October 12th, 2012 by Christine Colbert

The creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to decay and death into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.     Romans 8:21

Our online dictionary includes this definition for the word “Hebrew”:

ORIGIN: from Old French Ebreu, via Latin from late Greek Hebraios, from Aramaic ‛i b ray, based on Hebrew ‛i b rî — understood to mean ‘one from the other side (of the river).’

Abraham’s descendants’ escaping from Egypt and, with divine Providence, rushing across the “parted” Red Sea certainly do come to mind. Hebrew = one from the other side — or, as this is sometimes expressed, “one who crossed over.” The Red Sea is a long, narrow, land-locked sea; in some ways it is more like a river. Further, Joshua would much later lead the Israelis into the Land by crossing the Jordan River near Jericho.

When we visited Israel a couple of years back, we learned that “Bethlehem” means in Hebrew “house of bread.” He who has been referred to as “Panis Angelicus,” Bread of Angels, the ultimate “manna,” the one who illustrated His “body, broken for you” with bread — was born in the House of Bread!

Yeshua’s kind of “bread” differs from the ordinary kind, however. When we eat ordinary bread, it becomes us, so to speak. But when we appropriate Christ, we become increasingly like Him through the new birth.

Jesus spoke of the importance of being “born again” to Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee and had come to Him at night in the hope of not being seen by his own colleagues. When we think about the definition of “Hebrew” meaning essentially “one who crossed over,” the word itself seems to speak of this new birth — in addition to Israel’s exodus. Consider Abraham, Rahab, and Ruth. They left their very different former lives to become Israelis — to “cross over” to a new and unknown life; they somehow summoned the faith to move toward this new life in preference to what was familiar. They sensed something better; they crossed over.

In Isaiah we find the stirring words, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; can you not perceive it?” We find a paraphrase of the first part of this statement in Revelation: “Behold, I make all things new.”

Astrophysicists tell us that more than 200 finely-tuned characteristics of Earth reveal that the universal stage was set in advance for us — for billions of years. And that Earth is in a unique place and time parameter that enables us to observe these exquisite elements of design. A personal Creator had you and me in mind.

Scientists who have also studied Scripture recognize in it a setting forth in several texts — not only in those in Genesis 1 — of the astonishingly-unique process of setting the stage for our world for the very purpose of creating — not suns, but sons.

When He was physically present with us, Jesus often referred to Himself as “the Son of man.” He is described this way in the fiery-furnace story in the book of Daniel in the Old Testament as well. But after the resurrection His description, in the epistles for example, consistently becomes “the Son of God.”

“Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ  appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He really is. And all who have this hope will keep themselves pure, just as He is pure.”    (1 John 3:2,3)

The goal that Jesus put before Nicodemus is the same one He puts before you and me — to become citizens of the newer creation that “eye has not seen and ear has not heard.” The one in which weapons will have been transformed into garden tools that facilitate life. In which there will be no more killing or evil or death. No animal predation. No sickness or sorrow or night. The perfect creation — as God would design it.

“You must be born again,” Jesus told Nicodemus, the apparently wise, older man.

“Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness — without it no one will see the Lord.”    (Hebrews 12:14)

God’s love and mercy are freely extended to all. He waits as long as He can. His desire is that as many as possible will enter the Kingdom of all things new.

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September 24th, 2012 by Christine Colbert

The events of the week that began with Jesus’ humble-but-triumphant entry into Jerusalem and culminated with the crucifixion are unspeakably precious.

The overturning of the moneychangers’ tables in the Temple apparently followed His arrival in Jerusalem. Every one of His recorded acts during this pivotal week is spotlighted by the world-changing events that would subsequently unfold. This story of the cleansing of the Temple comes to our ears and hearts on its surface as revealing Jesus’ desire to re-establish God’s sacred intent for the Temple. To put the emphasis back on prayer and take it away from financial gain. “It is written: ‘My house shall be a house of prayer.’ — but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

This level of purpose comes across clearly. Perhaps nothing is more important in this world than prayer. But Yeshua was accomplishing more than this with His decisive and fearless disruption of the status quo.

