Jesus – “God saves”… from
Tragedy -“something (big or small) causing suffering”… and
Unbearable – “intolerable, beyond endurance, more than flesh and blood can stand”… by a
Strategy – “a grand plan of action designed to achieve a desired goal”… for
Recovery – “return to health, healing, redemption, equilibrium”… in Him.
Consider The Ravens
“God gives food…to the young ravens which cry” (Psalm 147:9).
The ravens fed me in the desert,
as they glided without effort,
they led me to my shelter,
upon the breeze surrendered,
the place I am centered…. alone with my Shepherd!
(Poem by my youngest daughter Elizabeth-38)
(Below from left: Sarah, Ruth, me, Beth, David, Abraham/ Crouched in front: Rachel, Joshua)
At this very moment, wherever you are, whoever you are, Jesus is waiting to meet with you. In your exact state, He yearns to adapt His love to your individual level of struggle and suffering. His heart is to lift you into His Spirit. A common cliche asks “Is it too good to be true?”. No. This stuff is real.
Howdy, partner in humanity. Greetings from your fellow family members. Come on in. We are honored to share our “wings”. We’d like to help you find yours. (Our last name in Polish actually means “little bird”.)
So what I want to give you here, in my own feeble attempt, if you will plow through this Amazon Jungle of words, is a touch of His dimension. In one sentence, or another, He will come to you, if you will come to Him.
You see, my dear friend, Jesus has this distinctive wound in Him that is extremely sensitive to everyones’ sorrow. He knows it so well. As our Brother from above, Jesus was subject to the most excruciating human pain ever known to mankind. This involves all inner fear and hurt resulting from our most hidden sin.
Jesus was literally ripped apart. His skull was punctured by thorns and torn open by laughing guards beating on it. It made a “migraine” seem like an ant bite. Out of 4 nails, pounded into His body, flowed quarts of blood. It was not for His sake that He agonized. He cares about YOU.
It’s like, how many times have we heard ‘Do not worry. Consider the ravens… how much more value are you’. We think “Ya. I already know that. My problems require something far more than a Bible cliche” (Lk.12:24)?
Please. Reconsider. Relearn. What if Jesus Himself was laying on His back, in the stillness of a moment, looking skyward, and saw a raven. There and then this “insignificant” bird drew this God-Man to contemplate the answer of His Father to His own Personal agony? It wasn’t about some morsel of knowledge but the Fathers’ very Presence. My dear brother or sister, herein lies the profound access point to enter the “place” where we can be lifted above any and all tragedy. To find supernatural lift out of our deep seated, mental anguish and suffering. I’m not lying or exaggerating.
This has to do with going to a “place” you’ve never been. Finding a physical place to find a spiritual place. Maybe, to lay on your back, lean against a rock or tree, sit by a stream, at a beach, to engage your heart and mind like never before. You possess latent faculties, like machines, created to bring you into a transcendent process only you can perform.
We live in a hi-tech culture in which thinking is nothing more than a bit above instinct. Meditation is relegated to California cult weirdos. So pathetic. Todays’ “Christians” do a sinners prayer and hour on Sunday and bring forth the fruit of a light hearted twit. Seeking answers like anyone else. The living Jesus compels us into a deep contemplation as the bread and butter of a divine meal. He is the Bread of Life (Jn.6). This is not a mere metaphor but a Personal promise.
“My words are spirit and life…I am the Door… I am the Way, Truth and Life itself…I am that I am…Deep calls to deep” (Jn.6:63, 9,10,14/Ps.42:7). His words in Scripture beckons us beyond nice stories, written with black letters on white pages (Jn.6:63,4:24). They compel us to Him. Revelation of the living Person of Jesus offers a library of disclosure; a fountainhead of restoration, not one answer or a second, but a 3rd answer. But you have to learn how to do it…then DO IT! It’s not magic. It’s passion. What is your heart capacity; King David or king Saul? Do you know the difference? Jesus promises, not only recovery, but the dawning of the Father’s Character (Jn.6:37,14:23).
