Last week’s blog was an encouragement to find a “Freedom Process” where you and God can come to a mutual agreement that He is in charge, His Word is Law, He has a plan for your life, His plan for you is perfect, He forgives, He offers Freedom, He is Elohim, Jehovah AND Adonai (see Tony Evans’ book “The Power of God’s Names” in the reference section). Let’s see. That’s seven of God and none of us and definitely not an exhaustive list.
When I said it’s a place the two of you can come to a mutual agreement I was being overly generous. A more accurate statement is “… find a Freedom Process where you can submit your entire life to the Will of our Loving, Almighty Heavenly Father and by so doing find the freedom only He can give, in which you were created to live.” Freedom comes in submission to His Will, His Way, His Path. Submission. It’s not a very popular term in our culture but that’s because, like so many things, its true intent and meaning has been lost, or worse, perverted.
Today is Sunday and as usual Pastor Mike hit all my buttons in his sermon. One would hope, eventually, I would have my Spiritual act together enough that his sermon wouldn’t be aimed directly at my heart. Apparently not yet. The sermon series is called “For The Kingdom” and you can find today’s sermon as well as the rest of the series HERE. Mike used a big ball of modeling clay for his visual and spoke predominantly out of Matthew, “The Kingdom is like ….” He talked about God being the artist, the All-Knowing and perfect Sculptor.
Mike’s sermon brought to mind a particularly transforming moment in my new life where I came face to face with my Holy Sculptor. My moment was not in a pottery shop. That was too delicate for what I needed. My Heavenly Sculptor knew He wasn’t working in soft, pliable clay but hardened stone. His shop was always open and He was always in. Always. But until that day I had never ventured in; not truly. His shop was full of hammers and chisels of all kinds and sizes; tools that terrified my addiction so never went in. On that day, gently, He invited me in once more. Without a trace of guile, in true and pure honesty, He showed me the tools He knew would be required to transform me into the man He created me to be. They were hard, sharp and incredibly painful. I looked around the shop and saw His workbench. I knew what I had to do, what I had longed for decades to do. I climbed up on the workbench and said, “I’m Yours. Please. Whatever it takes, make me look like You.”
I was hard. I was rough. I was a huge stone. I knew it was going to painful. But I believed, believe, with all my heart what He’s always said about me, about you, too: “You are worthy. You are MINE. You are worth dying for. You are LOVED.” He’s been chiseling on my heart ever since. At first, He needed a huge hammer and massive chisel and big chunks of my old self fell worthlessly to the floor: addictive behaviors, worthless thoughts, fears. I expect, hope, He won’t always need the big hammer and chisel, the tap hammer and petite chisel being sufficient for smoothing off my rough edges and bringing the necessary refinements. Then, one day, my Father, the Holy Sculptor, will set His tools down, stand back and say, “All done. You’re perfect.” He’ll hold up a mirror and when I look in I’ll look exactly like Him.
Whether you’re a ball of clay, soft and pliable or a hardened stone like I was, we are all Created To Be Free and true Freedom looks exactly like our Holy Father, the Heavenly Sculptor. In His Light, submission looks a lot like Love.
Freedom is a gift from God. It is also His Promise; and He ALWAYS keeps His Promises.