Who Are We To Contend…?

Brothers and Sisters,

I wanted to take a moment and encourage you all with this thought from our Savior.

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. ”  -Jesus

In Revelation 3:20 Jesus is talking to His CHURCH… not unbelievers… not the “lost.” He is talking to His Redeemed.

Being redeemed is not the END of our journey… it is the beginning.

Accepting Christ creates a door that WE must open. He knocks on it every second of the day. There are no “works” of self righteousness here… Self Righteousness hides the door handle from us. The handle to this door is found in submission and acceptance of who He is, and who you are as His child and beloved Church.

The door handle is found in Jeremiah for starters. It is part of what I have heard referred to as “The Great Rescue.”  **

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”  Jer 31:3

Opening the door of our heart to Him is simply accepting His love for us… and returning it.

We love Him in response to the level we are aware of His love for us. Find out how much He loves you. 

Where heart felt understanding of this ends, self-righteousness begins (this includes groveling, confessions of unworthiness, self hatred, self pity: all of which are forms of ungodly/false humility).

Find just one other child of God who desires to sit and worship Him.. not in false humility. Not in groveling about the sins of our past. Praise and worship Him for the fact that we have an amazing Dad who wants to sit at a table and just… talk with us!!

How many of you would enjoy spending time with a friend or spouse that would only talk about how they are unworthy of spending time with you?? What if they would rather clean your dishes and mop your floor and wipe the bathroom tiles instead of enjoying a cup of coffee and some hot food together…?

Have the courage to reject the false humility of self-righteousness… and spend time with Him. Agree with what He says about His child.

Who are we to contend with what His word says about us?? Do we really think this pleases and blesses His heart?

He LOVES His church… He loves YOU. Are you really going to contend with this Truth?  Are we so arrogant? Are we that prideful and unbroken before Him? I have been there… it is overrated…

What do we really want more of…a revelation of His love, or the comfort of our secure, painful belief systems? 

See! There He is… even now…

He is knocking.

Humbly,

David

** (I would highly recommend getting the book “The Jesus Story Book Bible- for your children AND you- I read it weekly)

A Simple Plan

Selling my current motorcycle in order to get a larger, more chromed upgrade was simple enough. I asked for the Lord to bless the work of my hands, committed it all to Him, and proceeded to watch as the whole series of events unfolded in such a way that He yet again used something to teach me more about His nature. There was just one snag on my end.

I almost died.

Truly. I had ridden motorcycles for many years, so the thought of driving this cruiser to the buyer down on Long Island in rush hour traffic on a Friday didn’t phase me. This is why I found it very odd that the moment I swung my leg over and pulled out to embark on my 2 hour journey last Friday,  a sense of dread came over me.

I began to talk with the Lord immediately about it, asking Him to show me what He was trying to speak to me about, but just could not get a sense of what was going on. By the time I pulled out onto the parkway, following my dad’s car (he would have to drive me back) I had begun praying some serious protection over myself, my dad and our trip. After all, I knew I had a purpose in life. 

But the dread only built, and with each passing mile, I knew in my spirit I was hurtling toward some unseen event that was of great significance.

Sadly, my first thoughts were of myself.

“Lord, if you don’t want me to sell this bike, I’ll let it all go. I don’t need a nicer one. Its Ok.”

I was answered by a rather sudden backfire that, being at highway speed, lurched the bike pretty violently.  No release. No relief. Nothing but anxiety.

This went on and on. By the time we had traveled 70 miles I was a mess. I had to keep fighting off visions and vain thoughts of me being thrown over the handlebars. I kept speaking “life” over me, refusing to accept those thoughts. “I have a destiny in you, Lord. I don’t accept those thoughts.”

“I have a wife. I have 3 children. My time is not yet come.  I have a purpose in life. I know this Lord.”

Finally… finally… I heard Him speak.

“David, do you think I care enough about you to want you to sell this bike so that you can buy the one you want?”

I am staving off feeling like the devil wants to kill me, and He is asking me about this bike?? Speeding down the highway, the sun setting low, surrounded in glare and traffic, I had the brilliant idea that I cannot believe I never thought of before.

