20 Weeks Past the Cross (Everything is a Lesson)
BY: TCLeach at http://throughanewlens.blogspot.com
This morning found me on top of the world! I got a huge (and very emotional) project done for the magazine I write for, all of my daily chores completed, and had a deep and meaningful Scripture study. I was delighted in the day my Creator had made! The next thing on my list was to check the mail, and as I hopped up into my van using the steering wheel to assist me, I heard (and felt) a loud pop, originating between my shoulder blade and neck. Suddenly, I found myself unable to turn my neck even enough to check for traffic before I backed out. Now, I am typing with an ice pack nestled between my neck and my pillow, with a dose of aspirin working its way into my system. Ugh! Isn’t that the way it always is? As we go about our merry way, one thing can knock us down. One nano-second can cause something we will have to spend much time dealing with. The whole incident caused me to chuckle, albeit softly, so my head wasn’t engaged, LOL! Does my chuckle surprise you, friend? It did me, and so I began to investigate the feelings behind the unexpected moment of humor.
A year ago, something like this would have found me blaming “satan” and his minions for my moment of physical calamity. Back then, I believed that I was constantly at risk of being devoured by the enemy of my God, Yehovah. How naive I was to think that there was an entity able to wrestle me from my Father’s grip! How frightening it was to think that invisible personifications of evil were constantly nibbling at my heels, and whispering into my ear! Some days back then, I spent more time and energy in “spiritual warfare” against this man-made enemy than I did studing the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings! Christianity was clever to have its followers walking in fear of this “devil”. Controlling others using fear as a motivator is how terrorism works! I’m so glad that twenty weeks ago today, I walked away from the religion based on fear.
Most Christians and Messianics (who are Christians that believe Torah is still relevant) would argue that their doctrines are not based on fear. When I walked on the same path, I would have argued it, too. Retrospect, though, has a way of clarifying things. How does the old adage go? Hindsight is 20/20, that’s it! My walk in Christianity, and subsequently my walk in the Messianic movement, was based on fear. My fear was that I could never stand in front of my perfect Creator on my own merit, flaws and all. According to Christianity, Jesus was the only one who could stand in my place. It didn’t make sense to me then to think that, but Christianity, I was told, had to be accepted on faith, not fact (or common sense). The fear of spending an eternity without my Heavenly Father was also very real, and supported by the Christian writings they call the “New Testament”. The whole gospel can be summed up in one sentence. Accept and worship Jesus Christ or suffer through eternity in a pit of fire. Fear. The Hebrew Bible, commonly called the “Old Testament” says something different, doesn’t it?
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12-13 KJV)
I love the verse that follows it! It answers the “why” question, instead of giving an “or else!”
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Vs 14)
My fear of God, when I know I am walking within His statutes, is like the fear a child holds for their loving Father. It’s not a fear of being beaten to death (or tortured by minions for eternity) but a fear of the consequences of stepping out of the guidelines in place for my own safety, health and well-being. It’s a fear based in love and not based in…fear!
As I switch my ice-pack for a heating pad, I can know that my neck hurts because I somehow twisted it wrong while climbing into the van. There was no dark force conspiring against me! I wasn’t under a satanic attack! I moved wrong, it’s that simple. I know that there are days when an adversary will come against me, but I do not fear them or “him”. On this side of the cross I can be sure that any adversary has been sent by my Creator, or at the very least, allowed by my Creator to impact my life. It is not a scheme to keep me out of my Father’s Kingdom, or to damn my immortal soul! My adversary brings me opportunites for refinement, maturation, and advancement on this Narrow Path. The truth is, I am the only thing that can keep me away from what The Father has for my life. My own pride is what can keep His face from me. My own disobedience is what allows me to fall from His grace and mercy. There is no adversary powerful enough to “devour” me against God’s will. If my face is on Yehovah, and my feet are firmly planted in His Way, I can be assured that every bit of everything that happens to me has a spark of good in it, and can be used for my benefit!
Off I go to see which grandkid is willing to rub this knot out of my shoulder, LOL! I’m thankful for the lesson my little incident this morning brought up in my spirit, and for the opportunity to share it with you. I’ll “see” you next week, and will remember you in my prayers until then. Shalom🌺