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 Childlikeness, God's Father Heart, Grace, Jesus Christ, Marriage, My Freshly Brewed Life, Our Heavenly Bridegroom, Prince of Peace, Relationship vs Religion, Spirituality, The Peace of God

An Orphaned World

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Our earth is like a child who has grown up without parents, having no one to guide and direct her. (Jesus, to Mackenzie Allan Phillips in “The Shack”.)

New wine must be stored in new wineskins. But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the new wine.”The old is just fine,” they say. (Luke 5:39, NLT)

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. (Genesis 4:7, NLT)

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)

A Deceived Bride

Our desolate, damaged, orphaned world is in the season of  celebrating the birth of its Savior without truly knowing Him. With frivolous unseen heart tears, it is singing Christmas carols. With gaiety it is trying to hide its insecurities and hurt. It is wearing a mask of satisfaction and fulfillment … ignoring its desperate need for forgiveness, love and grace … its need for redemption, reconciliation and restoration. It is trying go keep up with the Jones’s, denying its utter poverty …. scared of losing the little face it has left!

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Oh, the delusion we live under; thinking that we can be infinite and independent, characteristics belonging only to our Heavenly Father. We are needy creatures, whether we acknowledge it or not, deriving all we are spiritually from either our Pappa or the prince of darkness.

Even the organized religious church is like the Lady of Laodicea ….. unaware of her poverty, wretchedness, pitiful naked poor state (Revelations 3:17). Their hearts are old wineskins unable to receive the new wine, the new life of our Lord Jesus …. the bubbly new wine of grace. They stake their claim to eternal life on their religious busyness and activities and …. they like it that way.

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I recall an Afrikaans song of the late Johannes Kerkorrel, from his album “Die Anderkant”, meaning “The Other Side”, where he poignantly compares our world to a big, blue ball drifting aimlessly through time and space ….. an orphaned world …. a world without hope. Only once in a while two souls will meet, speaking and understanding the lost language of love. This is the exception, definitely not the rule.

The world had become the habitation for lost, orphaned children, feeding on the spiritual scraps this world dishes up, day after day after day …..leaving them starving …. dying of hunger ….. trying to deny their spiritual need and hunger by their own futile efforts to cover their nakedness with their filthy rags of self- effort. Oh yes, we are experts in covering our shame with fig leaves that we have sewn together, trying to hide from the presence of our Pappa. Man’s declaration of independence has opened their eyes to the shame of sin.

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Yet, He desires to cover our nakedness and shame with the snow white robe of His own righteousness. He assures us that He has paid the price for our adoption, the bride price to buy us back from that kingdom of darkness, doom, dread and death. He has bought us back from the prince of darkness.

If we stop our frantic rushing for a while …. if we just step out of the busy pace and rat race of the world …. we still hear the angels singing of the joy our Pappa has brought to the world in the form of a tiny Baby.

When we become quiet and still, we will hear Him whispering His words of forgiveness, love and reconcilliation. If we allow Him, He will wrap us in His Graceful Loving Embrace, dress us in the most beautiful wedding gown of love and leads us down the aisle of His forgiveness to meet our Bridegroom, our Lord Jesus.

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The beauty of our Pappa God’s love is that He never forces us to accept our Lord Jesus’ hand in marriage. True love is just like that, it gives us the freedom to choose. It knows it cannot be forced, but it can open up the way to restoration, sweet reconcilliation and an intimate relationship of love.

Dear Ones, let us become still …. let us be quiet…. let us listen to His song of love and hear how He rejoices over us with joyful songs (Zephaniah 3:17)!

Much love XX

Mia

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