Posted in God's Father Heart, God's Favor, Jesus Christ, Playdates at the Wellspring, Soli Deo Gloria, Spirituality, The Love of God

The Rooster Crowed

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God’s Thoughts to Me

“Then Peter denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.” (John 18:27, NET).

It is Never Too Late

I am delighted to introduce you to my husband, Andre. He has graciously agreed to write a guest post. Thank you, so much! Over to my Dearest:

My wife, Mia, asked me to look for a photograph that speaks to me spiritually. I immediately thought of the rooster that crowed when Peter denied our Lord the third time.

What is really significant to me is the way Peter reacted when he realized Jesus’ prediction came true! In Luke 22:62 (NLT), we read that Peter left the courtyard weeping bitterly!

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Can you imagine how Peter must have felt? He just denied his best Friend, the Man he spent three years with travelling the length and breadth of Israel.

They virtually lived in each other’s pockets as the saying goes. Was Peter not considered to be the leader of the disciples? Yet, at crunch time he could not speak up for Jesus, he denied Him.

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Proud Peter failed and the first one to realize it, to his credit, was him. Did he not boast a few days earlier that when everyone runs away, he will stay with Jesus? He did stay for a while, chopping a guard’s ear off when they came to arrest Jesus!

This seems quite brave, but he denied that he knows Jesus, not once or twice, but three time! Proud, impulsive, boastful Peter. Once again, pride came before the fall.

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In my language, Afrikaans, we have a saying: “Spyt kom altyd te laat.” Roughly translated it means that remorse always comes too late.

Fortunately for Peter, he did not deny an ordinary Man! He denied the Lord of lords and the King of kings in Whose book, remorse is never too late.

Just a few days after Jesus’s resurrection we find them on the beach of the Sea of Galilea. When Peter realized it was Jesus, he did not even wait for the boat to dock, but jumped overboard and swam to shore!

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After they all had breakfast, Jesus asked Peter three time if he loves Him. Peter was hurt that the Lord had to ask him the question three times. He kept on saying that Jesus knows the answer. Did he remember the cock that crowed?

However, after the third time that Peter answered that he loves Jesus, the Lord simply said, “Follow me” (John 21:19, NLT). This is the epitome of forgiveness!

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I mean, here is the man that denied Jesus and He asked Peter to follow Him and to look out for His followers. How many of us would’ve done that? Peter was once again restored.

I also deny my Lord daily, whether I want to or not! Life happens and before you know it, you have scolded a colleague or bad-mouthed the boss. Is that not the same as denying Jesus?

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Are we not supposed to love our fellow-man? Should we, as folks who have been rescued from the pit of hell, not live as an example to the rest? This is how we think.

But, we have a Spirit that convicts us. It does not condemn us, but simply reminds us in a gentle way that we have sinned.

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We don’t need a rooster to crow. This gentle conviction gives us the opportunity to go back to Jesus, ask for His forgiveness and His love will overcome everything!

It is never too late for remorse in Jesus’ world! Trust Him.

Blessings

André

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Posted in Commercialism, Emily Wierenga, Galatians, Health, Wealth and Prosperity Gospel, Imperfect Prose, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Jesus Christ, Tell His Story

Riding the Tithing Train

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The early church had no tithing system … But as the Church expanded and its material needs grew more numerous and complex, it became necessary to adopt a definite rule to which people could be held either by moral obligation or by precept of positive law.

The tithing of the old law provided an obvious model, and it began to be taught… The Council of Macon in 585 ordered payment of tithes and threatened excommunication to those who refused to pay (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.XIV, pp. 174-175).

Blessings for Sale

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As a child, I often had the privilege of riding on a steam train. How I enjoyed the sound of the locomotive picking up speed.

When it was well on its way, the whistle would tell the whole world of its pride and glory.

I remember how we and all our luggage used to be covered with a thin layer of soot. It even found a place to hide behind your ears or between your teeth and toes! Today, the steam train is just a fond memory.

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Nowadays, there is another train; the one driving on the railroad tracks of the monstrous, cruel religious teaching of tithing.

This train is driving through a thick, dark and scary forest of deceit, straight to the Kingdom of darkness.

This train’s thick layers of soot has crippled many of our Pappa’s children; not just financially, but also spiritually and emotionally.

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When the Catholic Church started this teaching in the year 585 AD, they, at least, refrained from violating the famous verse on tithing in Malachi 3:8.

Their trump card, which was already an abomination in itself, was excommunication.

Looking at the origins of tithing in the Old Testament, we find Israel being under a Theocracy. Their president or prime minister was none other than our Heavenly Father Himself.

