Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Under the Ban

We are slaves to rebellion even when we know it will only lead to the death of our dreams.  Even when we know that ALL we have to do is bend a knee and we’ll get all the grace we  so desperately want, we can’t bring ourselves to do it.

Crazy rebellious humans.

But our rebellion can’t erase our soul’s memories of another world.  We were made to need approval from an Authority.  We were made to fear the disapproval of that Authority.  No matter how much we try to convince ourselves that we don’t care, that need and fear is knit into the deepest parts of our soul’s by our Maker.  The tears betray us.fabs

I read this post by fabs and it reminded me of one of the Scripture cross-references we looked at in the lesson in our spiritual gifts class last week as we discussed the gift of mercy.

Nothing from that which is put under the ban
shall cling to your hand,
in order that the LORD may turn from His burning anger
and show mercy to you,
and have compassion on you
and make you increase,
just as He has sworn to your fathers,
Deuteronomy 13:17

Our Creator is a God of mercy. He patiently waits to pour out His mercy upon us. But to receive this mercy we must let go of those things that are under the ban. We are to cling to Him and only Him. Yet for some reason we find ourselves clinging to the things that are only destroying us and keeping us from the mercy we so deeply desire and yet feel so unworthy to receive or even request.

The things that were under the ban, were the things that were to be utterly destroyed, they were not for us to hang on to or to trust in. They were things that God had made clear would be destroyed and if we chose to hang on to them we would be destroyed with them.

That has not changed.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief,
in which the heavens will pass away with a roar
and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat,
and the earth and its works will be burned up.
 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way,
what sort of people ought you to be
in holy conduct and godliness, 
looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God,
 because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning,
and the elements will melt with intense heat!
2 Peter 3:10-12

This present world and the things of this world are under the ban. They will one day be utterly destroyed, yet today God waits with outstretched arms to freely give His mercy to any who would turn to Him and cling to Him instead of this world and the desires of this world.

He looks at us, and I imagine with deep eyes of understanding He shakes His head with loving frustration as He watches us desperately and ignorantly clinging to utterly worthless things...
like pride,
like hate,
like lust,
like money,
like opinions of man,
like emotions,
like feelings,
like jealousy,
like rebellion,
like unforgiveness,
like revenge,
like status,
like sin...

Why is it so hard to let go?

The crazy thing is that once we do let go and we look back we never cease to wonder why in the world we were fighting so hard to hang on to that in the first place...

Then we look up into the face of our merciful God and are overwhelmed with His patience and love for us that He was willing to wait on us to let go and show us mercy in His never ending, ever reaching grace.

So what are you clinging to that is keeping God from showing you mercy?
Do you know that He longingly waits to show you compassion?

Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him.
Isaiah 30:18

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