“So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help…Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, He will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes; your own ears will hear him.”
This verse was fixed in my heart, and I was more than ready to find my Savior waiting. He doesn’t want to wait; He wants to cuddle and cover and comfort and teach, but we make Him wait. Why? I’m not sure; maybe because we cant believe that He is poised, ready and eager. Well, He didn’t disappoint. He never does; you’d think I’d know that by now.
As my sifting intensified, my strength dwindled and my heart felt close to death. Really. I was ready to give up; I couldn’t take it much more. I questioned the whole process, looking for justification and all the while punishing myself. Somewhere along the way I forgot that Christ died for even this! I was aware. I hoped. But, I didn’t believe, and that’s why my healing couldn’t be complete. I was still trying to heal myself through my studies and my pursuit and my merit. It was impossible.
So, I stole away. Not physically but spiritually, I took a retreat. I shut off my phone, turned off the computer, and powered off the t.v. At first, the silence was deafening. My tears fell endlessly because let’s face it, I’d been here before. What would make this time any different? Christ. Christ made this time completely different. First, He led me to literature, “Anonymous” – a look at Christ in His hidden years and “Unmerited Favor” – the beauty and freedom of grace. I devoured them, looked up every scripture given and read them, through… in context, and I found myself understanding, letting go, and feeling loved.
I understood for the first time in my life the power of the blood, the significance of the sacrifice, and the price that was paid. That’s not easy to admit. I’ve led and spoken and taught for years without really getting it. And, this is what stood out to me the most – the act of transference. Now, that sounds really strange, but it is actually very beautiful. Basically it says that when I accepted Christ as my savior (by faith) I accepted His sacrifice. In doing that, two amazing things happened: I transferred my sin (past, present and future) onto Him and He transferred His righteousness onto me. It’s what makes me right with God; the ONLY thing that has the power to make me right! And because of that “rightness” I’m no longer under the law. My sins were taken, forgiven, and divinely forgotten for all time before their time because He loves me! And that’s when He could finally set about doing what He’d wanted to do all along, was waiting to do with arms wide, reaching…Administer His healing, after all, in the process of transference it was already mine. He just had to remind me.
I bucked it at first; looked for scriptures to disprove this divine revelation, because isn’t Joseph Prince (the author of the book “Unmerited Favor”) just some kind of health and wealth preacher; well, transference would play well for him! But, it popped up everywhere I looked…from people that I knew and completely respected. It was in my daily devotions with the amazing Ozzie Chambers. It was reiterated through the compassionate heart of Kay Arthur. It was spotlighted through the sassy Southern charm of Beth Moore. It was literally being spoken all around me in literature that cluttered my bed. More than that it is repeated over and over at some point in the letters of Peter, Paul and John every time they mention the “new covenant”; after all, that was the whole purpose of Christ being sacrificed at all! The final sacrifice. No more needed. No more necessary. His death conquered the power of sin once and for ALL! (That, dear reader, includes you!) My disproval ended in His love – His amazing grace, that beautiful unmerited favor.
I was wide-eyed! Could it be?! I was free?! It was too easy, wasn’t it? And, I was no where near deserving… True. Completely, totally, beautifully true! But where did that leave me? Well, where else could it leave me – with a choice. I could choose to accept that act, that grace and walk in newness of life or I could pretend like I’d never seen it, never heard it and never heal. I chose to heal. I chose to take the transference and to live my life expressing my gratefulness!
James 4:7 says, “Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He’ll draw near to you.” It all begins with submission to God – to His plan, His will, His embrace. And then you can resist, and you will scramble to draw near. Which beings me back to my blog name and the first brother sifted. Peter learned the same lesson.
As He watched Christ suffer, bleed and die on that cross, undoubtedly it dawned on Him. But when Jesus came to him again, drew him in, and questioned him, “Peter, do you love me?” I imagine his response was emotionally heartfelt and resolute, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you!” And with Jesus prayer still fresh on His eternal lips, He requested the ultimate desire of His heart, “Feed my sheep.” in other words, “Yes! You get it! You understand my purpose, my plan, my will! Now share it!” No wonder such a fire filled that man! He and the other disciples took that lesson and revolutionized religion and unswervingly preached relationship! Peter had been sifted and came through to encourage, lead, and strengthen! How can I do any less?!
Be encouraged! That same act of transference applies to you – as Christ is, so you are! Not because of anything you did but all because of what He did! And in that astounding Truth, I’m healed! I guess I need to change my blog name now … Maybe “suds from a soap box” because the church is missing the picture while the Body is falling apart. I know; I was apart of the decay. But, there is good news! Hope! Life! – In Jesus Christ! And we have the power within us to endure… through His gift of the Holy Spirit! But that’s a subject for another blog 🙂 He loves us so – and that Love will not only feed His sheep, it’ll feed a hungry world! I’m sure of it, and He was dead sure of it!