So how do we get to this light? In His reference to “consider the ravens” could Jesus be sharing with us His key to finding the solution to His own unbearable tragedy? He requires everything in you to back down, shutdown, redirect your focus and energy and ONLY then to find HIS PEACE (Jn.14:27/Phil.4:7/1 Kings 19:12/Ps.42:7)? Not a passive acquiescence but another dimension of life. He requires something so simple our nature of anxiety causes us to miss it. Our flesh desires something sensational. Something of instant gratification.
Jesus asks of you a beautiful nothing. The Answer to the burden of life is awaiting…. just a “bird” away. Sadly, the majority will go their whole lives carrying massive hidden grief, never learning to be still before a merciful father.
If you read this thinking you already know what I’m writing, you will not learn zero. I’m sorry but I’m not the perfect writer. This is a bit long and wordy but what I share is a rare REAL. Essential to discovery is a humble disposition of conscious need. You can only fill an empty cup. It’s exciting to learn real answers. Can you STOP religious presumption? The man named Job, was more righteous than any man of his time.
But suddenly enormous suffering showed him his inner chasm. He realized he knew nothing of an everlasting almighty God (Job 42:5-6). He was a man who knew how to gaze at a bird, or any creation of God, to learn what he never knew (Job 42).
My oldest son, Abraham, claims 6 words are like magic to get him in Gods’ way: “I don’t know anything about You.” Can you even say this? “Well, not me. I know alot about God. This makes me better than the pagan”. Come on man. Let go. If you hold to knowledge, you don’t realize, “Consider who you are…not wise, not noble, not mighty… God has CHOSEN that which is nothing that “He might nullify THE THINGS THAT ARE” (1 Cor. 8:1, 1:26-29,3:19). Yikes. The “things that ARE“?! You mean everything? Yup. Jesus says He didn’t come to earth for the “healthy” but the “sick” (Mark 2:17). That’s me. How about you?
Jesus says “LEARN FROM ME”
Paul says “Follow me as I follow Christ” (1 Cor.11:1). I’ve gone through a lot to learn a lot to pass on to you. I remember 50 yrs. ago when I first read “Come to ME, LEARN FROM ME” (Mt.11:28-29). I first thought “How can I? You are dead and gone. Can’t fly to Israel. You are not there.” Then an astounding “little” truth hit me. He dropped me a breadcrumb. “What?! You are living?! It’s not about me going, doing, or being?”. It’s about YOU actually coming to wicked ol me?”
In an instant, I realized that all my nothingness, which I was intimately aware of, could be to my advantage. Coming to the living Jesus demanded nothing… but childlike Faith: “He will teach me. I will LEARN.” Learning anew is the everything to our nothing.
The word “sinner” is THEE most offensive word in the human language. If “Christians” really knew what it meant they’d likely never identify with it. Rm.3:10-19 is brutal to self-pride and ego. Contrary to famous preachers, who distort verses to win crowds, Jesus does not call us to “love yourself” but to “deny yourself” (Mk.8:34/Matt.16:24/Jn.12:25/Lk.9:23).
This didn’t offend me. It excited me. “God knows I am a selfish wicked man yet has a strategy to love me?”. So read no further if you are stuck on yourself. Any moron can parrot the “letter of the law” Bible verses, but only a heart of nothing learns from “the SPIRIT of the law” (2 Cor.3:6/Jn.6:63). Any parrot can repeat the word “Jesus”. It is not a magic mantra that imparts salvation. Salvation is not a matter echoing “Jesus”, or His teachings. It is learning to live IN HIM. And this requires death to self (Rm.6:6/Gal.2:20).
When I gave my life to Jesus, I was playing college football. I faced my proud self-ego and relinquished in quest of a new beginning (2 Cor.5:17). It is an individual decision everyone must make. We can choose how humble we are willing to go. Humiliation is the ultimate test and cauterizes the trauma involved in repentance. The mockery and humiliation I bore for Jesus, amongst “friends” and family, transformed my mind from this world into His (Rm. 12:/Jn.15:25).
So I follow Jesus despite the hatred of this world (Lk. 14:26-33/Jn.18:36). Two worlds: one insists you become something, and one that requires you become nothing. Your choice. Conversion is the most meaningful and richest experience of my life. It brought me to understand “the cross” and learn why nothingness is so grand, so beautiful, so profound, so real.
