Monday, January 9, 2012

Passion 2012: Session 3 - Divine Interruptions

 2nd session of day 2...amazing. That's really all I can say. My eyes have been completely opened and I just had to stop and meditate on the message brought by Christine Caine. I could hardly even take notes because I was just so captivated by what I was hearing. God is doing such a work in this generation and in my own heart. I've never been more motivated to get out there and make a difference!

It seems like everything that has been spoken about has to do with interruptions...Jesus interrupted the funeral procession...Jairus' story was interrupted by the unclean woman. When divine interruptions happen...lives are transformed. My life has definitely been interrupted by the touch of Jesus this week.

John 17:15-18 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 

Jesus sent us into the world to do what he did. To allow us to be interrupted by lost and broken people so that we could bring healing and restoration. Look at the Holocaust. 6 million people died. No book or video can compare to the reality that was the Holocaust. You can't wrap your mind around the story...but when you are in the presence of the Holocaust suddenly opens your eyes. When you see the shoes and walk through the gas becomes real. Those 6 million people were just a number back then...they had a number tattooed on their bodies...they didn't have a name or a story. If you take away a name and face and put a statistic or a number then it's easy to ignore suffering when you dehumanize it. That's why 27 million sounds so distant to us now and why 6 million people died in the Holocaust...we took away the face of it. Even though it's a big number...we don't connect with it because numbers are numbing, numbers are dehumanizing and desensitizing. Where was the church in all of that? Where was our voice in that injustice?

Now...what about today? There are 27 million people who are slaves right now. Where is your voice? Where is my voice? What are we doing to stand up to this evil that is taking place in our own backyards? I didn't sign up to follow Jesus to be a writer or a blogger or anything else! I signed up to follow Jesus to be a disciple and to go and make more disciples!

Jesus interrupts our normal mundane moments to speak to us and transform our lives. 27 million doesn't hit home until you realize that it could be your sister...your brother...your child...your friend...your cousin. When something changes from a number or statistic or a face on a poster it a news report to 'mine'...everything changes. What wouldn't you do to find them and save them if it was someone you loved? You wouldn't care what you looked like it what you had to give up to rescue them. Come face to face with the fact that on your watch, on my watch...on the church's watch...that there are now, in the 21st century, more slaves on the earth today than ever before in the history of humanity. With all of our great churches and songs and conferences...there are still more slaves than ever before! How can we allow this to happen?!

Luke 10:30-34 Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, an he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then be set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 

The Samaritan had compassion...and SO. HE. WENT. Compassion isn't getting emotional or sad when we hear/read about things like this. Compassion is never compassion until you cross the street and go and do something now. It is never compassion until you actively get involved and allow yourself to be interrupted! Christine said that she had the thought that she was like the Samaritan since she went to all the conferences and events...but in reality she was more like the Levite or Priest. They weren't bad, they were good religious people but they were so concerned with getting to their next religious event that they walked past the very people that Jesus sent us here to reach! I have to tell you this was so convicting to me! I spent all of my free time going to meetings and writing for these ministries...but what am I stepping over in the process? What am I not going and doing? Am I so concerned with M28 or C4 or CRU or CrossWay or Passion or my blog that I'm ignoring the very people and situations that God sent me here to heal!? It broke my heart to realize that...and it's something I'm still working through. I don't want to see those people and situations as an interruption to my ministry rather than the object of my ministry. I want to be willing to be interrupted. I want to cross the street and get involved. Jesus was willing to be interrupted so he brought healing and restoration. Heaven was interrupted when it sent Jesus into this broken world to save each one of us. How can we keep walking by when our God brought us healing?

We have to arise because the world we live in today is broken. If we are broken then we cannot help anyone else...but we who have been rescued (even as broken as we still are) have a responsibility to rescue lost and broken people. Jesus sent us. We have hope! Jesus lives inside of us and he sent us to a lost and broken world to bring hope and restoration. Surely God wants to use rescued people to rescue people. Our generation can make a difference if we realize this now!