I decided to do what He often does with me. I answered His question with a question.

“Lord, do you love me enough to care one way or another?” I asked, tears actually beginning to well up rather unexpectedly.  Just great. Another crying session with the Lord while I am floating on a couch of death doing 65 mph.

I also should have known better. He simply repeated His question back to me… Yeah, well, back at cha’ Lord… again.

This went on and on, and to be honest, it was comforting, as it stayed the extreme anxiety I was managing. Then suddenly, another backfire. I switched the fuel to reserve thinking it must be a fuel issue and the result of some work I did on the valve.

A half hour later, another backfire…and another. I signaled to my dad and pulled over. We were 10 minutes to the buyer’s house and I had determined that it was not a simple valve issue. No way I could sell the bike.

“Lord, I give this all to you. I trust you. I don’t understand what is really going on here at all, but yes, I do believe you love me enough to be involved in everything I am doing. I do believe you are interested in all of me.”

I turned to my earthly dad who had pulled over and stood beside me.

“Let’s go home, Dad. No deal. Lets just get off the next exit. I need a moment to think.”

I Started the bike back up and began to pull out looking west into the sun. I heard the truck only as it was passing. It was swerving to get around me. I had pulled out in front of it. Never saw it at all… and then, with some colorful gestures aimed at me,  it and his driver, were gone.

Was that it? That was what all this angst was about?? What a joke I was thinking to myself. I must be getting soft.

I was back up to speed, the bike backfiring constantly now, and heading toward the exit less than a mile away. Very heavy traffic was on either side of me when a thought not my own suddenly popped into my head.

“David, you are going to die now.”

The bike lurched one last time… and died. No power. I tried to re-start. No juice. It was a dead stick… on the freeway.. in the dusk.. without lights, and no throttle.

There was also no chance. Any second I would be slammed by a semi or some other vehicle. There was nowhere for anyone else to maneuver. My speed sloughed off in a matter of seconds to under 30 and I could feel the wall of air as the trucks swept past me on either side. In times past, and I know in times yet to come, my words would be one of proclamation of protection and authority as a child of God. “No evil shall befall me..” sort of stuff. Not then. I understood.. finally. I saw it all. I finally saw… Him. And all that He had worked out… in His love for me, to bring me to this place. A quiet calm overtook me. I was at peace in Him. My wife and the faces of my children flashed through my mind and I was OK with it all.

“Lord, I know you love me. It’s your love that sustains your children. It all about you. I commit myself to you. Please take care of me now.”

I turned toward the shoulder, and as I did a semi swept passed me so close I felt the bike shudder under me. I would be tempted to try to recall all the horns and flashes and bright lights of the vehicles all around me.. but I heard nothing, and the only thing I truly do remember seeing was a row of cars stacked up one behind each other as they all broke around me.

I had barely gotten to the shoulder when the bike stopped rolling.

I sat there a while taking in all that had happened. My dad was very patient with me, as he waited for me in silence. Finally I feebly suggested we look under the seat at the wiring… and there we saw the loose battery terminal.

The bike fired back up to life and my dad and I took some time to praise the Creator of all good things for a few minutes.  I later found out that several family members had been prompted to pray protection over my life that evening, including my wife. My mom, at dinner with another believer at the time that night, later described to me the exact scene in detail, the Holy Spirit having showed her a vision of me riding moments before the incident, and began praying fervently for me. God is faithful.

While I was surrendering to Him, He was prompting others to take up arms for me. He knew I wouldn’t. That night was about gentle love and surrender for me.

And here, perhaps oddly enough, is my point. He sustained me not because of any commission I had yet to fulfill. He protected me not because of anything I had yet to accomplish in life. Or because of how much I love Him.. or how faithful I may or may not be..

It was His love that sustained me….

One of my favorite things to look upon are the old relics of toppled statues and idols of cultures past. And so I got to enjoy seeing another one shatter in my own heart that night. That being the idol of self-importance.

Link-Study: Carnal Mind Exposed Part 2- The Idolatry of our Calling

In its place He erected a new image. A much greater one.

One of His love.