Prepare to Wake Up: Christ’s Unfolding

I took today’s profile picture in Akaroa. Akaroa is a small town in New Zealand, where the Holy Spirit poured out upon me in such power, not long after my baptism as a 12 year old. I was attending my Christian school’s camp and couldn’t stop crying as God washed me in His waterfalls of grace, as I freely confessed my sins before my peers and teachers (of the school my Dad was the headmaster/principal of).

Later, the enemy used this incredibly special experience to shun and shame me, telling me there was something deeply evil about, wrong with me and weird about me because of this open repentance, my weeping and weeping in the Holy Spirit’s anointing and the sins Jesus had so beautifully set me free of. But now I know it’s what sets us apart in this world that reveals the beauty of Jesus in us and draws others – not to us – but to Him.

I returned to Akaroa with my family on my recent visit “home” and today as I looked at the photos of this special place afresh, God invited me to redeem the time with Him by publically declaring that school camp in Akaroa no longer as my shame and no longer as proof of my evil and wrong doing, but as evidence of His goodness and mercy at work in me and His LOVE for me and for His whole Body. For it is those whom God LOVES that He disciplines and cleanses of sin, treating us as His Son and heir, as He proves the presence and work of His Son in and through us.

A friend of mine recently spoke to me of prideful Christians and what they write and it momentarily made me flinch as I felt it being a finger pointing at me- but then God reminded me and had me share with her that God has commanded me to write so publically to cleanse me of my pride through it. He has repeatedly humbled me and revealed His transformation of me in my public writing and editing of posts through the years. 

So many times I have wanted to stop through this process of cleansing, embarrassed of my repeated humbling and feeling like I should not be writing at all (I am an all or nothing kind of girl and hate hate hate hypocrisy – which God keeps uncovering in me 🤣 to show me He is my “all” 😊). But then He would graciously take me away to rest with Him and restore me to Himself (the Truth) – sometimes leading me away for several months and even a year or more at times – birthing in that hidden place a renewed and cleansed desire to share Him through my writing, having stripped away another layer of hypocrisy in the process – by having me share openly of His convictions of sin and His cleansing work.

I was again praying about stopping my writing today 🤣 and then hours later this drops into my inbox 😭:

She has been writing publicly for 22 years, beginning on the cusp of her twenties—amidst grief, suffering, loss, and doubt. Writing, she says, has been her best form of sanctification, and I have returned so often to so many of her words as a lifeline. Writing publicly, she also says, has also been her best form of humiliation and, as she so gently and beautifully offers, when 22 years of your life are saved for anyone to see, it’s obvious when you’ve gotten a lot of things wrong. Still she practices, still she writes, and I savor her words.

Ann Voskamp, Source: https://annvoskamp.com/2022/08/the-1-question-thats-everything-whats-in-your-hand/

And so you see, it’s true: the more we lose our life in this world (and what this world values), as we make our preparations for eternity with Christ through the gift of His Holy Spirit and Christ’s obedience at work in us, the more we find our true life and breath in that glorious Son of Man. In Jesus, who is ever unfolding Himself and His eternal and unfading value in and through us – IN OUR HUMBLING, OUR ROOTING IN HIS LOVE AND GRACE FOR US. It’s just as Jesus instructed His disciples not long before He went to the Cross to die for us all:

He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.

We are still called to make such preparations in the upper room today – in the heavenly places, where we are seated with Christ even now. And today, it’s our Helper, the Holy Spirit, who is showing us that large room, all furnished with the gifts of God we need for our life of godliness in Christ Jesus. And in that upper room we can, like Jesus, prepare to take up our Cross daily: even when that Cross calls us to surrender what and whom we love and value most in this world.

For, it’s then we can deep down come to know Jesus and His love for us and for all. So that in Christ Jesus we can come to know that not even one (painful) memory, thing or person is ever lost to Jesus and His redemption. We – and the people we so love, God has called or is calling us to surrender into His safe hands, may feel lost, but our Savior knows exactly where we and they are.

And it is in our surrender of the places (“homes”), the painful and joyfilled memories and the people we so love into our Maker’s hands, we get to watch Him make His home and reveal His home in and through us. Oh yes! Our Papa God restores and redeems ALL – let’s watch Him unveil His glorious masterpiece of wholeness and healing – piece by piece by piece in His perfect and beautiful timing. By His saving power our Abba Father’s glorious purpose is being unfolded even now in gob-smacking, awesome and knee-bending, tear-inducing, humbling ways. We just need His eyes – from that upper room preparation – to see it.

Yes, He is bidding us to come die (to ourselves and our plan for ourselves and our loved ones) that we might live (unto Him and His good and perfect plan for us all). Oh come, taste and see that the LORD is good. So very good to us – and to all.

2 Corinthians 1:21 (Good News Translation)
It is God himself who makes us, together with you, sure of our life in union with Christ; it is God himself who has set us apart,

 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5: 8-21 (ESV)

May we watch in absolute awe as our holy God reveals His purposes in and through us – working through us humbled ones – the worst of sinners, just like Paul and Moses – in ways we never could have imagined. May our humble surrenders, born in Christ Jesus, now declare our God’s glory and grace, drawing us and those around us more deeply into the open arms and undivided heart of Jesus that we might all see Christ unfolding Himself in power in our midst.

Father, in alignment with Your Word in Romans 6:3-13 (AMOC) I plead with You to compel us, as Your Body not to be ignorant of the fact that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death. Father, continually remind us by Your Spirit that we were buried therefore with Jesus by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father – You -, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life. For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God]. Remind us that we indeed already know, by Your persuasion, that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men]. Let us never forget that because we have died with Christ, we shall also live with Him, Because we know that Christ (the Anointed One), being once raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has power over Him. For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him]. Even so compel us moment by moment to consider ourselves also dead to sin and our relation to it broken, and ourselves as alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus. Remind us and empower us in His obedience at work in us not to let sin therefore rule as king in our mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, nor to let it make us yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions. Compel us not to continue offering or yielding our bodily members [and faculties] to sin as instruments (tools) of wickedness. But awaken us by Your Spirit to offer and yield ourselves to God as though we have been raised from the dead to [perpetual] life, and our bodily members [and faculties] to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness. In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

2 Comments

  1. Oh amen! I read this today after the Lord had spoken to me through the dew drops covering everything this morning. He had led me to take a photo, and then further led me to: But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy— your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.
    Isaiah 26:19 NIV
    Oh. What precious confirmation here. He is so gracious to us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know how I missed this comment of yours, Bettie. I love that verse so much: thank you for sending me the graphic you made also. God is so amazing how He weaves all together, isn’t He? It was again such a blessed morning at my volunteer job today – more weaving going on between us in the LORD also. 😊😍

      Liked by 1 person

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