Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I recently received a phone message from a friend of mine who needed to talk to me, right away. I sensed the distress in her voice so I called back immediately knowing that I didn't really have the time in that moment to get into a long call but that I could schedule something in the near future to help her out.

As my friend, let's call her Martha, was telling me that a close friend of hers had just told her that she is gay. This really sent Martha for a loop because she never saw any signs at all that sent her antenna up about anything. In fact Martha and her friend had had many discussions about this issue because there is another mutual friend who's mother is a lesbian. Also Martha's friend had just been to a meeting where I was able to share my story about Jesus pursuing me, healing me, changing me, and calling me out of that life style.

We set up a time to meet for lunch a few days later. My friend Martha processes things by talking through them thus she needed to meet me in person. We talked over several aspects of what was concerning Martha about this new disclosure from her friend. At one point in the discussion Martha mentioned that her friend did here me share my story. I asked what her friends response was. Martha said that she did not believe me. I responded, "what do you mean that she doesn't believe me." Martha said that this other mutual friend whose mother is also a lesbian, also is married and has five children so my story does not have any creditability.

We continued talking and then prayed but from the point that Martha stated that her friend does not believe me, I was no longer able to fully give my attention to Martha. In the back of my mind I was carrying on another conversation altogether like this, "what do you mean she doesn't believe me, she doesn't even know me, how can she say that so casually, what about all those years that I spent in process, doing the hard work of change with the Lord, did that mean nothing?" and on and on it went. In fact, after we prayed, and separated, my mind continued to dwell on this unbelief from Martha's friend.

The Lord knows me so well. He knew that it would be good to speak to me, to give me some perspective so that I would continue to trust Him, and that He would take some scripture and make it completely real for me, that I in turn can use it in the future to benefit others. I was doing my bible study lesson on Tuesday morning. We were studying Jesus' miracles at the beginning of His ministry. That days' study was focusing on Matt 8:28-34. This is where Jesus meets a demon possed man who is actually possessed by many demons named "Legion." Well, after a short discussion with the demons, Jesus casts them out into a herd of pigs. The pigs then run off a cliff and die. The towns people come out and see all that has occurred and they say to Jesus, "depart from our region."

This is such a curious response by the towns people. Here Jesus healed some demon possessed men. In Mark it says that the towns people observed "one man who had been demon possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had "legion." This man Jesus had such great compassion on. He was completely healed and "in his right mind." It says that the towns people became frightened. Why would this be. Here is the Son of God, working miracles beyond belief, and these people see it first hand, know it to be true and they become frightened. You would think that these people would say to Jesus, can you help me, I have this or that, but they don't. So what are we to take from this passage. The point that the Lord was showing me is that all of what He does is Righteous and True. He is able but not all will welcome His power to heal and to save. These towns people are not unlike many who witness the healing of someone by Jesus' power and reject what they see because it will involve a cost and their lives will be changed. Change is always unknown. Sometimes the unknown is harder to desire because the life we live is familiar and there is a comfort in the familiar.

The towns people wanted the life that they currently had over the life that they could have with Jesus. For them the cost was to high. My friend Martha's friend was discounting my story of healing and change not because it isn't true but because she is not ready to have her life changed. For her, for now, the cost is to high, and the desire to have her current life is highly prized. Interestingly enough Martha's friend is already a Christian. I don't know this woman personally but I trust my friend Martha's judgement of her position with the Lord. Why would a believer want something that is not from the Lord? That is a good question and one that we all must take into account in an active life with Jesus.

Jesus constantly has us taking stock of our lives, and by His Spirit, causing us to look at new areas of our lives that are not of Him. They are areas that are so familiar to us. Perhaps we've carried an area of sin for years without success of change and say to ourselves, "I just can't fight it any longer." I don't know. What I do know is that for now, Martha's friend is not ready for the Lord to bring healing to this area of her life. Perhaps the thought of doing the hard work with Christ is just to much and she has no fight left in her. For now, Martha's friend has a choice. It was no accident that she has heard my story. Jesus is pursuing her and calling her to change. He loves her and does not want to see her move farther into an area of sin. Sin is so debilitating. But He will allow her to walk the road that she sees as best. He will not leave her or forsake her. He will be there, when she is ready to ask for help. It is so sad that the pain of restoration will be much greater the longer she waits.

One of my favorite verses in scripture is 2 Cor 5:17 "Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

and another is from Col 3:9-11 "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him--a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all and in all."

The Lord richly bless you all.

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