Dropping the Defences

Karate Kick

“A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is the imagination.”
― Percy Bysshe Shelley

It would be wonderful if we could drop our defences completely with one another. Be free to bare our souls, our cracks, our joys unhindered by fear or experiences of reproach. It takes a lot of mental energy to maintain those defences, valuable energy which wastes away in the process, forfeiting the opportunity to channel itself into something holy and beautiful.

Jesus had no defences; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter and breathed not one word of justification. Jesus knew what was in man, He had no need for anyone to remind Him of the fickleness of human nature, yet He lived His life boldly in the face of exposure to mockery, jealous backlashes and the attention of hungry crowds.

Maybe we could let down our defences and let ourselves be seen as God sees us. When we live before Him we live transparently regardless of our attempts to be otherwise. God sees past our defences and loves us deeper still.

Why do we need to justify our stories? Every person’s encounter with Christ looks different. Every person’s experience of God is different. Every person’s understanding of how He moves in our lives is different.

Yes, there are always fundamental principles and truths… but no set of fingerprints are the same, no snowflake that falls replicates another.

If we laid down our defences I am convinced others would more clearly see Christ formed in us. If we uncovered the treasure within these earthen vessels and admitted once and for all that it’s Christ in us who is our hope of glory.

How liberatingly beautiful it would be to join Paul, to be unafraid and unashamed to say:

‘My experience of the law is that when I want to do good, only evil is within my reach. For I am in hearty agreement with God’s law so far as my inner self is concerned. But then I find another law in my bodily members, which is in continual conflict with the law which my mind approves, and makes me a prisoner to the law of sin which is inherent in my mortal body. For left to myself, I serve the law of God with my mind, but in my unspiritual nature I serve the law of sin. It is an agonising situation, and who can set me free from the prison of this mortal body? I thank God there is a way out through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 7 v 21-25

Maybe it is no coincidence that Paul was one of the most influential men in the early church. He was aware of himself, but better still- he was acutely aware of God.

Monday Prayers

love prayers 2

Father God,

Empower us to love one another

For love comes from You

You are love in every form

When we love we are truly born of You

When we love

We are conformed and transformed

Into Your image

We honour You for how You showed Your love to us

For sending Your one and only Son

To this wicked and desperate Earth

That we might live through Him

This is love

Not that we loved You

But that You loved us

And made a way out of sin

Into wholeness and righteousness

Help us to love each other until we see Christ

Until His love is made complete in us

Let Your perfect love drive out fear

Make us perfect in the knowledge of Your love

We can love

Because You first loved us

We long to know and rely

On the love You have for us

Amen.

1 John 4 v 7-19

 

 

Monday Prayers

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Father God,

We declare our agreement with Your word.

We declare that You are good

 And Your mercies endure forever.

We declare in this moment

To all people walking in darkness

You have seen a great light.

JESUS, be seen.

We declare

To all those living in the land of deep darkness

To the darkest and most deprived of situations

A light has dawned.

JESUS, be known.

We partner with You Lord

With the words we speak.

We declare that the Lord Jesus is our light

And our salvation.

We have nothing to fear.

-Isaiah 9 v 2

Our God is Coming

tree

The Wonderful Counsellor, Everlasting Father, Almighty God, the Prince of Peace is coming. Christ- the Anointed One, full of grace and truth is coming. When He comes, His government will know no end.

This is the hope we have. The hope that is as sure as the sun rising each morning and the moon at night. We need to remind ourselves daily that God is coming.

This is not something we hear very often. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a message or sung a song about the return of Jesus.

My default reaction on hearing the phrase ‘the return of Christ’ has always been fear, immediate thoughts of judgement, and my own dire track record in relation to upholding God’s holy standards.  But this is a lie.

The truth is, we can have confidence even on the day of judgement. Why? Because;

‘ ..In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.’– 1 John 4 v 17-18

The return of Jesus is our glorious hope.  We can anticipate it with joy as His desire is to wipe every tear from our eyes and to destroy the works of the enemy. This can only be a good thing.

Even so, come Lord Jesus, come.

Change is imminent. The problems of our world have an answer….and He is coming.

We must not be like those who have no hope. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but hope fulfilled is a tree of life. The world system is sick; it cannot contain or fulfil hope of any kind. We have something the world needs; we have the promise of hope fulfilled.

My prayer is that our hearts and lives would be alive with anticipation of the tree of life.

‘But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.’– 1 Peter 3 v 15

People will wonder and be intrigued when we live our lives in a hope filled way, living for eternity, expectant of His return.

For we know that this life is not all there is. If it were, as the Apostle Paul stated, we are the most to be pitied!

When all seems dark and we wonder why we bother at all. Why we care so much, why the road is so hard…. may we remember that our God is coming. Remember that these 3 remain; faith, hope and love.


‘Look to the skies, oh
Heaven is wide, open
You are the Christ
Our God is coming’

Desperation Band ‘Our God is Coming’.

Are you expectant of hope fulfilled?