I began to learn REAL. Mind blowing. What do people hate me just because I love Jesus? How does my present day loneliness and sin originate 10,000 yrs. ago? Adam and Eve turned from God and thus incurred this painful of isolation and sin in every all human nature. Thus we inherit it from our actual ancestors. Jesus yearns transition our tragedy of loneliness into the power of solitude.
This is why we must die to ourselves; this inherited nature. It is a nuisance. A constant obstacle to faith. God emphatically declares that He is One “Who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist“ (Rm.4:17-18). So we must find that real place of calculation and personal repentance. It is where we see and identify our sin but go beyond it into His place of grace and hope for redemption.
God found an old pagan dude named Abraham to use in order to create our means for redemption. It’s called faith. Of course, today this word is thrown around like it’s common but it is “strategic”. Abraham found his “raven” moment. One still night, out alone, maybe laying on his back, staring up at the stars. Abraham found his real moment before God: “Man, look at that sky of stars! God, Father, You have got to be real. I believe in You. I give you my life”. Boom. Faith was born. Never before that moment did faith exist.
God wanted to show how faith is only born in “(divine) hope against hope (mere wishful thinking)“. Being 100 years old Abraham was “as good as dead“(Rm.4:18-19).
From this moment on someone who was nothing could now receive everything through an individual still-hearted incorporation of faith (Rm.10:9-10). So, in a sense, the more nothing you are, the weaker you become, the more tragic, the older you get, the greater God Almighty can move on you. IF you are willing to go find the “raven” place. God is just so cool. He really loves this nothingness thing. His Spirit only works “out of nothing” (Rm.4:17). I can never overdo this Biblical fact.
So the strategy of the Father is to bring within our nothingness His Presence. We must discover a place where we bridge the gap of sin into His Presence. If we are caught up in ourselves we will never recognize this beckoning in our conscience. There is no prayer-button to push but a heart to surge. With the heart man believes (Rm.10:9-10).
Our Father is not aloof to our cries, my dear brother or sister. He doesn’t put our prayers in a waiting line. But He does require certain “stuff” from us. He wants our HEART. His has an operative strategy which means He is a merciful ever-present, intimately involved Father, Who longs to be gracious (Is.30:18,43:1). He knows you by name. Are willing to be still…..to silence all voices… and wait for His? If not your burden is sure to continue and increase. It is an individual challenge; this road; you and Him. No bouncing our thoughts off others. We start with nothing, but faith, and refuse to stop until we find our end in His Presence. This is REAL bro. Not “out there”. Not difficult. As near as your mouth, on your lips (Rm.10:6-8).
TWO COMMON RESPONSES:
There are those who are a ‘runaway’ from describing their lives as “tragic”: “Oh no. I’m fine. No problem”. They deny the truth (Jer.17:9). Basically, you cannot teach them anything. On the other hand there are the lowly, quick to label their situation as “tragic,” hoping to find any love. I do not hesitate to identify myself with the latter. The term desperate is not a passing incident but a life-time realization of my state. My sick mind is transformed by the faith of Abraham (Rm.12:2,10:9-10)
Have you ever been in a military hospital, mental ward or prison infirmary? For that matter, any hospital or ward. It’s like a warehouse of tragedy. There’s an unbearable story in every bed, and usually, at least, a thousand beds in every facility. I don’t see strangers but fellow brothers and sisters. I have learned the compassion of Jesus renders divine comfort to us all. We are all brothers and sisters by human nature.
The stillness I discovered I now carry with me and give to my brethren. Multitudes, who the world once accepted as “safe and sound”, they quickly tag the label; “DAMAGED”. Nonsense. The “damage” has long harbored within. It was already there when they were born in sin (Ps. 51:5). But circumstances of mental anguish amplified it to the forefront of consciousness. Jesus promises “I WILL GIVE YOU REST” (Mt.11:27ff). Very few would ever realize that their feelings of hopelessness can be fully redeemed by God’s strategy to tragedy (Rm.8:28)?
God gets inside our “Complex” through His love. Our duty is to stop, and relearn what we thought we knew.
