Sometimes you have one of those divine days. You look back and see God’s fingers all over it. Of course He is there all the time, but I feel like He gives us opportunities to grow. I don’t understand the spiritual conversations or rules governing encounters or any of that stuff. We have examples like Job where it appears that God and the devil had a conversation about Job. The very short version is God tells the devil that Job is awesome and he won’t lose faith if the devil picks on him. Now I don’t believe God just “allowed” Job to be tortured like he was. You can find more details here about the Job story. But still there are these moments when it sure feels like a setup.
Yesterday was one of those days. I had received a “prophetic word” from a really powerful lady just the day before. She definitely knew stuff about me. I like those but they can make you a little nervous since the “God is working to remove some stuff” can be an uncomfortable but liberating experience. Well that proved to be true yesterday.
If you have been reading the posts recently you know we have been on a very “new frontier” kind of journey to seek out and find the goodness of God even in passages that may suggest otherwise. It has been fun and challenging. To me it is clear that we can see God in a certain way based on our fallen nature understanding that really isn’t truth. We hid in the bushes and ran from love Himself (which makes no sense really) unless you see what the fruit from the wrong tree did to us. Our “judger” was created by the knowledge of good and evil. We then went into full independent assessment mode and cast judgement on ourselves. Shame was the judgment and running from God was the outcome. God came and found us and gave us clothes and has been trying to do the same thing ever since then. Our fallen nature processor doesn’t work very well when it comes to God (and probably everything else). Our anger and resentment and insistence on human justice (hurting the bad guy) is projected on God. We are the ones that want wrath so we see wrath (hurting and punishing people forever in horrific ways) in God when His “wrath” is just His intense desire in pursuit of us. Still we have a distorted perspective and God lets us blame Him for all kinds of stuff He doesn’t do. Check out the last few posts. Maybe start with “We need more wrath?”
Well I spoke on that kind of thing and sure enough we had some “visitors” come that I had met before but they hadn’t been there in a long while (the divine part of the appointment). In short conversations before yesterday it was clear that they would not agree with most of what I write about. They are very “religious” in the sense that the Law of Moses still is their relationship with God. Well I could go on and on about how Jesus came to fulfill the Law of Moses by His example of love. His law of love supersedes any 10 commandments. As a matter of fact the 10 commandments are a simplified expression of “rules” to bring a broken, bondage-distorted, race of people out of slavery and into freedom. It was a good thing and is holy (from God) and points directly to Jesus who is love. It teaches a fallen-human being the basics of how love looks towards another and towards God. The problem is two-fold and they are both from the same root. HUMANS. A fallen human will default to the spirit of Cain when pressured by performance. So the “Law” as a tool of performance is un-executable by a fallen human processor. Second the “Law” when managed by a fallen human will become religion. Add some white gas of a perfect law to the over active judgment mechanism of a fallen Adam and you get explosive and condemning religion that kills anything and anyone not like itself. (Whew, had a moment there).
So there I am at lunch in a restaurant and in they walk. They are on a mission and it is to “correct my theology.” We were in a group and I tried my best to not get sucked into a religious debate since I believe it is a pointless distraction that plants seeds of doubt and condemnation. Still it happened. This fear rose up in me that called me to fight or run. Running wasn’t an option. God was merciful and kept me in control enough to refuse their condemnation and reject their “correction.” Instead I told them about the complete love of Jesus as demonstrated on the cross. Still I didn’t like the whole encounter mostly because of my internal reaction. Why was I afraid? Why couldn’t I just laugh at their condemning intentions? Why couldn’t I just love them and see their hurts and bondages? For sure they were in bondage to a demonic influenced systematic deception filled with fear and dread and division. I think now it is this verse:
Luke 12:5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (ESV)
The “whom” here isn’t God. It is the religious spirit. The religious spirit is the condemner not Jesus. I wrote a post about this verse. Check it out here. But then Jesus says this:
Luke 12:7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (ESV)
I wasn’t living in verse 7 but instead in verse 5. Well it is OK since now I know. The Holy Spirit will “save me” from fear and instead put His love in me for even the religious. They need Jesus too.
I believe the thing to learn is we fear what we have been set free from. We fear our past. I was born into a religious family and church. My grandfather was a preacher. I knew the techniques and formulas for debate. I could weave a story as good as the rest using this verse and that verse. I would reference this author or that pastor or this teaching. I could drop names and spread hate like all the rest. Did you see it? Hate.
One of the pillars of religion is that everyone who is not like you is on the other team. They either need to be “saved” or “converted.” Most of the time you just sit back and say things like “too bad they will be in hell since they are really nice people.” The jots and titles are overwhelming and fun. You pride yourself in knowledge and execution not love. You look forward to a good debate where you can convince the other that they will certainly burn in eternal punishment because they don’t know what you know. I lived in that when I was younger. I ran away from that as soon as I could. These people are my family. I loved them dearly and still do. They really feel like they are doing the best work for God. Most of them are very different today.
When you have tasted God’s love you can’t help but love others. You can’t condemn people anymore. You cry for everyone who doesn’t know Jesus, especially the ones carrying His Bible. You have compassion for the worst of the worst and really pray everyone will get to live with God in this life and the next life. Jesus said stuff like this:
Matt 5:4 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (ESV)
If you hate a muslim are you living in enemy love? If you hate a homosexual are you living in enemy love? If you hate a politician or a dictator or a murderer or a child molester or a rapist are you living in enemy love?
You may think I have gone too far but I can say that I have compassion for them all. I do understand that behavior sometimes needs correction but never needs condemnation. I just want everyone to see Jesus. In that place hate evaporates and love takes over. Jesus called this place the Kingdom of Heaven. It is here in us as His children. We don’t have to hate anymore. Jesus sets us free of hate so enemy love is normal for us. One touch, one encounter, one moment with the very source of love will change everything. Jesus is King and He is bigger than any religion or any enemy.
I wanted to share because this walk with Jesus is amazing and challenging. I am a child of God. The relationship with Him I begin in this life will continue into the next. I have eternity to learn about Him. So when divine days present themselves, I look forward to the revelation, cringe in anticipation of the double-edged sword surgery, and leap with joy knowing Jesus will be there all the way. None of us have it all figured out and never will. He is infinite and I am learning what that looks like. So bring on the Divine Days. I look forward to the day that anyone sees Jesus in me instead of any “stuff” that needs to go away.