And what you can do about it…
In His Name
Over the many years of being a “Christian”, I have been “taught” how to “pray”. I quote those words because I think they have been misused or misunderstood. At first I was taught by the Holy Spirit; but the longer I was around people who had been in the church longer than me I began to pick up some of their habits. Then it was expected I should pray in a certain way and take classes to learn how to pray.
A vending machine
has no will,
money is put in,
a button is pushed,
and what the person pushing
the button wants comes out
Today though, I want to discuss the practice of what may have become more like a formula many Christians use to put emphasis on their prayers. One of the things the Lord had shown me during those three days almost three years ago, was a vending machine. When He showed me this He spoke,”I am not a vending machine but people have made me into a vending machine“. See a vending machine has no will, money is put in, a button is pushed, and what the person pushing the button wants comes out. We, as Christians, may have started at a wrong starting point with our view of God. We unknowingly may think God has no will in circumstances of life and yet, His plan comes above everything else. I can only discern what I believe to be God’s will as each circumstance comes to me through this lifetime. His Holy Spirit inside me tells me and gives me unction to pray instead of praying a prayer as someone (man) desires me to…but wait I am getting ahead of myself.
Let me try to explain. The scripture that I want to use is in Acts 3:16. This is where the apostles are headed to the temple and there is a man who is sitting at the Beautiful Gate begging for money because he has been crippled since birth and the apostles say they do not have money but what they do have….here let’s enter in:
“Kefa said, “I don’t have silver, and I don’t have gold, but what I do have I give to you: in the name of the Messiah, Yeshua of Natzeret, walk!” And taking hold of him by his right hand, Kefa pulled him up. Instantly his feet and ankles became strong; so that he sprang up, stood a moment, and began walking. Then he entered the Temple court with them, walking and leaping and praising God!
Acts of Emissaries of Yeshua (Act) 3:6-8 CJB
In His Name…..I have ended many prayers this way. Many times knowing or sensing what I had just prayed wasn’t what God wanted me to pray. Yet, the expectation was for me to pray this way because if I didn’t then God wouldn’t be seen as good and/or I would not be praying correctly according to man. Let me make this very clear: God is good all the time despite the circumstances I am in. Yet, in the past, I felt I needed to pray a way directed by man rather than God. For this I have been convinced I was wrong and have gone back to my childlike trust in God and what His will is in each circumstance. See we apply an attribute to God and then make it a blanket statement not realizing that it might mean something far greater than what we see it as. Let me use this as an example. God hates sickness. Yes, God holds no account to sickness. It is not part of His realm. But I want you to think of the worst sickness or disease to ever hit mankind. Maybe it could be the plague, AIDS, cancer or….there are many to choose from. To me though the worst sickness or disease is actually the original fall. This is a disease that has attacked every single human being in the world. Our brokenness is what has brought so much strife, division, hatred, and evil acts perpetrated on other humans and the earth. This sickness/disease we are all born with. Jesus carried this for us at the Cross. He made a way to rid humanity of this awful disease. This sickness that has caused so many sicknesses. And with that He also took the shame of all of us who have performed these acts. I want the world to see the largeness of what God actually did through His Son on the Cross. We get caught up in the smaller picture and with that fear creeps in. What if I die? Well….we shall all die and as Christians we should not fear this or the second death. Because truly we live forever. We should not be like the Goyim (the unbelievers).
So, back to prayer. Here is the definition of the Greek word for “name” from biblehub.com:
3686 ónoma – name; (figuratively) the manifestation or revelation of someone’s character, i.e. as distinguishing them from all others. Thus “praying in the name of Christ” means to pray as directed (authorized) by Him, bringing revelation that flows out of being in His presence. “Praying in Jesus’ name” therefore is not a “religious formula” just to end prayers (or get what we want)!
[“According to Hebrew notions, a name is inseparable from the person to whom it belongs, i.e. it is something of his essence. Therefore, in the case of the God, it is specially sacred” (Souter).]