I talk with soldiers, labeled heroes, and folks on Wall Street, labeled “success”. But in secret, they tell me things as casualties of the hidden battle with sin: pain, fear, guilt, and shame. They don’t understand themselves. They do not know the “Complex” of sin can turn any little, or big thing, into a nightmare. Sin influences every aspect of our memories, feelings, mind, attitude, reactions, plans, ect. So I write here to translate God’s strategy to permeate the deepest grief with the love of the beloved Son to help you understand. The only hope is to RELEARN how to deal with life.
When you fall into a place where you feel stuck Jesus proposes His “place”. When we are struck down into a dark negative feelings one choice to believe God can turn on His light. We blame others or grope for some reason because we don’t understand this compelling vortex of evil is imbedded in our blood and exploited by demons. When pressures bear down on us we look within, but find nothing but anger. It is not your personality. It is sin. It renders you disconnected from God, isolated, and feeling nothing. No church group of people or sermon can resolve it.
My friend, the strategy to such inner tragedy is not found in trying harder but in transparency with the Father. Out of love, He tries to use our desperation to break us to “see” we are nothing, so we can find His “place” of TRUTH (Jn.14:6).
We all feel a constant sense of instability. It lingers in the basement of our self-awareness. We look for distractions but these are reverberations turn to anger and irritability and bubble-up at any time over nothing. Have you ever thought “Am I going crazy?”. We’ve all thought this quirky feeling. SIN. God explains “all men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts” and “they stumble like blind men… the poison of a snake is on their lips” (Ecc.9:3/ Is.59/ Rm.3:10).
Sin is in us, dude. You and me. It don’t go away through “confession”. People say “How can a sane man commit insane acts”? No man is sane. Just look at the world. Everything is nuts. Jesus seeks to come within, regardless of our sin, and give us a second “nature” of His Presence. We learn faith to replace God’s “something” for our nothing (sin). Jesus resolved IT. Believe. This is solid Biblical revelation.
Like “ravens” in the night sky, Abraham let go of himself, seeing God in the stars. He found “the place” of surrender. When we submit to the grace of the death and resurrection of Jesus the tragedy of our sin subsides in His work on the cross. Atonement. Appeasement. Substitution. Mediation.
So many times I see my own self-righteousness can’t process my own depraved ways. So I must simply obey His strategy. I can’t earn my way back into God’s favor. I just admit I’m wicked. His compassion is for everyone always. You don’t have to “forgive yourself”. Jesus did long ago. I merely recognize sin hiding within. Meditate on how Paul understood sin as an objective entity, apart from his true identity (read Rom.7:14 to the end). Mind blowing.
Without understanding the components of our sin we remain prisoners, roaming the long lonely corridor of life. We wonder “Who am I?” We search for love and acceptance. “Am I worse or better than others? What is my future? Do I even have one?” Our “identity” is established to others by our visible points of worldly association. But that’s not us. Our individual identity can only be found in “the place” (Jn.14:23).
When asked to describe someone an acquaintance will give this “unique” description; “Uh. They liked laughing and climbing trees”. So different than billions of others.
God does not dwell on Pluto, but earth. He yearns to reveal Himself and heal our consequences of a physical accident, being in prison, alcohol or drug abuse, a hospital-bound sickness, adultery and divorce, financial distress or any of a thousand things that draw us into the darkness of unbearable tragedy.
My fellow comrade, there is one bottomline-tragedy, worse than all, that we must first deal with: DEATH. It is in you, now, working to steal away your life. Right now, you can take-on an intelligent, level-headed analysis of death. Set your mind anew. Gods’ revelation promises divine “medicine” of His Spirit to neutralize “the unbearable”.
God never wanted us to suffer. He created us to be immortal. But the sin of Adam and Eve began our tragic toil; “the wages of sin is death” (Rm.6:23). Death and sin are inseparable. Wrinkles, weakness and bodily depletion show up in the blink of an eye, out of “nowhere” and strip us of our self-strength. In a moment of time we are brought face to face with one universal truth; death proves we are nothing. We will all be but worms (Job 25:6).
