I have been conflicted this week about what to write. More accurately, or honestly, I haven’t felt a huge pull to a specific topic this week. I often have more things that God prompts me to write than I can keep track of. This week I think He was saving His prompting until after church today. What a glory-filled morning with Him.
As is always true with God and His infinite, unlimited Wisdom and Love, He spoke to me on several fronts which, on the surface seemed unrelated, but I now realize had the same destination: relationship with Him. Our Group Life Pastor spoke today on Dying. No, not so simplistic as our bodies giving out, our heart not beating and our lungs not taking in air. He spoke about sacrifice. Submission. Surrender. Dying to myself. Taking up my cross. Imitating Jesus’ example. Scotty’s passion and enthusiasm for the topic radiated out of him and God spoke mightily through him this morning. You can check out the sermon here if you’re interested.
That was the early service. During second service I attended a new class which started today – The Grace Course – from Freedom in Christ Ministries. Again, God hit me with His heartfelt desire and plan, from before there was time, to be in relationship with me through His Grace and His plan of Salvation. I was ‘assaulted’ by my Dear Heavenly Father from two different but, still related, directions.
When we are deep into our addiction, addicts create a mask, a facade – what we believe is a plan of salvation – of our own making. We are wounded and may or may not even be able to point to it and say, “There! That’s where I was pierced.” For some, it’s “There. And there. And there, too.” So we run. We hide. We wrap ourselves in the cloak of our own salvation and create a ‘me’ that our delusions tell us will bind our wound(s) and heal our brokenness. It is the lie of the evil one. Not only does it not bind, heal or satisfy, it brutally sucks from our heart the very life it promised and leaves us wanting, desperate and in a far worse place; spiraling into the black pit – the very one shared with the “Prodigal Son.”
What do we do? Some of us, me for one, literally spent a lifetime hiding and running and lying and cheating and waiting all the while for the façade to live up to its promise of healing and satisfaction. It never will. It can’t. It isn’t real. We must die to ourselves, die to our desires, die to our flesh and give ourselves over to the Power and Promises of Jesus. He won’t take them from us. Don’t misunderstand. He will accept them and FREE us from them. But we must relinquish them. We must willingly give them up to Him. It is following His example – He surrendered Himself to being put to death. No one took His life. He submitted to our Father’s Will and surrendered His life to make it so we could have the BEST – of everything.
Scotty’s sermon was so timely and appropriate. I took off my mask and shed my façade and gave it willingly to Jesus three years ago but there were, are, still things that I must work through, learn, re-learn, un-learn, renew, put on, put off. Learning to die, that I might live in FREEDOM. And it’s glorious. HE is Glorious. He loves you so much, He’ll take that mantle of lies from you and give you back His very BEST. He promised.