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He instituted the tithing as His income tax system for the upkeep of the nation. The people had to “pay” three tithes.

The first tithe was brought to the Levites in the seventh month of the year. The Levites and the priests were the cabinet responsible for the upkeep of the nation.

The Levites had to give a tenth of this tithe to the priests who attended the altar (Numbers 18:25-32).

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The second tithe was brought to the temple for the feast that took place in the seventh month.

Sort of their public holiday to honor their monarch where they all feasted and had a good time together.

The third tithe was only paid every three years and this one was given to the strangers, the widows and the orphans.

All in all it amounted up to 27,9% of their income, spread over a period of three years. This is as far as my mathematical abilities go!

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Today another trump card is being played by the drivers of the tithing train. They play on the insecurities and greed of the human race and promise wealth and prosperity to those who fill their coffers with their hard-earned money.

I wonder if they are the descendants of the Judaizers pestering the first Galatian believers and the priests at the time of Malachi?

Actually, our Pappa was chiding the Levites and the priests who cheated on their income tax and even the widows and orphans of their daily bread. They were also an adulterous bunch, divorcing their wives left, right and centre.

I will never forget how an old black gentleman told me once the reason why he COULD NOT go to church: a lack of money.

After giving a tithe to their church he didn’t have much left for even just a decent meal. We all know what our Lord Jesus did to those who turned His Pappa’s House into a den of thieves.

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Another wagon that has been hitched onto the tithing train, comes from the Beatitudes, “Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom (Luke 6:38,NKJV)”.

Could it perhaps be that our Lord Jesus was speaking of forgiveness like He did in verse 37?

This wagon also sport the Seed-Faith compartment.

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I remember the time when I met my own set of “Judaizers”, telling me that I can line my own pockets through giving as much as possible, waiting for my sevenfold return.

I recall an incident when I was given a choice of receiving a nett or gross return on my salary, all depending whether I tithed on my gross or nett income!

They reckon the more you give, and that to them of course, the bigger your return will be!

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This deceptive teaching is based on Galatians 6:7 where Paul chided the Galatians for lending out their ears to the Judaizers who added onto the simple Gospel of Jesus, which was no Gospel at all!

I am so grateful for Pappa’s protection against this tithing madness that has been the spiritual ruin of many.

Whenever I needed discernment on this matter, He abundantly supplied all the wisdom I needed.

In my own life I have found that as I allowed our Lord Jesus to become my life,  I started to give more and more and more!!! Giving and sharing just seem so natural. It gives me so much joy for our Pappa has written the law of love on the tablets of my heart!

I cannot do otherwise and truly understand now why the first Christians were commended by all because of their love for one another.

It does not really matter what percentage I give, whether it is 10% or the widow’s mite. The truth is that one actually wants to give way above one’s means for the sole reason of love!!!

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Dear Ones, let us listen and heed our Lord’s advice and not allow our left hand to know what our right hand is doing and be surprised one day when we are invited into the eternal Kingdom for clothing, feeding and visiting with our Lord Jesus.

Much love XX

Mia

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Posted in Cleft in the Rock, Emily Wierenga, Faith Barista, Imperfect Prose, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Jesus Christ, Relationship vs Religion, Spirituality

Lady Laodicea vs Lady Ekklesia

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God’s Thoughts to Me

You say,”I am rich, I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!” And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Revelation 3:17,NLT).

I am very rich; I have become wealthy. With all my wealth they will not find in me any iniquity or sin (Hosea 12:8, NIV).

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven … Blessed are the meek, for they will inheit the earth (Matthew 5:3-5, NIV).

Metamorphosis

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A while ago a friend of mine, Michael Clark, watched a documentary on the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly.

The documentary featured a scientist conducting an MRI scan on a cocoon while it went through the process of metamorphosis.

During the transformation, the worm completely dissolved and nothing of the original pupa remained.

The whole chrysalis was turned into a sort of worm soup with only a few left-over cells remaining, transforming this gooey mass into a beautiful butterfly.

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During the time of John’s Revelation from our Lord Jesus, we find the Lady Laodicea, the church at Laodicea, a lady sorely in need of such a complete metamorphosis.

She lived in the city that was formerly known as Diospolis, the City of Zeus. In the third century AD the name was changed by Antiochus to Laodicea after his wife, Laodice.

At that time Laodicea was a major, important trade and banking centre of the region and the people, as a result, became quite rich (James Fowler, The Revelation Series).

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Laodicean Ruins

Religion was alive and well in the city. There was a beautiful temple of Zeus and a medical school that developed a “Phrygian powder” that was used as an eye salve.