The Strategy of Nothing… The Beautiful “Nothing”… In which He becomes Everything
My wife Rachel sings a beautiful song on the streets, and in prisons, written by The Rolling Stones. Yup. Total pagans used for God’s glory. It’s called “Wild Horses” (Her rendition is they couldn’t drag God away from loving you).
King David cried to God: “Teach us to number our days so that we may present to You a heart of wisdom….Lord, make me to know my end…let me know how transient I am..my life is as nothing in your sight” (Ps.90:12,39:4-6).
So this talk of death, and being nothing, is not extreme, crazy, radical or debatable. It’s like gravity. It’s common sense. The Father yearns to transform our fear into His perspective. His love directly impacts our natural feelings of unbearable grief:
“For YOUR sake we are put to death all day long (We die to ourselves to help others find His everything in our nothing.)…I am convinced that neither death, nor life…nor any thing is able to separate us from the love of God” (Rom.8:28-39).
You will never hear about the tragedy of death on NBC NEWS. It is the conspiracy of all mankind to hide the reality of death. Ever notice how famous people slowly fade from the public eye as they get old? They want no one to see the grotesque shock of aging on their faces. It comes from the inside out.
A young Robert Redford, Paul Newman or once “sexy diva” is stunned by the tragedy in the mirror. I recently saw the greatest fullback of all time, Jim Brown. I was stunned. His “great accomplishments” will register only a few minutes on a news epilogue.
Our youthful hype, tight skin and strong body is slowly succumbs to inescapable depression and misery. The elderly can not cope with the mental hurricane of rapid degradation. Millions are abandoned by children, unless there’s a hope for money.
Death proves one thing: no matter what you will do on earth, its’ end is nothing. Death comes at one moment in time, but its’ grim composition begins in our early lives. Like a huge industrial complex, sin and death corrupt every human experience, cell, organ, muscle, and brain. I’ve never heard a man boast “Hey man. I’m going to die!”.
In some crazy way we feel we are entitled to a better life. We think we “I deserve better. WHY did this happen to ME? No one understands my problems. I don’t deserve this. We blame God. My friend, stop. Consider the ravens. They are not brainwashed by this world. They make no contribution to society. They demand no one to give them a job or ministry. No goals or plans.
They do one thing. They do nothing; but it is the beautiful nothing. They draw us to glorify God. To be thankful that we have a chance of this life for eternal life. They were created for the same purpose as us; to give our magnificent Father His due glory. To get our mind off our sin, our ego our problems our self. Can you imagine saying “I don’t deserve anything because I am nothing”. And I mean really, deep down, grasping all of what you are… not.
I continue to learn how to be a master “safe cracker”. What I mean is I have learned how to still my heart by being trained over years by the Spirit the right “combination” to enter the “safe” place of the Most High; the beautiful of nothing. Everything in me is silent. My mind and heart go to work. Isaiah said “Woe is me, for I am nothing” (Is. 6:5). John the Baptist said “I am not worthy to tie your sandals… and… I must decrease and He must increase”. Job said “I am dust and ashes”. A woman told Jesus she was as a dog looking for just crumb of God’s Presence (Mt.15:27).
Jesus told Mary no human task compared to sitting at His feet (Lk. 10:42). My “work” is to turn the tumblers of my heart, and apply faith to analyze my memories, search my wisdom, examine my weaknesses, see my pride and put the drive to be REAL. Being real is God’s demand (Jn.4:24). Then, and only then, can I find the beautiful “nothing”. It is where I find ME: “my outer man perishes (as nothing) but my inner man is renewed… like the eagle” (2 Cor.4:16 /Is.40:31/Jn.10:10). Jesus says our only work is to BELIEVE (Jn.6:29). So He wasn’t talking about doing nothing but “nothing”.
The other day Ravens “fed” me in my wilderness of nothing (1 Kings 17:6) As I laid on the grass in a remote field, staring up at the flight pattern of ten ravens. My soul was troubled and sorely grieved by inexplicable depression; an odor of death. The adversity of being a sinner.
In and out, the ravens flew, as if designated pilots on a mission to draw me higher. In mid-flight I watched several flutter in place, then suddenly switch directions and catch the wind in the opposite flow. Wow. That’s God. Just magnificent. They glided in a pattern, making their sounds, as if talking to me while weaving in amazing symmetry. Come up hither. Learn from us. Love the Lamb.