He knew that He would fulfill the Passover later that week, once and for all, as the sacrificial Lamb for whom God had been preparing the way through the Temple’s sacrificial system. God had instructed Abraham to sacrifice animals. And the specific practice of sacrificing a spotless lamb at Passover had been divinely instructed as the Israelites prepared to depart from captivity in Egypt for the Promised Land. We remember John the Baptist’s clarion announcement: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” And Revelation’s describing Yeshua as “the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.”

His overturning the tables that had been used for the business of selling doves and pigeons to Jews wanting to make ritual sacrifices signaled the end of the centuries-old sacrificial system. Fully knowing the price He would very soon pay to deliver Himself up to redeem lost humanity and restore us to His Father and our Father, no one was more appropriately qualified to upset these tables — notwithstanding the indignation of the Temple elites who stood by. This was His way of signaling the new and better covenant; the new dispensation of grace that He, the spotless Lamb, would provide through His voluntary sacrifice of His own sinless blood. He showed us in a way that we cannot forever miss how profoundly God loves every one of us. “For God so loved the world . . .”

Matthew 9:13 is a wonderful, instructive verse. The Torah teachers or scribes had just asked Jesus’ disciples why their teacher ate with marginal people like tax collectors and sinners. Yeshua the great communicator replied, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (NLT; italics added)  This is a direct reference to Hosea 6:6, among other passages. Jesus revealed that God never liked the idea of killing animals to sacrifice their blood. But He instituted this practice to paint a picture of Yeshua’s ultimate atonement. Down the long centuries God had worked through a concrete example that He hoped would provide the clear insight to enable Israel, forever the beloved seed of Abraham, to recognize Yeshua.

In Dr. Brown’s The Real Kosher Jesus, he provides several rabbinic texts that speak of the atoning sacrifice of a tsadik (righteous one) as a means of saving the people. He points out that this concept is not a Christian construct; it had for centuries been part of Judaism. As one example, “. . . the Zohar states, ‘As long as Israel dwelt in the Holy Land, the rituals and the sacrifices they performed [in the Temple] removed all . . . diseases from the world; now the Messiah removes them from the children of the world.’ ”

In addition to providing several rabbinic sources for this fundamental Jewish teaching, Dr. Brown details discussions from rabbinic literature associating the deaths of righteous people with atonement. Miriam and the sons of Aaron are examples.

These insights help to clarify the initially-opaque John 18:14, among other verses, which indicates that Caiphas, because he was “high priest that year,” explained the need for one person to die for the people — as the dark events surrounding Jesus’ illegal trials unfolded. While Caiphas undoubtedly had his own misguided reasons for citing this Jewish teaching in support of the outcome of the bogus hearing that was perfunctorily extended to Jesus, Caiphas’ doing so clearly reflects that an understanding of the power of the death of a single person to benefit all the people was present in Temple instruction.

Dr. Brown’s life-long focus on sacred content that matters is deeply appreciated. Its power to enlighten our understanding is considerable.

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July 11th, 2011 by Bryan Anthony

“…. the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple….” -Mal. 3.1a

A friend and teacher of mine once gave a remarkable definition of man-made traditions with regard to spirituality:

Religion is man’s attempt at making God something he can manage.

This has long been the egotistical disposition of mankind: seeking to create God in an image we prefer, rather than receiving and loving Him as He is.

The prophets of Israel were commissioned by the Lord to shake His complacent and sleepy-hearted people away from their preconceived notions and traditions, and to usher them into a revelation of God’s true nature and purpose.

The false prophets of Judah in Jeremiah’s day, for instance, leaned hard on age-old traditions, and used them as a blanket of false security. They claimed that judgement could not befall Jerusalem, for the tradition declares that God Himself is in the land and that it is therefore protected and covered. The moral conduct of the priests and prophets, the lifestyles of the people in the land, and the nature of Judah’s political activities were not to be discussed. Israel was protected because of Abraham’s faithfulness, and no trouble could overtake them. Or so they assumed.

Tradition says that Yahweh lives in the midst of the people. This is interpreted as Israel’s great security against all danger. In contrast to this, the prophet discerns the freedom of Yahweh in His coming. Yahweh cannot be domesticated by knowledge oriented toward the past, nor can He be attached, like some predictable element, to a pious view of existence. Rather, He shatters the fixed conception that Israel developed in her tradition, and in this, His new and terrifying coming, He proves Himself to be Yahweh….

