Tag Archive | Pharisees

A Turbulent Heart

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God’s Thoughts to Me

My soul followeth hard after Thee; Thy right Hand upholdeth me (Psalm 63:8 KJV).

She has heard about Jesus, so she came up behind Him through the crowd and touched His robe (Mark 5:27, NLT).

Behind The Veil

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The late Brennan Manning said in his book, The Lion And The Lamb,” You will trust God only as much as you love Him. You will love Him not because you have studied Him. You will love Him only because you have touched Him – in response to His touch”.

Divine wisdom wrapped in Truth. Jesus warned the Pharisees that they were searching the Scriptures daily thinking that in them they had eternal Life.

But they were oblivious to the Living Word, blind to the Eternal Life standing right in front of them and they were doomed.

I recall a time in my own life when I was stumbling through a severe winter season. My physiology and psychology were naked and lost in sinister, dark, lifeless forest of religiosity.

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The giant branches of the ancient trees of traditions gnarled its fingers around my turbulent heart, trying to steal the last shreds which were panting for streams of the Living Quiet Waters of freedom.

They locked me up with the chains of religious high-sounding words in the cruel grip of laws and rules and regulations at a time when my body was immobilized by pain and exhaustion.

But like the Pharisees, my spirit was the prisoner of the lifeless idol of Bibliolatry. Silent pitiful cries and despondent tears enveloped me with an unbearable longing to touch the Robe of the Beloved.

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For many years I was an avid student of Theology and had the fundamentals of the faith at my fingertips. I could almost quote the Bible, chapter and verse.

I fell in love with the idea of God’s grace and love, but this love affair was only a figment of my imagination.

It was a poor substitute for that almost magical reality of a spirit becoming one in union with the sweet Spirit of God; that intimate closeness that seemed so utterly unobtainable.

It was not for lack of trying; just the opposite. I was the master striver, striving earnestly to build beautifully crafted altars, begging God to consume my hand crafted offers with the fire of His Love.

I was from the old school who prided themselves in their strong work ethic and was perplexed by the absence of Holy Fire.

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No … it was because of my lack of touching Him as a response to His touch. My heart was bound with the cords of doctrines and creeds. I was experiencing the death of the letter of the law.

My lips were singing Hallelujahs, but my heart was far from my first Love, yearning for that mysterious something many saints seemed to smile so secretly about all through the ages.

At the same time, I was suffocated by an unhealthy fear of God. I was terrified of that relentless monster of self-condemnation and shame.

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This master of deceit taunted me day and night with sneering, damnable lies that my hand was already spoken for by the dark, evil one.

When I stumbled upon these words of Mr Manning, a new day dawned in my inmost heart. A passionate, burning flame pierced my soul and my eyes were opened to see beyond the veil of my mind.

I was swept off my feet, overwhelmed with a love that was at the same time beautifully disturbing and devastatingly delightful. I was in awe of the prevenient grace of our King.

imageThoughts of another woman from another time; the woman with the issue of blood stirred my mind. We were both at a very lonely and needy place; both at the crossroads of our lives; bankrupt and seeking the ancient paths of eternity.

With shame I confess that I hoped that our Pappa would to transform Himself into a genie in a bottle, where my wishes were His commands.

But this Genie surely seemed as deaf as a doorknob and as blind as a bat, very unappreciative of all my clever selfish maneuvers. Yet, He patiently and gently kept on drawing me into His Loving Embrace.

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When I finally came to the end of my tether, I had no other choice but to crawl on my spiritual knees, like the woman with the issue of blood, until my heart finally touched the hem of my Beloved’s heart.

He took the tatters of my brokenness and started to heal me from the inside out. Although my illness is still very much part of my life, He has brought me to a place of sweet acceptance.

A place where I can eagerly look forward to the day when I will leave this old coat behind to be clothed in a new glorious spiritual body.

I will not dare to trivialize the suffering of a chronic illness, but I do want to dare all to follow hard after our God, assured of His right hand upholding us.

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Crawl if necessary until you are near enough to touch our Lord Jesus again and again and again … and then still again and again.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

I am linking-up with the ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.

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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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