Such an event with no crowds to marvel.
-This is part of a song I am working on in an attempt to capture the same sense as I describe here. If you listen closely you will hear the sound of a raven blended in with the synthesizers. Let me know I’ll send it to you if you like.
I beheld High Places. I gave yield to the breeze of the wind as divine. I spoke no words but heard many. I said no formal prayer but felt many answered within. I let go and found me. Ahhh. The old self lifted.
My regenerated spirit was quickened (1 Cor.15:45). It is who I really am beyond my sinful nature. It is my God-certified disposition (Jn.4:24). I arrived in the field bummed out, but left uplifted. Walked as one, but flew as two (Isaiah 40:31/Rm.7:23). Paul explains I am “hidden in Christ” (Col. 3:3). Don’t knock it unless you try it.
It is not in my sinful nature to know who I am. It died 50 yrs. ago. Humiliated by 100 guys and coaches on a national championship football team. Now, I will never “live” that life again. The Fathers’ love is built on His promise and oath (Heb. 6:13-14). He cannot lie. My real identity “…has not appeared as yet what I will be” (1 Jn.3:2). It is not within me to understand the insidious ways of my carnal flesh. Paul says ‘what the heck am I doing choosing sinful ways’(Rm.7:14). Then explains God’s strategy; “Thanks be to God…on one hand I serve God…but on the other the law of sin” (Rm. 7:25)?
My strategy is to learn, study and relinquish myself to His strategy.
To implement the awareness of my nothing as an instinctive attribute of my character. “To die is gain” (Phil.1:21/Gal.2:20).
Paul said “I am the dreg of all things…the scum of the earth” (What is a ‘dreg’?)(1 Cor.4:13). How’s that for nothing? His new spirit ridiculed the tragedy of death: “Oh death where is your sting…the sting of death is sin … but God gives victory through Jesus” (1 Cor.15:56). This is the grand GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL (Col. 1:27). I am confident His Presence in me is greater than everything against me (Phil. 1:6). “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress…or peril, or sword, or famine or nakedness…WE ARE PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG” (Rm.8:31-36).
“He who believes in me will live even if he dies” (Jn.11:25).
The strategy requires one thing from you: authenticity. Being real is like flight. It demands wings. God doesn’t make our wings. We do. It’s not common to be real before God. It’s not a cinch. Few people in this world ever achieve this goal. It involves bringing into confluence many parts of our human entity. How deeply do we think, contemplate and talk to the living Jesus? Does His tragic death turn our hearts inside out? Do we pause… and glide with the ravens? Do we know the sphere of His “wind” (Jn.3:8). Do we ponder and visualize?
Jesus knew that Adams’ sin so corrupted us we would live in unbearable tragedy. No stairway to heaven within us. Mankind would be facing unbearable consequences of sin. So He agreed to come to earth. He would endure the greatest so we could be born all over again if we surrender to His revelation (Jn.3:3/ 1 Pt. 1:23). The Father and the Son conceived The Strategy and the Holy Spirit brings The Solution; The Plan to overcome a depraved world in sin.
“In the world you shall have tribulation but TAKE courage (My power)
I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD (John 16:33).
Jesus CHOSE to “empty Himself” of His divinity and succumb to the Father’s strategy (Phil.2:7-8). No entitlement. Humility led to humiliation
It demands our WILL (Jn.7:17).
Jesus fell to the bottom of life to bear all the ‘unbearable’ sin. It killed Him and He killed it. So today, Jesus can come alongside us, with His risen Spirit. You yield. He transmits His Presence (Rm.6:6/1 Cor.15:45/Jn.3:3-8). The God phenomenal of Divine comfort is when we hear Someone else feels our exact pain and circumstances. He appeases our sense of lonely isolation and imparts His strength in individual solitude.
The strategy over tragedy requires brutal honesty with Him, in Him, of our old self in hope the ravens will draw us into our new self. It is my sinful self who killed You Jesus. It is this monster who drives the nails and thorns into Your divine body. It is I who blames You for my suffering. Forgive me.
