom’s leg when the “wrath of dad” is coming. Sadly sometimes it works the other way when mom says “wait until your dad gets home.” You get the picture. Sometimes that is just what we deal with as fallen humans. That is why we need more Jesus but that is another post.
Check out these verses and think about how you see God and Jesus:
Rom 8:34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (ESV)
1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.(ESV)
Heb 7:25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (ESV)
1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (ESV)
Rom 8:27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (ESV)
So when you read those verses what goes through your mind? Are you walking on eggshells with Father God and Jesus is protecting you? Is God ready to drop the hammer, grab the belt, cut a switch, condemn you and Jesus is telling God “relax, it is OK, remember what I did on the cross?” There are so many that teach that very thing. I am sorry. Really I am if that is what you think these verses are talking about. It isn’t true. God is not angry at you. He has never been angry at you. That is what a fallen human ASSUMES. Fallen Adam hid in the bushes. God went to get them out and put clothes on them so they wouldn’t be ashamed. We have been running from God and He has been chasing us. We came up out of the land of Egypt and instead of intimacy we chose law. When Jesus showed up as God in person we rejected Him and He died for us. Jesus came to show us who God really is. He came to show us who we really are. He died at our hands to remove any doubt about how much God loves us.
So over the next few posts I want to walk through these verses and hopefully reveal the truth of what God is saying.
Jesus is God and God is Jesus and the Holy Spirit is God and God is the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Spirit of Christ who is the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ is Jesus who is God. Confused? The point is the Father and the Son agree about everything. Jesus is the revelation of God. Everything points to Jesus as the nature of God. Jesus said it over and over again. He said if we see Jesus we see the Father. We are filled with the fullness of God in the love of Jesus. Jesus doesn’t need to convince God to change His mind since He is God and those are His thoughts anyway. How about we take an example and see if we can “see” differently?
Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (ESV)
How about a little Lance Literal Translation fun?
Rom 8:26 The Spirit helps us because we are weak in our understanding of how good God really is. We pray out of fear and avoid all the deep, intimate issues of our hearts but the Spirit knows those issues and pulls them out of the recesses of our very soul. God our Father knows what the Spirit knows since they are one and don’t disagree. His will is for us to know who He really is as a good and loving Father so the Spirit speaks to the goodness of God even when we fallen humans are afraid to let God into our secret place. (LLT)
Is it possible that the intercession of the Spirit is to remove any hindrance to our prayer? Pulpit pounding condemners will tell us that we are “miserable piles of poop offering up a stinky aroma” and the Holy Spirit needs to clean up our diatribes. I don’t think that is what this says… Could it be that those kinds of lies (which are from the enemy) actually incite fear in a “god” that isn’t our Father in Heaven? Is it possible that what we pray is based on fear of a vengeful God (a lie of fallen man) but instead the Holy Spirit reminds us how awesome God really is? Is it possible that prayers offered to a “stingy performance oriented” God falls on deaf ears because that isn’t who He is? Is it possible that the Holy Spirit actually changes our words to be compatible with a good and loving provider with endless resources? Is it possible when we pray in the Spirit we are actually praising God for how good He is and how much He wants to pour out His love in our lives? Maybe the Holy Spirit isn’t changing our words to keep from “offending a judgmental God” but instead is redirecting our prayer to the source of love and goodness. Could I suggest that our inability to pray correctly is because we are afraid to pray correctly? Maybe we are afraid to let God into our innermost intimate secrets because we believe He is judging all our junk. Praise God for Jesus and the Holy Spirit. (I just said praise God for God…think about it).
Did you know it is OK for you to “let it out?” God won’t be offended by your prayer and He isn’t already offended with you. He loves it when you share your deep-down hurts that in some way you blame Him for anyway. Then He can show you how good He really is. He can show you how much He really cares. He can take away the pain. He can heal the hurts. He can speak life into a dead relationship. He can pick you up and dust you off and show you that He isn’t to blame. He can show you He is Jesus. He can show you He is Messiah. He can show you He is Christ. He can show you He is love. Maybe, just maybe that is what this passage is really about. You decide. I already have.
Oh by the way here is a verse later in the same chapter:
Rom 8: 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (ESV)
That is how the cross works. That is Jesus as our mediator. That is what He is doing now as our mediator. He is reminding us of how awesome God is and how much He loves us. He is agreeing with God. The Holy Spirit is speaking to our spirit about the goodness of God. He is agreeing with God. The lies of the enemy and our self-condemnation (born of a fallen Adam) have no chance against the truth of who God is. That is why we need mandatory mediation. God doesn’t need to hear it from Jesus, we need to hear it from Jesus.