The illumination of God is repeatedly described in the scriptures as a destination of repentance. Yet that very word so often leads us to looking outside for the revelation of Christ in our world today. We apply what we learn in the Word of God to the activities of those who are displayed before us – whether it be family members, neighbors, celebrities or leaders who’s lives are masqueraded before us on a television screen. We see the need for repentance in the heart of others, and we place ourselves in the judgement seat…. looking outward. And this form of comparison almost always is birthed in pride.
Paul said his heart was full of sorrow and deep anguish. His love was demonstrated towards his brothers and sisters in Christ and he labored for them continuously. However the deep anguish that NEVER ceased within his heart was directed at those who were not following Christ. He calls them his brothers and sisters too. And the battleground in his heart, I can almost see as I read his words. These were those that were opposing him – his enemies, so to speak. They were the ones that were entangling his beloved believers in Christ in bondage – they harnessed the very evil that he was combating in his ministry, yet he cared deeply for them. It’s interesting how we view enemies in the battleground of flesh and blood. We see someone causing harm to the ones we love dearly and we go after them – we accuse them and we condemn them and we secretly call for their fall in the deepest desires of our deceitful hearts. In one breath we marvel at the indescribable love of Christ who died for the sins of the world and then in the next we desire for that blood to be erased from “all” and only apply to the ones we choose, convincing ourselves that we can choose righteously.
In the book of Revelation, Jesus told the church of Ephesus “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” I don’t pretend to have an answer for any of the scriptures as I believe the LIVING WORD OF GOD is a continual story between the creator an his creation, revealing truth to each of us differently as the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts the matters of our hearts in conviction and truth pertaining to us directly (individually and corporately as God sees fit). But when I read this I’m reminded of where I had fallen – the condition of me when the Lord revealed who HE is and very disturbingly I was shown who I am too. In those moments, my world didn’t even spin. My life was broken so badly that nothing outside of the four walls of an ICU room even existed to me. I didn’t care what was going on in the news or in my communities. I didn’t care if my house was burning down back home and quite honestly it didn’t matter if the entire world was on fire outside of those windows. Nothing mattered to me but God and the extreme pressure and burden of seeking out what He was revealing to me through the fiery trial I found myself in. I could hardly breathe at times – so overwhelmed with grief and the burden was so heavy, I remember in the midst of some of my prayers – moments when I was crying out to God when I just wished he’d kill me. I despised myself and the life I didn’t deserve or what to even live.
There is no looking outside when we find ourselves in that kind of illumination. The heaviness of ourselves is more than I could bear – I didn’t have room in my heart or in my mind to find faults in anyone else. The sins of the world felt like they were wrapped up with a shiny bow and planted directly inside of me. I’ve never seen my own filth like that before. I’ve never before seen my own pride against God. I’m balling writing this right now, I’m thankful that He allows me to remember that place in my own mind – that he hasn’t allowed me to forget “from whence thou art fallen.”
If there were no one else on this Earth but me and my husband that I love very much… Who would I look to for a demonstration of evil? And if we walked completely in the righteousness of Jesus in a state of utter peace, would we be safe there? Imagine a world with no more arguments, no violence or murders, no money controlling the greed of the people, no sickness or disease – NO FAULT NO BLAME and no problems whatsoever… just paradise, peace and love. Because that’s where Adam and Eve were when the fell. So where is the battle? Is it outside of us? And where is the enemy? Jesus only spoke directly to Satan a handful of times and the last time recorded was when he addressed his beloved disciple Peter. Satan had entered Peter’s thoughts. And I ask myself, if one of the 12 hand selected by God himself to walk with Christ and learn from him in the flesh could be possessed by Satan, should I really deceive myself to assume that I’m qualified to judge in others within whom Satan dwells or does not dwell?… And am I safe from such an overtaking?
The conclusion I come to within myself is simply this… I’m not better than Peter… I’d be a fool to even assume such a crazy idea. If he can be overtaken, I’d better know that I can certainly be overtaken if not for the mercy of God to protect me from such minute by minute and hour by hour.
My prayer this morning is that the Lord help us to keep our eyes on Jesus – not to seek out evil in others and to be reminded of from whence we have fallen with a heartfelt cry to never allow us to return to that state of delusion again. Father don’t let us be used as a device of the enemy, but instead fill us with the love that overcomes the darkness and in that, teach us how to LOVE OUR ENEMIES, battling in spirit not in in the flesh with the same unceasing anguish that Paul felt in wanting all of our brothers and sisters to come to repentance and in-line with the Father’s will that NOT ONE should perish. Father, remind us that you are the potter and we are merely clay – dust from the ground, illuminated by a God that is no respecter of persons. And with thanksgiving in our hearts for the mercy we receive but do not deserve, fix our eyes on the things that are lovely and pure as your word says, “to the pure, all things are pure.” – Titus 1:15. Lord I know we live in the last hour and we all walk on very shaky ground. Please pull us in closer to you and shield us from the temptations that we don’t have the mind-power or discernment to overcome, but only the Lord Jesus is and was and will always be our over-comer. Let us never forget that we are here to be tested and tried and if we had overcame all that is ordained for us, we wouldn’t be here right now. Our race continues and we need you Lord.
In Jesus name’ <3