You alone understand why I sin. You felt all its’ compelling pulsations and sensations. You killed every aspect of this crazy insidious entity of sin. Your shed blood reckoned me unlimited forgiveness is mine.
My fellow sojourner, we must work to comprehend and access this magnificent gospel. It is not singing songs at church. It is not having to suffer alone inside while smiling outside and parroting christian theology. The Father has made Himself evident within us, by our conscience, so that we will come to Him our of our individual accountability (Jn.3:16-17, 7:17/Rm.1:19-20/Jn.15:22-27). The man who diligently activates his free will begins to utilize intelligence finds the solutions and strategy to any unbearable tragedy. It is not knowledge. It is His heart; His love; His Character.
“Here I am. Bring your tragedy to Me” says the One Whose mind thought of YOU, then, personally, with love beyond measure. Let go.
Failure is not a personality flaw. They say some are good, and good things happen and some are bad so bad things happen. Absurd. Neither is any person fixed by an inescapable “addiction” to booze, drugs, sexual deviation, TV, video games, etc. These are all cultural myths.
I deal with this constantly in prison work. Men are conditioned to rationalize and justify behavior, that they are told, can only be controlled by drugs and psycho-therapy. Tragically, despair and suicide result. They are told that they ARE evil because they DO evil. So they DO evil because they are told they ARE evil. A vicious cycle of lies.
Blame started with Eve towards Adam. People blame their parents, a job or the past. There is “NO EXCUSE” (Jn.15:25). It is an essential to take full accountability for ones’ life. The work of the cross can only begin with intelligent accountability to find and know the truth.
Just as you failed miserably, so too, can you succeed wonderfully. Seize the reigns of your destiny. Defy the lie. Learn from the raven. Watch the unbearable slip into the bearable. CHANGE. He bore YOU in His body on the cross. God would be a monster if he created anyone with an inbred “addiction”. Sin was a result of our decision, not God’s decision. His is for redemption.
The truth is we are all “addicts” to a thousand variations of sin, at any one time in life. Habits, no matter how established, can be conquered. We have a choice in how we choose to think and interpret our circumstances. Blame leads only to the paralysis of self-pity.
Let God teach you how to “divide” yourself from yourself by His Spirit (Heb.4:12). It is ultimate freedom. In Christ, the Spirit shows sin to be an irrelevant objective (learn this word) non-matter. Paul says “I do not box the air” and “it is not me but sin in me” (1 Cor. 9/Rm.7). The resurrection destroyed sin forever. What and how you believe matters. Words matter. Thoughts matter. A tiny hope blossoms into faith. God expects us to be individuals capable of unique honest heart-found expressions to Him. Freedom. We have to un-think the wrong stuff to rethink right stuff. Repentance is begging God for recovery. Humiliation is a very refreshing process of healing to unlearn and relearn.
THE “EMBRACE”OF THE FATHER WE ALL LONG FOR… AWAITS YOU !
When some people hear us speak of the living Jesus, they question our intense warning against the “Accept Christ as Savior” prayer-formula. They don’t understand that our admonition is not out of a casual or flippant chafe opinion. It is a serious, well-calculated LOVE, of the Father, to present the multi-faceted provisions of His living revelation. Our only desire is for you to truly know His love.
God is not a cosmic perplexity. We need not fear we cannot understand Him. He “casts out” all fear (1 Jn.4:18). He has no “brainteasers”. He does not demand moral behavior before He will come to you. It would be a contradiction to expect morality from men, whom He reveals are evil by nature. Remember Abraham was a pagan.
The precise thinking of those who designed the “sinners prayer” in the 17th century (Charles Finney and John Wesley) was to supplant “the complexity” of the New Testament with an easy token prayer-formula. So the lazy nature in all men didn’t need to comprehend a “distant” Being. This is outrageous. It is “defiance” to Jesus Who promises to reveal Himself to the most common of men.
Todays christianity is a magnet for self-righteousness because it instills an instant false “righteousness” as an immovable bedrock based on what a MAN DOES.The fruit is obvious. Not humility but “Don’t tell ME! I’m already ‘saved’ “. The constant recycle of condemnation due to our sinful inability to meet any “Christian” standard. If you never experience the divine embrace, we all long for, you will live in the torment of an ongoing vice between legalism (striving to be right) vs lawlessness (our natural ways).
