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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Deep Revelation

"For my eyes have seen Your salvation...A Light of revelation...And the glory of Your people." (Luke 2:30 & 32)

Revelation of the Word

I was hungry...hungry for truth, hungry for Truth.

I wanted to feel the realness of the Word of God.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1

I was at a point of hurting, of loss. I had been sick...very sick...with morning sickness. I had been bedridden for two solid weeks, with three young children. I laid in bed all day long and all night long dreaming of the new baby I would hold come fall. The fourth, the perfect little baby growing inside of my womb...this mother was bonding with that unborn child.

I lost the baby at 11 weeks. I was more sick...I was in more pain. My body, my spirit and my hopes were crushed.

I felt dead. I wanted to feel life. I reasoned that my life was so good. I had three young, healthy, beautiful children. I wasn't planning on number four when I found out I was pregnant, so why was this loss so...hard?

Because my dreams died with that child. I loved that baby already. I wanted to hold that baby already. I had the baby nestled in my arms already. I've always dreamed of lots of children and my dreams were dying. I needed God to come, to speak, to hold me where it hurt.

God came...The Word...He spoke...

"Our friends, we want you to know the truth about those who have died, so that you will not be sad, as are those who have no hope." 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Good News Translation

I would grieve as one with hope...Hope...and my grief would look different. My grief would lead to ultimate healing.

The Loss

In the stillness
You are there
Loving Your child
Showing You care

In the darkness
You are the Light
Holding me close
Piercing the night

In the crying
You are there
Saying my name
Wiping each tear

In the sadness
You guide me each day
Holding my hand
Leading the way

In the confusion
You shine clear
Lifting me up
Calming my fear

In the questions
You exchange joy for pain
Releasing Your grace
Cleansing my stain

In the weakness
You are strong
Surrounding my pain
Singing my song

In the silence
You bring trust
Strength to move forward
Each day I must

In the heartache
You comfort my soul
Healing my heart
Making me whole

In the sorrow
You show Your heart
Making mine whole
Where it fell apart

In the solitude
You bring peace
Come by Your Spirit
Emotions release

In Your presence
You make me whole
You restore
What the enemy stole

In Your glory
You will show
Why we must suffer
To be made whole

In Your arms
My pain will flee
I will rejoice
Completely set free

In Your time
You'll come for me
Standing in radiance
With my baby

I was free to grieve...just to grieve as one with hope...Hope...hope that I would see my unborn child, hold my unborn child, be in relationship with my unborn child, to know and be fully known by that child one day.

The God who loved me, who created me, who created the world had made Himself known to me...once again.

Why do I doubt? I doubt He's there. (Yet, He's promised, God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5)

I doubt He cares. I doubt He's coming again. Why? I lose my focus. I lose my way. I lose The Way. (Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6)

If we are not familiar with God's Word, The Bible, we cannot combat the wrong thinking and false thoughts that attack us. We will be tossed in a sea of doubt. ("...for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind." James 1:6)

I wanted to use the map of God's Word to mark my way on the pilgrimage of life. I wanted to know God's Word, to experience God's Word, the Living Word. I wanted to experience a passion for His Word. I wanted to obey His Word out of love. "In the beginning was the Word...and the Word was God." (John 1:1) If I love God...I love the Word of God...the Living Word of God. I began to seek for a new and clearer revelation of God's Word...the Living Word.

Revelation Leads to Repentance

I was seeking for a moment...a second of clarity...when the light goes on and deep revelation would occur changing my heart and my life. Have you had that kind of revelation? When a Bible verse you've known your whole life takes on a whole new meaning simply because the Living Word reveals it to you...reveals something deep in your soul?

I don't mean you just looked up the definition to a word...I'm talking about the Holy Spirit revealing hidden truth to you in a way that changes your whole make-up...your whole perspective...your whole life from here forward.

