Weddings and Funerals

“The fear of man brings a snare: but whosoever puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” (Prov 25:29)

Confessing we have the mind of Christ is not enough to change our thoughts. We must examine what we are believing and drag them, kicking and screaming to the cross. (2 Cor 10:5)

The alters of our sacrifices before the Lord are stained with the blood of the carnal mind’s lies. Have no pity on what dies there. Do not mourn it. Spit on its grave.

I had the honor of being asked to co-officiate a wedding for a very dear friend of mine. The Lord had been dealing with me all week on a topic I was not too keen to discuss with Him. And being who I am, I decided to parley my negotiating with the Lord in the form of superficial compliance. After all, I knew better than to just say “no.” I’d have to be more crafty than that to escape His love. And so like Jonah, I purchased a ticket…and took passage on a vessel named ”Insincerity.”

“Sure Lord. OK. I’ll look at this pain I have been carrying around. You bet. Talk with you soon.. Can’t wait! Later for now.”

And so, in seven days time, in the midst of this beautiful wedding, standing at the podium, I read one of my favorite verses to the couple standing before me with a room of witnesses filled to capacity. I felt that all too familiar dull ache from an old scarred over wound begin to get acute. The last thing I am is a stoic person… I knew I was in trouble.

I read.

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish things behind me…”

I stopped. Tears began to well up. I looked deep into the eyes of the groom and his imminent to-be wife.  Pain roiled within me. Frantically, I scanned the audience, who were hanging on my pregnant pause. I searched the crowd for something to anchor me. I couldn’t find my wife for some reason, but I did find one of my closest warrior-in-arms, a true man of God. Our eyes locked, for the briefest of moments that seemed an eternity. He saw me… really saw me, and in his eyes I heard his spirit say, “It’s ok David. Whatever it is, let it go.”

I silently wept there as I tried to choke out the last words to speak before turning it over to the other officiate.  Clinging to the remnants of whatever self restraint I could muster, I excused myself as fast as I could for the nearest bathroom where I unloaded a lifetime of sorrow in that spotless little stall (yes I must admit even in my agony I took note of how clean it looked). Before that porcelain alter I murdered some profound deceptions I carried around inside me up to that point in time about myself. On that day, I decided to put away the carnal mind on an area of His love for me. I said goodbye to “childish things.” That wedding was a funeral for me. A funeral without mourning and without regret. I never looked back. Ever.

Why do I share this?

I left the reception that day with a greater sense of rest and peace than when I birthed. A quietness and trust filled me with such peaceful strength that I was incredulous I resisted His leading to remove that painful lie.  Was it fun going through that experience? Well… no it was not. Can I fathom the greatness of His love that would not stop until I agreed with His Word regarding me? I can a little bit more now. And that is how He does it… little by little.

This latest study is on just one lie the carnal mind declares as truth: that worth is earned and can be gained and lost.

I dream of a ship often. A huge cruise liner that carries the bride of Christ.  A spotless ship, ferrying a spotless crew on a crystal ocean. Some of the flags on the mastheads have words on them such as “Freedom”, “Liberty”, “Rest” and “Love” to name a few.

And it is a far nicer vessel than the one I had boarded.


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