It doesn't matter what your past looks like...whether you were abused or adopted or loved or trapped or free or anything else you can think of. Before you were formed in your mother's womb God knew you! He knitted you together and you are fearfully and wonderfully made! It doesn't matter what you've been through or how you came to be the person you are today...God made you and he knows you! Because you have had an encounter with Jesus it doesn't matter what the facts of your life are...what matters is the truth of God. God's truth does NOT say that you are the workmanship of a rape or an adulterous affair or a one night stand or a man or woman who abused you or trapped you or two people who love you and care for you...NO...we are HIS workmanship, recreated in Christ Jesus for good works! We are saved by grace through faith for a purpose!

God has a plan and purpose for us...we were sent out into the world to bring healing and restoration and right now there are 27 million people enslaved and hurting! Jesus wants to heal and cleanse us...but he is showing us that it's not just us, but there are people who are bound and held captive all around the world, and if together we do something now, we can bring freedom, life, hope, mercy, justice, truth, and rescue to this broken and lost world! IT doesn't matter your past because there is a fine line between us and them. We could have been one of them very easily. All I know is that you and I are not numbers...we are living breathing beings created in the image of God. Those 27 million are not numbers either...they are just like us...full of destiny and God given promise, the same word that set us free can set them free but how will they know if we don't go? How will they know if we don't do something now? How will they know if we don't raise our voices and say, "We will not be silent or allow this injustice to prevail because it is for freedom that Christ set us free and we as a generation are taking a stand for freedom in Jesus name."

Begin to pray for discernment...what has God called you to and how can you use the gifts and talents that God has given you to make a difference? Don't run away from the world...go to the world to set them free...He rescued us so that we could arise, reach back and rescue others...we were freed so that we could free others. Not so we could be good Christians but so that we could shine a light into the dark world. A million is a statistic until you meet one. Christine Caine told the story of a girl who had been shipped to Greece in a shipping container with 60 other girls. Half of them had died on the way over. They were locked in an apartment, raped and starved. Then they were taken in a boat to Athens...but none of them knew how to swim and when a Coast Guard ship was spotted, they threw all the girls out. Only 5 of those girls survived. They were rescued and sent to a shelter. Christine was talking to this girl and another who had been rescued the day before...and the other girl asked why they had come. Christine told her about the God who loved her and Jesus could heal and free her and that he had a purpose for her life and give her a future beyond her past. As she was telling the girl this, the girl responded with, "If what you are telling me about your God is true, then why didn't you come sooner?"

What is so important in our temporary world that would take us away from the eternal purpose that God sent us here to do? It is for FREEDOM that Christ set us free...comfort, security, safety...those are not the goal of Christianity...freedom is. The purpose of life isn't to arrive at death safely. Death is the ultimate statistic...1 out of 1 will die. Don't freak out about it...Jesus came to make us alive and set us free so that we could go back into the dark world to bring freedom and life to lost and broken people. We don't need to fear what he defeated! We don't need to fear the darkness, we need to shine our light into the darkness and dispel the darkness. Imagine if we all rose and said with our voices that this is not okay! It is not okay that there are 27 million slaves on our watch! The same gospel that set us free will set them free and I'm not going to stand by and watch.

Here's the thing about light though. Light only works where there is darkness. If you shine a flashlight in a bright room, you can't see it. You have to go into the darkness for your light to be effective. Our light is ineffective among the light...go and find some darkness. Go and do something now. It is your opportunity to shine your light in the midst of darkness and say to the enemy that he won't win. Take your bit of light and do something with it...all of us together can dispel the darkness. Don't be afraid of the darkness...take the light that is inside of you and dispel it. Every one of us has the responsibility to do something to bring freedom to wherever there is injustice. Allow yourself to be interrupted and bring freedom and justice where there is captivity and injustice. Shine your light.

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