The very thought of ourselves being innocent might make us laugh, at least to ourselves. How long has it been since I was innocent? That’s what happened to me when a dear friend referred to me using the term innocent.
Your innocence may have been taken from you at a very young age or because of a promiscuous youth you may have given away your innocence. But how does that reflect on you now?
Not too long ago I confronted these thoughts without warning. When my friend called me innocent, in my mind I instantly roared with laughter, mocking myself with split second thoughts like, “You don’t know me very well, do you? Ha! Me? Innocent? Not in a very long time! You should know the things I’ve done!” But in the very same moment I mocked myself, I heard God speak to me quietly saying, “Are you not My child? Are you not washed with the Blood of the Lamb?” As I drew in a breath of shock, I lowered my head and whispered back, “Yes.” He finished, “Then you are innocent. Now.” I had to push back tears of joy as an overwhelming shock of reality set in. After my friend and I finished talking, I walked away to ponder what God Himself had just spoken to me. A few days later I shared with that dear friend how this simple word had blessed me so.
Can you relate to what a reality check that was? I don’t know that I had ever thought of myself as innocent. Children don’t walk around acknowledging that they are innocent, they just are. By the time mine was lost, my mature adult brain saw it as lost for good. Boy, was I wrong! I am innocent now! Not because I’m a good person, but because my sins have been washed away by the Blood of the Lamb. It’s a simple truth we all know - but I wasn’t walking in my innocence. I was continuing to walk as one who had been handed a guilty decree, just like the enemy of our soul wanted me to.
To be continued......
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
If you've not read the previous two posts - this one may seem quite out of the blue...
This is one of two dreams I had one right after the other, with the same interpretation.
It took place at night on a country cinder-road. A man was buried in the road up to his neck. He was completely defenseless. Somehow I knew that he didn’t deserve to be where he was, he was an innocent man. There stood over him a man who appeared to be a mafia type character, mocking him and talking harshly to him, swearing, accusing him of things, putting him down and snickering at him as he swung a large golf club at his head, hitting him repeatedly. The man’s head became bloody and disfigured. He cried, he screamed and begged for mercy. The man ignored his pleas, laughing louder with every whack of the golf club, seemingly taking great pleasure in tormenting the man. From the side of the road I cried and begged for mercy for the man, insisting that he hadn’t done anything wrong. I went unheard. I was invisible.
A semi-truck approached, his headlights shined brightly in the darkness. There was no way the driver would see this bloody little head sticking up in the road. The mafia man laughed loudly as he calmly and confidently walked off to the other side of the road to watch, gleefully, as the man was killed.
I screamed to the truck driver, unheard. I ran out and jumped in front of the man’s head putting my hands up as if to stop the truck. In an instant, the truck stopped just before hitting us, inches from my hand.
I woke up, frightened.
Since I am all the characters in the dream, it's gross to think that I am not only the innocent man in the ground being bloodied, but I am also the man swinging the golf club, laughing!
The man buried in the road represents me – innocent because I am washed in the blood of the Lamb, buried with Christ. Defenseless, because my only defense is Jesus, there is nothing I can do for myself.
The mafia man represents the me that is always beating myself up and putting myself down. The blows to the head represent the battlefield of my mind, the fights I've allowed to go on in there. I torment myself with the lies of the devil by allowing his lies into my mind and believing them. Lies that say I’m unworthy, I’m worthless, I’m guilty, I’m fat, I’m ugly and a waste of time – all the insults the mafia man hurled at the man in the ground.
The semi-truck represents sure death.
The invisible me represents the spirit of God that lives within me that came to my defense, able even to stop a racing semi-truck on a dime, preventing my needless, pointless death.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Recognizing my own cleanness has been my wrestling mat for far too long. I’ve wrestled hard with sin issues – for me, self-forgiveness is apparently the last and hardest step to freedom from the weight of my past.
I’ve written many short stories. They’re fictional, but filled with truths. Ironically, they’re filled with truths for me; piece after piece meant straight for my heart – to help free me. I’ve written stories about our innocence and about ‘letting go’ over and over again. How is it so easy for me to ignore what God not only tells me, but has me put down in print for everyone to see? Pride says, ‘no, this isn’t about you…….’ (I need to deal with pride, too.)
If I’ve submitted myself to God, cried out for mercy and forgiveness for my sins (which I have) – and yet don’t believe I’m forgiven, I’m calling God a liar. He’s clearly said in 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse of us all unrighteousness. (KJV) If I say I’m forgiven, but allow guilt to swallow up my mind, I’m not believing what I’m saying about myself – again, calling God a liar. Either I’m forgiven or I’m not. God forgives me. The people I’ve hurt forgive me; yet I don’t forgive myself. Why? Don’t I deserve forgiveness? Do other people deserve it more than I do? Are there people who deserve it less than I do? It really doesn’t matter. God said He’d forgive us, so if I believe Him, whether I think I deserve it or not, I’m forgiven. To not walk in that forgiveness makes the sacrifice that Jesus made so that I could be forgiven, all in vain. We’ve all seen The Passion of the Christ – Mel Gibson’s horribly fantastic movie. As grotesque as the movie is, it can only give us a glimpse of what Jesus went through – just so He could forgive our sin. Did my Savior go through all of that in vain?
In part 3 I will tell you a dream I had a few weeks ago – and its interpretation. It was like getting smacked upside the head with an overwhelming ‘aha’ moment. Until then, take a look into your own heart and see if you’re walking in forgiveness – or if you’re a saint walking around in sinner’s rags.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Restore Factory Default Settings - Part 1
I was praying for my children the other night and this phrase came to mind: restore factory default settings. On a computer or other electrical devise – when they’ve become corrupted, if a person knows how to do it, they can sometimes restore it to the factory default settings. The manufacturer could tell you how to do it. My cell phone has that option, too, for when you want to start all over from scratch – or to begin again like new.
Simply because my children have grown up in this world and lived life as we know it here on planet Earth – they’ve become corrupted by the world’s value systems or lack thereof. When I ask God to send angels to rewire their hearts and heal them to be true reflections of Him – I’m really asking Him to restore their factory default settings; to restore them back to the state in which He created them. I’m asking Him to perfect them.
We’ve all wanted the opportunity to start with a clean slate; a do-over. I’ve seen bumper stickers that reflect as much when they ask, ‘Don’t you wish life had a rewind button?’ We’ve all made mistakes we’d like to undo. We’ve all said or done things we wish we hadn’t; just as we’ve all been hurt, betrayed and lied to. Too many of the components of our belief systems are distorted by the wrongs in our lives.
Because Jesus did what was necessary to meet the requirements for the payment of sin – all sin, which only He could do, He in fact restores us to our factory default settings when we ask Him to.
Jesus justifies us. As in ‘just-as-if-I’d-never….’ All we have to do is ask.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)