Letting Go and Not Looking Back!

woman-737439_1920This post has been a long time coming. It is one of those posts I felt would be shared as a result of some of the things I learned in and about the Lord, whilst going through the transition from our old house to the one we’re in now.  In my blog post “An Abundant Land“ I mentioned a few thoughts on posts that I might write and so finally, four months later, here’s another one of them.

Sometimes God puts us in a place, geographically and/or environmentally that we just absolutely love. It has everything wonderful about it. For me and Derek, it was the wide open space, animals and the quiet of rural life on acres. The house we lived in at Wyee from 2013 to 2015 was an absolute God-send. It was a blessing beyond our wildest dreams.

When it came time to move at the landlord’s request, we were expecting it but nevertheless pretty sad about it I guess.  The Lord had done a lot of healing whilst living there and the peace and beauty around us was certainly a massive part of that.

As you may recall (if you follow my blog), the landlord of the property there and his son who worked diligently toward their goal of developing the property, were an incredible picture to me of the Father and Son relationship as they are, from eternity past, working diligently toward their purpose of developing their kingdom! It was amazing and awesome and will never ever leave me.

By the time we were preparing to leave, the Lord had revealed so much through the father and son landlords of the relationship with Jesus and His Father, that almost all their actions that were visible to me, seemed to reflect something of God’s nature.

The track/road they would drive along ran from the road next to our driveway and along- side the house and up to the hills to the other end. So I would always see them whenever they were driving past.  When it came to the last day of cleaning and handing in the keys, as I looked out the back windows of the sunroom I could see the landlord’s son driving up the paddock toward the house. He’d done this a number of times during that day, looking over and I suspected he may have been checking that we were on the move.

When Derek and I finished the final task of the cleaning, I saw him driving up and so I went outside to wave him goodbye. However, this time, he never looked over once. I stood there waving, in full view, but he didn’t even offer a glance. He had his hand on the wheel, eyes fixed straight ahead and he was eating an apple. I’ll never forget it.

This reflected the heart of our Lord to me in a way that took my breath away. It was as though God’s fingers took the corners of the invisible curtain of this earthly realm and pulled them back to reveal the Son of God just getting on with His work of the Kingdom. As a reflection of Christ the Son of God, there was no sign of sentiment. There was no sign of looking back. There was no sign of giving me any glory in the matter. He was getting on with his task, the will of his father. And he was delighting in the fruit he was eating.

Just like with the landlord’s son, Jesus knew I was there alright. God knew what I was looking at and what I was seeing. He had seen all that had taken place whilst living there and He knew that this final event was good and right.  I needed to see that He wasn’t sentimental and He wasn’t stopping what He was doing in order to get what He is after. And He was telling me that neither should I.

The earthly realm would say to me “You’re so sad to leave this place, it’s been so wonderful, and you’re so ripped off to have to leave. Think and dwell on how sad you are that you’ll never have this place again. Look back on it, look back, look back!” 

But the spiritual realm, the heavenly realm in which you and I are already seated in Christ, says something altogether different. It cries out “DON’T look back! Don’t be like Lot’s wife. Put your hand to the plough and be faithful with what is in front of you right now. Keep your eyes set on the Kingdom of God and God will take care of everything else.”

In Matthew 8:28 and Luke 9:60, when they told Jesus they needed to go to a funeral before being able to follow Him, He replied “Let the dead bury the dead”. That might sound harsh and He may have been commenting on their spiritual condition as being ‘dead’ but it sure shows Jesus’ focus. In the account in Luke 9:60 He says “Let the dead bury their dead, but you go and proclaim the Kingdom of God”. Jesus had His hand on the wheel, His eyes fixed straight ahead to do the will of His Father, and He enjoys the fruit of that and only that. He wasn’t interested in looking back and He was calling them to the same attitude.

What’s more, once those who were called to follow Him actually did leave everything immediately and follow Him, He didn’t stop to congratulate them and tell them how wonderful they were for doing so! He didn’t stop and analyse with them what it was like for them to leave people, places and things behind, He just kept walking and they just followed.