The Lady Laodicea was self-sufficient and very proud. She boasted in her physical and material riches and claimed to be in need of nothing.

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She seemed totally unaware of our Lord’s advise,

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven … Where your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be (Matthew 6:19-21)”.

She paid scant attention to the One who really was the Source of everything … the One who called her wretched, miserable, blind, poor and naked.

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She was neither hot nor cold in her love towards her heavenly Bridegroom. Yet, not chilled enough to the point of apostatizing.

This proud lady lacked spiritual dicernment, ignorant of the truth that spiritual riches, spiritual clothing, spiritual eyesight can only be found in Him who is Truth (Colossians 2:3).

Once upon a time, I related very well to this lady. I was dressed beautifully in the purple robes of religious riches.

My neck was adorned with the necklace of diamond-like “gifts of the Holy Spirit” and around my wrists, golden bracelets jingled in tongues.

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I proudly pranced like a peacock, delighting in all my wealth of spiritual snobbery, thinking myself quite advanced and favored by our Pappa, higher up the ladder into heaven than others. I was oblivious to the fact that this was the stairway to hell.

Yet, I was poor and wretched, naked to the core of my being, but I didn’t know it.

I blindly followed the world and joyfully participated in building all sorts of golden calves at the foot of Mount Sinai, instead of going up Mount Zion to meet my Lord and feast on His glory.

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Instead of being blessed, as I thought I was, a gnawing hunger in my heart told another story; one of a lady who was cursed in her self-righteousness and her pride.

My soul was tormented by an acute loneliness; yet I was in the company of many lost souls in the same predicament.

And my heart cried out to the only One who had the power and authority to seek and save the lost.

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I could faintly hear our Lord’s gentle invitation to buy gold from Him that has been purified by fire, white garments to cover my nakedness as well as ointment for my spiritual blindness (Revelation 3:18).

Our Pappa took pity on me and on the spinning-wheel of suffering, He spinned a silky cocoon of His love and clothed my nakedness.

What happened there in complete secrecy between my King and I, is so holy, that, forever, it will stay a sweet, precious secret between two hearts.

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Sufficient to say, He took all of my old self, dissolved it into worm soup, clothed me in a beautiful robe of butterfly wings and released me into the freedom of the eternal life of our Lord Jesus.

I emerged as a beautiful butterfly with wings glorious like an angel’s.

He brought me to the cleft in the rock at Mount Zion where I could stand before Him, poor in spirit, and humble in heart to receive the inheritance … to receive Him.

There, in Him, I could stand with an unveiled face, delighting myself in His glory.

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He redeemed me from the ugliness of my proud, haughty self and replaced it with the humble, gentle beauty of our Lord Jesus.

He clothed me in the white robe of His righteousness … He transformed me into His Lady Ekklesia.

Much love xx

Mia

Michael’s blog can be found here

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Posted in Emily Wierenga, Imperfect Prose, Jesus Christ, Mighty God

The Afikomen

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God’s Thoughts to Me

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drinks my blood, you have no life in you (John 6:51-53, NIV).

The Feast, The Food, The Flesh and The Fruit

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I have often wondered why so many of our Lord’s followers turned away from following Him after these difficult sayings they were not able to understand. To be honest, neither did I for a long time.

Looking at the ancient Greeks of Jesus’ time on earth, gave me a much clearer understanding of how they might have interpreted His words.

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I am convinced they thought it was business as usual when they heard these gory words of blood, guts and flesh.

They were well aware of the Communion Ritual to honor the Greek god, Dionysus. He was the god of wine, one of the main deities and his birthday was celebrated on the 25th of December.

During this ritual his followers would crush the grapes, drink the scarlet life “blood” of Dionysus and get extremely drunk.

Just as well, for they also dismembered an animal, usually a bull, by tearing it apart with their hands and teeth (Luana Fabri/Messianic Fellowship).

They called this the “Omhagia” and were convinced that eating the flesh of the bull and drinking its blood, caused the life and power of their god to be absorbed into their bodies.

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In the Jewish culture, sharing a meal is very important. With every meal bread and wine are served. The head of the family breaks a piece of bread before and after every meal, blessing the food and thanking God for His provision.

But then there was the Passover, another breaking of bread, where our Heavenly Father broke His Afikomen to feed His children with the sinless, unleavened Bread of Life.

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At the early stages of Passover Seder they set aside a piece of the “matzo”, the unleavened bread, to be eaten after the last meal. This piece is called the “Afikomen”, and it means “that which come after”, or “dessert”.