…. the name of Yahweh cannot in its true content be considered neutrally as tradition. It is the suggestive appellation of the One who, for all that is said about Him, remains a personal subject and decides Himself, in His freedom, what He will do when He comes. And as certainly as He once came to Israel, as tradition tells of Him in Israel’s worship and apart from this, He is never at the disposal of humans like earthly property.

(The Fiery Throne: The Prophets and OT Theology, Walther Zimmerli; Fortress Press, 2003; p. 4)

He never contradicts His own character, but He does obliterate our definitions and categories, especially when we are seeking to utilize Him for our own purposes. “He is never at the disposal of humans like earthly property.”

His radical mercy will shatter our self-righteous assumptions and ideas. His fierce wrath will burn up our moral lightness and our loose views toward sin. He cannot be confined to our tidy theological definitions and traditions. The prophets remind us that we cannot fit the Lord into our schedules, plans, and dreams. If we would have anything to do with Him, we’ve got to cast our lives- lock, stock and barrel- into His Kingdom. After all, by nature, only God Himself is free.

We experience the glorious freedom of love, righteousness, peace, and truth only as we sink our souls into Him.
 

Bryan Purtle is the founder of the Antioch Prayer Society in Kansas City, MO.

Posted in Featured Articles, The Kingdom of God Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

January 9th, 2010 by Bethany French

Burning Idols

Idolatry in the West is often subtle, taking the form of addictions, money, power, etc… but in some parts of the world, the ancient forms of idolatry spoken of by the Old Testament prophets are still being practiced, and as people come to the Lord, they literally cast their idols and ritual instruments away from them to be burned!

Daniel Kolenda described for us the atmosphere of curses and idolatry in Afikpo, Nigeria, where he and Reinhard Bonnke preached in October:

We were in a city called Afikpo in Nigeria.  It is a remote African village that has been steeped in idolatry, occultism and witchcraft for many generations.  The Animists were really the most powerful contingent in the region and also very violent.  They had many bizarre and superstitious beliefs that led them to bury and burn people alive for various reasons as well as extremely brutal puberty rites.  The witchdoctors kept the people in fear and manipulated and extorted from them through fear.  They also were known to kill missionaries, including one top Nigerian bishop who recently came to Afikpo and was killed by the animists who cut him into little cubes.

During five different meetings, Evangelists Reinhard Bonnke and Daniel Kolenda preached the blood of Jesus, repentance, redemption, and actively confronted and broke the curses and idols of the region. Here is part of Kolenda’s account of what happened and its significance:

Every night I called for the people to bring any items associated with idolatry, witchcraft, or occultism to be burned. It’s hard to explain the significance of this. The people are morbidly afraid of the witch-doctors. They believe that if they disrespect these “sacred” items, they will come under a curse or even drop dead. To bring them to be burned publicly is an incredible statement of defiance towards their traditional beliefs and faith towards God. That is what it really is more than anything… a statement; to the people, to the witch-doctors, to the principalities, to God and to themselves, that they are through with these occultic beliefs and practices. It is powerful. This same thing was done in Acts 19 by Paul.

Every night the people brought piles of these items to be burned. The flames would leap 15 feet and higher into the air as these things went up in smoke and then the people would dance until the dust from the field filled the air like a thick fog. The people were rejoicing with great joy that freedom had come to their city.

Following are a picture and video of this momentous event taken by Daniel Kolenda:




[Link to Video]

The unparalleled freedom that comes through casting aside and even destroying the idols that stand between us and an uninhibited heart-connection to Messiah comes with a joy and lightness that is difficult to imagine until we follow through on our commitment to having no other gods before Him. Is there anything that we have been holding onto that steals our hearts away from devotion to the Lord? Is living wholly for God and receiving true satisfaction and freedom something which is worth exchanging for the bondage and addictions of the idols in our lives? May we take courage from our African brothers and sisters in the Lord, and burn the idols in our lives.