Author Jennifer Kennedy Dean says in her book Riches Stored in Secret Places that truth in Scripture is hidden for the sole purpose of being revealed. "Truth will be found only in God's Word...the wonderful, rich, consecrating truth is buried. It must be mined, like gold or silver...God has deliberately hidden deep truth so that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, can disclose it.
'For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open'"(Mark 4:22)

Have you asked God for that kind of revelation...wisdom...knowledge...understanding? He is longing to give it to you. "If you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding."(Proverbs 2:3-6)

God promises to give us deep revelation by the power of His Spirit. "But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets." (1 Corinthians 2:10 NLT) All we have to do is search for it...long for it...desire it. "But if from there you will seek (inquire for and require as necessity) the Lord your God, you will find Him if you [truly] seek Him with all your heart [and mind] and soul and life." (Deuteronomy 4:29 Amp)

It is a promise to us..."seek and you will find." "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7)

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all his righteousness and all these thing will be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)

"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things which you have not known." (Jeremiah 33:3 Revised Standard Version)

The Amplified reads, "Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).

After I had been seeking for quite some time, I found myself in a place where I knew God would answer my search. I received a challenge to dig deeper into God's Word at a ladies' conference...

The room was silent as she spoke...sharing her experience. She had come from a religion that used the Bible, but its own edited version of the Bible, not the inerrant version we know as Truth. She came to a saving knowledge and personal relationship with God simply by reading The Bible, which makes sense as it is "living and active." (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)

"For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are." (Hebrews 4:12 New Living Translation)

Truth pierced her heart. The more she read God's Word, the more she saw herself.

As she continued to share "her story," She launched into a reading of the
"The Woman with the Issue of the Blood." (Mark 5:24-34; Matthew 9:20-22)

The emotion was real...raw...moving...touching...healing...there was not a dry eye in the room when she finished. You could have heard a pin drop. Many were quietly weeping. All who were searching found.

It was there...the touch of Heaven...the place where this thing called Christianity becomes real...everyone wanted it...to simply know our own "story"...where we fit in...He touched us.

As the moment quickly passed...dinner was served...ladies began to visit...I realized I wanted it...He touched me.

That's when I knew...that's how I wanted to see the people in the Bible...I wanted identity in God's people...my people(...He predestined us to be called his sons through Christ Jesus.) ("because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.")... I wanted identity in Christ on a deeper level. (Ephesians 1:5 and Romans 8:14)

I wanted to see me...my life...relevant to the ancient writings and truths of people who lived righteously in a different time...a different world...I wanted an ageless God("Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." Hebrews 13:8) to transcend the ages and mightily move in my life.

I wanted to feel Life when I read the Bible...receive wisdom to understand.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)

The challenge was presented...she asked, "Find your story in God's Word. Who do you identify with?"

As I began the quest I read and reread stories of different characters Hannah...David... Elizabeth...Mary...Ruth...Esther...Jacob...and many more. I've always felt some identity with each of these Bible characters. People who rejoiced when God fulfilled the desires of their hearts...people who girded themselves up for the battle God had called them to fight...people who gave all they had to the Lord and He gave back...people who were chosen and blessed beyond what the could have imagined...people who pressed into the Lord when the suffering was unimaginable and then danced with joy once more. Through it all...grief...pain... heartache...triumph...they sought the Lord and He answered.

Somewhere along the journey I realized very suddenly, "He showed me all I ever did."
(John 4:29)

As Jennifer Kennedy Dean says, "...at an unexpected moment, God will shine a search light on a truth from a scripture you thought you had already mined."

It was a truth embedded in my heart with a hidden meaning which I needed Wisdom...the Spirit of Truth...to reveal to me. Suddenly, out of nowhere I got it..."He showed me all I ever did!"

I've heard the story of the woman at the well (John 4:7-29) since I was a little girl. That phrase, verse 29, "He showed me all I ever did" always stuck out to me.

I know all of my sins...I realize I am very far from perfect...I totally get that I turn to all sorts of other people and things before I turn to Jesus...I get it...Why, Why, Why would she REJOICE and TELL OTHERS that Jesus repeated to her all that she...especially she...who had had five husbands and a new live-in boyfriend in her never-ending quest for happiness and acceptance...ever did...why? That was always the question I asked when reading this story.

Then in an instant the meaning was revealed...my life was changed...I understood...He didn't repeat all she'd ever done...He revealed it. He uncovered her heart's motives...hidden meanings...wrong-thinking patterns...rote habits that were sinful...haven't you ever discovered you were doing something simply because it was familiar not necessarily knowing if there was a different...perhaps better...way?

