Rejoice in The Lord

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep. They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough (Isaiah 56:10-11a, NIV).

I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that is through faith in Christ (Philippians 3:8, NIV).

Striving in The Flesh

The first lie ever whispered to the human race sounded deliciously good and appetizing: man had the ability to live independently from his Creator … the ability to live according to his skewed perception of good and evil.

This belief, ushered all the children of Adam into a world lost in chaos and darkness, and caused the birth of the nearly 40 000 Christian denominations worldwide, too many trying to earn their way back into Pappa’s favor and Presence.

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I was no exception … until … the Truth started to pursue me relentlessly. I was lost and alone, stripped of my abilities to rely on myself to earn anyone’s love, let alone our Pappa God’s.

I had to experience my total inability to love myself, our Pappa God and others before I was able to let go of all my feeble efforts to prove that I had it all together. But, I did not …  not even remotely!

For a long time I suffered from the Paul syndrome described in the Epistile to the Philippians: all the religious works of the flesh.

Paul listed his repertoire of accomplishments and looking through the eyes of the world, it was truly impressive.

He was circumcised when he was eight days old and was a pure-blooded citizen of Israel, a member of the tribe of Benjamin – a real Hebrew.

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He was a Pharisee of the highest order who DEMANDED the strictest obedience to the Jewish law, which, by the way, he succeeded to obey without fault, according to himself!

He was the church’s greatest enemy and harshy persecuted her until our Lord Jesus stopped him in his tracks.

And from then on, he left all those noble accomplisments behind, calling it dog excrement! He used a much more descriptive word, according to the original Hebrew and he knew he used to be one of those dogs described by Isaiah so many centuries ago.

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He was the leader of the pack, barking and biting the poor, ignorant folk, urging human works in opposition to simple faith in our Lord Jesus.

But after his encounter with the living, resurrected Lord, he knew the folly and deceptiveness of religion.

He called the preachers of Jesus plus works, evil workers .. the Party of The Circumcision ,for they were renting the church, tearing her apart.

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Just like Paul on the Damascus encounter, our Pappa stopped me in my religious tracks by allowing a debilitating illness into my life.

He planted beautiful seeds of longing in my heart to know our Lord Jesus. It caused an unexplainable yearning that devoured my soul in its intensity … a glorious yearning to know the One whom my heart now desires above all else.

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But, just like Paul, I HAD to leave all my noble, impressive religious ways behind. I had to suffer not just physically, which I do every day, but more importantly, I had to suffer spiritually like Paul and our sweet Lord Jesus.

Our Lord was the only man who ever lived who was able to uphold the whole law in His own strength, but He did not.

He chose to trust our Pappa from the one moment to the next to do His works in and through Him, all to Pappa’s honor and glory.

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Just like Jacob, I had to cross my Jordan River, where I wrestled with God through the darkest night of my soul to be blessed abundantly with the privilege of living my life in Him.

A life where I daily have to deny myself and my feeble efforts … a life where I carry my cross like our Lord, not trusting in my own strength, but trusting the only Man who ever lived a life of complete dependence on Pappa, our Lord Jesus, to live His life in and through me.

For I know that apart from Him, I can do nothing.

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Just like Paul, I needed my own Damascus encounter where I was rescued from the world and its ways … rescued from the lie that I can earn my salvation with a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

And just like Paul, I know I have not arrived there yet, but the one thing I have learned, was to consider the futility of all my religious ways.

Just like Paul, I am leaving it all behind, pressing forward against all odds, for I want to know my gentle, kind, humble Lord Jesus. I want to share in His death to experience the power of His resurrection.

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I want to leave everything behind that hinders me to live in Him … to rejoice always in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

Linking-up with the Monday Morning Meditation Community.

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Uniting with Jen.
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Also with Emily.
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And a play- date with Laura.
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17 thoughts on “Rejoice in The Lord

  1. YES!!! I want to unload the baggage of who I was, leaving it all behind! May I press toward the mark, finishing my race well.
    As always, Mia, beautifully, crafted words used to tell an incredible story.

    • Hi Stefanie
      Oh, our Pappa knows each one of us so well. He knows where we need to be “polished” and what parts needs to be stripped. And He does that out of love, enabling us to finish the race of faith!
      Hugs and blessings
      Mia

    • Hi Jennifer
      One doesn’t always understand what happens to you during that striping process, but when He is finished, His glory shines through our brokenness.
      Blessings
      Mia

  2. Dear Mia, I’m once again I’m deeply moved by your post. I want to strip away the filth that clings to me…regardless the sting, pain or loss. For in that sting, he teaches me, comforts me, and I find myself cuddled even closer in His loving arms.
    Blessings and love ~ Mary

    Mary @ Woman to Woman

    • Dear Mary
      Yes, dear one, He brings beauty only out of the ashes of our feeble efforts and broken lives, strength only when we stop striving and allow Him to draw strength out of our weakness.
      Much love
      Mia

  3. This is beautiful Mia! I think that sometimes we have to respond to our precious Lord Jesus by leaving things behind, (perhaps by leaving everything behind!) for the sake of our own calling. Things may be difficult around us, and our lives may be spiraling out of control, but if we get back to following the path that God has laid out before us, our success is assured. We have to let go in order to travel the path, an realize that all that stuff that we have been carrying around can’t go down this path! 🙂

    Blessings and love sweet sister,
    Denise

    • Hi Denise
      Our Lord explained this principle so well when He told us that if we want to save our life, we will lose it, but if we loose it for His sake, we will find it. That jump into the unknown, receiving Him into our hearts, allowing Him to save us, brings so much joy!
      Much love
      Mia

  4. yes friend. this, what it means to truly love ourselves: to love the father that created us. and by loving him, we trust that he made us beautifully and wonderfully. sinful, yes, but wonderfully 🙂

    • Dear Emily
      When I read your comment, I realized that He is not ashamed of His creation and that includes us … especially us. He calls us the Crown of His Creation. What an honor. He made us, bought us back with His life and now He is preparing a new earth and heaven for us, His bride. What love, amazing love!
      He made you, who, for such a long time, had so much difficulty to accept your body for the beauty He has created. Wonderful!
      Hugs and blessings to you
      Mia

    • Dear Emily
      For a long time I truly found it hard to believe this truth and had to ask for tons of grace to see me through our Pappa’s eyes. Yes, we are the crown of His creation. A.W. Tozer said something that made me think long and hard. He said that God is not ashamed of our bodies; He created our bodies and He is proud of His creation.
      Much love
      Mia

  5. I want to leave everything behind that hinders me to live in Him … Yes!!!!! I don’t want to hang on to anything that would get in the way of being in intimate relationship with Him. Why would I want anything other than Him?

    Love this post, Mia! So lovely and filled with Jesus.

  6. Mia, Isn’t it amazing how the Lord has used your illness to draw you closer to his heart? Much like Paul, whose thorn was never removed, you are being refined and sanctified each day! What a testament that you haven’t grown bitter, but rather, that you lean even more deeply into his grace and strength. Thanks for this honest post and, always, for linking up!

    • Hi Jane
      Oh, there is no way I could not accept this illness from our Pappa’s hand for it has drawn me so close into the life of our Lord Jesus. From the world’s point of view, it seems so cruel, but looking through our Lord’s eyes, gives me a whole new perspective!
      Much love
      Mia

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