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January 9th, 2010 by Michael L. Brown

Liberty From Sin, Not Liberty To Sin

Jesus came to set us free! This is one of the fundamental truths of the gospel, repeated over and again in the New Testament. As expressed by Paul, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal 5:1a). In the words of Jesus himself, “. . . if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

But what kind of freedom do we have in the Lord? The New Testament speaks of different aspects to our liberty, including these:

  • We have been released from serving God through an external legal system “so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code” (Rom 7:6)
  • We have been delivered from slavery to Satan and the fear of death (Heb 2:15)
  • We have been set free from condemnation and guilt (Rom 8:1-4); in fact, the primary NT word for forgiveness (aphesis) means “release from debt,” in this case the debt of our sin against God.

In Jesus, we are no longer prisoners, and when the Lord announced his mission in what is often called his “platform speech” in Nazareth, he declared, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).

There is another aspect to our freedom in the Lord, however, one that is stressed more than any other in the NT: In Jesus we have been set free from sin. Look at this well-known passage from John:

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:31-36).

The ultimate bondage is bondage to sin. That’s why the root of our freedom is freedom from sin. Jesus is our liberator!

When Paul wrote to the Galatians, he was very concerned because they had fallen into a Judaistic-based legalism, one that taught these Gentile believers that unless they observed the Law of Moses and were circumcised, they could not be saved. Paul confronted this error head on, emphasizing the freedom they had in Jesus. But it was a freedom that could be abused, and Paul confronted this dangerous error as well: “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love” (Gal 5:13; see also 5:19-5:21, where Paul lists some of the works of the flesh, closing with this warning: “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”)

In similar fashion (but in a very different context), Peter wrote, “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God” (1 Pet 2:16; this follows on the heels of 2:11, “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul”; and this builds on the foundational call to be holy because the Lord is holy in 1:13-16).

Look at how Paul opens this up to the Romans:

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life (Rom 6:18-22).

All this is quite clear and, for the most part, quite obvious. Really, how could Paul or others in the New Testament made it any more clear? And yet in recent years, a very strange message has been gaining momentum, one that claims that Jesus has set us free to sin rather than from sin. To be sure, believers who embrace this concept don’t flatly say that the Lord has set them free to sin – but they say everything other than that. For example, a friend tells you excitedly about a movie he just saw, one which is laced with profanity, nudity, and sexual scenes. You say to your friend in surprise, “But I hear that’s a really filthy movie. Why in the world did you see it?” He replies, “I’m free in the Lord, man. You’re not going to put me under some old legal system. I’m been liberated from that kind of bondage.” What a bizarre concept!

When you are liberated from prison, you don’t go back to live in your prison cell. When the shackles are taken off of your wrists, you don’t put them back on. Why would you? What kind of liberty is that? And who would ever think of saying, “Hey man, I’m free! If I want to put the shackles back on, that’s my right.” Only a demented person says to the doctors who pumped her stomach after a massive drug overdose, sparing her life, “Thanks so much! You pumped my stomach and saved my life so I can overdose again.”

Sin is our mortal enemy, and there is nothing good in sin, only evil and death and deception and bondage. And sin is so ugly that it cost Jesus his very blood. Why in the world would we want to indulge in the very thing from which Jesus delivered us? It not only makes no sense, it also undermines a foundational truth of the gospel, namely that Jesus sets us free from both the penalty of sin and the power of sin. We really have been liberated!

How odd it is that many believers today boast of their freedom in Jesus as if it provided a license to sin – the very thing Paul warned the Galatians about. I would recommend that the next time someone abuses the concept of liberty in Jesus and liberty in the Spirit (“Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom” 2 Cor 3:17b), throwing around the “I’m free” mantra, just ask them: Then why are you making yourself a slave again? If he cleansed you, why are making yourself dirty again? Jesus died to give you a brand new nature, not a license to indulge the old nature that brings only destruction and death.

It’s really pretty simple, isn’t it?

Posted in The Kingdom of God Tagged with: , , , ,

June 25th, 2009 by Marc Thomas

Science is a somewhat ambiguous word. Often, it is taken to mean the interpretation of empirical evidence indicating a phenomenon, physical effect or biological function. Modern society, to a certain extent, is based heavily on the idea that we should shape our function and everyday living by scientific finding and fact. However, this was not always the way of things…

As an introduction, I would like to say, that it is the way of Man to struggle to believe what can be proved by hard fact. Man is, for the most part, a disbelieving being. While we are children, we are told fairy tales and have facts hidden from us that may be detrimental to our long-term character if discovered too soon (imagine the horror of a two year old finding out the real ‘facts of life’). It is in our youth that we begin to ask questions about what we have heard and we shed the old ‘childlike belief’ for a more rational explanation of things.

