Saturday, March 26, 2016

Comparison Kills

Paraphrasing from Baxter Kruger's, The Great Dance and my own heart's cry as I read it:

The logic of darkness begins with the whispering lie of the evil one. "I am not.." [I am not good, worthy, successful, smart, thin, likeable, capable, etc.] And we believe his lie. 

We dream a dream, invent a glory, create a legend in our own minds (to reinvent ourselves so we can overcome the lie). Then we work our fingers to the bone to attain our false self, to live out our masked existence for the approval of others. 

All the while not only missing our true glory, but unwittingly poisoning it, short circuiting the life of Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit within us, doing violence to our very beings. Creating the illusion of someone we are not, parading around in our own glory and it never crosses our mind that Almighty God, our Heavenly Father who knows our names and likes us has already given us His glory to be a display of His splendor in the earth.  

Comparison kills. The real you is altogether lovely. Let God arise and the evil one be scattered.

A Holy Week Reflection

I love the awe and reverence of Holy week. There's something in the intentional remembrance of Christ's fierce, forgiving,  non-violent expression of love that brings me face to face with the ugly places of my own humanity.  

This morning my heart is dancing with Father inside of the disciples' words in Matthew 26:22, "Surely,  not I, Lord? " None of them knew the true state of their own heart. None of us either...

Only when we allow Holy Spirit to illuminate the shadows and corners of our heart will we truly see. And there in that barren, desolate place, is the promise of John 14:18, "I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you." 

The beauty of remembering is rewarded in the celebration of its fulfillment.  Father's love has been and is being continuously poured out. We've been caught up in the great dance of love and fellowship with the Trinity. And there, in that union with the Divine, all of the places of our hearts that were once lost to even ourselves has been found. 

For truly, the wrath of men led the Divine to kiss our brokenness. Love released the guilty and in His mercy, redeemed and restored the damned. When the Incarnate One hung on the cross and kissed the depraved places of our being that are seemingly lost, even to us, peace on earth and goodwill toward all men found its expression in the beautiful words, "It is finished."

Never Alone

From the first "Not Good" decreed by Father - it is "not good" for man to be alone - Adam (humankind) has believed the lie of separation. You hear the depth of its torment reiterated in the cry of the psalmist in Ps. 22, "My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?" And again we hear those very same words echoed in the ragged breath of Jesus has He becomes one with the depravity and evil of mankind's sins, lies and wretchedness.

Feasting on the depths of our darkness has He hung on the cross. His body broken for us that we might be made whole and holy by His Father's love.

The strength of these famous last words of Christ is not that they resonate so strongly with the human heart, though we all have indeed felt alone and forsaken in our pain and dark moments.  

No, the strength lies in the heart of that very same psalmist who later in verse 19 and 24 answered the plea of his own heart's cry with truth. "But You, O Lord, be not far off; O You my help, hasten to my assistance...For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He heard." A prophetic hope and encouragement that would live through the ages. A timeless truth that has sadly been veiled to many hearts.

On Good Friday, many sit in increased darkness hearing the seven last sayings of Christ. My prayer for all is that this truth come alive within you: Father God NEVER turned His back on His own Son and He's NEVER forsaken you. Father and Jesus are ONE and we are IN Christ. Father did NOT "separate" Himself from Jesus because of our sin.

No, Love joined Him there. 2 Cor. 5:19 says it best, " namely, that (Father)God was IN Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them...

Jesus Himself said in John 5:19, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner." 

There is another with nail scarred hands. The Father Himself loves you. The Incarnate One embodies the love and the presence of the Godhead entering our aloneness. The power of His incarnation, God with us is settled by the finality of His resurrection, God in us.