Praying “in His Name” means we receive revelation from Him as to what to pray. It is not simply to tag this on in hopes you are praying what He desires. It actually means you are praying as directed by the Holy Spirit in that instance. As stated above, Hebrews understand that the name is part of the person….the essence of that person and is inseparable from the person. A name is very important to Hebrews. As it should be for all of us. As believers in Christ, we have His essence known as the Holy Spirit residing within us. Inside of us we know, otherwise called discernment, what, where and when to pray. We have the mind of Christ, His essence, in us. We pray in His Name as we call out His will in this earth realm as it lines up with His larger picture, not yours. His larger picture, as I have read in scripture, is that the world may know His Name. He simply does not want one person, human, to be separated from Him. As we pray, this is the larger picture. In the above historical story of the man being healed at the Beautiful Gate, God’s larger picture evolves. This isn’t saying God didn’t want this man healed but there was a larger picture. Let’s finish the story here:
Everyone saw him walking and praising God. They recognized him as the same man who had formerly sat begging at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were utterly amazed and confounded at what had happened to him. While he clung to Kefa and Yochanan, all the people came running in astonishment toward them in Shlomo’s Colonnade. Seeing this, Kefa addressed the people: “Men of Isra’el! Why are you amazed at this? Or why do you stare at us as if we had made this man walk through some power or godliness of our own? The God of Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Yeshua — the same Yeshua you handed over and disowned before Pilate, even after he had decided to release him. You denied the holy and innocent one, and instead asked for the reprieve of a murderer! You killed the author of life! “But God has raised him from the dead! Of this we are witnesses.” “And it is through putting trust in his name that his name has given strength to this man whom you see and know. Yes, it is the trust that comes through Yeshua which has given him this perfect healing in the presence of you all.” Acts of Emissaries of Yeshua (Act) 3:9-16CJB
God glorified His Servant Yeshua. Simply making it known Who He is. Trust in His essence, His Name. Trust in Who He is that gave strength and perfect healing to this man in their presence. We have always focused on the healing but not so much about the people present. Peter was very straightforward telling these Jews the very same man with the name Yeshua, Jesus, this man who You disowned and denied as holy and innocent is the very same One Whose essence in them brought healing to this man whom had been crippled since birth. This was just what was needed at this point, in these people’s lives to make Him known to them. Each situation is different because each person is different. God knows us perfectly and knows what needs to be done in each situation. We are simply to trust (faith) Him with the outcomes. Fully knowing the worst disease to ever hit mankind has been abolished by the King of kings on the Cross. In His Name, ❤️
This past weekend I watched the McGregor/Mayweather fight. I watched as round after round went by thinking about the endurance each athlete had to have to continue fighting. I thanked God for the endurance He has supplied me with to fight the good fight of FAITH. Because life is so much like the boxing ring and I am thankful that Jesus has won the war for me.
I had posted a great pic a few weeks ago of what I am going to write about in this blog post. You can look at it here: Coming soon…Why the race is about faith and not behavior….#Hebrews11 #Hebrews12 . Let’s get to it.
