This place is fractured. No one can deny there is something wrong with this world. The news spreads it’s fear propaganda to millions of wide-eyed panicked souls, I watch and it tries to lure me in, but mainly what I notice more than the news they are reporting is a pattern. We think we have come a long way, after all we are so advanced in our knowledge and technology. We are so much wiser now; but to me, I think we look the exact same as those embarrassed and naked people that day in the Garden. We are still nothing more than formed dust in the Potter’s hands, breathing His breath, trading truth for a lie, scared to death and hiding in the bushes. There is nothing knew under the sun.
But when judgement was just, here comes Mercy walking in the cool of the day.
I’m sitting outside with young women around a table I painted with chalk paint. The wax surface is getting stickier with each year, and now my leather bible sticks when it rests there for too long. I peel it up like it’s a sticker. They talk, I listen. They share their days and their experiences with a “there’s nothing I can do to change” kind of perspective. I can feel my heart breaking a little on the inside, I press my lips closed tight and think to myself don’t cry, don’t cry Amy, they will think you’re crazy. And they would, so I don’t, I save that for when they leave.
And these? These are the church. These are you and me who are walking around claiming the Name of Christ, and I am overwhelmed by that. This world we walk around in is fractured, and we are still, even still in this day of all our advancements, believing a lie. Maybe now more than ever. I know the serpent’s head was crushed, but do I live like it? Do we? Or are we letting the lie get too close and take up residence next door? Do we desperately cling to comfort and the stuff that makes us feel secure, instead of the Comforter, the only One who gives security? Do we believe the lie that we are incapable, unworthy, unintelligent, hopeless, and at the mercy of fate? Why are we satisfied to live defeated, when Christ’s life, death, and resurrection exists to offer the opposite? Why are we sitting in church pews on Sunday, and then sitting near a Liar every other day of the week and allowing him to slither around our feet?
Do we even recognize that it’s happening?
That we can conform more into the likeness of this world and less into the Image of Christ and not even know the wrong transformation is taking place?
I listen and listen and listen and then listen a little longer, and all I can think is, this is not the heart of God. Our lives are not declaring who He is. He created us to give praise and thanks to Him, in all things, because He is so good and so worthy. Every bit of creation declares it, and if we are silent then the rocks will give praise instead and we will miss our Christ given privilege.
When God revealed Himself to Isaiah in a vision, every being in heaven could speak nothing but “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord Almighty.” (v. 3) Can you imagine that for just a moment? No matter your background, no matter your circumstances, no matter if you believe Him or not, no matter your Christian discipline or lack there of, the only words due Him in His presence are “Holy, Holy, Holy!” And the only words we can speak in response to Him? “Woe to me! I am ruined!” (v. 5)….and Isaiah was a prophet.
But here this time, when judgement was just, Mercy flies down in the form of a live coal. A cleansing fire.
His love and mercy is too overwhelming to comprehend, and after the Lord extends this undeserved grace to his prophet he asks, “Who shall I send? And who will go for us?” In light of all that God had done, there was nothing to say before the Almighty but, “Here am I. Send me!” This quick response and eager enthusiasm, this passion to lie down in surrender, this begging plea to be sent to speak truth, all this because of a vision of God and atonement through a burning coal.
All this before the Word became Flesh and walked among us. All this was before the cross. All this before Perfection was tortured and murdered on our behalf. All this before nails were driven in His hands and He had our names on His mind. All this before the tomb was found empty, and death had been conquered. All this before He sent His Spirit to literally seal us and guarantee victory.
How much greater should our response be?
We can all agree there is something wrong with our ways. We know it not in our nature to believe what is unseen, to deny events around us and press on toward a deeper truth. We know it can be effortless to conform to this world, to blend in among the masses, to believe what the world believes, looking the way the world looks, speaking the way this world speaks, and fearing the way this world fears.
But there is a better way. There is a determined purpose we can claim for our lives, that will supernaturally resist this fractured place and will instead transform us into the image of the One who overcame it.
[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]. Philippians 3:10 AMP
Oh how much better it can be. Our hearts and lives can become sacred ground, a holy temple, a promised land of refuge and security because He fills it. But we have to know Him. We have to know His heart, or ours will never turn away from the patterns of this world.
We can’t just know of him, but we must know Him.
And when we know Him, there is nothing left to say in His presence but, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord Almighty.” And then daughter in Christ, He no longer asks, “Who shall I send? Who will go for us?” He sends the ones who look like His Son. And those everyday, ordinary, Christ-like girls, girls like you and me, will change the world.