I like this. Sometimes Jesus is so incredibly simple, it’s a relief. He’s uncomplicated. I like that Jesus is so fixated on His Father’s will and isn’t sentimental about earthly things. And I love the image forever burnt into my spirit, of the landlord son eating an apple. It speaks to me of the simplicity and joy of Christ’s life in following His Father’s will. And since we’re called to live by Christ’s life just as Christ lives by His Father’s life, then perhaps this is a good indication that our life in the Spirit is also meant to be simple and a joy.

I don’t pretend it’s an easy life but ease and simplicity are two very different things. Of-course none of this Christian life is easy for us, that’s why we can’t do it. But if we realise we are inside of Christ and He is inside of us, it becomes ‘simple’. Looking off unto Christ, having our eyes fixed on Him, we have one direction and one goal that we are working towards, by His life in us. Our hand is to the wheel, to the plough, we’re fixed on the goal, the prize. It’s seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness! And the fruit of this is joy, joy, joy! 

 

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My Resting Place

Jesus You fill me

Like a childhood imaginary friend,

Like a baby in its mother’s tummy,

Like a newly acquired love interest that consumes my every waking moment

You are with me, everywhere, always,

Ever in my thoughts,

Consciously present with me.

I go to sleep and you are there

I wake up and you are there

Truly, as in the words of the Psalmist,

Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Where can I hide from Your love?

You are Teacher

Lover

King

Friend

Brother

Counsellor

My imaginary friend who is not imagined

My solace, peace, comfort

You are my health, my healing, my joy and my strength

You are that River in my dreams

In which I jump, and ride its rushing streams

You fill me completely

I am immersed in You Oh Lord,

In You I rest at all times

You are underneath and You cover me

You hem me in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus – the Life of the Party!

The other morning my husband Derek and I, sat down for our prayer time together which we do almost daily.  These prayer times have become the backbone of our marriage and such a tremendous time of mutual edification in our faith-walk with the Lord together as we pursue His Eternal Purpose.  I tell you this to give some context to Jesus’ sense of humour in what I experienced that morning.

As we sat together I was battling internally with events from the night before where I had so obviously stepped out of living from the Lord’s spirit and totally lived out of my soul! (Eeech, aint that ugly?) I felt the Lord had shown me how I had given the enemy a foothold by reacting out of my soul and now, although I had confessed and was focusing on the Lord instead of the debris I had caused, I had become agitated and irritable.  The event had nothing to do with Derek but as we prayed I was fighting to draw my attention to the Lord and away from Derek.

By God’s grace I could recognise that the enemy was trying to antagonise, draw me back onto the ground of my soul which is not a pretty place. I was thankful to recognise this activity and by God’s grace, still had moments of beholding Jesus, worshipping and praising Him in song as I often do, and from a genuine place – all the time aware of the firey darts and arrows coming my way.

When our time in prayer appeared to come to a close, I shared my struggles with the events of the night before with Derek who then sought to encourage me to behold the Lord further, casting off the sense of responsibility to battle and fight.  His words were true and right, I knew them to be true, I wanted to be open to receiving through him, he was humbly encouraging me in the truth. But! It just wasn’t getting past the irritations and agitations in me! I was trying to humble myself to receive but wasn’t having much success.

Derek described beholding the Lord in these times as being like when a lint filter (like out of a clothes dryer) is covered in lint and then with one big blow all the lint is blown off and the filter is completely clear. It was a great picture and I understood what he was saying. Alas, there still was something in me that just wasn’t receiving life from it.  I mentioned that I understood what he was saying but that I was “clearly still feeling very agitated and irritable” (even if he hadn’t noticed).

Derek began to speak of how he too was aware of the ‘Antagoniser’ attempting to throw firey darts at him also, in relation to a separate event. In the context of explaining how he was feeling antagonism between us that wasn’t wanted, he said “…and I get irritated when you’re praying…” – ?? What????

