Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My friend, Katie Bartlett

This Blog was so good.. I just had to "Re-Blog" it.

1Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
2Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary...

From time to time, my roommates and I have told one another to "just say so!" Implying thefreedom to "be right where you are at" (no judgment here!) and the empowerment that comes from approaching life from the victorious position of being redeemed. (1 John 5:4-5) We have been bought back, brought out of death into life, and set free to live life as He intended: in fellowship with our God. When we hide in our own selves, there is no fellowship. For us to speak what is true about ourselves and God is to speak from the position of being the redeemed children of God. We stand acceptable and accepted because of Christ! Who told you to be ashamed or that you had to have it all together?! It is the "adversary" or the enemy who tempts us to believe this and he has been defeated--powerless towards the people of the Lord. We must remember the Voice that matters most. When we forget we are redeemed and forget to "attend to the steadfast love of the Lord" we feel vulnerable, exposed (experiencing the reality of our not being in control), and afraid to say anything at all. When life isn't seeming line up quite right or the circumstances are unsure, or at the slightest relational discomfort or lack thereof we are quick to forget what He has done on our behalf and who He has made us to be and how He pours out His love into our hearts by the power of His Spirit alone. This is what makes the DIFFERENCE! In these days of our sanctification/transformation into the likeness of Christ we have the choice to LIVE in that reality or to try to live this life in our own feeble resources until the day He returns and completes this beautiful work He has began in us at the moment of salvation. May the reality of our redemption and new life in Christ fall afresh on us:

24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed.
25For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned
to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

FREEDOM to "say so" comes from believing and receiving for yourself that you are redeemed, first and foremost. There is no way to earn or lose the love and acceptance which God freely gives us in Christ. This experience also happens in loving community. As we work out the reality of our salvation "with fear and trembling" He moves from our head to our heart what that really means. Healing comes as we move through this process by faith, acknowledging our fears and feelings, allowing the grace of God to penetrate our faulty beliefs, often through the gracious response of others towards us. Powerful. Supernatural. True freedom comes in taking off the mask of having to have it all together or be independent of God(dying to sin) and being who He has created you to be: a dependent child on Abba, Father (living to righteousness).

I was meeting with a friend this past week and it seems she has discovered what many of us know, but few of us admit. We wear a "protector" around our lives, keeping people and even God at arm's length. She knows she needs to take it off, but it's not easy. Our souls crave to be known, our Spirits cry out to drink deep from the Living Water, yet we choose to stay in what we've been deceived into believing is "safe." The TRUTH? Our God longs to BE our protector! Our Safety! Our refuge! Our HOME, but we must die to the old way of "safe" living, which is not really living at all. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came to this earth with the gospel message: "I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly." When we operate out of the riches and wealth of Spirit that comes from standing on these realities our life IS different! He satisfies us (Psalm 63) in this dry and weary land of the world. The Spiritual reality becomes our reality and we live in the paradigm of the life of Christ! When we stop searching for a formula and live IN CHRIST we find what we were looking for in the beginning...

Psalm 107
43 Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD. reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding
and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,
3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Our direction, our step-by-step, our wisdom and knowledge, if you will comes as we seek Christ and allow His Spirit to be the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls and respond in faith to Him. When we walk as redeemed children in freedom, healing and wholeness, we WILL shine Christ brightly for the glory of His name. I pray that more and more we are a community that "says so" for the sake of His glory and that more may step into a life in Christ.