Monday, June 15, 2015

Holy Stubbornness

If I were to ask a random selection of Christians why Jesus was sent to the earth, I’d probably be told: to save souls, to forgive our sins, to be an example of love, to show us God, to teach us about faith, to establish the church. Of course He did all of that and more, but was that His main purpose? 

There’s a verb in Greek used all over the New Testament in different situations. It’s used when talking about untying sandal straps. It’s also used to describe breaking the laws of the Sabbath, or of destroying a building such as the temple. It was the verb Jesus used when He ordered Lazarus’ funeral cloths to be unbound. The word means to undo, dismantle, destroy, abolish. And that’s the key verb the Bible uses to explain why Jesus was sent to us. To undo all the evil that had gushed into this world like a broken sewer line, contaminating everything from the moment that Adam and Eve chose selfishness over obedience in the Garden of Eden.  

We’re so used to the idea of things being too late or of lost causes, it doesn’t occur to us that damage of the past can be undone. We may try to fix it or adapt to it, but undoing it is considered impossible. “Be healed of that trauma?” asked a woman recently, “I can’t turn back time, you know,” was her response. We’ll only understand how God can be outside of time and space once we reach heaven, but we have to stand on what the Bible teaches. I’ve seen prayers answered as if God had gone back in time and erased the effects of those painful experiences. He doesn’t even have to go “back” anywhere, since He is over time. He can undo or destroy whatever He wants, and He sent Jesus for that express purpose.

So what if you made the worst choices when you were younger? God doesn’t promise to delete chunks of time like a Hollywood movie, but He can undo the damage that evil inflicted on you. That trauma doesn’t have to be painful anymore, in fact it can be used as a powerful force for good, to teach and help others going through similar things. Diseases can be healed, broken relationships can be renewed, lost time can be recouped, and a perfect relationship with Him is always available if we choose to do what it takes. The demonic attacks on your mind can be destroyed so that you can live and function as if you had always been happy. The insecurities of past failures can be eradicated so that you have a bold faith to go forward like never before. God has chosen to send His Son to do battle with evil so that the possibilities for our blessings will be endless.  

As I always teach – Jesus paid the highest price, but miracles aren’t automatic. We have to align ourselves with Him in humility and submission, and then we have to align our faith with Him in boldness and determination to see His word come true. Repenting is the first step to undoing the effects of evil, but beyond that, He wants us to have a holy stubbornness to stand our ground so that He can undo more and more. Confront the devil to his face and determine that whatever evil has been done, is being eradicated based on His promise. Next step, live joyfully as if it has already been done even before you see any change, because His radical sacrifice deserves our radical faith.

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.  (1 John 3:8 HCSB)

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