Teaching, TravelsDecember 19, 2018

Cut To The Quick 12.19.18


What is happening in your own private thought room called the mind? If others could see your thoughts would they see black, grey or a display full of vibrant colors? Do you know the life-giving creative thought process of the Holy Spirit? He is waiting to inspire us with His love. Our brain is a phenomenal machine able to chart a brilliant course of love and life, from, in and for, the explosion of resurrection power in the living Jesus.

When we allow God to cut to the quick of our heart a most beautiful thing occurs. First, I must qualify this statement. It is no little thing to open up our doors to Him. Our sinful heart can hold a firm grasp on hiding our secret ways. We don’t want to let Him into our dungeon chamber. But when we release our tight grasp, when we trust in the Father’s love, when we release our life into His hands, and believe that all He wants for us is to know His love, something marvelous happens.

It is not sensational, involving emotionalism. It is the divine intelligent love of God. It is the thought process of the living Jesus releasing His thoughts into our brain called “living waters” (Jn.7:37). Yup. It’s real.

It is like an explosion of the divine colors of eternity entering our finite thoughts. It is called inspiration or anointing. It is the Holy Spirit. It is the echoes of rebirth. In a micro-second, the reality of God’s Spirit cuts into our slothful negativity with His vibrant eternal life. The heartbeat of Jesus touches ours. It is no exaggeration. If anything I cannot possibly express the inexpressible joy. Anything I state is an understatement. If you could picture the physical brain impulses suddenly forced to process divine life what would it look like?

What would a brain surgeon say if he could see this process on a monitor? It is what happened to the woman at the well in John 4, and the Roman Centurian at the cross, and Nicodemus in John 3. This is real. It happened for many people who spoke with Jesus. He defined the content of His words as “spirit and life” (Jn.6:63). The brain is only accustomed to natural thought patterns. The natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them…but he who is spiritual appraises all things” (1 Cor. 2:14ff).

The default of our brain is negativity. It echoes the same voice of Adam “Why is our life not simple and everything is a syndrome of demand and burden?” Could there really be unseen forces using this cycle of thought to keep us down? Why do we so easily settle for this natural way all men think about things? There is a spiritual way.

Why not be brave? Ask God to cut to the quick with His thoughts (Is.55:8ff)? Things that start out simple often drift into mental gridlock. Cut them off at the pass. Learn God’s Word. Memorize a verse. Then, at that moment of a downward spiral, recall it to your memory and wait on God’s explosion of life. Do not conform to this world but be transformed (Rm.12:2). Use your free will to change.

 A simple answer to complex problems is what we all desire. A brilliant scientist named Albert Einstein said: “God’s ways are always simple ways”. He said, “I am not smart, I just spend longer on figuring out problems”. Don’t be so quick to accept the negative. Wait for God’s simple answer. It always comes when you ponder, not the problem, but the living Person of Jesus. God promises “Those who wait…shall mount up like eagles” (Is.40:30-31).

Could it be that “unanswered” prayers have an upside as well as the downside? If what we wanted always happened every time we snapped our finger we would never develop character. God wants us to tap the profound colors of intelligence within our brains. As a Father, His primary purpose is to bring forth the Character of His Son in us. Paul learned that through difficulty God’s purpose is to show us that we are “more than conquerors” simply by using our mind joined with faith (Rm.8:37). He says patience brings about “proven character”. So the upside to “a silent God” is that He is training us to draw upon all that He has already given us and live by faith and walk in humility.

Could it possibly be that we ourselves, without even realizing it, oftentimes complicate our lives because we don’t know how to examine our thoughts and balance our emotions with the Word of God? Are we so consumed with our anxious thoughts that we miss the voice of the Shepherd Who calls us to learn how to utilze the beautiful gift called discernment?

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit…able to judge (cut-discern) between the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

We have problems at work, family, relationships, or lack of, or any number of other outward things. Then there are the inner problems with unbelief, regret, anger, fear, depression, and loneliness. In every, and any situation, our desire is to ‘Cut to the Quick’ to find if there is a simple answer.

Imagine the enormous joy you would feel if you were staggering through a thick forest and suddenly discovered a beautiful paved path. Oftentimes, I find how God is with me, but only by faith. Not my feelings or circumstances. It is only when I step out in faith that I come to the One Who has paved a path in Whom I find the Father’s intended plan.

