Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Galatians 6:1 NASB
Apostle Paul is giving important instruction here about ministering. He just finished the previous chapter on the fruit of the spirit. Walking in the spirit, exhibiting such fruit brings maturity and fortitude. Appraising each situation with discernment is crucial to be effective when dealing with carnal desires. Just as a soft answer turns wrath, gentleness turns chaos into control.
Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by. ~Psalm 57:1 | NASB
This verse of scripture is referenced from when David is on the run from Saul. When I read this passage about David seeking asylum in the caves, there’s no want, there’s no lack—only desire. Desire to see the hand of the Lord move over his life and protect him.
Until… Destruction passes.
Until…his enemies are no longer.
Until…he can safely move freely in the will of God.
Until…Coronavirus is gone.
Until…Your finances are restored.
Until…cancer is eradicated from your body.
Until…Your kids are living under the will of God.
Until…( you fill in the blank ).
The word until in the original text is ‘adah’ which literally translates “to pass on, advance”.
It’s not the until that is most important, but the phrase that precedes it: “And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuse”. Being steadfast and faithful during the good times and the bad. We are in a cave, secluded and protected by the presence, the power, and authority of the Holy Spirit. This doesn’t mean we hide in fear and terror. But it does indicate the necessity to use wisdom, seeking God in everything we do before we do it.
It’s obvious that times have changed and continue to do so on a daily basis if not sooner. And that is not going change either. The way things used to be is no longer a thing. This virus, this pandemic and all the political power- shifting will pass, but Until…We need to be found in God’s favor taking refuge in the safety of His wings, His presence, His virtue, His love.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:18 | NASB
Why is it that we never quote the rest of this verse? Fear involves punishment, a recoil of sin. Love perfected is one without sin. Many Christians today explain away their sins with excuses, living with a carnal warped view of love. Everything short of perfect. To live in fear of punishment from God is not trusting God. But the one who man’s-up (or woman’s-up) is found surrounded with the love of God. Own up to it! You’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination! Don’t live in fear of God’s wrath but live in his love.
And to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. Hebrews 12:24 | NASB
Jesus makes a way to approach the trembling mountain by His own sacrificial blood. Sinai was unapproachable, but Jesus being transfigured once on the mountain before the witnesses of Peter, James, and John makes a way by transforming our hearts and the mountain itself. The power of the Almighty transforms everything, including the mountain from the Law to Love.
The journey we take from unrighteousness to righteousness is infact moving from Sinai to Zion. The shed blood on the cross and the resurrection of life eternal through Christ Jesus transfigures us and our mountain that we are chained to. No longer is it a mountain of doom and gloom, but of hope and peace for righteousness sake.
The New Covenant prepared by God in offering His only Son, speaks better or testifies truer than the blood of Abel because the blood of Jesus has redemptive purposes and not vengeance. We are not adopters of the Kingdom by violence but by love, and love only. The Zionic model that Jesus exemplified is love from the Father, and then that same love shown to our neighbors.
The sprinkled blood had, and still has a purpose today. Whereas the slain blood of murder through jealousy, envy, and strife has only the thought of getting even. Sinai, is it’s motivation, is bound by the letter of the Law. But vengence belongs to God and Him only. The perfection of love throws out every preconceived notion that fear motivates us to sin. Zion tells the poetic story of surrender of oneself and to submit your life to be laid down for the sake of your brother. There’s no better cause, it is infact Zion’s purpose.
Take caution in your response to the shedding of blood today and it’s purpose. From where does it get motivation? From Sinai or Zion? Will you respond with vengence or with love? Your response will either reconcile or refuse the path to freedom and liberty in Christ Jesus.
And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. John 6:65-66 | NASB
You know the old saying “What happens when you assume? You make an ASS of U and ME!”
Mostly this happens because of a misunderstanding. When you assume something, mostly indicative of the worse case scenario, what you are really indicating is that you know exactly what the person is thinking, or the move in which they will make (Enter the ASS part).
In the scripture above, some disciples (which John did not name) made an ass of themselves by assuming Jesus’ words meant they had to be have picked by God to be his followers. This was old thinking from the days of Moses and the Law. Instead of understanding that Jesus came to free all men and was sent by the Father, they made a spectacle by leaving. Not everyone will believe in you and your mission. That’s ok. Let them go. Jesus didn’t run after then did he? No. He actually asked his twelve if they wanted to tuck-tail-and-run as well. The mind-blowing concept of following Christ! He’ll give you the option to either go or stay.
Don’t assume! Don’t be destroyed for a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Ask the Holy Spirit to bring clarity to your relationship with Jesus. Just don’t walk away over a misunderstanding.
Pray this with me:
Heavenly Father, I want to know you and the power of your might. Strengthen me to understand your ways. I love You and need more of You, decreasing myself so You can be seen through me. Amen.