Hebrews is beautifully written to well…..Hebrews….but there is much for us in the church in present times to look at here. I went through the history of this book in Did You Really Just Say That?!?!. So please go back and read this post if you haven’t yet. Hebrews 11 is the faith chapter and there are a couple of things I want to make clear with this chapter. This faith chapter includes people like Rahab, King David, and Samuel. It also includes what the Jewish people suffered holding on to their faith (trust, belief) in Who God is. Please note King David was during the law but his faith made him righteous and Rahab’s faith made her righteous enough to be in the lineage of Jesus and she was a prostitute. At the “end” of this chapter it states:
And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.(Hebrews 11:39-40 NASB)
Apart from us they would not be made perfect…..because something was provided by God that was better for us. This is describing what Jesus had done in their lifetime and ours. As the letter moves into Chapter 12 of Hebrews, we get into some pretty important wording that we all need to carefully look at.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin (noun) which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners (adjective-describes a noun) against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NASB)
I have written about sin before in the New Testament in the blog Horizontal and Vertical (Part 4). I have questioned: How could Jesus say, “Go and sin no more.” When He said to go and “sin” (verb) no more it was so much more than their behavior, as we might think of it. We need to remember that Jesus is the “mark” we do not want to miss in the New Covenant. Jesus came onto the scene here on earth proclaiming, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” And He was truly desiring for people to look at things or see things as God sees them. Jesus also clearly noted that their faith healed them not their behavior. The definition of hamarte (noun) also describes every action/decision done apart from faith; this is a heart condition which then can convert into a mind decision. I make a decision or choice of faith in God in the very beginning (faith as small as a mustard seed). In this faith (trust/belief) I also believe that all my sins (transgressions=hatah, iniquity=avon, and sin=peshah) have fully been cleared by Jesus’ payment on the Cross. When we see the word sin in the New Testament we think behavior instead of looking deeper and actually understanding the Hebrew word Peshah. Peshah means to make a counter covenant and to clearly, of your own free will, choose to identify with the principles of evil. When you see it this way it is in direct opposition to God and all that His Son has done for you. This is fully making a decision or action apart from faith. This word contains the idea that this is their own free will choice, self empowered choice to forfeit or have no part of or share of…..God’s desire to have a relationship with them which Jesus provided a free and clear way through the Cross for the whole world. This is truly “missing the mark”, Jesus. This is what equates to wickedness or sin isn’t the Greek word hamartia.
Yes, think about him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you won’t grow tired or become despondent. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in the contest against sin. Also you have forgotten the counsel which speaks with you as sons: “My son, don’t despise the discipline of Adonai or become despondent when he corrects you. For Adonai disciplines those he loves and whips everyone he accepts as a son.” Regard your endurance as discipline; God is dealing with you as sons. For what son goes undisciplined by his father? All legitimate sons undergo discipline; so if you don’t, you’re a mamzer and not a son! Hebrews 12:4-6
I don’t know if this scripture has scared anyone else, but it has me. This verse always makes me envision an angry God up in heaven waiting to dole out some pretty hefty spankings when I don’t line up and follow all the rules. How about you?? Let’s look at the beauty of these words in the Greek to have an accurate picture of Who God is and what the unknown author was really saying.
The word counteract bears more looking at. Counteract means to act in opposition to. We have not acted in opposition to sin to the point of shedding blood against sin. Yet, Jesus has. Jesus has resisted, opposed and superseded sin to the point of shedding blood. The word sin here is a noun not a verb. It is describing a person, place or thing. When Jesus is explaining to go and sin no more it is a verb which is an action. We need to be watchful of the use of the words. When I have read scripture in the past I would see the word sin and automatically think verb which means action. Where here it is a noun. The use of the word in the sentence changes what it is defining. As I stated above the word hamartano is described as this in biblehub: Every decision (action) done apart from faith (4102 /pístis) is sin. Every action done apart from FAITH is sin. Yet this word is a noun, person, place or thing. This is how I felt the Lord was describing it to me. The sickness mumps is a noun, it is a thing. Yet that sickness develops actions like swelling of the neck and fever still things yet your actions come out of those things. Like sleep, sweating, drinking liquids. I hope this is making sense. So Jesus sat and opposed or counteracted sin the noun so that we would not have the actions of sin the verb. Here is how I see it in my mind:
FAITH (trust/belief God) VS SIN (counter covenant)
Jesus counteracted sin. Here is a good example: The doctor gave you medicine to counteract the effects of the sickness. So: Jesus made sin ineffective in the lives who by faith walk through the door He opened. That is the pill. We simply keep our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith. He restrained, neutralized the ill effects of sin (noun) because He is the direct opposite or in opposition to sin. Jesus counteracted sin for all of humanity as we have faith in Who He is and what He did for us. So, the question always comes down to this…why do I sin….are you talking transgression, iniquity or actual sin according to the Hebrew. See, Jesus says He paid for all of that on the Cross. There are iniquities that are weaknesses to fall under temptation….yet what did Jesus do…He said it is finished, So it is finished. The payment has been made for the whole world but those that have access to it simply trust God for what His Son did for the world. The enemy would like us to think that our salvation is dependent on our behavior when it is actually our faith that brings us into covenant with God, not our behavior. What do I do when I have transgressed? If you haven’t already please read: Horizontal and Vertical (Part 4); which will answer that question for you. The realization that my relationship with My Father in Heaven is not based on my behavior but completely by His behavior brought freedom and a light load. It is really that simple.
