When Life’s a Mess, break out the Mess kit

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There are days I draw nigh to God, and there are days when I run as far from Him as I can get for fear that His holiness will burn the hide off my unholy nature. I thank God for certain that I live in the dispensation of grace and not law, else my previous statement would be fact not a figment of my imagination. I thought today how I have people who look to me for wisdom, and I have others who I think, think that I am a fool, though they may not. But my insecurities rear their ugly heads from the darkest caves within my heart and make me feel as though I’m the worst of the worst. But then I realize I’m calling Apostle Paul a liar who wrote to Timothy:

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

1 Timothy 1:15 KJVS

To put it mildly, I’m a hot mess most days.

Tonight I search for something that I really don’t even know what I’m looking for, I just need encouraged. I need God’s word to light me up, of course figuratively. I’m sure I need beaten. But I’d rather have a word from God that will draw my mind into a place of stillness. Where I hear, feel, and find direction.

I attempted to find my scripture in some Old Testament wisdom, but I ended up in the book of Acts, standing on Mars Hill with the Apostle Paul.

AN ENCOUNTER WITH GOD

Acts 17:22-27 KJVS
[22] Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. [23] For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

Paul knew the God for who the ignorant searched. And so do I… but I don’t feel very wise. Because though Paul and I both know the same God, I’m not at the same spiritual point in my life as Paul. He could stand before the people on Mars Hill with confidence, even at the beginning of his ministry because he lived and breathed the word of God. He did so after an encounter that left him visually impaired but was years later capable of seeing in to the third heaven. Would to God I could be so close to the Lord!

2 Corinthians 12:1-5 KJVS
[1] It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. [2] I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. [3] And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) [4] How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. [5] Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.

AN EXPERIENCE WITH GOD

Paul in Acts 17 had found an altar to THE UNKNOWN GOD. A god the people were worshiping, even though they didn’t know who it was. They had experienced nothing, yet were willing to bow down to it. But Paul was about to introduce them to “an experience.”

[24] God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; [25] Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; [26] And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

God determined when Paul would be born to the earth, where he would be born and how God Himself would use Him. Paul had this experience but it was not without God’s planning. He could preach in confidence because God had placed him in such a position as to learn the Old Testament from the greatest of scholars, but then he placed him in a position where he would experience the Lord in such a way that he would be the writer of 13 of the New Testament books. That’s a glory to God moment right there and one to take not of.

Have you experienced Him? It’s one thing to know of God, but have you experienced Him in such a way that it left your life so impacted that nothing was ever the same? Paul didn’t look at anything without judging it through Christ. Paul had experienced the Lord in such a way that the earthly wisdom for which most people accept, wasn’t ever good enough for Paul. He wanted to see it from Gods perspective. Likely why God did take Him into the third Heaven.

Israel could not comprehend that God was approachable. They’d heard about Moses’ time with God. And how God could not be looked upon for His glory. How could they possibly understand that God was not only approachable, He lived within the very heart of man? The only way they could understand it was to experience it. That is why the wise are so stupid. They’re not willing to get to a point of humility so that they too can experience God.

I’ve experienced God. Oh. My. Stars. Have I ever!!! But yet I still struggle, why is that? Why do I get to the point where I’m searching for another experience rather than just living in the moment with God as Paul did. Confident that He is going to do a great work in me.

AN EXAMINATION BY GOD

I think it is because I stop feeling. Getting close to God requires some up close and personal time. When I said in the beginning that I ran from God because He will burn the hide off of my unholy nature. That’s true. When I begin to experience God, all that is in my life that shouldn’t be heats up. God runs it through the fire and it burns me.

But that is the very thing that drives me into a closer relationship with Him. I want that relationship. I’ve had it, I know when I’m not right with Him and I know what needs to happen.

[27] That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

He is never far from me. He’s in me! But Paul said that if “haply the might feel after him, and find him.” Haply means by chance. It’s got to be a concerted effort. God is not going to bless overtop of rejection. Just as the people were searching for an UNKNOWN GOD, God had presented Himself to them, time and time again. He wasn’t going to make them accept Him. Nor once He’s saved us, is He going to make us “Experience” Him.

Tonight I needed a reminder of what it was like on my own Damascus road. When Christ came into my life and saved me from searching for peace, joy and happiness. All of which I found in Jesus Christ and experienced Heaven for the first time in my life. I have not always walked successful but Christ has never once failed to walk with me until I came out the other side of life’s circumstances. Yes, I’m a hot mess many days, but He gave me my very own mess kit for being a part of the army of God. It’s called the Bible. Praise Him! He alone is worthy.

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