Saturday, April 21, 2012

Getting "It Is Finished"! (pt.7)

A seeking brother wrote me a letter, which was the initial inspiration in response for this 7 (or 8?) part series . . . .

I am revealing no identity here . . . and I pray he does not mind me sharing one line he wrote, as it is crucial to the answers sought . . .and so indicative of that earnestness and passion which true seekers seem to universally experience at some point in their walk in faith . . . .

"I begged God to do anything and everything that He must to get me to submit to Him . . . as long as I'm safe with Him in the end."

I recall clearly one time of many . . . that I pleaded, begged, asked, yearned for God to show me the way--just give me some sign, some indication what to do to serve Him and devote my life to His will for me in this world.  I had ridden a horse far up into the mountain . . . alone . . . dismounted and went into a small grove, dropped to my knees and prayed to be given some kind of clear message . . . which way to go, what to do . . . to be in His direct service . . . . By the end of it, I was shouting to the sky and thrashing around with a stick, exploding with angst, yelling, begging, imploring . . . .

And waited there . . . in the quickly fading echoes of my spiritual entreaty . . . with horse viewing me askance . . . and there was . . . just . . . silence.  No omen . . . no angel shaped cloud . . . no voice from heaven . . . no inward vision--not even a feeling of comfort or encouragement to press on.

Just nothing.  The birds reappeared, the horse munched some grass and it was only another dumb day like every other and if it felt like anything . . . it felt like there was no God--no answer to the yearning questions and cravings for purpose in my young heart ( I was almost 17) . . . . I had already spent years in deep, purposeful spiritual disciplines, study and practice . . . but had yet to really own, as a part of me, a clear, direct understanding of who God was and what did He want from me . . . .

Looking back, I can now see that it was actually His mercy that He did not answer me as soon as I thought I wanted it.  For I was still too full of myself.  I wanted an answer . . . for me . . . for my life . . . and had I received some sort of conformation or message or even direction . . . it would have been filtered through the self I still loved and wanted to put forth in the world . . . for the question I wanted answered was what am I to do, to be . . . in this life, in this world?

Me, me, me . . . life, life, life . . . world, world, world . . . .

BUT BECAUSE THE STAKES ARE SO HIGH! . . . and the "answer" so rare and precious! . . . and the gift so beyond critically important . . . and the barriers to understanding so devious, subtle and profound . . . that He would use years more, if need be (which apparently it did "need be") . . . to break me down, disappoint my numerous attempts, and crush me into the poor, weak, utterly destitute and needy soul . . . who could finally be ready . . . and able . . . to SEE THE LIGHT.

Looking back . . . I can see that the greatest asset He gave me . . . all along the way . . . which was absolutely necessary to maintain . . . so that The Truth . . . could finally be revealed to me, and which I could then begin to respond to . . . was . . . .

[--and this is very, very, VERY important--crucial even!--]

was . . . and STILL IS . . . : in being fully resigned . . . to THE FACT . . . that I am TOTALLY at God's mercy . . . what HE . . . has in store for me . . . whether it be heaven . . . or hell.

"I begged God to do anything and everything that He must to get me to submit to Him . . . as long as I'm safe with Him in the end."

This sentence MUST read:   "I beg God to do anything and everything that He must to get me to submit to Him . . . whether I'm safe with Him in the end or not!"

If you are still trying to bargain with God (as we all have done at some point) by saying, in effect, "Look God, I love you and want to submit to you . . . and I WILL submit to you . . . so long as I can be assured you will put me in heaven with you . . .." . . . then you are still trying to run the show.

This is not any different than the heathen and worldly who say, "If God would just make it clear to me that He exists . . . then, yeah, I will believe in and follow Him.  Until then, though, I might as well keep doing my own thing."

Usually, a person in this state . . . shows . . . that they simply have not really accepted God.  But the scary part . . . is that even if God DID give a clear sign . . . it would not make a difference.

There were plenty of people who saw Jesus perform miracles--who were given clear signs, both in prophetic scripture and in person . . . who, nevertheless . . . would not submit, die to self, and follow Him.

During my long and intense searching . . . sometimes I thought I had found God, or at least the "religion" or "path" which would lead to Him . . . . Other times, I knew I was lost and adrift and stumbling . . . . But in every case . . . I knew and accepted that . . . "in the end" . . . it was going to be COMPLETELY His decision whether I warranted saving or not.  (And as a Christian, I have learned further that it is not even possible to warrant saving.)

Before I accepted His salvation . . . I knew and accepted that regardless of what I did or didn't do . . . "in the end" it was finally . . . only God's decision whether heaven or hell for me . . . .

I realized, at least . . . no matter how misguided I was at times following "strange doctrines" and other spirits . . . I NEVER took for granted . . . that . . . simply because of my burning interest in "finding the truth" . . . or spiritual intentions . . . or ie., ascetic practices and "good works" . . . THAT I could obligate God in some way to take me with Him . . . in the end.

It is only NOW . . . that I have realized and received as TRUTH . . . the story of His saving mission . . . that I KNOW . . . because I BELIEVE . . . that I WILL BE SAFE WITH HIM IN THE END.

"The end" . . . in a sense . . . has already happened!  "IT IS FINISHED"!  Hallelujah! Praise God!