Unfortunately, we do not naturally retain a good amount of ‘childlike’ faith and this must be regained through self-examination and grace, but that is not the issue here.

It is also the nature of Man to be in disagreement with one another. Socio-psychological perspectives change our ideas greatly and one man argues from his rational thought process only to be ‘beaten down’ by the ‘trump card’ of scientific observation. In our modern culture, it is almost always the case when discussing the existence of God that the conversation turns to some question on the origin of man. Here, expectations, which are often unrealistic, are placed upon the man who uses a purely reasoned argument instead of a purely empirical one. Regrettably, this can lead to the ‘unscientific’ side appearing weak on fact or, as some insensitively put it, disillusioned.

We sympathise with those who feel ‘blinded by science’ and want to take a chance to re-evaluate the idea that arguments based on scientific evidence can be used as a trump-card against philosophical or ‘reasoned’ arguments, or as Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist once put it, The great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”

The Meaning of Meaning

Ironically, the meaning of meaning is complex. Even in the root origin of the word, semantics or the study of meaning means ‘significance’[i]. For example, when Pilate asks Jesus “What is truth?” [ii], he is asking a semantic question i.e. what should I understand to be the meaning behind the word truth?

Language is nothing but a common schema of words, symbols or actions attached to associated meaning. To demonstrate, if I were to look at an apple on the table and say it looked ‘scrumptious,’ the meaning would be obvious to somebody sitting on the other side of the table that knows the same language as I do. However, one of the great problems that we face in a ‘global village’ world is the language barrier. A recent study showed that there are only 328M English-speaking people in the world, but it also appeared at the same time as the one millionth word mark was surpassed by the English language[iii]. Clearly, the English language is a ‘common schema’ that is not so common.

This creates a problem for us as people who need to communicate and classify things. We have different definitions of words because our language is complex and our understanding of the definition of a word changes both our interpretation of the word and how we apply the classification of the word to our own lives. Continuing in the same stream, let us ask the following question of ourselves, “What do we understand by the word science?”

We will look at this question in three parts:

  1. We will explore the literal meanings of science
  2. We will explore the wider usage of the word science
  3. We shall look at two ‘branches’ of science and particularly at one, which has less value accounted to it in our culture.


Literally Speaking

As we have already discovered, and deduced from conversations and debates, Science is generally taken to be the empirical basis on which natural processes stand – that is to say, evidence defines Science. Rightly so. Excepting Proto-Indo-European origins, all western usages of ‘Science’ can be traced back to variations on ‘Knowledge.’[iv] Later we will deal with two distinct ‘branches’ of the term, but for now, we will take Science to be the knowledge of some natural process.

Biology, physics and chemistry are the three foundational disciplines of Science. In these areas of study and experimentation, we divine the natural processes and systems behind everyday life through empirical testing and then make an interpretation of them based solely on the findings of our experimentation.

Of course, interpretation and evidence are unhappy bedfellows. They do not go well together at all, one is highly subjective and the other highly objective. It is possible that our perception of the evidence before us is entirely misguided by our individual bias, or as Aristotle puts it, it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs.”[v]

However, it is also admissible to say that we may eliminate our bias and regard all data in an experiment only for what it is. Although it is not generally an accepted view, it is none the less possible, but remains entirely in the hands of those qualified to obtain accurate evidence through experimentation.

In the light of Aristotle’s writings, we are presented with an interesting issue in the definition of science. The science, of which we have thus far spoken, the knowledge of natural process, is not the only usage of the word. Let us turn to an overview of some other usages.


Contextual Usage

Findings in a recent study[vi] conducted at Reading University (UK) places the oldest words in the English language to be: I, We, One, Three and Five. The earliest English speakers often had trouble asking for two cups of sugar from their neighbours (i.e. “Do you have two cups of sugar.”) In addition to the difficulties experienced by Anglo-Saxons when baking cakes, the study also demonstrates that words change their meaning over time.