Some families hide the Afikomen for the children to find and reward them with candy or money when they find it. This is their way of keeping Passover interesting for the children.

Now, I would much rather take part in the Jewish way of celebrating Passover than be part of Dionysus’ team celebrating their Communion Ritual.

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And I can well imagine how these poor folk must have thought that Jesus was introducing another kind of bloody ritual similar to the one of Dionysus.

At least these guys used an animal, but this Man wanted them to use His body and blood as the sacrifice. Gross!!! This was lunacy!!

Yet, they were totally ignorant of the fact that they were on the brink of doing just that. His body was broken and His blood was spilled, slaughtered like an animal, when they nailed Him to the cross.

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In the Upper Room it was the Afikomen our Lord Jesus took, broke and offered to His diciples.

After all our striving and coniving, our huffing and puffing to earn our Pappa’s love, approval and acceptance, He offers us His Afikomen, the last, hidden piece of the unleavened bread … the sweetest dessert … our Lord Jesus.

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Death was not able to hold Him in its grip and when we listen carefully, we can hear His voice, gentle, still and small, inviting us to come to Him … to feast on His Afikomen … the delicious fruit of the Spirit of love … to live in His Loving Embrace.

Hugs and blessings xx

Mia

I am linking-up with

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Posted in Amber Haines, God's Father Heart, Jesus Christ, Our Saviour God, Relationship vs Religion, Spirituality, The Love of God, The Truth, The Way

The Narrow Path to Life

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God’s Thoughts to Me

There is a way which seems right to man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12, NIV).

For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ (Philippians 3:18, NLT).

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and the gate is wide for the many who chose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it (Matthew 7:13-14, NLT).

Enemies of The Cross

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A few years ago I was struck by this verse in Philippians like a fist between the eyes. I was filled with fear and dread, but didn’t realize this time it was the good kind … the kind of fear that is the beginning of wisdom (Proberbs 9:10), a gift of grace!

I knew I seriously had to make it my serious business to find out what Paul meant by being an enemy of the cross. I remember pleading with my husband, just like Paul did, for I realized we were not on the narrow path that leads to life.

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That fear brought me to another Man; the Man who is God. Yes, this Man is our Lord Jesus … the one who repeatedly told us that He is telling us the truth. Actually, this incredible God-man is Truth Himself.

He was teaching us about two gates and two roads: the narrow gate vs the wide gate and, the narrow road vs the highway to hell! And I knew the Truth was telling me truth I couldn’t ignore.

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Today I admire our Pappa’s sense of humor for allowing this illness in my life to physically bring me to that place where I was so weak and totally unable to do what I was so very skilled at: trying to earn everybody’s love … including Pappa’s.

For I was the personification of a religious busy bee, serving in as many ministries as I was able to. I craved love and would do anything to be accepted by God’s people!

Until the day arrived when I realized that there was only one man who ever was and ever will be able to live the righteous life our Pappa required, our magnificent Lord Jesus.

Just before He gave His spirit into His Pappa’s safekeeping, He uttered His famous words, “It is finished (John 19:30)”. Everything is done and dusted and there is nothing we can add to His sacrifice, the one He has made once, for everyone through all the ages of time.

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We can only come to Him and abide in Him, moment by moment, with receptive hearts, which, by the way, is also a gift from His generous hand.

This is not an easy concept for a performance driven society. Oh, and what sounds more noble than working and serving, all for the cause of His Kingdom.

He did everything that was necessary to reconcile our Pappa to His creation and was inviting all with ears to listen and to hear to enter into His resurrected life, fully pardoned and reconciled to Him.

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This illness brought me to a place where I was finally able to make a drastic u-turn on that dreaded highway to destruction, the beautifully paved path of religion and return to my Pappa’s house.

I was truly crying by the Rivers of Babylon where I was sitting down at the time. I was unable to sing the Lord’s song in that strange land, lost in the streets of the great harlot, Mystery Babylon. (Psalm 137:1).

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But I could hear my Pappa’s still, small voice calling me,”Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins (Revelation 18:4)”.

Our Lord was telling us through the illustration of the two paths, the complete dichotomy between the narrow path of grace vs the broad way of religion.. He explicitly told us that He and He ALONE is the only Way … the only Truth … the only Life!

Actually, truth be told, Christianity is Christ! “Christ IN me, my hope of glory” (Colssians 1:27).

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And it filled me with wonder to know that our Lord who was crucified and raised to life again, was now living in me! What an amazing, incredible privilege!

