Lately, I have been going or growing deeper into the truth and the wealth and the connectedness of having Christ's Spirit. We have His Holy Spirit! There can be no greater intimacy with Him than that.
When I lean into this truth, into the fact that my spirit is united with His living Holy Spirit, I always find Jesus, present and living, right beside me and in me.
In fact, not only do I find His presence, but I frequently feel His emotions- I don't feel them as my emotions, I feel them as His.
This morning I was getting my coffee, and I turned, and saw that the sky was suddenly visible- it was no longer dark, but was gold and pale blue and a little bit of peach at the edge.
I stood still, looking at the beauty of it and Jesus came close to me. He wrapped His arms around me and rested His head close to mine, as we looked at the dawn.
He said- In the same way, My coming will be. His voice was not filled with anger or intensity of any kind- it was more like a kind of wonder and certainty.
I think because even Jesus does not know when that day will be- even He is waiting for it, so that is why there was an element of wonder to His voice.
Lately, I've been considering the idea that Christ is eager to return again because by His judgments everything will be healed and made right. That is what He is waiting for- He wants everything made right and healed, and no more tears. This is a new idea for me.
Last night, I was remembering how Jesus had wept over Jerusalem; how He had longed to gather her children together under His wings, but they would not let Him.
I asked Jesus about that, and I felt, in my spirit His continued sorrow over it. I was taken aback. Then I realized that, in one sense, even Jesus is waiting, as is all of creation, to complete that final healing.
My immediate desire was to comfort Jesus- I didn't consider how this was absurd. I don't remember what it was I said to Him, but I remember His tenderness and love toward me. I remember He assured me everything would happen as it must happen, according to His will and plan.
I remembered how, in Revelation, that huge angel comes along and plants his feet on the earth and the sea and shouts with this voice that shakes the earth- "No more waiting! Now God will complete His secret plan!"
At that time, I didn't understand why this would require such an impressive announcement, but now I begin to understand. All creation is penned up, waiting for that moment. Heaven waits for it, as well.
This morning, I was looking up a verse in Isaiah for my public blog, and then I read the whole chapter and guess what I found? I found this:
“No longer will you need the sun to shine by day,
nor the moon to give its light by night,
for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
Your sun will never set;
your moon will not go down.
For the Lord will be your everlasting light.
Your days of mourning will come to an end.
All your people will be righteous.
They will possess their land forever,
for I will plant them there with My own hands
in order to bring Myself glory.
The smallest family will become a thousand people,
and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation.
At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.”
December 9, 2011 Desire
I had so much deep, almost unbearable yearning for Jesus last night. I let it out- I didn't try to pen it up. I remembered how David had said, my heart pants for You. I remembered, because that is exactly what it feels like.
And I knew His own longing! It was greater than mine. In that moment, I had a small glimpse of bliss.
I had to go through this one step at a time, each a step of trust and vulnerability, and Jesus kept His hands on each side of my face as I did, so I had to look right at Him and couldn't look away.
I did not, because of Him. To Jesus a thousand years may be one day, but for me, sometimes it feels as though one day is a thousand years long.
December 10, 2011, Psalm
O Lord my God, many are the great works You have done, and Your thoughts toward us.
No one can compare with You!
If I were to speak and tell of them, there would be too many to number.
You have not wanted gifts given on the altar in worship.
You have opened my ears.
You have not wanted burnt gifts or gifts to cover sins.
Then I said, “Look, I have come. It is written about me in the book. I am happy to do Your will, O my God. Your Law is within my heart.”
I have told the good news about what is right and good in the big meeting with many people. You know I will not close my lips, O Lord.
I have not hidden what is right and good with You in my heart.
I have spoken about how faithful You are and about Your saving power.
I have not hidden Your loving-kindness and Your truth from the big meeting.
Or from the world wide web, as the case may be, in my case!
December 11, 2011
Last night, I read a part of John that I haven't in a while, basically the second part of that book. It hurts to read about the Passion of Christ, so I rarely read about it.
I understood some things differently, like when Jesus says:
If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father's commandments and live on in His love. (John 15:10 AMPC)
It seems that there is a difference between having God's love and abiding in God's love. We all have God's love- because the Father loved the world while we were yet sinners. So, we have His love.
But we can also make ourselves at home in it. In order to make ourselves at home in it, we must keep His commandments, which is to give away selfless love.
So, in order to dwell in love we must give away love- give away to others the love that was given to us. That makes us a home in love and we settle right down into it and abide.
Isn't that interesting?