As I realized how Jesus counteracted sin, He then asked me, “Why do people want to be sin foucused instead of Me focused?”
I believe the answer to this question is: as humans, since Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, have tried to attain our own righteousness, holiness and right behavior. The law though has only proven we can not attain this. Yet, still as Christians, we try to somehow attain holiness and righteousness by our own deeds still instead of realizing Jesus counteracted sin, He paid the price and for that I am eternally grateful. We do have a new nature He paid to give us and we do act in that more and more as we focus on Him not our behaior. Don’t put the Cart Before the Horse? So we instead of becoming sin focused (a choice outside of faith) let us remain Jesus focused by believing and trusting that He has begun a good work and will remain faithful to finish it. (Philippians 1:6) Because God promised to write the law upon our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33 and Hebrews 8:10 and 10:16) and be our God. This is us in the New Covenant. We believe, have faith, this is what God has done in us and realize God is finishing this work within us and believe He has created a new nature within us, that the old nature is dead with Christ and we have risen new with Christ.
In the Kingdom of Heaven trusting (faith) = righteousness, holiness, benefits of sonship/daughtership and so much more
Regard your endurance as discipline. This means your endurance (see definition above) is discipline. Discipline means to reach full maturity. Remember that your seed of faith is given by God and is as small as a mustard seed but when fully grown becomes a large tree. Strong, that can withstand a storm. One of the notes on biblehub states that God uses things that happen in our life to mature us. God’s discipleship is to mature us through life’s experiences. Life happens and we either mature or we stay stagnant. Choosing to mature grows our faith. And just to make sure you understand: if we choose not to mature at that time GOD IS NOT MAD AT YOU!!! And there will be plenty of more “LIFE HAPPENS” to mature. We no longer live under the law; so please do not think that God is waiting to punish you as if you had to hold up your part of the bargain; because remember His Son, Jesus, has paid the full price for you.
“For they disciplined us only for a short time and only as best they could; but he disciplines us in a way that provides genuine benefit to us and enables us to share in his holiness.” (Heb) 12:10 CJB
We receive genuine benefit and share in His holiness as we hang on to our faith, let go of the law (heavy burden) and the sin (separate of faith). Faith is the key to the Kingdom of Heaven. Faith in the One who resisted to the shedding of blood, the One Who bled so we can partake in His righteousness and holiness. This “fight” is the fight to remain trusting and believing in Who God said He is as we walk through this timeline of our life. This is what every person listed in Hebrews 11 did and they endured horrible hardships. This is what every believer had done in the time this letter had been written. They endured terrible deaths. Yet they were not told to make sure they didn’t do x,y,z but were told to not claim a counter covenant and keep the covenant Jesus paid such a dear price for. As we look at the end of chapter 12 the author says: let us have grace through which we worship and are accepted by God. Grace…let us have grace this is how we worship and are acceptable to God. So that means accept Jesus’ free gift of grace, fully redeemed, fully loved, fully holy, fully accepted, fully clean, fully righteous because of what Jesus did…not because of what you did or didn’t do….Just believe, trust; which simply means FAITH. So know you should feel lighter as you have let go of the law and grabbed hold by faith…grace given by Jesus.
As I was talking to my husband about this upcoming post, he gave such a great analogy regarding this particular subject. He said when he is aiming at a target downrange if you are just a little off it will impact your ability to hit the target. It may not seem like you are off that much yet as the bullet travels away from the gun the trajectory which started just a little off will make a big difference downrange. How far off have you been or are you now about your view of God? How far off are your core values to His? It again points to the starting point which is how you view God that allows a direct hit of a target downrange.
