Enduring and Understanding Contradictions, Part Two
“...Lest (we) become weary and faint in (our) minds.” And what is it that will prevent our fainting? “A better quality of life”? Meaning more money, and therefore more ease, less financial stress, etc.?
Apparently not. How many who were “well set” for “life”, monetarily speaking, how many who could provide for themselves and those they loved, pretty much anything their fleshes desired, still perished because they could not properly handle the other stresses and strains of life. They never learned how to abound with grace – and therefore could not sustain their lives in peace. Their tangible comforts did not cancel out, nor answer to, that nagging lack of peace within their souls.
So then. It must be finding the perfect relationship, or having a lot of important friends? Again. This must not be adequate. How many people seem like the social butterfly. They appear on talk shows, they are loved and lauded and applauded, seemingly beloved, even worshiped by so many. But then we hear that they have overdosed, or they have committed some stupid crime for which the life they had will become forfeit – or at least much diminished.
I have observed, and I have known for sometime, that there is absolutely nothing which this planet has to offer, in the natural realm, that will sustain the human spirit for the entire length of its journey! There is no amount of gold which can guild the pill of bitterness brought on by the betrayal of trust, hopes which have been cruelly shattered, or sickness of the mind or body, or death of loved ones, or the myriad sources of disappointment from human expectations!
So what then? What can bring a solid and consistent joy and refreshment to the longing heart, and an unshakable strength to an utterly weary soul?! What CAN sustain us through the darkest nights of the soul?!
The writer of Hebrews states, in this Scripture, that it is Yeshua! That as we focus on Him, paying especial deep attention to what He endured – the contradictions of HIS journey through this planet – how they called “ Messiah, Adonai, Hoshianna! Anointed One, Lord Save Us!”, one minute, and “Crucify Him!”, the next – that WE gain the strength to survive and thrive in our own painful contradictions! And as we become aware of how He patiently bore the madness and inconsistency of fallen human flesh, which He came to redeem, on our behalf, that we are healed and enable to endure! As we become personally interested, and invested in how He endured, and addressed the foolishness of religious error, and the flaws of the fallen flesh of those around Him – with Love and assurance – then we begin to understand, to grasp, His means of endurance, and to apply them to our own lives.
So...how did He endure, exactly? He endured by knowing His heavenly Father! By loving His Father above His own life! He found strength in constantly seeking Him out, basking in His presence! He reveled in the joy of pleasing Him, and thrived upon the excellence of His Loving help, and Spirit, whom He vouchsafed to us upon ascending, finally back to the Father as our mediator.
He did all of that, illustrating it, demonstrating it for us, so we can endure the same way! He left His Holy Spirit, the comforter, the teacher, here with us to provide that same access to His Father, Who, by HIS work, has become OUR Father now as well!
He taught us how to pray effectively. He taught us how to confront, and what to confront. He taught us how to stay within God's boundaries, and how to set boundaries around our lives so that we too can survive the journey through this world in victory. So that the people around us, yet unredeemed, can not weigh us down, or drain our vitality from us, so that the enemy working through them can find no access through our armor to defeat us! But that, instead, we, like Him, take that Life force, which is found only in God, to the dying, fainting world and defeat God's enemies on their “own” temporary, unrighteously obtained turf! God's will is that we take back His creation from the enemy on His behalf. We have become HIS ambassadors in the Anointed One! But we can only accomplish that if we do not faint and give up every five steps! The “Christian” force in our nation has become the weakest, most ridiculously ineffective group of dissenters on the planet!
It has become tedious obvious that we are missing something profoundly!!! Somehow we must connect with Him in such a significant way that it changes all of life! Somehow we must know Him in such an intimate way as to absorb His Anointing, and be changed into the image of His Father – to take on His Character, His glory, His beauty, and His Love for the sake of all His creation. To the extent that we can be conduits, catalysts of those qualities, and therefore purveyors of His redemption, and conquerors of the evil forces which would obstruct that process!
For redemption – which is the purpose of His intricately written Law - is the thing which brings the contradiction – In that the LAW merely exposes the NEED for transformation, from death-bent soul to the original life-bound spirit, and, with the help of the Spirit, facilitates that process in us! This process however, is like an alternate time-line or universe, which essentially flips the world, as we know it, upside down. Suddenly our eyes become enabled to see into an entire other realm. One which runs entirely opposite, utterly contradictory, of this realm with which we've become accustomed and familiar. Faith in The Anointed One becomes the catalyst to that other realm, much like the “seeing stone” in “The Spiderwick Chronicles”, and other such stories of “other-worldly” encounters.
