"Heaven and Earth will pass away, and my words will not pass away."
Matthew 24:35, Luke 21:33, and Mark 13:31
Andrew Wommack had an excellent point in saying that worry is actually meditation in the sense that you are thinking of your sickness, your problem, your issues, your addictions, and/or well, you. I find it interesting that when we place thought on ourselves, we would definitely find something that causes anxiety. This can be prevented by positive thinking or any other sort of psychological method or drug, but in the long run, something negative will pop up.
I have learned a lot from Pastor Andrew in the recent days that I've decided to tune in to his podcasts. First, he said that we could go anywhere our mind takes us to. He's testified as to how he allowed his mind to focus on the promises of God, and how signs and wonders (i.e. healing, resurrection, provision) have followed. As I typed that last sentence I am reminded of a song my mom and dad loved singing in the Resurrection Church Choir, entitled 'Standing on the Promises of God.' I suppose there is a great truth to be known from that title alone...
Andrew also mentioned about how we are limited by how we think if all we think about is our problems. He keeps reiterating how we would definitely do well by realizing that if we are to meditate, we ought to meditate on the word of God.
And that's what I decided to do this morning. Matthew 24:35 was the verse I thought of thinking about as I bathed, instead of the usual... sound check and assessment of the acoustics as they bounced off of the tiles (singing in the 'shower').
Boy, right off the bat I was definitely encouraged. Seeing as I enjoyed connection and elaboration, I decided not to keep any thoughts in my head, but to just let it all flow out. I realized that as I was speaking, insight after insight just kept coming in. I couldn't really explain it, but I definitely knew what I was doing was a good thing to do and practice.
I've been thinking a lot recently about what I've been wanting to do for the rest of my life, and lately these thoughts have been coming up: ministering in a new mission field (the Internet) and the prospect of collecting and collating and using the right words - communication. As of the moment I am still scraping the surface of the potentials of blogging and Tweeting, but as I was speaking to no one in particular in the bathroom around an hour back, I realized that nothing can compare to the unique advantages of the spoken word.
I believe now that communication was initially intended to be personal, in the sense that it wasn't just an exchange of ideas. The Bible mentions in the Proverbs that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. We, therefore, go beyond what we are thinking, but we also literally pour out our souls when we talk. And whether we speak in truth or deceit, the true messages behind our messages are best seen in the spoken conversation.
Going back to what insights came in as I was led to openly meditate on the Matthew 24:35... as mentioned, heaven and earth will pass away, and Christ's words will never pass away. This led me to the realization that as the words are, so is the One who expressed them. Christ's words are eternal, and therefore He is eternal. Wrap your mind around that for a second. We can view Christ, our Savior, as an Eternal Savior. Another perspective to that, another word is to call Him a Timeless Savior - A Savior who created time and is therefore beyond time.
This is why we are bold to say that His finished work cleansed us of our past, present, and future sin. While in the old covenant we were only able to cover (and not cleanse) our sins for a temporary period, His sacrifice rendered our forgiveness and freedom... finished!
As Christ is an Eternal Savior beyond time, He is an Infinite Savior with no limits, not contained by space. He is great and glorious, beyond our definitions and perceptions of greatness and glory.
What a sobering thought to think that He traded His godly glory to be as one of us. He subjected Himself to the same limits we all have in this world. The Bible says that He was tempted in all ways, and therefore He is able to sympathize with us in our own struggles.
He was a first-hand witness to all the troubles and turmoils in this fallen world... Yet when He spoke 'peace, be still!' the storm subsided. When He cried, 'come forth!' a dead, decaying corpse formerly known as Lazarus reconstituted and came back to life! When He thanked the Lord for 2 fish and 5 loaves, He fed 5,000 men and their families, and there were 12 baskets left over!
Indeed, His word was powerful... but it goes beyond power, His word will never, ever pass away!
The Evangelical, Christian internet is full of articles expounding on how signs and wonders follow the declaration of the Word... but friends, I stand with Andrew on getting our minds and hearts more involved. Let's meditate on the Word.
Here where I'm located, one of the verses we like quoting is Isaiah 53:5, where it says 'By His stripes, we are healed.' I've heard a lot of people quoting it. My earthly father quoted it, but he eventually passed away. And then I think to myself, is it a problem with God's word? Is it a problem with His promise?
Mark 11:24 goes like this: "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Matthew 21:22 says, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer". We would do well to believe, and right now it would serve us well if we 'believe' beyond our verbal declarations, but also in our hearts and minds?
I used to think that this was a difficult thing. But now I am just thankful for what Pastor Andrew shared, because He was right - the answer was in the Word all along!
"Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night."
- Psalm 1:1-2
There are many things in this world that would cause us to think. But friends, beloved brothers and sisters, Christ says 'Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness..'
We could go anywhere the mind takes us to. So if we are thinking of methods and ways to get out of a sickness through our own strength, that's how we limit ourselves. I'm not against medicines and doctors, but I will say that as long as you're thinking of those things, why don't you think of examining Isaiah 53:5 through a microscope?
Imagine. Imagine the stripes. Those aren't just bruises, they're more than mere welts. They were literal red stripes drawn across beaten and bruised skin by cat-o-nine tails... Imagine one of these already caused so much pain and anguish... and imagine how these stripes were drawn all over Christ's body.
Imagine. This was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. This was the boundless, timeless Christ who came down to be as limited as we were, to be tempted as we were... and yet He had all the reason to complain, yet He had all the reason to call down legions of angels to protect and defend Him at any moment, He allowed His life to be offered in that most painful way.
We were the ones who deserved punishment. We were the ones who sinned. Some of us went as far as ridiculing Him, hurting Him, spitting at His face. Yet despite all this, He gave His life away for us. While we were sinners, He loved us and gave His life for us.
I could just go on and on..
Think of the absolute and complete pain he went through, not only for you to be saved in the context of 'getting to Heaven when you die'... but for you to experience the Father's absolute and complete love - not later, not when you die, but right now! Imagine how when Christ cried 'FINISHED!' and breathed His last, the thick veil of the temple separating God's presence from man was torn from the top to the bottom, not just allowing us to enter into His presence, but allowing His explosive, radical, powerful, ETERNAL, BOUNDLESS LOVE to be unleashed upon reality as we know it!
Think of the disciples who patiently waited in Jerusalem after Jesus' resurrection and ascension... Think of the sound of a mighty rushing wind, followed by the overwhelming experience of the Holy Spirit filling every fiber of their beings, the same Holy Spirit that leads us to all truth , the same Holy Spirit that dispels all fear, and brings power, love, and sound judgment!
Imagine how our loving Father loved us first and did all this for us to be completely saved...
By His grace, we are saved.
By His stripes, we are healed.
In the Name of Jesus.
Friends, we are nothing without Christ. People say, 'So what if God loves me?' Well, let's believe it. Let's take it in, and then we'll know the 'what' is all we ever wanted, all we ever needed.
Believe it. Speak it. Heaven and earth will pass away, but the words of our eternal, boundless, beautiful Savior will never, ever pass away.
In Christ, I move and have my being.
No longer I, but Christ who lives within me.
Soli Deo Gloria.
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May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26