The breath of life

“God of Your promise
You don’t speak in vain
No syllable empty or void

For once You have spoken
All nature and science
Follow the sound of Your voice And as You speak
A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath
Evolving in pursuit of what You said
If it all reveals Your nature so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You say
Every painted sky
A canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You so will I” song: So will I, 100 billion x

I remember hearing song posted above and it captivated me instantly. Songs don’t really do that to me anymore, whether secular or worship music but this one caught me off guard. “For once you have spoken, All nature and science follow the sound of your voice.” That lyric in particular, catches me. If everything, spare humans are as God intended, and they still follow the sound of His voice, what was His initial instruction to us?

God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them
        reflecting our nature
    So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,
        the birds in the air, the cattle,
    And, yes, Earth itself,
        and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”
    God created human beings;
        he created them godlike,
    Reflecting God’s nature.
        He created them male and female.
    God blessed them:
        “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
    Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
       for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.” Genesis 1:26-28

I chose the message version for some of the wording— the words, being “responsible for the earth”, rather than the word “subdue” which some misunderstand for being domineering or controlling, treating however we wish, which I don’t believe was God’s intention. In the NIV, God instructs Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. Multiply of course was make other little Adam’s and Eve’s but being fruitful is another, rather large subject. Jesus spoke a lot about fruitfulness. When God breathed life into Adam and also created Eve, they too, like the song, began to evolve in pursuit of what God said. And so we know how things fell apart quickly and so sin came into their perfect world God had created. They were cast out, to live in a sin shadowed land. Adam and Eve were the original light bearers. They could no longer bear that light because they invited darkness in. But let me ask you something. If Jesus restored the light by dying on a cross for us, taking up sin and death and even illnesses, isn’t our original relationship status with Papa restored?

Because of what Christ did, our relationship is restored to God. Our responsibility here is to be fruitful (expand the territory, bear the fruit of Christ) and multiply in number and also take care of or be responsible for the earth and all of it’s inhabitants. Christ lives within us, we ought to bear the fruit of Christ. We are responsible for the planet, one rather large goal of ours should be to reduce waste and our carbon footprints. We are responsible for animals, we should take care to not slaughter them to satisfy our appetites. (Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. Genesis 1:29)  This place, these animals, these people aren’t “things” that we can do as we please, this is our responsibility to steward it well. I feel like this is often a subject many won’t approach because it is a subject people become very passionate about or can be viewed in other ways or in other versions, the wording is different. Think about it, we were restored to our original plan for relationship with God. God walked in the cool of the evening with Adam, they spoke, God knew Adam and Adam knew God. You could say they did life together. When God looks at you, He sees what His Son did, not the darkness that broke out and cast it’s shadow over Eden.

What is fruitfulness then? Fruitfulness is lighting other peoples torches whose are still snuffed out. It is demonstrating your identity through love and action.

We all know the fruits of the spirit from Galatians 5:22-23,
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” This is merely an outline of fruitfulness. Bearing fruit is so much more. It isn’t just a plan that works out so that you can glorify God. It isn’t just sharing the gospel with someone. It isn’t just filling up a backpack for needy children at the start of the school year. It isn’t “getting people saved,” or moving in the gifts of the spirit. These are great things, I am not speaking against them, I am saying they are not just these things. It is a lifestyle of never ending heavenly expansion, knowing that everywhere you go, you bring the kingdom with you. That even in your darkest hours and on your worst days, you still live and breathe Christ crucified and what He came to restore to you. That even when life squeezes you, Jesus still comes out. The hopeless need to see hope. The loveless need to feel love, not judgement. The lost need their footpath lit for them because after all someone else did that for you at some point! The Holy Spirit with produce these fruits for you. You need only yield to Him. How else can we be enabled to live like that, still having hope in the midst of trials, other than by the power of God? Other people need to see it, this is the kind of fruit people need to see. This is the kind of stuff that make people wonder why you’re so different than everybody else. Allow the Holy Spirit to work this within you.

We have a job here, a directive. Jesus was the exact representation of the Father while on the earth, our job is the same. He handed over the keys to us when He left, then sent His Spirit to give us the ability. There is nothing that is truly fruitful that we can do apart from the Father. Our world has been turned into a mess because of man’s perceived notion of fruitfulness. Man has lined his pockets with the monies made from his “fruitfulness.” It is high time we get our heads screwed back on straight and pick up where Jesus left off. We don’t have another earth to run to once this one is destroyed. If you think animals voluntarily go off to the slaughter and not cry out when they are killed, you are sorely mistaken. If you think someone else will make up for your rudeness, you’re wrong. Let’s love and respect everyone and everything because each are a gift from God. When He originally created everything, He said it was good. It is still good, we just have to get back to treating it like it is good, treating everything and everyone with love and respect.

