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Archive for May, 2009

Inside-out BearI’ve been thinking about how the Lord turns our lives inside out for the benefit of others, if we let Him. The treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, are some of the most powerful ‘ministry tools’ we have. It’s not easy to do, of course, because we have our reputations to uphold. 🙂 But whoever saves his life will lose it, and whoever loses it for Jesus’ sake will find purposeful, abundant, eternal life.

A few weeks back, I was getting dressed and had something quite bizarre happen. I put my camisole on, then a blouse over top. As I was brushing my teeth, I noticed that the blouse was inside out! I laughed at myself, thinking how stunned that was. So I took it off to reverse it, and the camisole was inside out too!! Now I was really laughing. But then I heard the Holy Spirit say, “just like your clothes are inside out, I want you to turn your life inside out.” 

Isn’t turning our lives inside out the least we can do, in view of God’s mercy? Jesus, God covered in flesh, turned Himself inside out for us on the cross. I’m praying about what turning myself inside out means. I guess it doesn’t mean exactly the same thing for everyone, but the principal is the same.

I had a discussion with a friend from church recently and she told me about her brother, who is gay. It was a beautiful conversation. She talked about how she couldn’t help loving her brother’s boyfriend, even though she didn’t think she’d be able to. One of the things she mentioned that really impacted me is that Christians who have a gay loved one are often ‘in the closet’ about it at church. I guess they feel shame and a sense of fear of what other Christians will think. It shouldn’t be like that. If we can’t be honest and open in the family of God, where can we be?

And that ties in with turning our lives inside out. Allowing God to use our life as an open book lets others see the miracle of His healing power. Lots of things stop us from being this vulnerable. Fear is a big one. Personally, I couldn’t do it before because I was paralyzed by shame. Shame is like cancer. It was lodged there right at the core of my identity, tainting everything about me, continually metastasizing & causing all sorts of secondary problems. How Jesus healed my shame, I’ll never understand on this side of heaven. But healing is so much more than focusing on the individual struggles we face. It requires His touch in the very centre of who we are. That’s why simply trying to change our outward behaviour doesn’t work. If it did, we could overcome sin by our own efforts. Sinful behaviour is the visible evidence that we need radical heart surgery. God alone can go that deep, healing the whole person.

Sometimes He heals instantly and completely, sometimes healing is a life-long process. Whatever is most beneficial from the standpoint of eternity is what He does. And He doesn’t always heal every malady or problem. I wish He did! I would love to be able to taste food, to smell flowers, to live without the musical accompaniment in my left ear. (all results of a head injury I sustained six months ago – my survival is a miracle) I wish He would completely remove every longing my flesh has for things that displease Him. 

And you know what? I’m confident that He can do all the things I’ve mentioned, and more. And He is at work in me, changing & molding and transforming me all the time, making me fit for service. I don’t want my focus to be on ‘getting healed’, because if it is, I can’t focus on Him. And if I’m not focused on Him… what’s the point?

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