Life and Liberty

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Photo by Alex Woods on Unsplash

I was obviously angry last night when I was writing, but I meant every word of what I wrote.

I got up this morning to go to work, and even though I was still distressed because of my career path I began to feel an overwhelming sense of peace after I read Jesus Calling (November 3). I also had some toast and peanut butter, coffee and milk. It’s amazing how much better you feel when you break bread. It’s even more amazing when you enter into the presence of the LORD. As humans we have to be intentional about that because even though She is omnipresent we aren’t always aware of that.

I began loading my trunk with my cleaning supplies, and I think the first thing I put in there was my shop vac. That’s been one of the best purchases I’ve made since doing this. You can literally vacuum anything with it. I was just finishing up the townhouse I was cleaning, and I vacuumed water out of a hole next to the sidewalk out in front of it! After I loaded my shop vac I loaded the rest of my cleaning supplies, and since this residence is like an Air BnB I loaded up the sheets and towels I washed. I headed over to the townhouse with that overwhelming sense of peace I mentioned above. It’s unmistakable when God shows up.

His presence is not a pie in the sky skip along down the yellow brick road kind of experience. It’s a transforming attitude that turns night into day. The changing tree colors on the way over there were extra vivid and bright. The pink sky made me want to pause for a pic with my iPhone to post on Instagram. The deer on the edge of the forest that borders Percy Priest lake were enchanting as we stared at each other. It was just remarkable experiencing my Father as we communed at my house, the townhouse and His house. My LORD and my God, and the Holy Spirit are more real to me now then they ever have been. I’m trying my best to put it into words, but this kind of thing goes beyond words. It’s an experience that I long for all 7 billion to know and experience. Knowledge and experience are intertwined like a husband and wife, and when one is without the other there is an incompleteness that is best described as empty. It’s not an accident that Jesus was called the bridegroom to the church, and I in no way make my unmarried sisters and brothers feel empty with my words. Jesus is each one of us’ bridegroom, and I will never be the husband to Carey I desire to be if I do not seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Our world is upside down because mankind sought the creation over the Creator. May we turn back to Him.

He is a jealous God. He’s not jealous in the sense that someone is jealous of someone else’s bigger finer house, but in the sense that He longs for our devotion. I can’t fathom that because the world is His and all that is in it, but even if I was the only person on the planet He desires my allegiance.

I know amazing Christians from Florida to California who love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. They have suffered things they never should have suffered, but they continue to pursue the Father in the face of these things. They continue to let Him pursue them in the face of their own sin because He continually tells us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. We get fired from jobs. People stop being our friends because we make them mad. Some people don’t even like us, so we never get a chance with them. Our illnesses limit us in what we can do, but then we remember that we serve a God who turned water into wine and He raised Lazarus from the dead. All I can do with that is say wow. God isn’t wringing his hands in worry that his will is not going to be accomplished. He knows it is. He has infused in me a belief that when I die there is no fear that I won’t be with Him for eternity. I will not perish. We can know we are saved beloved. We can know that nothing can separate us from the love of God, and if that’s all you ever learn from the pulpit, flannel graphs, powerpoint, youth rallies, Sunday Schools, Bible lectureships, blogs, books, magazines, journals, undergrad and grad school then that’s all you need to know. I’m sure there’s a medium I left out.

Every knee will bow beloved. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is LORD. My Father grieves when His children do not see or experience His unconditional love. He’s not waiting for you to get it all right because that isn’t going to happen. Sin is a sinister evil that is perpetuated by this angel named Satan, and he leverages it mightily against us. The cross of Christ defeated the curse that sin holds over us, but we must lean into the message of the cross, ressurection and power of the Holy Spirit. There’s so much more we have then what we don’t have, and though Christians have become known as kill joys what characterizes our LORD is joy in the face of suffering. Jesus Christ has made possible what man has deemed impossible. Rich and poor, young and old it does not matter because our LORD leveled the playing field at the cross, and we’ve been called to spread this eternal life message because He is no longer in the grave.

I know life is hard. It always has been for as long as I can remember. I suspect it’ll be that way till the day I die, but because of His presence in my life I have the strength to never give up. I close with one of my favorite passages from Scripture.

So do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes, not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4 from memory)

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