Your relationship with Papa has been fully restored, there was no part of it that He didn’t take account for or miss. Let us live accordingly. I do know, this life, this walk with Jesus is a life long process. It is a day to day, sometimes minute by minute thing, matching His steps, one at a time. If we don’t have revelation about who we are called to be, then how can we, “Evolve in pursuit of what You said?” If we are uncertain of what He said, He left behind an entire book. And if that isn’t enough, He sent His Spirit. The wrong things begin to repulse us after a while, whether it is thinking patterns or habits. We no longer fit in the old mold from which we came, it’s terribly uncomfortable going back. So, let’s not go back anymore, let’s continue to move forward and evolve. Christ by His spirit will enable us to do so. Oh thank you Father that I am not who I once was! Oh friends, doesn’t that feel good? You have been restored. You are redeemed. You are made whole. You are dearly, dearly loved!

Supernatural love

“But in knowing and loving God, I am released to a measure of supernatural love that is unattainable apart from God.” Bill Johnson

Our little family circle has a wealth or challenges. Challenges that someone who is superhuman could manage and endure. I am well aware of my short comings as a mere human, so every day I look to the Lord for my strength. There are days I think I have it handled and run out ahead of Him, I am quickly reminded that He is the only one who is equipped to put the fires out. Fortunately, those days are getting to be fewer and further between because I think my stubborn butt is getting around to realizing that trying to take a short cut winds up turning into a long road.

Put your hand on your chest. You feel that? That’s a gift. We wouldn’t have a heartbeat if it weren’t for Him. Why on earth would I ever think I could love others effectively without His supernatural ability working within me?

Agape love is what we are called to, it is a persistent, unconditional kind of love. It is the highest form of love. It is the love of God for man and of man for God. (source Wikipedia) I love that part of the description above, persistent and unconditional. Unconditional of course literally means; without condition. Conditions being those walls and limitations I have been referring to in prior posts.

I will share with one of my favorite stories about Jesus showing agape love to a man. When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” Matthew 8:1-4

A leper was an outcast, or was cast out of a community for being “unclean.” It was a slow and painful death, where the victim was littered with sores all over their body. If for any reason a leper left their camp and were to walk anywhere near where everyone else frequented, they had to yell “unclean” as they approached other people. I can’t imagine how lonely it was to be this kind of outcast but also humiliating. This man, whoever he was, was someones son; possibly someones husband or father and friend. But he was sent away because of a medical condition. He was likely missing the sensation of physical touch, affection even. Jesus touched him to make him well. But instead of Jesus becoming unclean (which was believed to happen in that day) Jesus made the man clean. So, Jesus in a simple act of loving this man, fulfilled many things he desperately needed. The need of physical touch; love, acknowledgement, acceptance, restoration and willingness. These are just a handful of the things that jump out at me. This is supernatural love!

I have not touched a leper and seen them made clean but I have the opportunity to love and serve my family every single day, outside of my ability. Because the demand on me, is far outside of my ability. I am not a doctor or nurse but I am called to be one every day. I am not a chef but I am called to be one. I don’t have the capacity to keep track of the hundreds of things I need to on a daily basis but I know the Holy Spirit will prompt me. In every day and in everything I do, I know where my strength and ability comes from. I am the mother of a child who physically relies on me for her movement. I am a small woman whose back is in terrible shape but the Lord upholds me every single day. Agape love begins at home. It is possible because I am willing. If I say I can’t do it some days, it is because I won’t, I have allowed myself to become unwilling.

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” Mother Teresa

Love those around you without condition or motive. Just love them where they are at. Love them even if they can’t repay you. Love them the way Christ loves us. You can’t lose. Even if they don’t love you back, you don’t lose. Because getting them to reciprocate love isn’t the objective. Love others as though you have never been hurt, love them openly and unafraid. Because perfect love casts out all fear and perfect love is only found at it’s source, Papa.

It was Good Friday today. Today we think on the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus having paid the highest price, hanging on a cross for all. He didn’t just die for those who believe, He died for all, no exceptions. The Roman soldiers who spit on Him and laughed at Him, He died for them too. The lepers; the addicts, the outcasts, the poor, the rich, everyone. Jesus knew His Father and knew the Father’s heart, Jesus knew where His strength and ability to love came from. Jesus was the exact representation of the Father. Apart from God, we do not have the ability to loves others in this way. We get in the way of loving in such a grand way.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with the other person or you don’t hold the same values or belief systems. Love them. It doesn’t matter if the person even likes you, love them. Love covers over a multitude of sins.

I hope this has blessed someone today and possibly challenged you too. We are called to be a light in this world, not rule book keepers. Just love people, they will see Christ in you.