For so long I held on to a belief system that I had to prove myself worthy of God’s love. I didn’t realize that I said one thing-“God loves me!” while at the same time deep within myself believing I had to do everything right to keep His love. This is a wrong core value or starting point. This way of thinking sent me hitting targets like: I am not good enough, I will never be good enough, I hate myself because I can’t get it right, God hates me, the whole world hates me because if God hates me then how in the world could I love myself much less anyone else. I just NEVER could perform in excellence like….well…..Jesus did. I was told I must emulate Jesus in every way and I found myself lacking…day after day. Now WHAT!?!?!!! I didn’t give up on God….but I believe we see a generation that quite frankly….IS. Why are they? I believe because they are starting at the wrong starting point with their view of God.
In my last post, It Truly Can’t Get Any Better, I promised to write about the “law of liberty” found in James. It is important we have the correct view of God to fully understand this concept “law of liberty”. Many in the church see this “law” as “right behavior”–“Do this, but don’t do that!”. Yet, early Christians understood this to mean something completely different…..or maybe they just started at the right starting point. Let’s dig into the words here (info comes from biblehub.com):
Law-Nomos (3551)-This word must be taken in context to understand what law is being talked about….I can hear my English teacher: context, context, context!!! The law regarding the Christian faith is used only 4 times in scripture: Roman 3:27 Law of faith; Galatians 6:2 Law of love; and James 1:25 and James 2:12 Law of “liberty”.
Liberty-Eluthria (1657)-“Freedom, liberty, a state of freedom from slavery”. Freedom from the dominion of corrupt desires, so that we do by FREE IMPULSE of the SOUL what the will of God requires. There is a note in biblehub.com it states see Epistle of Barnabas 2,6. Which led me to the Epistle…which in turn led me to the scripture in Psalms 51:
As I meditated on this scripture and the meaning of the “Law of Liberty”, I distinctly heard the Lord say to me:
“A Humble Heart is required when you become a Christian to even accept such a free gift; it continues to take a Humble Heart to run the race and realize it is not about you—your behavior or your “goodness” but about Me, My behavior and Goodness.”
That was so good to hear and yet I knew there was more He wanted to articulate to me. And of course it came….I needed to understand the word HUMILITY.
Now let’s look at HUMILITY in the Greek:
(a noun, derived from 5011 /tapeinós, “low, humble” and 5424 /phrḗn, “moderation as regulated by inner perspective”) – properly, low; humility, “lowliness” of human pride (self-government); that quality of mindset of “having a humble opinion of oneself, i.e. a deep sense of one’s (moral) littleness – i.e. lowliness of mind” (J. Thayer). In Scripture, 5012 /tapeinophrosýnē (“lowliness, humility”) is an inside-out virtue. produced by comparing ourselves to the Lord (rather than to others)… For the believer, 5012 /tapeinophrosýnē (“humility”) means living in complete dependence on the Lord, i.e. with no reliance on self (the flesh). The word occurs neither in the O. T., nor in secular authors.
I have written a little about this in, It’s an Inside Job. When we compare ourselves to Christ we will always fall short. In this, we realize we need a Savior and must always rely on His Finished Work and the Holy Spirit working inside us; not our own ability (self/flesh) that produces any “right behavior”. This is humility, as a Christian: realizing it isn’t your ability that is creating any right behavior but His Spirit in you changing you from the inside out. Who the Son sets free is free indeed. (John 8:36) Free from the carnal desires of the old corrupt self. Simply live from that truth. Remember the word “liberty” in Greek means our soul, because of what Jesus accomplished on the Cross for us and He sent us His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, will by FREE IMPULSE do what the will of God is and we are free, no longer slaves, to our old corrupt desires. This is the truth, the fact that we live from. This is what James is telling people. He says, “Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free.” (James 2:12) We, in truth or in fact, live from the place of freedom from our old nature. It is dead and we now live as a new creation, alive with the Holy Spirit within us. Are we perfect, NO of course not—Jesus was and is the ONLY PERFECT SACRIFICE.
