Two core values, the place where I live from, are 1) God is good– no matter my circumstances and 2) Nothing can ever separate me from the love of God. I have not somehow produced this as my value, I simply don’t state that I have this value it has been given by God. Because this is a place I live from it becomes my starting point as I walk through life with Him in me. I believe as I have walked through life and tough circumstances have happened to me, family, friends these beliefs were formed in me by His hand…simply beautiful but also at times painful. Maybe this might be better explained by Molinos, a writer in the 1600’s. His books were burned all over Europe and if you were found with one of his books it meant automatic excommunication from the Church. His fate was to be put on trial, sealed up in a dungeon so his face could never to be seen again. It is told that while he was in the dungeon he repented and on that day the Pope declared a holiday and people partied in the streets celebrating his supposed repentance. He never left the dungeon though and died in 1696. Here is what he wrote about humility:
“True humility is an inward thing..It is an understanding so vast that no tongue can express it. From this revelation proceeds a glimpse of the grace of God….a grace which takes pleasure in encompassing that person with the pure goodness of God.” Pg 43
As you read this keep in mind two of my core beliefs. I wrote on Facebook a few days ago as I shared a memory from two years ago: We do skip death…I will be posting a blog on this soon….this was the biggest hope for Israel and it became true with Jesus…It is our perspective that needs to shift into our Father’s big plan and what salvation means. ❤ There is much hope!! Here is the memory I shared:
Today I am chewing on GOD LOVES ME NO MATTER WHAT. Look: Enoch by an act of faith skipped death, he pleased God. Paul goes on to say it is impossible to please God without faith. And then further, WHY? (Hebrews 11:5-6 MSG) Simply put, ALL you do is believe God is real and true (Jesus is my Lord and Savior) and KNOW that He LOVES YOU-unconditionally. Period. That is all. The love part is challenging because our filters, that we have been taught, of how we see God. Keep chewing on God loves me no matter what. This brings such great pleasure to our Father in heaven. 💜
When I had re-read this memory and some of the comments immediately the Lord told me you do skip death. And I was like, “Huh???!!!” That is when He said Darlene go look up the word “death” associated with this passage in Hebrews…..so I did. Here is what it means directly from biblehub.com:
2288 thánatos (derived from 2348 /thnḗskō, “to die”) – physical or spiritual death; (figuratively) separation from the life (salvation) of God forever by dying without first experiencing death to self to receive His gift of salvation.
Again a commonality to the word salvation from my earlier post It’s an Inside Job, separation from the life (salvation) and receiving His gift of salvation. Again let’s look at the definition of salvation from the same source:
Cognate: 4991 sōtēría (from 4982 /sṓzō, “to save, rescue”) – salvation, i.e. God’s rescue which delivers believers out of destruction and into His safety. See 4982 (sōzō).
4982 sṓzō (from sōs, “safe, rescued”) – properly, deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions (safety). [4982 (sṓzō) is the root of: 4990 /sōtḗr (“Savior”), 4991 /sōtēría (“salvation”) and the adjectival form, 4992 /sōtḗrion (what is “saved/rescued from destruction and brought into divine safety”).]
