His Kingdom Come [Edited Version]

In the month of May, I committed to sharing posts from others that have encouraged, inspired and challenged me. Today, however, I feel prompted to share an old post of my own, with the edits [in bold type] the LORD gifted me today.

Welcome to Day 3 of Part 7′Chapter 3 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is bringing forward the third free will offering of Holy Hands.

The Son of God lived in continual communion with His Father on this earth. It was as simple and as excruciatingly painful as doing what His Father told Him to do – for the joy set before Him: all His lost sheep running home.  It had Him openly giving priority to His heavenly Father above His earthly parents, as a twelve year old. It had Him breaking the law of Moses to fulfill the law of God in Spirit and truth. It made Him popular amongst sinners in the world, who were longing for love and redemption and hated amongst the hardened and self-righteous religious leaders, who separated themselves from the “unclean”.

I gave my heart to Jesus as a four-year old. I was called to give priority to my Heavenly Father’s will above my parents’ will as a preteen, but instead kept the law of Moses to break the law of God in Spirit and truth, as I dishonored my God and my parents by bowing before my parents as God. As I did so, I withdrew from fellowship with my God, ironically believing that being in union with Him required me to suppress the beauty of what was in fact His Voice and heart in me.

When Jesus opened my eyes more than twenty years later, it happened (co-incidentally or God-incidentally) as my Mum repented for that which God had called me to speak up about and intercede for as that preteen. I had received my parents’ rejection as God’s rejection and my sinful responses to that rejection as proof that I was irredeemable and inherently evil. 

But now, God began to open my eyes to see and my heart to know that He had never ever rejected me. I had never left His all-encompassing hands:

No! He had chosen and called me in Christ Jesus to stand in the gap – not just for the ones He was calling me to speak up for, but also for those who hardened their hearts in response to the Word He was speaking through me. He called me to humble myself to walk in His footsteps – to weep and cry: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” and to pick up my Cross, to die to myself and live unto Him.

Since bringing me home, He has been repeatedly humbling my prideful heart to deep down know that He doesn’t call the holy, but in fact makes holy (perfects) the unholy (imperfect) that we might do His will. He has been repeatedly defending me, through every accusation flung my way internally and externally.

This is a perfecting work I now know He continued doing in me those 20 + years I turned my back on Him. All that time, He never turned His back on me, but continued preparing me without my even knowing it, for the path I am now walking in Him. A path that is daily requiring me to give back what He has given unto me (and still is daily!) in abundance: humility, justice and mercy.

Since I came home to him seven years ago, He has been showing me that it is precisely our continual conviction of and cleansing of sin that qualifies us as His hands and feet in the world. For, as we continually come to God in prayer in our weakness and need, His moment-by-moment cleansing leads us to intercede in Spirit and truth. He lifts our pain, pride and self-righteousness, to make Way for the Way of the LORD.

It is as we cry out to God in our inability to fulfill the law, that we in fact build upon our Rock and Redeemer. How? As Jesus takes over in us. It is He who then does the building through us, offering a spiritual sacrifice (His very own blood shed for us all) that is acceptable in the sight of God. It’s here that He proves to us, and to others through us, that it is no longer we who live, but Christ in us.

So, today I stand before my God and man just like the prophet Isaiah, knowing that in the flesh I am a woman of unclean lips and hands. But because I died to my flesh the moment I gave my heart to Jesus, I live unto the Spirit of God. And that Spirit that lives in me is SO much greater than he who is in the world. Christ is more than able to patiently prepare my hands to do His work. He is more than able to put my hands to work, when He has prepared me for it, that He might complete what He has begun in me and through me. And He is more than able to restore the years the locusts have stolen from me.

Yes, my God, our God, is strong enough to take what the enemy sent to steal from us, kill us and destroy us to bless us, and others through us, with new life. This is a new life that labors in us daily to shed our fleshly urges that He might reveal His love, compassion and mercy to our world, as all we do is cry out: “Father, I can’t but I know that You can. Now prove Yourself through me.”

Only just last night that new life in me led me to bring my exhaustion and frustration to my God. Even though I have seen Him do this over and over again, I again watched in absolute awe as He exchanged my weakness and inability for His strength and His sweet and gentle Spirit. It was He, who extended His listening ear, His affirmation and His fruit of joy to my eldest daughter, through me. If it was up to me, I would have sent her away (which I first did, until God convicted my heart), but Jesus wanted me to remember that when we are so weak, He is so very strong for us. 

So, as I cried out to Him in prayer, He took over to build His daughters – the both of us – up in Him. He humbled me beneath His mighty hand to act justly and extend the same compassion to my daughter, as He extends to me daily.

Incidentally, my verse to pray through today is:

Then I heard the voice of Adonai saying, “Whom should I send? Who will go for us?” I answered, “I’m here, send me!”
Yesha ‘yahu (Isa) 6:8 CJB

And the day before it was:

A person who claims to be continuing in union with him ought to conduct his life the way he did. 1 Yochanan (1 Jo) 2:6 CJB

What struck me is that that Word “ought” in 1 John 2:6 in fact also means to “owe a debt”. I owe my life in debt to my LORD and Savior, and so to fulfill that debt He expects me to “conduct [my] life the way he did”. He expects me to say: “Here I am, send me.” – to continually make myself available to Him and His will for me.

He expects me to live in continual communion with and submission to my Heavenly Father on this earth. It is as simple and as excruciatingly painful for me as doing what my Heavenly Father tells me to do – for the joy set before me: all His children running home. And yet I cannot carry that call, that burden, without the freeing yoke of Christ’s humility at work in and through me. A freeing yoke that leads me to lay down my prideful and selfish and “let me fix that for you” will for His will that is gentle and meek and free-will sowing. The will of my Father that often requires me to remove myself out of the picture completely, once He has delivered His Word through me.