So what are you waiting for?

If you believe in Jesus, Yeshuah . . . Messiah . . .and understand and accept the Gospel . . . then you KNOW and accept that all your sins, past, present and future ARE FORGIVEN!  Why do you keep looking at your sins?  Why the glances back at the "old man" who was crucified with Christ--that "old man" who is DEAD?  God is not looking at the "old man".  When the Father looks at you HE SEES CHRIST RISEN, perfect, GLORIFIED!

Understand this!  IT IS FINISHED!

If you are still wandering out on the "frozen plains" . . . feeling dry . . . spiritually inert . . . it likely just means that you have not yet really sat down . . . better yet, "kneeled" down  . . . and truly, deeply REVELED in the PROFOUND FACT and TRUTH of what Jesus did for you . . . . !

And that He DID it!

It's not something He is going to do . . . .

It's not something He is working on and eventually, hopefully, maybe . . . .

It's not something that you are still working on and getting ie., better at . . . .

It's not something He is going to give you when you prove yourself worthy . . . .

You are NOT worthy!  You don't deserve it!  You are a wretch!  You can't do a thing to be worthy!

But because the Father loves you anyway, and wants it to be so,
HE DID IT FOR YOU ANYWAY!  HE SAVED YOU!!!

Now . . . one thing you can do, because He wants you to . . . .

Is to take some time . . . and spend some serious, earnest thought . . . in contemplating . . . just what a profound, loving, sacrificial act He performed in taking upon Himself . . . all your miserable sins--even the fact that you hate God but love your self!

Think about what He went through--the abuse, the pain, the betrayal, the mocking--the sheer hatred of all evil that ever was and would be . . . heaped on His head, on His back . . . culminating at the Cross . . . .

SO THAT YOU CAN BE FREE!  So that you CAN be safe with God . . . AND FOREVER!

Whether you are crawling your way through the "valley of tears" . . . groping around in the "dark night of the soul" . . . being clawed, pulled and pushed as you waver at "the brink" . . . or, plodding listless and forlorn in the "frozen" wastes . . . . You just need to take a moment . . . and think about what Jesus did for you!

REALLY think about it . . . .

Then, think about it some more.  IMMERSE yourself in HIS STORY.  His story . . . is The Word . . . and HE IS THE WORD!

Stop thinking so much about your self, what you want and need and plan and wish to do in this life and this world . . . .

Me, me, me . . . life, life, life . . . world, world, world . . . .

Rather, JESUS, JESUS, JESUS . . . JESUS, JESUS, JESUS . . . JESUS, JESUS, JESUS . . . !

You're dead . . . . Jesus LIVES . . . now you LIVE in Jesus . . . and there will be a new heaven and a new world!  Think about that.

Find a church . . . or a bible study group . . . which teaches the Gospel . . . . Listen to good, Gospel preaching preachers exhort . . . . Read the Bible . . . Read books about the Bible . . . watch programs on t.v. or on the Internet about the Gospel, about the Bible, about Jesus, about the Apostles . . . . Listen to music about Jesus and the Gospel . . . . Look at pictures about the Bible . . . . Learn about the Holy Land . . . . IMMERSE YOURSELF . . . whether you feel like it or not . . . . in everything to do with Jesus and the Word . . . and make a habit of praying constantly . . . first thing when you awake . . . last thing before sleep . . . . . REPENT and PUT YOUR TRUST IN JESUS and turn from your sin . . . and when you slip or backslide . . . get back up remembering that He died for that sin . . . and think again what He did--the GIFT He gave you . . . and . . . steadily . . . surely . . . as your gratitude and understanding and ACCEPTANCE of that Gift deepens . . . you WILL find your self changing . . . becoming a new creature in Christ . . . . The worm . . . is become a butterfly . . . . You are no longer lost in the valleys and plains . . . but NOW CAN SEE from vista to vista . . . hope and excitement begin to simmer . . . then burn pleasantly within you . . . for you are CATCHING FIRE! . . . CATCHING FIRE for Jesus . . . . The Holy Spirit is starting to permeate your soul, your body, your eyes, your ears . . . YOU CAN SEE . . . YOU CAN HEAR . . . the world is dead . . . the dead are dead . . . your old self is dead with it . . . BUT A NEW SELF, who is starting to look more and more like JESUS is stirring within . . . and beginning to even show without ! . . . . .

Praise God . . . it is ONLY GOOD NEWS!  TODAY! AMEN!

-------------------------------

[I think I will maybe write a little bit more on the "immersion" part, ie., the people and types of preachers, teachers etc. that I find keep me flaming :)]

P.S. gosh darn "Blogspot" .. the host of this blog decided to "update" my blog with a supposedly clean, "easier to use" new look . . . Arghh.. any time this happens with a service .. i find that the "new" thing .. is uglier and harder to use!  I like the old look.. simple, direct, focus on the words .. not a lot of gee-gaw ...
Anyway, somehow trying to get the old look and "template" back .. i lost it ... and ended up with this blase' look.. minus a lot of important info ... We will be trying to get it back to the way it was hopefully ... as soon as able ... arghhh.. "updates" .... !;(

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very very good message.

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