Long ago, God the Father came up with a very clear path through the forest of the human struggle. At first,  it sounds overly simplistic to say “The words of Jesus offer the answer to everything”. People says “That may be true at a theoretical level but what about the practical solutions needed in multitudes of specific situations?

So many problems require a specialized knowledge and require you to do things you don’t want to do. It was like this in the Old Testament. For a person, back then, to be right with God, a very tangled knowledge, that involved complex rituals of sacrificing the blood of particular animals was required. There were 10,000 laws that had to be obeyed.

Jesus ‘cut to the quick’ when He said “Come to Me… For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (Jn.6:40).

Everything we have chosen in life does not have to overwhelm us.

Multitudes of churches today have a long list of do’s and don’ts. Also in the secular world, much is needed to climb the social ladder for success. A specific education, vernacular and image is expected. Even with relationships, things can become very burdensome when the requirements for involvement escalate to unreasonable expectations. Everywhere you look things are not simple. 

The magnificence of God is seen as profound in that, no matter the obstacles of human existence, God has ‘cut to the quick’ with a resolution in One Human. He simplified all matters concerning knowing Him in One Person. He took all our heavy, intimate and complex issues and determined the perfect answer to life is One Man. God requires no vast knowledge, moral observance or personal atonement.

We need not search beyond the boundaries of our own capability. We need not to strive to exhaust ourselves with imagining mental barriers that don’t exist in the sight of God. The answer, as they say, is right in front of your eyes. The question is whether you will “see”; i.e.  “behold the Son”.

Jesus is the most brilliant Person ever to walk this planet. He says “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Mt. 11:30). How could Someone say such a thing when He was about to enter into the unimaginable burden of carrying the sin of mankind to the crosss?

Jesus came to earth the landscape of humanity was before Him. He lifted up His eyes and began the journey of God meeting man. Jesus walked with, sat by, laughed and cried with, taught, and touched as many as possible. He shared in and with us. Slowly, and ever so wisely, Jesus began to release the greatest gift the world has ever been given access to; His Father.

If the answer to life’s greatest burden of sin, was defined by Jesus as the relationship with His Father, how much more so is this our answer? So the issue for us is knowing the Father as Jesus does.  He promises to reveal Him to us in the exact manner as He Himself knows the Father’s love (Jn.17:22).

There was no need for Jesus to electrify a crowd with a spectacular vision or sophisticated rhetoric. Jesus simply spoke and spoke simply. His Word is enough to generate revelation of the Father to the one who is willing to “behold the Son”. In other words, our part is to see through Jesus to the Father. To see God in Him. To be overwhelmed by His love and mercy.

To “behold the Son” is impossible today, they say if this “Son” is dead and gone. But, for a certain few, however many no one knows, they believe Jesus is a living Person. So then the question is this word “behold”.  Nothing mysterious about its literary meaning. The depth Jesus intended only registers to a heart that knows such depth. It is in the sight of the beholder that the sight of Jesus is truly seen. 

For indeed, to all those who come to behold Him today, is given the same chance that was given to those of yesterday. Oh, to behold Him. To see in Him, beyond the body of a Carpenter, beyond even the life of the Son, to the Character of He Who is called by Him “My Father” (Jn.17).

 Jesus cut to the quick with His every word. Complex problems you say? Jesus revealed every issue is multi-faceted. One Rubix cube can be twisted and turned into a variety of color codes. Likewise, it is about the way in which you “behold” an issue,  that determines the relevance and significance of that issue. To one who beholds the Son, the complexities of sin fade when seeing the profound ways of God are so simple. 

Behold the Son shines His eternal light upon us to release the anxiety of darkness out which our struggles often loom. If we would let His Word ‘cut to the quick’ of our heart, to expose the gutwrenching truth of a situation,  we could find a “complex” situation becoming quite simple. The truth will set you free, Jesus promises. 

Sometimes we say something is very difficult to do when in fact what makes it so difficult is because we refuse to admit our own hidden agenda.  We may not want to do something but want to pretend that we do want to do it. So we make our own situation complex by our lack of honesty and transparency. Thus the Person of Jesus simply exposes our actual motives and leaves it up to us to repent and believe His “My yoke is easy” (Mt.11:30.

John Denver sang a song about watching an eagle fly. He said that any man, no matter how rich, is really a poor man if he never saw an eagle fly. Don’t go your whole life without changing your mind, humbling your pride, and allowing God to bring His eternal word into your heart. No matter what you may have in this world you are poor man if you do not see this Eagle fly.