For me to hit the bulls eye downrange I needed to start at the right point. The starting point is simple: God loves me no matter what before I was a Christian and after I accept His free gift. This is Grace. I used to believe God loved me before I was a Christian but now that I am a Christian I have to earn His love, favor and protection. See this slight difference makes a HUGE difference downrange. This wrong starting point puts me back under a law that I was never intended to be able to perform.
I also came to better understand that I have complete dependence on God. Yet even that understanding had to come from the right starting point. I finally realized I can not make myself behave or do right…..but He changes my thinking, my actions and He does this from the inside and it naturally becomes outward actions. Do I always get it right…..no! But does He still love me and has He already paid the price for my mistakes….YES!! Do I spend hours with Him….of course I do….HE LIVES IN ME! He is there 24/7 in ME!!!!!! Do I make it a religious thing….certainly not…He told me to let go of the rules. He wanted me….all of me…flaws and beauty…the whole package. He didn’t want a robot or someone ultra religious, trying to look holy or make myself holy….He knew it was just an act…just me relying on my flesh to make myself holy. But now I understand He truly makes me holy 100%…not because I have done everything right or performed A, B and C…..and don’t forget about D….heaven forbid I forget D…I say this in jest, but honestly that is how I used to live. No more…I live from a place of freedom. No longer a slave but a daughter of the Most High King. Holy because He is holy, Righteous because He is righteous, Fully forgiven because Jesus paid for all my sins and Saved because He rose from the dead. Simple faith that grows inside which is a free gift from God that I receive. According to Psalm 51:16-17, He does not want us going through the motions or a flawless performance….yet He does desire broken pride and a shattered heart. Humility is the opposite of pride. It took humility to realize I needed saving and righteousness in the first place. It takes humility to realize Jesus is the only One Who paid the price to give to the world salvation and righteousness. Humility must remain after we accept the free gift because that is the place we live from knowing that it isn’t us that changes our inward parts but God through His Spirit in us……that is GRACE.
The Lord, a few years back, had shared with me the statement I put in the picture right here: This was hard for me to hear back then because I was a “law woman”. Keeping the rules with a slave mentality instead of a daughter mentality was the relationship I chose to have with my Father in Heaven…until He set me free (see It is Time to Let Go of the Rules-Otherwise Known as the Law). Yesterday, as I talked with a good friend, the Lord reminded me of this word. As I was talking, I finally received understanding for this statement because He has helped me understand how to be His woman. First and foremost, we must start at the right starting point: Jesus took my place and all punishment, condemnation, and sickness, that was my due because of sin, was placed on His body and for that I am eternally grateful. I didn’t understand this when He had told me this a few years ago…I was still striving in my own effort to hold up my part of the bargain in this relationship with God; which I had been taught in the church to do (religious law keeping). If I didn’t hold up my part of the bargain then I was lacking, God would then turn away from me or lift His hand of protection. I would then have to go to Him repent, showing enough remorse. Then, and only then, He would be able to look back towards me, cover me again with His hand and all would be well……until…….I somehow messed up again. This was a continual process of shame, guilt and remorse….and I NEVER felt like I would EVER be good enough for Him. Wow!! So the statement, there is no failure in Him had me mystified…until….yesterday. All because I have the right starting point now. Here is the picture God gave me:
When I see His timeline or plan, many times it comes to me as a tapestry that is being made. It is not complete, but is complete. In the inner weaving of this fabric pattern are the failures in which He has made a beautiful tapestry out of. Yes, the failures which He has made beautiful. How can that be?!?!?!!!! These failures are not failures because they have actually fulfilled a purpose in our lives which He ALWAYS make BEAUTIFUL for His sons and daughters. The scripture that comes to mind is this:
“Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose;”
Romans (Rom) 8:28 CJB
I encourage you to put past failures in His hands and take a look at the bigger picture of the tapestry of life that He is creating. It is beautiful and honors Him. ❤
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.