That divine will had me returning home to openly give priority to my heavenly Father’s will above my earthly parents. It has me now no longer just speaking of His mercy and compassion for adopted and traumatized children, but also of His mercy for adoptive parents, like my parents. Adoptive parents, whose hearts have been hardened through the long, painful and humbling journey of loving their new children home. Adoptive parents God is crying out to also, to come home into His heart of mercy and compassion for them and for all the children of this world.

That will of my God has me now openly breaking the law of Moses to fulfill the law of God in Spirit and truth, as I do what my Heavenly Father tells me to do. It is making me popular amongst those longing for love and redemption and hated amongst the hardened and self-righteous religious ones, who separate themselves from the “unclean”. 

It has me – that hardened and self-righteous religious one who seeks to separate herself from the “unclean” – being transformed daily to look more and more like my Savior, as I repeatedly come face to face with my own hardened heart, my own weakness and need, and Christ’s power and ability to – in His beautiful timing – break me open by His discipline. To wake me up, prepare me and build me into His spiritual house. It is His power and ability that is turning me into His holy priest, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Him. 

It is His power at work in me that has me now building upon Him – my Rock –  as I daily learn how to die to my flesh to live unto the Spirit of God, in His teaching and leading. That Spirit of power has me seeking my God in prayer more and more and more. For, I now know – thanks to His power and grace at work in me – that my God is that beautiful, still small Voice inside me that is ever calling out to me to do what I cannot do – apart from Him. That is ever calling me to know and be known by Him: a gift that is so much more precious than anything this world can offer me, as this song reminds me:

A song that has been rising up within me and returning to me daily, a song my Mama who is now with Jesus, sung so often.

It is His faithful hands that are ever building us all, and others through us, upon the Rock- upon the foundation of His holy Word to us – as all we do is cry out to Him to deliver us:

Founded on the Rock

No one can lay
A foundation
Other than that
Which is laid
Which is Christ Jesus
Our Lord.

Builds the house
The builders
In vain.

We ourselves
Like living stones
Are being
Built up
As a
Spiritual house.

To be a
Holy priesthood
To offer
Spiritual sacrifices
Acceptable to God
Through Jesus Christ.

For everyone who
Hears Christ speak
And does what
He says
Builds his house
On the rock.

And that house
Does not fall
It has been
On the rock.

Oh may we lay it all down.

May we give back what He has given us. May we see His Kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven, as His holy hands become visible in and through our crying out.

You Walk Among Us and Go Between Us . . . Thank You, Jesus

In the month of May, I committed to sharing posts from others that have encouraged, inspired and challenged me. Today, I am sharing two Scriptures and accompanying them with my dear friend Bettie’s words that were a balm to my own heart today. These words are an excerpt from a post she wrote and published in 2017, but whose beautiful living testimony is continuing to bear fruit today. Thank You, Jesus!

Edit: I decided to add a poem of mine that, together with this excerpt from Bettie, was a part of Bettie’s, another dear friend’s and my sharing to and fro today.

Revelations 2:1 The One […] who walks among the seven gold lampstands []

1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God
and one mediator between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, Himself human, who gave Himself—a ransom for all,
a testimony at the proper time.

What will I do with the longings when I want to be with those I love? How can I carry the weights of longing to make things better for those who are in difficulty?

Ah, there is the point of JOY
coming as I trust.

In the invisible places,
I see a shadow
going between.

The Lord dwells
Where I can only long to go.

The Lord blesses
When I can only envision grief.

Every Friendship
Every Relationship
Every Love
When I call HIM into the center
Will be covered by HIS Shadow.

Arms Outstretched 

Tears, He wept
Upon His Cross
For us
His Body broken
His wholeness
To gift
Arms stretched wide
Nails they pierced
His perfect Love
To flow.

His heart
It weeps
Even still
Even now
As we turn away
Longings, we have
Buried deep.

His tears
They fall
Even here
Even now
As our heart
Now heaves in pain
To hide and flee.

His hand
It calls
His whisper
I know
I understand
I see
Never once
My heart
Of flesh
Has turned away.

No pain
Too deep
No shame
Too great
No sin
Too dark
My hand
And heart
From yours
Will ever tear.

Made flesh
I felt
I heard
I saw
My children
Before My eyes
And wept for you.

The weary
The shunned
And striving to survive
The shamed
The grieved
And pained
I've come for
ALL of you
Your hand
To clasp and hold.

My guiding hand
My Spirit Life
Your broken all
Completed whole
I call
My arms
Your all

I cup
I lift
I hold
The Son of God
In you
I breathe.

Perfect Pure
For striving fear
Father's arms
For pierced of heart
Lips of life
For tombed in shrouded pain
My all
Your shattered
Whole shall breathe.

Be not afraid
Hide not now
Behind those clefts
Your fears
Sin and grief
But come
Beloved, come
Just as you are.

I see
I know
I understand
Not one single piece
My Cross withheld
Spoken free
My blood has rent you
Covered pure.

Turn those eyes to me
Kick those legs
Shout your
Why My Lord, Oh why?!
Be real with Me

And see Me
Your broken heart
To hold
Your flailing arms and legs
To hold you
Till your tears

Be not afraid
I've come
For you
Not just in part
But whole
Each shard of piercèd
And crying
No more!

Not afraid
No heart
Numbed to stone
No hidden
Pain and fear
My hand
From you

Never once
Have I
My heart
Nor hand
Open now
Your eyes
And see:

I'm standing
My arms