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Archive for January, 2011

It’s Not Fair You See.

We love to give the Pharisees in the Bible a hard time. How could they not recognize who Jesus was after they were SO well studied in what their Messiah would look like?  It’s not that they just didn’t recognize Him.  It’s that everything He said and did so contradicted what they THOUGHT was God’s way, they wanted to KILL Him. They were the religious big wigs at the time- they knew their stuff. They knew the Bible, as it was, inside and out and tried to adhere to every dot and dash. And here was this guy, sure He was educated, but He was no pharisee- turning everything they believed into something it ‘wasn’t supposed to be.’ We tend to look at this and think they’re a bunch of idiots.

But I’ve noticed something this week. Both about myself, and a lot of other believers.  I’ve seen this both in my direct circle of great friends and I’ve really seen this about believers on the internet.

We’re all a bunch of Pharisees.

We have a lot of knowledge of the Word and what it says to do or not to do. We know how to pray. We know what to do about ‘sinners’ (of course this means we know who sinners even are), and we even know how God does and doesn’t move. We have a serious case of “knowledge puffs up.”

This past week I’ve caught myself and witnessed others acting like we know our stuff. I’ve also had the Lord talking to me a lot about Psalm 1,

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. His delight is in the Law of the Lord…”

I don’t consider myself much of a mocker. I don’t generally make fun of people and what they do and think it’s okay. But this week I noticed something.  I was in a conversation with some people and we were joking about a video on the internet. Mid conversation I felt convicted. We were making fun of this person. Not directly, but if they were there it surely could have been hurtful. The way we were doing it seemed lighthearted and innocent enough, but when the Lord put it into perspective for me- yikes. Not good. It would seem ‘sitting in the seat of mockers’ stems directly from a critical spirit.

Then it was like a downhill spiral. I started noticing way too much of this happening around me from those of us it should not come from.  I noticed how much it showed up in my own heart.

I started seeing an AWFUL awful trend of believers online making fun of other believers. Or calling out other believers about something, like we know their heart when we don’t even know them personally.

One particular person posted a video of a ‘famous Christian’ doing what he does. And yep, he does do things a little weird. But under that video were SO MANY comments about how this guys is a nut job, or how, in so many words, he gets his power from Satan (this sounds WAY too familiar- Matthew 12:23-25), or how they couldn’t believe how gullible people could be to think this was for real.

And how many times do we think like this? Like Beth Moore wrote, “Those who look for reasons to accuse will undoubtedly find some.”

How many times do we beg God to move, to show us miracles and then when He does, we dismiss them as something else.

Just like the pharisees we think we know our stuff. But God is wild. He doesn’t move the way we think He should or do things in a neat little package. He is creative and moves in ALL KINDS of different ways. John the Baptist was not normal by any means. Elijah and Elisha did some weird miracles and so did the disciples. They were all persecuted in some way for this. And we know, by scripture, that this is inevitable. But let’s not side with the Accuser and accuse people who are living for Jesus. We don’t know their heart and we don’t know if it’s God. The sad part is, I saw the same stuff this week being said by those who are literally trying to DESTROY Christians. Those who truly HATE Christians. How can we talk the same way? I am talking to myself here.

I want to have a childlike heart- being wise but not dismissing something because it’s not familiar. Or because it is familiar. Or dismissing something because I’m afraid it might be slightly inaccurate.

I want to see God in everything and see what He IS doing in everyone, even if I don’t fully agree- I might be the one in the wrong anyway. I want to be more afraid to miss God’s will then I am to mess up once in awhile.  I want to do what God says even if it seems crazy.

Sure, there are some true crazies out there but it’s not our place to worry about those. Discern, yes. Trash talk? Not in any form. Actually, loving them and praying for them would be our job description.

My husband pointed this quote out today and I think it about sums it up;

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

If we’re accusing, nitpicking, or mocking, we’re trying to use darkness and hate to drive out (what we think is) darkness and hate.

If we’re loving, praying for, and encouraging each other…if we’re seeing the value and truth in someone we don’t agree with, then we’re operating in God’s Spirit. We’re driving out darkness and hate with the light and love of God.

 

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Totem

This post is inspired by something the Lord showed me a few months ago and brought to mind again today.  For those of you who haven’t seen the movie ‘Inception,’ this may be a bit confusing:

In the movie Inception, the goal of the main characters is to go deeper and deeper into someones dreams in an effort to plant a thought in that person and have that person consider it their own thought.

The trouble is, the person doing the ‘planting’ can get lost in this little dreamland if they don’t have something that lets them know whether they’re living in reality or a thought life that feels like reality. They use a small item (a top, for example) that does something (the top will fall if it’s reality or keep spinning if it’s not) that will let them know which reality (or non reality) they are living in for that moment. They call this item a totem.

First off- I LOVE MOVIES. Movies that most likely weren’t created with the heart of God in mind often speak the heart of God loudly, and Inception is one of them. This movie depicts the spiritual realm so well! To start- this is how Satan functions- he plants thoughts in our minds in such a way we begin to think they’re our own. He surrounds us with circumstances that reinforce these thoughts so they become our belief system. I don’t care if you’re a believer or a non believer- he does this to both. He will plant thoughts in our head that make us less effective to the world around us and less peaceful on the inside. If we think we aren’t loved or accepted, we’ll live out of that even if we believe Jesus has saved us. And if we don’t think we’re loved and accepted, we’ll be guarded and fearful- and you can’t love others well when you live this way.

Anyhow, shortly after watching this movie and having this movie melt my face off, I heard a speaker named Peter Helm. He was talking about how Jesus is making Himself more and more clear to us. He said this: “When we see Jesus clearly, that’s when the penny drops.” I about fell out of my chair! What he meant was basically, ‘When we see Jesus clearly, that’s when it all makes sense and everything changes.’  But to me, God was tying it in with Inception.

Jesus is our totem. When we see him, it’s like the top falling over- or the penny dropping.

When we see him- that’ s reality. If what we see or what we live doesn’t line up with who Jesus is- we’re living in a false reality. We’re not living fully, we’re living in a world made up of lies and deception.

Jesus is our totem, and His reality is SO GOOD.

 

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