“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
that is an important verse for me. it is my “what for” verse. it is the reason for the kingdom. Jesus did not come so that we could argue with one another about theology. He did not come so that we could live comfortable lives and be “happy, happy, happy”. He came to bring freedom, sight and good news. the best news, the news that He is with us and for us. that He loves us and cares for our troubles. He became like one of us and modeled for us what love looks like.
i realized this week that my life this last few years has been turned upside down for a reason, but i have not embraced the “what for”. i believe God has used the circumstances to get my attention and i have tried to drown Him out with things that are not worthy of my affection and attention. oh, i’ve occasionally had spurting moments of His brilliance shining through, but it wasn’t voluntary. it was in spite of who i was and all about who He is.
last night i wept because this hit me hard. i felt that my sin and disobedience was keeping people from God. i don’t believe in a karmic Jesus, He is full of grace and mercy. He loves me in spite of the things i do and have done. i don’t believe that He punishes me for the things i’ve done. i do believe that He applauds obedience. i could justify day after day my bitterness and lust, i mean He IS forgiving after all. the thing is that this sin is all about the things i hide. i’m not broadcasting my junk out in public which adds an element of shame. i realized that i’m quite often a pretty good actor. i can play the part really well. i don’t want to win the Oscar for my performance, i want to see people experience grace and love. i want to be a conduit of that grace and love. forgive me for not sharing it with you with my whole heart. pray for me that my heart will be drawn back to my “what for”.
i share this struggle because i hope that other people feel the same. i hope that they are looking for moments to obey God not because of what He might give them, or because they are afraid of being “punished”. it is my hope that we as a collective will obey God because it unchains the captives, gives sight to the blind, gives hope to the poor, and freedom to those under oppression. this is Good News.