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July Newsletter-Tomorrow

In my previous newsletters I’ve emphasized how the Spirit of God is inside believers. I would also suggest, many times believers live like they question that a bit. We can easily assume that God must be called into our lives from far away in order to enter into our particular world or circumstances. Over the 30 plus years I’ve written these letters, if I had to pick out one theme that overlaid almost everything I say in them, it’s ‘God is with us’– not in another dimension. He doesn’t have to be whistled into ours. When Adam and Eve failed, the result was they lost their knowledge of Grace of God, of His Love. What was initially a wonderful grace experience between them and God became suspicious in their minds. Wandering around life without that Grace knowledge became mankind’s universal curse. Post-Eden searching for that specific knowledge is the journey each person is required to walk. However, God never gives up on us discovering He’s Love. God sent prophets, priests and kings and He placed evidence of Himself in the creation so that we might find Him. His desire is that all men find that knowledge of Grace. How else do you explain that the Creator of the cosmos sent His Son to be brutalized and killed and then sent The Comforter to stay in each believer’s heart. That’s pretty personal, pretty one on one.

While thinking about that Grace, and being aware of the Peace it brings, I was thinking about how that knowledge fits into our today, and especially into our tomorrow. The changes we see in our community, our culture and actually the whole world, create a tension between our Christ filled hearts, what we hope for and dream of, and the world systems. Believers’ hearts naturally oppose what we are seeing and hearing many times. In scripture, we’re encouraged to become as children about the Gospel because children actually, usually only see reality. Jesus himself, the wisest of all men, encouraged us to become such as that. Unfortunately, as children grow older they typically change into looking at the world as adults express it. Truth is, the Gospel is reality; the world’s system is sleight of hand, offering much it cannot deliver.

After walking around the earth for a few decades, I’m aware of the responsibility of Christians to be ‘salt of the earth’. We’re to be a shining light in a dark place, doing so by reflecting His radiance and not our own. We’re to share the Gospel and create a place for its expression to be life changing for others. Believers are to bring Hope where there is no Hope. That’s one of the purposes of the Church in the earth. Today and tomorrow, if the fields are really white for harvest, believers have a great opportunity to share the Love of God. Ours is to not match hate for hate, but bring Hope and Good News. The introduction of chaos, confusion, anxiety and rebellion takes its toll on all of us, both the ones creating it and the ones having to observe it. I once heard it said that our lives will be significantly different if we don’t simply evaluate it by what we see but more by how we see it. A world view in competition with the heart of God might be another way to say it. Christ in us is why believers have the ability to Hope in times like these. We are not to be overwhelmed by the world but have a confidence that Christ within us makes it possible to overcome a world of trouble. In the midst of that, we can Rest and, as I mentioned in a previous letter, pray. Author Eugene Peterson once wrote that ‘waiting in prayer is the disciplined refusal to act before God acts.’ Isaiah 40:31 says, ‘They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ You and I have heard that many times and each time I read it I’m reminded that to ‘wait upon’ in the original text refers to braiding (similar to a rope) ourselves with God. That word implies God adds and strengthens when we join with Him, in this case, in prayer. It’s interesting to notice that when Jesus was told of Lazarus’ death, he waited two more days before going to the site. Confidence in what the Father was doing might have created that response. With the pace of this world, waiting can be pretty tough and pretty out of step with what’s going on around us. However, if we look at the life of Jesus, instead of just simply showing up as adult Jesus and walking into Jerusalem and in a just a few hours permitting the leaders to crucify him, problem solved, Jesus actually waited until he saw what the Father was doing. It took 33 years to accomplish his purpose. For all those years, Jesus waited, trusted and believed.

It’s interesting to look back and see the similarity of the early scripture of the Old Testament and the New. Adam and Eve failed to believe God and the apple became a problem. Abraham did believe and it was counted unto him as righteousness. (Gen 15) Moses followed and led the Hebrews out of Egypt because he believed. Later he would not enter into the Promised Land because he and they doubted God’s promise to go in. Today, and tomorrow, we face that same kind of moment. Do we trust, do we hold steadfast because of the witness in our hearts, or get captured by the world system through their manipulation of our mind and imagination?

One of the things I have grown patient with over the years is not measuring the ‘ways of God’ by what’s going on around me. ‘Judge nothing before its time’ has been a catch phrase for me over the years. In reality, I can only get into a Peaceful place by having a perspective of what’s happening in God’s ‘cosmos’. What is going on in His Kingdom is not the same as what we see and hear, here. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, which had never been done before, no past experiences of that existed. Yet, Jesus did what is real in his world of influence right in the middle of our world of crisis. What we have seen and heard, sickness and war, for the past few years creates fear, division and some very hateful environments. I still have a confidence that as in the Lord’s Prayer (Mathew 6:1) someday ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven’ will come to pass. Even as the world’s anti-Lord’s prayers manifest themselves, God’s dream for the earth is still active and true, no matter what we see and hear. The ‘birth pangs’ we currently see and hear are not unreal; they’re actually described in scripture, but they will eventually be destroyed. The Promise of the whole Word of God is that He is advancing toward a re-model; we’re on the road to that happening in some tomorrow. I’m reminded of a quote I heard years ago, ‘Prophecy is a history of the future.’ That’s interesting to think about, considering prophesies we’ve been given for our future. This is our bottom line. There is a voice that might be quiet and subtle but is louder than all the other voices we hear here on earth- the voice of the Father, Son and the Spirit speak and overshadow all other voices.

God is with us. We are not in this alone, we’re not ‘heavy lifting’ it all by ourselves. Ephesians 2:22 reminds us of the Spirit’s habitation, literally dwelling place, in believers’ hearts. With all the distractions, terror, fear, and aggressiveness we still can have Peace dwelling in our hearts because the Spirit of God lives there. Our task is to tap into that, let it dominate our daily lives; pause long enough to consider it. You can’t outlaw ‘indwelling’. I had minor surgery years ago and the doctor didn’t use stitches on the wound; his explanation was that with physical wounds such as that, they heal from the inside outward. The Spirit of Christ heals the same way; He’s in our hearts. That’s where our true healing comes from.

Andrew Peterson came out with a song we’ve rotated for about 3 years now: Is He Worthy? Andrew’s answer is ‘He Is’. It’s a reference back to the Book of Revelation. That question can find a place in our hearts to where we constantly answer, ‘He is’. As such He is worthy of our awe, our praise, our affection and worthy of our trust. Today and tomorrow, He is with us, does not forsake us, does not abandon or give up on His vision of our future. I often remember how Paul, in his writing prior to crucifixion referred to our Savior as Jesus Christ. After resurrection, Paul referred to him as Christ Jesus. Each was appropriate because Jesus Christ represents what man could do through God. Christ Jesus represents what God could do through man. That’s a nice gift package for us.

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized

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