As previously stated, Science is quite a narrow concept in our culture, but the concept has a far wider historical usage than is often accredited it. Let’s look at some examples.

‘Conscience’ is a compound word used to describe the idea of knowledge of right and wrong of some kind. ‘Ideology’ has the ‘science of ideas’ listed as one of its usages. Ironically, ‘sciolist’ is the name given to someone with a superficial knowledge of academic matters but has the same Latin root as Science. For Kant, Aesthetics is the science, which treats the condition of sensuous perception i.e. the knowledge of senses.

Surely, unable to deny our own narrow concept of Science, we should attempt to come up with a more diverse classification of the term.

Next time, we will take a look at a better classification of the word Science.


[i] The word ‘semantics’ is taken from the Greek word ‘semantikos’ meaning ‘significance’ and ultimately, from the Greek word for ‘sign.’

[ii] John 18:38 – Pilate’s intention in this verse is debatable.

[iii] http://www.nypost.com/seven/05162009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/the_english_conquest_169585.htm?page=0

[iv] http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Science

[v] Bekker Number: I.1094b24

[vi] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7911645.stm

Posted in Philosophy & Science Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

January 11th, 2009 by Christy Scott

She stood in front of me with tears streaming down her face and asked the question that still resonates through every fiber of my heart: “How can you be so sure God is real and that He cares about me?”  How do we know?  There are so many voices in the world today…so many people who claim to have the truth.  There are numerous religions–you can find a church, or community, or sect that upholds everything from believing in nothing to worshiping everything that breathes.  How do we know what’s true?  How can we sort through the counterfeits to find the substance that’s real; how do we know that the world isn’t right when it tells us we can believe in anything we want as long as it’s truth for ourselves?

As I’ve asked myself that question, I’ve seen the answer play out over and over again here in the work taking place in Costa Rica.  In working with an inner healing ministry called Peniel (from Genesis 32:30: “I saw God face to face, and my soul was delivered”), I’m learning more and more about the truth.  Jesus said, “I am THE Way; I am THE Truth; I am THE Life” (John 14:6).  He also said, “You will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free” (John 8:32).  Was this arrogance or confusion on His part?  Many in the world around us would say, “Yes.”  Still, what is true?

The truth is that every one of us is born already believing things about the world around us.  Those beliefs can be correct, or they can be erroneous.  In the same way that a computer is programmed, and the information programmed into the computer will result in a polished product or one that breaks down with the computer’s use, our brains receive input from the moment we are first conscious of the world around us.  For example, if in our mother’s womb, we hear, “You aren’t wanted.  Why were you born?  This pregnancy is too hard,” we are born with the knowledge that our life is a burden.  But is this true?  God says that He created us (Psalm 139) and knows everything about us…He knows when we sit, and when we stand, and He has a purpose for our lives. He loves us.  He wants us.  He is glad that we are alive.  Still, if we have received erroneous information from the world around us, we will react based upon those lies.  Only the One who created us and meant us to come to life believing in the truth can restore those places deep inside of us that get lost along the way.  In other words, we were meant to know Him–for Him to be our Truth (the standard by which we guide our lives), and in knowing Him, our hearts are made free of the burdens, and lies, and misguided reactions that so often trouble our daily lives.

Returning to the original example, as I prayed with my friend and the Lord showed her how He saw her birth and the world around her, for the first time, her heart came to life with the knowledge that God IS real.  He created her heart, and He is able to heal it.  For the first time, the fear went away, and she was able to sleep through the night in peace.  She didn’t have to do anything to earn this, or try to work to put her heart back together.  The One who created her knew in that moment how to heal each part.

So many things take place in this life…so many bumps and bruises happen along the way that attempt to teach us things about ourselves.  There is one Voice that calls above all other voices, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and weighed down, and I will give you rest.”  Will we let Him?  Can we humble ourselves, and rest for a season from trying to save ourselves through good works or other religions; can we let Jesus be enough; will we dare to come face to face with Him and let His truth heal our souls?  He is waiting, and if we ask Him, “Lord, do you care about me?  Can you heal me?”  The answer will always be, “Yes.  I love you. I’m waiting for you.  Come.”

Posted in Life & Family Tagged with: , , , ,