I have come to realize that the most inviting of these two gates is definitely the gate of religion. It appeals to the sensuous pride of man. Oh, we are so fond of trying to earn everything in life! We need the humbleness of our Lord to overcome that great monster called Pride.

It makes us feel so important and in control. But this is just a false security, a shaky foundation on which to build. It takes only one storm to demolish the house of religion. And then you have to start building all over again … and again … and again!

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I knew I had to make a choice! I had to choose between the narrow gate and the wide gate … the narrow road and the wide path, God or Satan, Christianity or religion.

Only as I live in my Lord Jesus and He in me, will I ever be able to partake of His blood that was spilled for us and His body that was broken on the cross.

Trying to earn this wine and bread was the different way Paul spoke of when he warned the Galatians. I have come to realize this different way, the one that is socially much more acceptable, is a deception straight from the evil one.

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This is the way that makes us enemies of the cross, for everytime we try to earn His favor, everytime we succumb to the temptation to place ourselves under any law again, we are cut off from Jesus … cut off from grace.

We are then isolated from the Fountain of Life, still trapped in the lie that we are able to determine independently what good and evil are!

We are unknowingly and unintentionally nullifying the power of the cross. We are fooled by those who twist the truth of Christ. We are listening to a different gospel that is not the Gospel at all!

It is a lie that robs us of the joy of living daily nestled in His Loving Embrace!

Much love xx

Mia

I am linking-up with

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Posted in Five Minute Fridays, God's Father Heart, God's Favor, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Marriage, Our Heavenly Bridegroom, Shulamite, Spirituality, The Love of God, The Peace of God

A Woman in a Closet

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God’s Thoughts to Me

I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves will come after I leave, not sparing the flock (Acts 20:29, NLT).

These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostels of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14, NLT).

A Fearful Bride

The King of Heaven and His Father were riding in the splendour of a chariot of clouds through universes on roads paved with many rainbows, inspecting galaxies, planets, stars and the whole new world the King has prepared for His Bride, His Royal Lady Ekklesia.

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With pensive longing, yet filled with excitement, the King asked His Father, “Pappa, when can I go to fetch my bride?”.

He was shocked into silence when He saw a solitary tear of anguish running down His Father’s cheek as He replied, “Not soon, my Son, not soon!”, thinking of the beautiful bride  … a bride ravaged by wolves.

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Thunder and lightning of pain escaped His heart as He looked at His Son with divine pain of pity that cannot be contained in the confines of words and exploded through the vastness of time and universes.

Shocked, the King looked with apprehension at His Father. His eyes were oceans filled with unanswered questions, grieved beyond comprehension at the naked sorrow and pain that darkened His Father’s face.

“Why Pappa, why? And why have your sorrow brought darkness to our whole creation? Don’t you love my bride? That is just not possible!” the King explained while His eyes echoed the thousands upon thousands of questions that have been asked since all eternity.

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Hastily He added,”Have you perhaps forgotten the Ketubah and the bride price I paid for my Beloved? Pappa, remember how we signed the contract with my blood? Please, Pappa, please! Don’t forget to remember my joy when she agreed to be my sister, my bride!”.

By now He was pleading with His Pappa. But His Father couldn’t contain His sorrow any longer and universes were swept away by His tears. “Have you not heard, my Son? Have you not seen? Don’t you hear the angels singing and lamenting a song of sorrow over your beautiful Beloved? “.

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Perplexed, the King looked at His Pappa, “Why Pappa, what ails my Beloved?”. His voice was filled with such concern and love that even the radiance of His love transformed into an orchestra of color that evolved into new stars, because of its intensity that cannot be contained!

With resignation, yet firm determination, His Father replied, “Your Bride, my Son is hiding in a religious closet! She is terrified of you and me and us! Do you recall your words to her just before you came back home to prepare a house for her? Savage wolves have come after your departure, masquerading as angels of light, telling her damnable lies about us.”

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His visage suddenly brightened and the whole creation was suddenly filled with a joyful song of love, “But, don’t be afraid my Son, I am already wooing Her back to your heart. I am keeping her company there in the closet, my Sweet Holy Spirit is whispering unceasingly … words filled with warmth … with beauty … with incredible, divine love. She is not alone for we promised her that we will never leave her or forsake her. I am cuddling her in my Loving Embrace!”.

Much love xx

Mia

Linking-up with Missional Women.

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I have the honor of linking-up today with the Five Minute Friday team where I have broken all the rules, for His love is to much too contain in a Five Minute time slot! Please, forgive, it was more like 15 minutes today!