However, until our minds begin to grasp the challenge which Yeshua brings to the fallen-ness of our human soul, the fallibleness of our “best intentions”, the weaknesses of our sin-flawed characters, our evil-tainted, hell-bent, mindsets, with which all people are born, we will be trapped in this subpar earthly, five-senses accessible planet. Until we begin to perceive that He wants to conquer sin in us, and make us Holy. Holy – we can never attain to the peace and joy which make life “worth it”!
Because, inwardly, we each innately experience the deep, deep, wistful longing to be Holy, acceptable, and beloved of our Creator! Without knowing what it is that we long for, we desire His company, comfort and presence! In our fallen state, of course, we can scarce grasp the importance of this transformation process. Indeed most of us are not even aware that such an option exists for us! We can scarce even grasp the concept of Holiness. It is so foreign, so lofty, so ethereal to us. It is so white, so clean. When we feel, and indeed we are, so filthy, so low, so warped, so changed from what He first designed. That is why the mission of “Preaching the Gospel of the Anointed ONE to a lost and dying world” is so supremely important! God has a deep longing too! It is for HIS people to be redeemed, wholly, and entirely, from the hand of the enemy, and brought, cleansed and transformed back into His loving presence! He longs to free us! He longs for fellowship with us as much as we long for Him, for Home!
No wonder He went to such lengths to redeem us and transform us! His creation was so vandalized and decimated. Without His power to change us, we will stay a pitifully diminished version of His best work for all eternity! But that need not be. Sin need not win. We have a champion, Jesus Christ the righteous, Yeshua Ha Masiach Et Tzidkenu, who has come down to deliver us! Who completed the work of deliverance on the cross, and by coming up from hell and the grave by the power of His anointing!
And because of His willing work, we have had our ransoms paid in full, and have been given all we need for both Life and Godliness! We must let that glad reality sink deeply into our spirit-being! The joy of it will sustain us through the darkness and contradictions of the transformation journey! That WE have a CHOICE besides “Life is a bitch and then you die”! When we become aware that we do NOT have to muddle through this mess alone! He has provided ALL we will ever need to LIVE as He made us to live, and to be Holy as HE is Holy! And His Spirit gives us access to that power and ability, that Anointing, through His Word, and by direct contact with our thirsty, hungry, newly enlivened spirits! When we see Him, when we receive Him, when we accept His kind offer of redemption, we are no longer doomed to whatever evil fate to which we had been assigned.
This ability to receive transformation, to be utterly redeemed and redesigned into our original purpose, function and status, is what is blithely known as “The Good News”! I'll say! It is indeed the best news ever! It means that we can finally, really LIVE! It means that we can know whose we are, and what we are about! It means that we can KNOW God, spend time with Him, please Him, Love Him – and enjoy His love for us without obstruction! At last! It means that whether or not we ever attain to this world's sadly limited idea of “success” we can know joy and peace at every phase of our journey! That we, like the birds of the air, as Yeshua pointed out, are tenderly cared for by our heavenly Father.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
I end this with a poem that came to me as I sat writing this in the early, early morning, hours before dawn, listening to the birds chirping merrily away.
A Tribute to the Birds
(A Lesson From Creation)
Learn a bit from the birds, who neither toil nor spin,
nor take up a religion to cover their sin.
They don't sow nor reap, as we humans do,
but trusting the one who created them true,
they lift grateful voices before the sun dawns,
singing still, as they work on a nest for their spawn.
Birds sing in the darkness, awaiting the sun,
but we weep all the night hoping morning will come!
The morn's always always come, and we know that it will,
yet we languish as if we are hopeless still;
though we should be singing our praise like the birds,
lifting joyful voices, full of grateful words!
The birds chirp so cheerfully in those predawn hours,
awakening the earth, unfolding the flowers,
then comes the sun though cloaked in a shroud
bringing much needed rain in mist-laden cloud,
still light ushers forth, bringing end to the night,
and shadows give way to the coming of light.
So rises our SON, in the night of the soul,
bringing His light, making us whole;
though shrouded at times, in the blessing of rain,
His light makes mere shadows of all our pain.
We know that He'll come, we should not despair,
how can we forget that He'll always be there?
Like the birds, our praise should begin before Light!
For He is the Lord of the day and the night!
We should remember, taking pains to recall,
that He is the One who is LORD over All!
So sing, spirit, sing! Lift up grateful voice!
We serve the same Loving God! We should also rejoice!
Singing through the darkest times of our lives is one of those positive contradictions which happen as our lives are transformed from darkness to light, and from grief to joy, and from fear to faith. It is just another part of the wonders of a life that is lived with God in His parallel spiritual universe. It is one of the beautiful mysteries which help us endure all the seemingly negative perceived contradictions, which sometimes are not contradictions at all, but simply an over-writing of one story, or of one universe, by the other, better story and universe!