Please note the root of sózō is sōs….SOS. The well-known code to ask for rescue. Amazing!! Anyhow, how does God’s big plan, SOS and death all come together? Let me first start with what I believed salvation to be before. For me it meant I was saved and not going to hell. I believed in Jesus and that meant I was saved from eternal damnation. As I grew in my Christian faith I heard arguments of whether or not you could “lose your salvation or not”. Yet still what does this encompass and what did the early believers have or understand that we at times seem to be missing. Here is one example the Lord keeps pressing me with:
Maybe this is only me but I know of others who have viewed it the same way. Have you ever looked at your life or others lives and because of their circumstances thought oh they aren’t blessed or I am not as blessed as them because of this situation in my life i.e.: sickness, children, lack of children or something you would think as negatory?? I know I have. I have thought in the past okay my life is going well I am in favor with God…and when it isn’t going well…oh I must not be in favor with God. This is incorrect when we are no longer under the law and under grace. This actual thinking allows the enemy to have you running in circles many times chasing something down that no longer has an impact in your life. This is wrong thinking because if we believe this way we are actually saying to all those Christians who were put to death at the Colosseum we would have to say they are less blessed than those who were not. We would even have to go so far to say Peter was less blessed than John since he ended being martyred and John on the other hand survived so many ways of trying to kill him. (John 21:18-23)
I know this is a tough subject but I wanted to share what I feel the Lord has been showing me in Romans 8-10 regarding this subject. See when we think this way we are saying to the potter: we, being mere clay, why did you make me this way? Instead we must look at His larger picture, His larger plan and know that His will is perfect. He keeps telling me Darlene you just play your small bit part in connection with Me. Does this mean my life is perfect, No certainly not! We still live in a world that is moaning for its redemption or the return of the King of kings!! Does this mean I do not believe in healing, No certainly not! Or other miracles, no certainly not. But ultimately my faith does not lie in those things it lies in Jesus. Because of faith Enoch skipped death and Abraham was made righteous and now because Jesus died we have approval from God, the righteous One and because Jesus rose from the dead we have been freed from the power and penalty of sin and removed from destruction into God’s safety/provision. We have life eternal. The early Christians, I believe, looked past their present circumstances and didn’t judge their worthiness to God by what they faced; but by Who they believed in. I desire the church, the believers of today to do the same. To note their worthiness in what God did for them not in their present circumstances.
What we need to understand is that speaking our faith, trust belief in Who Jesus is and in our hearts have faith trust and believe that Jesus rose from the dead…it speaks of Who He is the first fruits. That we skip death, the real death–the separation from life (salvation-God’s promises and provisions). Yes our bodies will die the first death yet it is like opening a door to pass through it.
Above and beyond everything, I believe, God’s interest lies in the desire for all to know Him. He will go to extreme measures for His one lost sheep. Didn’t He for you? He certainly did for me. And as people, Christians we play our part in this tapestry called God’s plan and somehow it isn’t always comfortable. Yet, through that discomfort comes great and good things if we set our eyes on that. This isn’t easy, yet I believe this is a place God wants us to have balance in. Let’s look at this in scripture.
“Now what if God, even though he was quite willing to demonstrate his anger and make known his power, patiently put up with people who deserved punishment and were ripe for destruction? What if he did this in order to make known the riches of his glory to those who are the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory — that is, to us, whom he called not only from among the Jews but also from among the Gentiles?” Romans (Rom) 9:22-24 CJB
The whole plan with Pharoah up until the time of Jesus had been a plan for God to show his glory to us, those living during Jesus’ time till now. All the people, all the things that happened were ultimately to show His Glory. Jesus spoke to this in John 21. See Peter was told exactly how he would die and approximately when and why he would die that particular death. Peter was told it was for His Glory. I don’t know if I could know this, could you? Yet, it was obviously with purpose. Peter though asked about John and this is what Jesus said:
“If I want him to stay on until I come, what is it to you? You, follow me!”” John 21:22
In the midst of my circumstances, friends circumstances and my life…I simply follow Him knowing I have my bit part to play to bring Him Glory in the way He desires me to. He is the potter and I am mere clay. I know He has the best for me and for others, no matter what their current circumstances are and that He loves, loves, loves us. Pharoah made a choice because God hardened his heart so that the whole world will know His Name. Yet I know Pharoah got a choice whether or not to follow Jesus. See my faith has healed me. My faith in Jesus has healed me, given me peace (shalom), taken all my sin, given me power over sin, given me eternal life, put me into God’s safety and given me God’s provision. This is the place I live from while also understanding my life will not always look the way I think it should; but God will bring goodness out of it. All I have to do is look at the many who walked before me….the Christians martyred. It is with great purpose we individually live and with great purpose each individual impacts history and the tapestry of God’s larger plan. I am assured we have exactly what we need in the time we need it to bring God glory and to let those around us know the riches of His glory.