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Posted in Amber Haines, Jesus Christ, Spirituality

A Rock in the Desert

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God’s Thoughts to Me

You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, speak to the rock over there, and it will pour out its water (Numbers 20:8, NLT).

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it, is wise, like a person who buiilds a house on a solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the wind beats against that house, it won’t collapse, because it is built on a bedrock (Matthew 7:23-25, NLT).

The Rock of All Ages

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Quite a few passages and incidents in the Bible used to intimidate me into the most horrible feelings of dread and terror towards our Pappa God. I was like a frightened child of an abusive God who only desired to punish me with the letter of His Law.

Reading it brought an image to mind of His finger pointing straight into my face, indicating how bad, useless, unlovable, unsavory etc., I was. Loving me was a real stretch, even for Him! Time to clean up your act, Mia, the sooner the better!

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The incident of Moses striking the rock the second time after our Pappa explicitly told him to speak to the rock, was one incident that made me feel that way. I mean, it resulted in Moses not being allowed to enter the Promised Land. He could only look at Canaan from afar, from the top of Mount Nebo.

Doesn’t the Bible say that Moses was a friend of God? One of the most humble men who ever walked the earth (Numbers 12:3)? And wasn’t his disobedience understandable because that moaning bunch of Israelites was enough to drive anyone up the wall?

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If this is how our Pappa treated this child of His over one act of disobedience, what will become of me for whom this kind of disobedience seems just a minor offense?

Then I read an article by Darin Hufford, “Beating the Rock”, in which he explained how these two incidents in which our Pappa provided water in the desert from a rock to His chosen people, were actually metaphors explaining the two covenants … the Covenant of the Law vs the Covenant of Grace.

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I realized I was looking at the whole scenario through my religious glasses, seeing only Moses and the punishment he received, but not our Pappa and the reason for His actions.

The first instance where Moses struck the rock, they were at Mount Sinai, at the beginning of Israel’s wanderings in the desert; there where they received the law. Following the law blindly only leads one into fruitless wanderings in the desert of self-effort.

The second time occurred at Kadesh, near the beginning of their entrance into the Promised Land.

The first time was a picture of the covenant of law where Pappa is perceived as a law master giving us directions or a formula on how to find His favor, if we can just follow those rules.

If people are like me, they would certainly try their utmost to keep the law, only to find that it is a heartless, loveless, mindless sort of relationship without the slightest trace of life. Although the law is holy and good, we are unable to fulfill its requirements.

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A relationship of love cannot be built on rules and formulas, and in any case, our Lord Jesus was only struck once for all of us, to pay for our sin and to enable us to enter into His Canaan Life of Love.

The second instance where our Pappa provided water from the rock, symbolizes the essence of a new covenant, the transition from following rules to moving into a relationship with Him. Striking someone is not condusive towards a relationship of love and our Lord Jesus is not a woman beater.

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Our Lord Jesus was trying to get the same message across with His reference to the two houses built on two spiritual foundations.

Although these two houses looked similar, the one was built on the solid foundation of the Lord Himself while the other was built on religious sands of self-sufficiency with materials of self-righteous wood, hay and stubble (1 Corinthians 3:12). This house was unable and will always be unable to withstand the trials and tribulations of life.

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Dear Ones, when we are spiritually dying of thirst, let us go to the Rock of Ages, speaking to Him … allowing Him to quench our thirst from His Fountain of Life … leading us into His Loving Embrace.

We don’t need to strike the rock anymore to drink freely from the Living Waters of Life.

Much love xx

Mia

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Posted in God's Father Heart, Jesus Christ, Monday Morning Meditations, Suffering

Sticks and Stones

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God’s Thoughts to Me

If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless (James 1:26, NLT).

Let your speech always be gracious, and seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person (Colossians 4:6, ESV).

Killing me Softly with His Words

Roberta Flack’s song, Killing Me Softly, was released in 1973 and has ever since been one of my favorite songs ever.

The song tells the story of a young boy, a singer who could bare your soul with the depth of his words. It is soooo romantic and beautiful beyond words! Have I ever mentioned that I am an incurable romantic?

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When I saw the Scripture for today, I gasped for breath and immediately went into the fight or flight mode.

I was frightened as memories flooded my heart and I wanted to run … escape to a castle in my mind … a safehouse of pretence. For … I am a survivor of repeated verbal and subsequent emotional abuse.

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I recall the the old English idiom, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”. How totally untrue, a lie from the bottom of the pit of falsehood.