Sin, ugly, sinful, dark behavior that was holding me back from wholeheartedly seeking my sweet, precious Lord was revealed to me in an instant. "He reveals the deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him!" (Daniel 2:22)

"He uncovers deep things out of darkness and brings into light black gloom and the shadow of death." (Job 12:22) The deep, secret things in our hearts are the sins that bring us shame...the sins that hold us captive to the darkness...the deep things of God bring freedom, light and joy. Once the deep, secretive, sinful behavior is brought to the surface, to the light...into the Light, the very presence of God, it no longer possesses the power of darkness over our hearts. Deep revelation leads to repentance in our lives...it leads to change. Repentance means, "to turn from"...if we know what we are doing wrong, we can turn from it...and do it a better way!

What He revealed to me was simply a way that I had perceived my life incorrectly...misjudged my role...always...my life was laden with responsibility...trying to help my loved ones in an unhealthy way...taking responsibility for things that I could not correct...things I simply needed to accept...things that should have had no bearing on my decisions...they should have just been.

Trying to change a circumstance...to make right what I had not wronged...to fix what someone else had broken...becoming more and more frustrated with myself and all those around me...I realized...this is all I ever did. I saw my sin and it was incredibly sweet...effortless...healing...I was free to hate my sin and feel incredibly loved with an everlasting love. ("I have loved you with an everlasting love." Jeremiah 31:3)

I had never felt so loved...so free...so different! "In kindness He takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change." (Romans 2:4)

Really, what God revealed to me that day in His goodness and mercy is something too deep for words that totally transformed me and freed me to live a more carefree life as the me I was created to be...giving praise to the Father.

Discovering that I never had to do things the same way again...wow, what freedom..."the truth shall set you free."(John 8:32) This is why the woman at the well went and shared...quickly and immediately. She had been forever changed in an instant...those that knew her would be astounded at the woman she had become...absolutely miraculous...she might struggle from time to time...but from today forward, she would be visibly, noticeably different!

She had learned to draw Living Water from a well so deep that it never runs dry. Now, that's water...deep, refreshing, unchanging. She would no longer depend upon what she had always known. She would look through eyes of wisdom at her hurts, her problems, her sufferings. She would take the things which brought her shame and examine them in the Light. As Beth Moore says, "Shame is a signature of the enemy." Jesus endured the cross by scorning its shame. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

By following the example of Christ, we can endure hard things, speaking the truth and facing the truth in love and we can scorn the shame...because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. "Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit." (Romans 8:1)

God's Word tells us there is nothing new under the sun. There is no bad deed that has not been done before; there is no ugly feeling or emotion that has not been felt before you felt it. "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9) We are not alone in our pain! We have no reason to hide from it or to hide it from others. I believe the woman at the well realized this and was, subsequently, free to draw water with the other women of the town. The enemy will use shame to bring isolation...isolation to break our fellowship....isolation to take the power from our story...without sharing we do not have power to overcome from sharing our testimony. "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death" (Revelation 12:11) We have to be free to share...free from shame and judgment.

Imagine her joy when she realized she could draw water in the cool of the day with the other women without suffering their judgment...she was free to run through the town unashamedly declaring this man (the one who showed her all her sins) was the Messiah...we have to know what our sins are before we can stop repeating them...no condemnation...no judgment...no guilt...only freedom...and love...and acceptance...imagine.

The woman that was so ashamed she had to draw water at midday...alone...so she wouldn't have to talk to anyone...was now running through town telling all, "Come, meet the man who told me all I ever did!" (John 4:29)

I invite you to come, meet the One who showed me all I ever did...

My Story
"but whoever drinks this water will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14)

I am the woman at the well

Past secrets too dark to ever tell

I draw water at midday

Hoping no one comes my way

Sin and shame a heavy weight

Loneliness and frustration, twins I hate
Lost in thought, eyes cast down
Who's this Stranger come to town?
He speaks of living without thirst
Could He heal the pain and hurt?
He asks my name; I reply smart

How could He know my very heart?
He speaks of how life has been
I see all my hidden sin

Motives, reasoning, thoughts...all lies
Truth lay bare before my eyes
Here I find Life that's true

As I begin to walk anew
Then I run...telling all to "Come,
Meet the One who showed all I've done!"

No one ever has to thirst
Just seek Living Water first

"Many...believed in Him because of the woman's testimony, 'He told me everything I ever did.'" (John 4:39)

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