(a message with universal principles, but may only wholly speak to some)
Do we really get it? The purpose of life? The meaning of the cross?…and our desperate, ongoing need of it, even to those who have embraced it in the past at some point? Do we know what it means to come to a place of deeper surrender? Or are we satisfied on our plateauing experience? Are we content in our continual discontent of trying (and failing) to live in the past, or in some type of self-serving present? When will we see that it’s just not about us? That there are others that are to be considered, and that when what we perceive to be God’s will is so self-absorbing that others near us have to absorb so much in the process, that it may in fact not be God’s will? Or at least His way?
But we have arrived. We are experts. We are professionals. We are spiritually ‘fit’ and ‘strong’. We know the elementary rudiments, and we have had experiences well beyond the natural. We must be special. We must be ‘there’. On that plateau.
Well, my friend, we ARE in fact special. But the thing we forget is that ALL of us are special. We have simply mis-defined the word. There is a prideful vantage point, and a humble one, when it comes to ‘special’.
Special is as a treasure, but not based in comparison to the measure other treasures, but rather in the uniqueness of itself. So, we all are unique, and thus special…and, rather, even priceless.
And as far as being ‘there’, in that place of arrival…coming to that place on this side is a very dangerous place to visit (much less dwell). I encourage you, even urge you, if you have found a place on the planet where you believe you are a little subconsciously invincible, unapproachable, never wrong, and an expert above others in matters of faith and life, please desert that locality at once!
Come back to the cross. Come back to the floor of the inner chamber of humble intimacy with God. Lay your pride and so-perceived achievement and status at nail-scarred feet. And stay there.
Allow yourself to relearn life and faith and pursuit of God all over again. Because I can assure you: you do not have it all together. And the more you think you do, the more you don’t. Because the VERY foundation of beginning to have it all together is the recognition that you don’t at any given time.
Have you ever come to a place in your heart where you knew you would rather be clean and weak than dirty and strong?
Do you move in life with a quick, ecstatic rush, or rather an intentional, gravitating sense of destiny?
Do your desires for God and self include the consideration of those you are responsible for and to?
Have you ever cried out to God? In a time you were very vulnerable and helpless? And not run from Him?
Moreover, have you ever cried out to God in another way…not out of desperate need of a quick rescue, but rather because you realize, amidst your adult life, how you have hurt Him and caused His heart to cry and long for you and miss you because your sin pushed Him so far away?
Recently, a very dear person to me told me a story about how she came to a place in her relationship with her significant that she had a godly jealousy for him (one that is balanced and not overbearing or codependent) in that she felt a deep desire for him like never before, wishing that she had only known him and been with him as a couple and no one else, and that he had the same experience with her. She said she used to accept anything from her past, good or bad, as just okay and part of what has made her who she is today. But there was this unexpected moment that changed her for good when she realized how she wanted this.
She happened to do this in a very positive way, not beating herself up over this not being the case, but rather a simple, romantic, and deeply loving desire.
What about Jesus? Being betrothed to Him is the very model given us to understand the beauty of natural marriage and relationship. Just as a new longing and desire can open from deeper regions of the heart for our significant, what about the heart crying tears of desire and longing for our Beloved? The One who stares at us through the lattice with such love and passion and desire? The One who calls us the apple of His eye? The One who suffered for every single one of us and carried every single burden inside and out in His body and soul and yet still walks right back through it with us when we go through it in real time?
What about the One? May we fall in love with Him? May we uncover a newfound delight and intimacy with Him? Something we’ve never experienced in our lives? Do you even give this a chance? Do I?
Let’s ask Him this morning what’s on His mind, what’s burdening His heart, instead of only telling Him ours. Let’s ask Him to kiss our heart with His, and to know Him plainly, personally, in a real way like we never have before. And maybe we might find a revolution in our entire approach to life, and understanding of God’s will and blessings. Do we want this?