Yes, there are words that can undo you in its beauty like the song of Roberta Flack, but, then, there are those that shred your heart slowly, cruelly until only fragments … tatters of your life remains.

image Yet, it cannot be observed with the naked eye. The invisible bruises of your heart can only be hidden behind a grimace, trying to pass itself off as a smile. But if you look deep enough through the windows of your soul, you might see a little child cowering in a corner … paralyzed with fear … whimpering:

Your cruel words

are a burning fire

viciously consuming

the tender green roots

of a longing

tongues of flames

licking up my will to be

to live to be just me

Your tongue a sword

writing a letter

of naked hatred

creating an identity

of shame

slowly destroying

the longing

the will to be just me

On the other side of the coin, I know that I am not fit to be the judge of the motives or reasons for these horrible actions against me, for I know that in some way or the other not one of us is totally innocent or without blame. We all need a good supply of salt before we talk to anyone!

image We all are the victims of our upbringing and the sins of our fathers. It does us well to pay careful attention and take Paul seriously when he admonishes the religious Jews, “You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse” (Romans 2:1 NLT). Our tongues can cause havoc and irreparable damage without the grace of our God.

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I am a survivor only because my Pappa took the broken tatters of my life, mended them and brought me into the life of our Lord Jesus … into His Loving Embrace.

He healed my broken heart, wooing me with His love … reminding me again … and again … and again of His endless love, until I was able to believe and receive the Light of a new morning from His Kingdom, dawning in my heart.

Much love xx

Mia

I am linking-up with Monday Morning Meditation at http://girlmeetspaper.com/

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And Grace Laced Mondays. Join us at http://www.gracelaced.com/
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And Rich Faith Rising
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For the first time, linking-up with The Beauty in His Grip at http://www.thebeautyinhisgrip.com/

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Posted in Garden of Eden, Garden of my Heart, God's Father Heart, God's Favor, Grace, Holy Spirit, Invisible Illness, Jesus Christ, My Freshly Brewed Life, Shulamite, Spirituality, The Love of God

The Dance of Desires

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God’s Thoughts to Me

May He grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed (Psalm 20:4, NLT).

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4, NLT).

Sanctified Desires

I allow my mind to wander back down the avenues of time and desires … back to the time when I was living in a world of self-derivation. imageI was living a lie that man could be autonomous … the time when I was eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I was trapped in the fowler’s snare, believing I was able to determine, on my own terms, what good and evil were.

The time when I was wandering outside the Garden of Love, separated from the presence of our Pappa and His Majesty, King Jesus. I was residing in the Land of Shame … being the captive of that cruel dictator. Nothing I did ever seemed to merit his approval!

Whenever I did something honorable, he would pierce my heart with arrows of condemnation for having a prideful heart. But this coin had another side … every time I did something wrong, my heart was shredded into pieces for being such a detestable creature, a shame to mankind, an excuse of a human being.

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An unworthy Christian, unworthy of receiving the slightest consideration or love from anyone … least of all from my Pappa or His elite corps of Christians, according to my estimation, in the church. Receiving tons and tons of rejection seemed like business as usual and definitely what I deserved.

This was not a comfortable place to be, for I honestly believe that Pappa made a big mistake in creating me and the way I was treated by important people in my life only confirmed my suspicions about myself.

I was even indoctrinated by religious blah-blah-blah into thinking that this view of myself was proof of an extremely selfish heart. And this made me wander further and further down the road of self-loathing.

image Looking at the human race, I realize that we were all created with a big empty, yearning heart that can only find peace and love from the source of all love … the God who is Love! No one or nothing else can ever serve as a substitute! Bur our obstinate hearts need to go through the Valley of the Shadow of Death before we finally realise this truth and reach out to grab the waiting Heavenly Hand.

That was when I started to hear the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit whispering mysteries to my heart. His Wisdom was standing at the crossroads of my life, actually, my whole existence, calling me, urging me to enter into a Kingdom of Love … a Kingdom of Acceptance … a Kingdom of incredible beauty, with a King of Love, the Prince of Peace.

He was yearning for my return from my wanderings as I was searching, like the Shulamite, for my Beloved in the streets of Jerusalem … until I heard a voice calling from mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem.

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Yes, she was calling me out of Egypt of organized religion, but the Pharao of my Egypt only allowed me a few excursions into the wilderness to worship my Father. The desires of my heart kept calling me back to the same-old, same-old familiarity of the world.