I noticed something else, too. When Jesus said that one of the disciples would betray Him, the other disciples looked at one another and discussed among themselves who it could be.
Jesus was right there- in the flesh, in person, right there! They could see Him and hear Him and touch Him.
And yet their first instinct was to ask one another. Why?
That's not the first time, either. The disciples are often discussing among themselves what He could have meant by something He said. They seem to be frequently huddling.
Why? Jesus was right there. They could have asked Him anything!
Why wouldn't they just have asked Him?
It must be a human instinct to search for the answer among ourselves. Apparently, even when Jesus was with us in the flesh, we still had an overpowering instinct to huddle together, compare notes and argue.
Actually, come to think of it, it was when they felt they might have done something wrong that they tended to huddle.
When they forgot the bread, for example, and Jesus was warning them about the yeast of the Pharisees. They felt guilty about forgetting the bread, so instead of asking Jesus what He meant, they huddled together and worried.
Or when they were arguing along the road about who would be greatest. When He asked them about it, they clammed up. They didn't want to ask Him straight out.
It's like Adam and Eve hiding in the forest, after they felt shame for the first time. Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the day. Eve could have asked God for more information about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil- why is it forbidden, etc? But she didn't stop to ask Him.
Not bringing our concerns and questions to God tends to get us into trouble. At the very least, we remain confused and uncertain. We can become like the blind leading the blind. Not that we can't encourage and teach and edify one another- we can and should. We are in community with one another.
But ultimately, I think it is so rewarding when we have enough trust to go back to the Source, back to the Teacher Himself, and ask.
Even when they did ask Jesus, sometimes they didn't ask Him directly. Peter asked John to ask Jesus, because John was already reclining against Jesus' chest.
I sometimes wonder why they didn't fight among themselves for this spot. Did they take turns? Did it work out naturally? Did the others not have a deep, unbearable longing to be close to Jesus?
I used to wish I could have been there, at that time in history, close to Him. But increasingly, I am grateful I was not. I would have been totally under foot.
At that dinner, I would have been miserable at the far end of the table, feeling lonely and far away from Him, even if He was just across the table from me. And I would have chided myself for my deep desire for Him- I would have said to myself, "If you love Jesus, you will share Him! Share Jesus with the others!"
Oh, my goodness, it makes me laugh, but only because it's so true.
Like Peter, loving Jesus but not understanding the role of suffering in His life, I would have taken Him by the hand and told Him that He was absolutely not going back to Jerusalem to die. And Jesus would have had to tell me sternly to get behind Him, so that He could walk the path He must walk. I would have said wearily, with Thomas, "Let us go also, that we may die with Him."
As it is, I can hardly stand to read about Jesus being crucified, let alone actually watch it happen in front of me. So many times I tell Jesus with relief- "I'm so glad that's over! You never have to go through that again! That's finished, it's done."
It's best, I continually realize, that we live the life Jesus gives us, and to thank Him for it, and to thank Him for making us as we are. It pleased Him to do so, after all.
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you; He is [uncompromisingly] just and having salvation [triumphant and victorious], patient, meek, lowly, and riding on a donkey, upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.
And I will cut off and exterminate the war chariot from Ephraim and the [war] horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off; and He shall speak the word and peace shall come to the nations, and His dominion shall be from the [Mediterranean] Sea to [any other] sea, and from the River [Euphrates] to the ends of the earth!
As for you also, because of and for the sake of the [covenant of the Lord with His people, which was sealed with sprinkled] covenant blood, I have released and sent forth your imprisoned people out of the waterless pit.
Return to the stronghold [of security and prosperity], you prisoners of hope; even today do I declare that I will restore double your former prosperity to you.
For I have bent Judah for Myself as My bow, filled the bow with Ephraim as My arrow, and will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and will make you [Israel] as the sword of a mighty man.
And the Lord shall be seen over them and His arrow shall go forth as the lightning, and the Lord God will blow the trumpet and will go forth in the windstorms of the south.
The Lord of hosts shall defend and protect them; and they shall devour and they shall tread on [their fallen enemies] as on slingstones [that have missed their aim], and they shall drink [of victory] and be noisy and turbulent as from wine and become full like bowls [used to catch the sacrificial blood], like the corners of the [sacrificial] altar.
And the Lord their God will save them on that day as the flock of His people, for they shall be as the [precious] jewels of a crown, lifted high over and shining glitteringly upon His land.
For how great is God’s goodness and how great is His beauty! And how great [He will make Israel’s] goodliness and [Israel’s] beauty! Grain shall make the young men thrive and fresh wine the maidens.
Zechariah 9:9-17, AMPC