mercy

mercy is
compassion
reconciliation

without mercy there is
hardness
distress
annoyance
affliction

God’s word is filled with nothing but reminders of how much we have been shown mercy
and how much more we should show mercy.

mercy brings us out of the darkness,
into the light.
it reminds us that we are
chosen,
royal,
holy,
transformed

How much of my life and my response is built on mercy
or on sacrifice (aka rule following)?

How much do I demand of my children
my husband
my friends
others?

Mercy doesn’t demand.
It loves.
It accepts.
It flows.

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
~ Jude 1:17-24

 

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raising chickens aka removing the veil

I read an article by Samaritan’s Purse about a program in a slum in Kenya that gives women chicks and teaches them how to raise them. It provides them an income and a livelihood and HOPE. These women work from sun up to sun down, which chickens mind you, with JOY and an expectation of what these chickens represent for their future. They live in a slum – yet wake up filled with such hope.

The woman in the article’s picture looks joyful. She is holding her chicken like a baby and you can tell by her eyes that she has been given a hope greater and deeper – more than just a knowledge, but a blazing desire to make more of her life and her son’s life. She has moved into the Holy of Holies.

I am all to often content to stand at the outside – to sit in my “slum” filled with knowledge and intellectualizing my life and situation and circumstances. Planning and talking, talking, talking.
Staring at the Holy of Holies, yet never stepping in.

I don’t want to move into the Holy of Holies because it comes with a price. The veil is gone between us and God, Jesus took that when he died for us. As Tozer says: “…with nothing on God’s side to prevent us from entering, why do we tarry without?”
I don’t move in because there is a veil over my heart that must be removed. I have to stop ignoring it, patching it etc and let Him wrench it out of my hearts.

“It is a close-woven veil of the self-life which we have never truly acknowledged, of which we have been secretly ashamed and which for these reasons we have never brought to the judgement of the cross.” ~ A.W. Tozer

There is little about raising chickens that is easy or glamorous. As there is little about removing – crucifying self – that is easy. But in order to experience true freedom, it has to happen. In order to move out of my slum and into the glory of Christ I must give in.
Resurrection only comes after crucifixion.

But listen, He is calling us out:
My dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the hiding places on the mountainside,
show me your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.
~ Song of Solomon 2:14

Amazing Grace!
You are lovely!
And you are loved!

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a sweet mysterious mingling

“Thou hast formed us for Thyself and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee” ~ Augustine

In my journey from bondage into freedom,
from struggling so greatly with fear and anxiety and moving into the glorious presence of Him
I am awakening to the reality of what really happened in the Garden and how it truly effects every movement in my life.

We were created for His glory and pleasure; to “enjoy the sweet and mysterious mingling of kindred personalities“. But that union was broken. Adam and Eve’s move to sin is the root, the beginning of all the strongholds in my life.

Why do we run and hide from the thing, the Person, we need and desire most?

In our guilt and fear, we’ve fled as far as possible from His presence.” We’ve moved from the “blissful center” to an “unceasing restlessness“. We were created to live in beauty
and to walk in ease with the God of the universe…and yet we choose the path of restlessness.

We live content to move only into the Holy Place. Into the Light and into the doings of our relationship with Him. But we don’t move into the Holy of Holies. The veil was torn.
Hear that. The veil was torn,
broken,
removed.
And invitation was given for us to be brought into His Presence.
Yet we stand at the outside. It’s safer there we think. We don’t know what we will find inside this Holy of Holies.

Ransomed men need no longer pause in fear to enter the Holy of Holies. God wills that we should push into His presence and live our whole life there.

He is calling us to live our life in the Holy of Holies. To live our life in His presence.
To move from a place of unending restlessness
to a place of freedom.

I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to Him are radiant and their faces shall never be ashamed.
The poor man cried and the Lord heart him and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him
and delivers them.
Psalm 34:4-7

(all quotes from A.W. Tozer unless otherwise noted)

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tiptoeing on the edge of freedom


we have “an enemy we tolerate at our peril”
us
life
self
and self is rooted into my heart; crowding out Him.
But removing even one of these roots,
these things that I dare not live without is frightening
and painful.

But freedom comes only from removing those things. It is not an easy thing to move outward into freedom. To ask the Lord to yank and destroy. It hurts.
Some of these roots are deep and will take more than a few tugs.
Some of these weeds that choke are beautiful on the outside. But they do choke Him out.

Like the Lord used Isaac to root out Abraham, He is rooting me out. Yet, it is not emptiness that comes from this rooting, but a fullness like nothing I tried to use to fill me would do.
This rooting is not always a destroying or taking away either, but rather redistribution of where they are.

“becoming poor in spirit is not for lack of having things, but rather where those things are.”

 

It is in committing these people, places, opportunities and things to Him that He pulls the roots. Dare I commit my children or my husband to Him…despite what pulling these roots might mean? Yes! For only when they are fully given over to Him are they safe.

“everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which isn’t so committed.”

 

“Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman,
that my being may be a tilled field,
the roots of grace spreading far and wide,
until thou alone art seen in me,
thy beauty golden like the summer harvest,
thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.”

 

I am tiptoeing on the edge. For in relinquishing everything
I find more.
And I find freedom. Freedom to walk out my door, make decisions, make choices, love, dream, create…

“Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it and there shall be no night there.

(all quotes from Tozer, minus the prayer in bold. It is from Valley of Vision)

 

 

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