What a blessed day when I was finally delivered from the slavery to that cruel king; when his whole army of soldiers was drowned in the Red Sea as they tried to recapture me, to force me back into slavery to the world and its ways. The Pharao realized that my days of free labour came to an end and this enraged him for he was losing another forced labourer. imageBut … I was also carrying a lot of gold from Egypt into my wilderness wanderings and sooner rather than later, I had a few golden calves erected as I grew tired of waiting on our Lord to show me His glory. I was dancing to my hearts delight around the idols of morality, theology, bibliolatry and a lot of Nicolaitan teachings.

But thankfully Pappa sent a whole brood of poisonous snakes to bring me to my senses. As I was at the gates of death and hopelesness, I finally looked up to the cross and SAW … really SAW our Lord Jesus. That was the time when I was crying like the Israelites in the wilderness, when they were testing our Pappa and the poor Moses, longing for the pots of Egypt, filled with meat, watermelons and all the bread I thought my heart needed (Exodus 16:3). I had a heart of stone with many rules written on its tablets.

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These two Scripture verses were my ticket to everything my deceitful heart desired and I thought delighting myself in the Lord meant singing praise and worship songs Sundays at church. I know now that I was only delighting my flesh and this offer had to be repeated week after week after week, just like the altar system of the old covenant of law … a never-ending cycle.

Pappa, though, never seemed to keep His side of the bargain and I was frustrated with His lack of fulfilling His promise, for my soulish desires were as unfulfilled as ever … with me being convinced that it was the yearnings of my heart!

Yet, He was not procastinating … He was bringing me to the end of myself. He brought a debilitating illness into my life and just like Paul, I was overwhelmed beyond my ability to endure. Just like him, I stopped being my own source of strengh and trust (2 Corinthians 1:8-9). I started to draw my whole existence from the Life of our Lord Jesus … living from the Bread of Life … feasting and drinking from the Fountain of Love! I was finally able to cross the Jordan river into Canaan … into our Lord Jesus. The shadow of the Sabbath became flesh and reality in my life … Emmanuel … God with me … God in me.

image The cry of my heart changed dramatically from expecting Pappa to cater to my fleshly, carnal desires, to desiring only His will … needing to live in Him moment to moment. He gracefully changed my desires and plans as I learned to praise Him from the depths of my being, living where it is only Him and me … in a never-ending communion of love … a beautiful dance of being ( The Shack).

There in our secret place nothing could close the windows of heaven as He showered me with all His spiritual delights. Looking back at 2012, I fall to my knees and thank my Pappa for His wisdom and grace for allowing this illness and using what I thought of as evil, as an incredible good, to draw me into His life … into His love … into His heart … into His Loving Embrace.

Much love XX

Mia

FCB Member

I have the honor  today to be part of a new link-up at My Freshly Brewed Life. Thank you, Barbie, for your new Weekend Brew. Come join us at http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/.
I am also linking up with Mindy at http://www.newequus.com/author/mindybowman/. Thank you for the opportunity Mindy!
And the Extraordinary Ordinary.
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Posted in Five Minute Fridays, Garden of my Heart, Jesus Christ, Our Heavenly Bridegroom, Shulamite, Spirituality, The Bride of Christ, Women from the Bible

I am in “The Great I Am”

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God’s Thoughts To Me

God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am”. (Exodus 3:14, NLT)

Opportunities to be Still in the “I Am Who I Am”

By end of 2012 I felt a yearning to be, that which I only can be in the presence of the Great I Am … I needed to return into the life of “I Am” in a new way … a deeper, more intimate way. I needed to experience Him in a “being” way, ridding myself of all “doings” to capture His attention.

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As grace precedes even the slightest desire for Him, I knew He was drawing me … gracefully calling me as He saw me seeking Him in the streets of the worldly Jerusalem. I was striving to create an opportunity to return to the Love of my life in humble receptivity … all in vain!! For He alone is the Creator … even of opportunities to love.

My heart was yearning for my Beloved Lord Jesus and I could only faintly hear His wooing song of love … His yearning song to me alone.

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“Oh, King of Kings, you alone are the Creator. I am feeble and unable to create even the slightest moment to be still in You. Run to me, my Beloved, for I am lying in my bed yearning to abandon myself in the wonder and beauty of your love … in You alone!”

I could hear Him coming, leaping over the mountains, coming to my expectant arms. His gentle whisper was beckoning me to rise up … to come away with Him … to the garden of my heart … a fruit garden filled with delicious fruits of love, peace and joy … a garden filled with His presence.

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There where He is the only opportunity to be satisfied and filled with pomegranates, raisins and figs of endless love … there where every moment is a gift of opportunity to spend in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

Thank you Lisa-Jo for a wonderful opportunity to link up again at http://lisajobaker.com/category/five-minute-friday/ on the first Friday of 2013!

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