The Father extends one alternative: SONSHIP (Jn.8:36/2 Cor. 6:18/Rm.8:15/Gal.4:6).
The driving heart of Jesus is to reveal His mediation of adoption to the most wicked, stupid and ignorant (1 Cor.1:18ff). It is not a lofty theology but the intimate experience of a fellow brother touching us as The Brother. We are gripped by another awareness in which we sense a realistic approach to God as “Daddy” (Gal.4:6). Not weird. Not warm fuzzies. Historical fact. The security of identity as a real child of God. The warm caring “embrace” of belonging; “You are mine”.
Jesus became the “prodigal son” Who actually shared in, bearing our rebellion in our experience of sin. He sweat blood, feeling our run of rebellion, from the Father, while on the cross. Yet ran back to the Father, driven by His vision of the Father. Divine love is like the many colors and angles reflected through a prism. It’s not fabricated religious sentiment but historical documentation of God coming to earth to give us His wealth of perspective to any sinner to resolve our greatest tragedy. No one is excluded. The disciples were not brain surgeons. Yet, through Jesus, became profound authors of a New Covenant.
The modern-day “salvation” reduces a mountain to an ant hill. It is a diabolical effort to create a token cutoff point from discovery. It circumvents the entire gospel. “Christians” remain in dire need, but since they prayed the “sinners’ prayer”, they refuse to “go back” and face their void. It would not be denying the Lord. It would be obeying the Lord. Instead of a prism of light permeating their lives with wonderful colors they are left with a useless common stone. My friend, come back to the Father. You have nothing to regret or fear. He awaits with open arms. We’re talking about ETERNITY in heaven or hell.
When I was initially confronted with sin I was greatly relieved and happy. I thought “Do you mean that God, not only fully sees and knows my evil, but explicitly describes it and responds with eternal forgiveness and love?”. That day I will never forget. I was twenty years old. My foundation began rooted in this truth. I became enthralled with the living Person of Jesus. I don’t have to hide or deny what I am to God. Whew. Can you imagine walking each day KNOWING Jesus loves YOU, no matter what? And the Woroniecki family cares about YOU. Give us a chance to show you. Below is a picture outside a prison facility in South America.
A sports writer once described my high school running style, as an All-City fullback, with the words “reckless abandon”. It hit home. In retrospect I realize this is the very attitude I have had all my life to get beyond myself and the entanglements of mainstream religion. I have faced enormous opposition, false accusations, and struggles from without and within. Many mistakes and failures, but driven by love, I have continued to “run” forward.
Pounded and hit from all sides, I turn, catch my balance and surge forward. Maybe I can gain a few extra yards of God-space on this field called the world. Trying, with all abandon for the living Jesus, to put up a sign, carry a cross, give a pamphlet, where people gather. Maybe, just maybe someone comes to Him. It’s all that matters to me.
I’ve found unspeakable joy in giving the love of Jesus. He says “It is in giving that you receive”. When we fill our mind with the tragedy of others it changes our perspective on life. When we see the individual heartache, and hear the horrendous details of their story, it dwarfs our troubles. Over some fifty years God has honored this reckless abandon of love for the lost and hurting.
My family and I are privileged to be sent to work amongst thousands of people who deal with so many variations of tragedy and unbearable sorrow. If you’d like to help us we are not rich. Nor are we supported by any group, church or organization. We need all the help we can get.
We are presently on our way to Brazil and South Africa to reach a population of oppressed, both in prison and common society. So I ask you to please allow this article to help you with what the merciful Father has shown me in the living Christ.
I invite you to check out the Go Fund Me link to my daughter Ruth. She recently incurred a horrific tragedy by falling 200 feet down a mountain. She broke her neck in two places. It brought my family and I into tremendous sorrow and tears but we know the mercy and tender love of the Father as manifested in the living Jesus. It happened on Christmas morning.(Consider our most recent family tragedy mentioned at the very bottom of the page; please see also: L.A. Times: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-02-23/have-mercy-on-me-hiker-tells-how-she-survived-200-foot-fall-from-ice-trail )