Ha ha ha ha ha!!!! I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe he said it! I tried to contain my laughter as he continued on with serious and beautiful words of wisdom, but that was all I could hear! – he gets irritated when I pray! Hillarious!! So I burst out laughing and I mean real laughing, tears, and hardly able to hold back. Talk about blowing the lint off the filter!!! It was blown clear off the thing! The irritability and agitation was gone! The firey darts and arrows were bent and spun back around from whence they came! The lid was lifted! Jesus and I were laughing! Jesus knew how often I get irritated when Derek prays, clears his throat, the way he speaks, the tone of his voice, all of his quirky ways. Ha! (It’s ok, Derek checks my posts before they go out 🙂 )And Jesus knew how often Derek was irritated with my prayers, the way I speak, my monotone tones, my humming and singing, my fidgety ways on the lounge next to him, my sniffing! ha ha ha!!!

Derek started to laugh as I expressed all of this to him and I couldn’t believe how the enemy had been exposed and sent running! It’s as though the Lord came in and said “Now, let’s forget all this spiritual talk and just be real and frank here, let’s just cut through it all and say what’s really happening” and by doing so, I was set free!! The truth shall set you free and free indeed!!

Tears of laughter turned into tears of gratitude in seeing the Lord’s splendour and grace. His wonderfully astounding sense of humour. His personality. My goodness. What a personality our Lord has! Derek said was it any wonder people in the New Testament would invite Him to their house, He must have been such an awesome person, the life of the party!

Jesus, You are Truly Amazing and I never cease to be amazed at You. How wonderful that You love to reveal Yourself to us, You love us to know You because You are wonderful to be known! Who can compare with You Jesus? You make us laugh!

2013-09-21 14.22.24

 

Jesus Revealed in a Bread & Butter Plate!

 

Sesame Street plate

“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15).

Even though I’m 47 years of age, I love this plate and I use it almost daily. I bought it myself a while back because being plastic, it doesn’t let my toast go cold! I bought it from the children’s products in the supermarket aisle……… yes, there is definitely a child in me who is alive and well!  🙂

This morning however, as I looked at it, I could hardly believe my eyes! This is what I saw in a children’s plastic Sesame Street bread and butter plate;

Around the edge of the plate is the great cloud of witnesses (the saints who have gone before us) rejoicing in the freedom of Christ that is theirs and rejoicing over us who have not yet gone to sleep but are also in Christ.  They, like us, are all wearing their helmet of Salvation which is Christ who has given them access to the glory of God which is seen in Jesus Christ as represented by the suns in the picture.

This great cloud of witnesses are lifted above and outside of time, this planet Earth, the Kosmos or world system which is represented by the ‘jungle’ in the centre of the plate. The world is currently a jungle fraught with dangers and deception as under the prince of this world, Satan. Yet those who are in Christ are not part of this world.

The whole body of Christ, those gone before and those of us who are still alive, even though in this world that is a jungle indeed, experience the joy of knowing the Lord, as represented by the word ‘fun’.  Even though we may be in the middle of dark times and earthly circumstances, we as believers unto Christ can have fun! The joy of the Lord is our strength! What is the joy of the Lord? Jesus! Jesus is the joy of the Father and Jesus is our strength! And He came to give us life abundant and that abundant life is Christ Himself!!

Just like the Sesame Street puppets, we all have one Master, we are each created and of one Creator. We are all so different from one another, some are grouchy, some eat too much (I fit into too many of these descriptions!), some are young, some old, some simple, some complicated. Yet we are all accepted in the Beloved. And Sesame Street is for children! We are the children of God! We are heirs of the Father with Jesus Christ His begotten Son!

Finally, the bread and butter plate is a perfect fit for this analogy as Jesus is real food and real drink. He now lives through us and feeds the world through His body.  We ‘serve’ the Lord Jesus as He served the Father and through us His body, the Lord Jesus continues to present Himself to the world today.

Thank You Jesus!!!