If God is real, then what?

Friday, February 28, 2014

If God is real then what? 

If God is real then we live free to free others.

I have always, always for as long as I can remember loved Isaiah 61.

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
    foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
    you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
    and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of your shame
    you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.
“For I, the Lord, love justice;
    I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
    and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be known among the nations
    and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
    that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”
10 I delight greatly in the Lord;
    my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
    and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
    and praise spring up before all nations.
Not just the owner of a new identity through our salvation or relationship with Christ but free in our minds and hearts, secure and confident in our gifts and callings.
Free from our bondage and our fear, free from our first world entitlements and the things we feel responsible to and responsible for.
We must break the cycles that have defined us and we must reprogram the mentality that has held us captive in the lies of the enemy. Free our eyes to see ourselves like Jesus does, every one created in His image and with a story to not only tell but to live!
We must free ourselves from our assumptions and our ignorance and most of all our arrogance that our way is the only way and or that the way it's always been is best.
We must free ourselves from imposing our personal circumstances on the gospel of Christ. We can not accurately deliver the truth on the pages of the gospels if we are filtering every word through our limited set of days on Earth. If we believe that those words are universal truths meant for a universe of beings who came before us and who will live on after we take our last breaths, we must recognize that we are but an infinitely small measure of the whole.  We are not the Websters Definition of what God and the gospel look like. God created a world of cultures and people in HIS image. We must free HIM from our religious boxes.
We must free ourselves from the need to live a life that is safe and routine and one that brings about little opposition or challenge or out right assault. Jesus never promised that. In fact it would have seemed many times He was talking people out of following Him because of the sacrifice it would ultimately require.
We must free ourselves of the need to see the whole picture and not just the next step.

We must free ourselves from the responsibility of making sure we never fail, because if we never fail, we can surely never be trying.

We must free ourselves from the debilitating fear of having our hearts broken, dreams shattered and plans shaken. All of those things will happen if we are dying to ourselves to follow Christ.
We must as my fellow sojourner Jen Hatmaker says "hold loosely to the things that divide us and love one another fiercely." I could write a small book on this, but it is so true. We have to let people be people, we have to let them look like they look and eat what they eat and dress like they dress and accept that the man in the Banana Republic suit can love Jesus just as much and with as much passion as the tattooed biker or the 18 year old in new jordans and a flat billed cap or the Vietnamese nail technician or the homeschool Mom or the single nurse or the migrant worker who came here for a better chance or the stay at home mom who's life revolves around dishes and diapers and dinners and on and on and on.... We have to not only STOP drawing lines of division around these people but we must START looking for ways to purposefully love them and bring them in and connect our stories.
Enter James:
 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing right
I believe that the reason so many people can't believe the GOD IS REAL part is because we are stumbling blocks to the promise land, to the cross, to the eternal rest of human souls.
If God is real, then we MUST not take our responsibility to love like Jesus lightly, to follow his example, to go where the Holy Spirit take us, no.matter.what.
If God is real, then one day, Jesus is going to come back and we my friends will live eternally delivered and eternally free! That is worth fighting for! That is worth freeing our minds and our hearts and our spirits for, that is worth breaking chains of bondage for and that is worth getting uncomfortable for. Is it not worth reaching across a line to something you don't fully understand to possible usher another human being into an eternity of freedom?
In order to free others, we must ourselves be free. Let's do that, you and me. Let's take deliberate steps today to answer the Spirit's prompting of our individual hearts, out of the unique ways he has wired our minds and hearts, and even if by one small step at a time, let's not rest until we are purposefully ushering people into the kingdom, until we are introducing someone else into the freedom God promises if we truly believe He is real and let's rest. And NOT because we are looking for a project, but bc we are living our one most important purpose, loving God and loving people.
I believe that God is real and I believe He calls us to be free and free others. And I believe we do that by reaching arms and hearts and minds wide and lifting heads and weaving threads and holding hands and going where he says go and staying where he says to stay.
God has a purpose for all of us, we'll either do it or we won't.
Let us be the ones generations behind us find faithful.
Let us the be the ones to set the captives free.
Let us be hope to the hopeless.
Let us be the change.
Let us be love.
Let us be

What's your If? What does this mean to you personally. I'd love to hear from you in the comment section below. 

love and blessings, 

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