Chapter 2, Rolling Thunder:
You See Me Free: Steps on a Journey of Faith, Beyond Fear, Through Forgiveness Into Freedom
Chapter 1, The Honest Sincere Me; Debbie Rarick
Never forget – in Christ, God has already made up His mind about you! We can get in a mess by going on with our own stories, but God is always consistent about loving us. We can live in His story for us, because He loves us, all the time, no matter what.
Nothing in God wants to manipulate or control us. He has no hidden agenda – his one agenda is to set us free to be ourselves. God has no suspicions towards us, He trusts us!
So, we can do anything we want to, but we really don’t want to do bad stuff, since our true new man needs no limitations or controls. 2 Cor 5:17 states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”. The real you is now in the image and likeness of God, what is wrong with that? Our new man does not want to repeat our old sin, since the new man is truly who we are now. We are far too sin-conscious – we should take encouragement in our new man, and rest in the love and grace of our Father, especially when we make a mistake.
Jesus exposes our hyper-religious sacrificial systems, the fallacy of man trying to change an angry god. Ephesians 1:4-5 says, “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Great pleasure, and He has always loved you, from before He made the world! He was nor will He ever angry with you.
We need to see the story of Christ in a much larger context than sin and salvation. He did not come in response to sin or evil, He was not manipulated into coming to earth by our sin. We tend to focus on the law and “then” grace, but think about God at the beginning – Ephesians shows there was no law yet, and He was still gracious! This shows us a God of giving and grace, long before the law was introduced. That’s who our Dad is.
God is excited about your life; if you are bored maybe you are not seeing what God sees. Don’t allow circumstances to teach you what they are not qualified to teach, because He sees much more in your future than what you can remember about your past!
(With thanks to Andre Rabe)
A change in attitude towards those with SSA (same sex attractions) is gradually occurring in the American church. Driven by constant social pressure, the church is having to face years of denial and bigotry towards those with SSA:
- Some are digging in more rigidly to defend their interpretation of the Scriptures, which often results in non-loving behaviors
- Most are recognizing that we can’t deny the reality that for years the church has acted in ways that have not demonstrated even the possibility of love, grace, and redemption for those with SSA
- Some have even changed their attitudes and behaviors towards those with SSA, emboldened by the overwhelming outpouring of general public support for those with SSA
While we should hope, teach, and pray for change based on the completed, redemptive life of Christ, sometimes we have to learn lessons from teachers we’d rather not choose. In this case, the American public is speaking loud and clear – demonstrate bigotry and judgment towards those with SSA, and we will not respect your message.
That’s not to say that we can’t support a Biblical stance on what we think God prefers regarding homosexuality, but we can only do so in the context of saying that “we all have sinned and fall short – come walk alongside us as we embrace his love, grace, and power to effect positive change in all our lives”. Primarily pointing fingers of condemnation will not work in this post-modern age, maybe never again. In fact, did it ever?…
Truth be told, I have come to accept the fact that loving people who are not like me simply isn’t in me. When somebody gets on my nerves, or they do things I really can’t relate to, my natural inclination is to tune them out at best, or worst case to say something ugly to them. Usually it’s people on the road, not my LGBT friends. Or sometimes people at work…
It’s only when I stay aware of the radically unfair love of my Father for me that I can slow down, and begin to see the actions of others as their being victims of sin/deception in their own lives. We have only one enemy, and he is not human! That turkey buzzard (satan) is constantly attacking us and others, always saying things like, “you can’t REALLY trust God to meet your heart’s desires”, or, “you don’t REALLY deserve forgiveness for THAT”. Like I said, turkey buzzard.
As we rest, truly rest in His love for us – his crazy, unending, patently and wonderfully unfair love for each of us, that we can begin to see others as He sees us – His children, too often impacted by poor choices because of the lies we are constantly told. When I see myself and others as victims of the enemies’ lies and attacks, it makes it much easier for me to forgive myself, love myself, and love others. It’s Christ in me Who helps me in this regard, cuz’ it’s just not in me otherwise.