from martha to mary | keys to freedom

To read all of the posts in this series, you can click here.

I don’t claim to have all the answers.   Heck, I’m still learning so much that sometimes my head just spins. Not like Exorcist spins, but spins.   You know.   But there are a few things that I am most sure of when it comes to walking out your freedom and victory over strongholds, ungodly beliefs and just straight up stinkin’ thinkin’.   Yeah.   That sounds as cheesy as it was to type.   You’re welcome.

I must admit that I have succumbed to the “givemethequickfix” craze that has swept the western world.   Everything is instant.   Everything is so “27 seconds ago.” But there is one key element in your walk with God that will never be instant.

Relationships take time.

You don’t just wake up one morning and have a fully functioning, deep, intimate relationship with God.   You may know Him.   He may be your Savior.   But relationships are to be cultivated.   And anything to do with those relationships takes time.

Including breaking up a heart of stone and replacing it with a heart of flesh.

God is just gracious like that.   He won’t just rip something out of you to give you the quick fix.

That would be incredibly, incredibly painful.

Instead He wiggles it out a bit at a time and allows you the opportunity to address the smaller things so that you can even begin to process the bigger things.   And yes, my friends, there are bigger things.   I am learning that no matter how good of a person I am – no matter how great my parents are – no matter how wonderful my friendships are – the enemy will always use some seemingly insignificant thing, some small thing that happened to me, to start building a lifetime of ungodly beliefs, inner vows, judgements. I could go on.   Seriously.

It’s scary really, when you think about his cunning abilities and the patience he exudes to just watch for those moments in your life to use against you and hinder your relationship with God and others.

Because of this:

He knows we mere humans need relationship.   We were designed for it.   We were never meant to be isolated from one another.   We need relationship.

And he hates that.

The enemy doesn’t want us to enter our rightful place as sons and daughters with Abba.   He doesn’t want us to get it.   He doesn’t want us to get that we are loved unconditionally by a Father who will never, ever, leave us.

He doesn’t want us to walk in the freedom and liberty that God designed for us to walk in.

God, on the other hand, longs for us to walk with Him – just as Adam did every day in the Garden of Eden.   He wants that kind of relationship with us.   And we can.   I believe it with all my heart.

No, we aren’t physically walking through a garden every day with God (although that would be pretty darn cool!).   What I’m talking about is getting to a place that we are constantly aware of His presence with us.

I definitely believe that can happen.

And I want that.

A lot.

So to get there, I’m trying to unlock the keys to my freedom in Him.

I’m finding the stoney places of my heart and allowing Him in there to till it all up – no matter how painful it is.

I’m learning to still myself daily and just allow Him to do whatever He wants in my life – soaking in His presence.

I’m meeting with a prayer ministry leader to talk and pray through things that pop up that hinder me from drawing closer to Him.

And most of all, I’m learning to love

and be loved.

That’s the best part of all.

 

 

from martha to mary | the older son

To read all of the posts in this series, you can click here.

I realize that the Older Son isn’t directly related to the story of Martha & Mary, but it is directly related to my story and has the same undertones in it that the story of Martha & Mary carries.

Let’s look at the passage:

    28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’      31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”   Luke 15:28-32 (NIV)

The Older Son acted like Martha acted.   Remember Martha told Jesus, “Hey!   Make Mary get up and come help me.   She’s just sitting out here doing nothing and You are letting her.”   And now we see the older son basically saying the same thing, ‘I can’t believe you are throwing him a party!   He’s basically called you dead to him and ran off and blew every last dime you’ve made.   And here I am being dutiful, respectful, always faithful to you and you NEVER throw me a party!”

And he sulks.

Just like Martha did.

Can I just tell you that what he said – what Martha said – in and of itself isn’t wrong.   Yes, it’s good to be faithful, dutiful, respectful, reverent, always willing to obey.

But when you use the wrong attitude and motive that’s not okay.

For so long I had the same mentality and I would get so frustrated, so mad, so hurt that God would bless people who I knew – who I knew didn’t deserve it.   And yet here I was, constantly doing all the right things, and yet fully feeling like I was missing out on all the good stuff.

I was.

Totally missing out.

Not because God was leaving me out.

I was missing out because of my inability to see that I was in the middle of it all to begin with.   So to me it seemed I was being left out – which would drive me to perform that much harder.   But all along, I was in the Father’s house – safe – secure – and with all of His blessings, His riches, HIS PRESENCE, right within my reach.

I was focused on the wrong things.

He just wanted me.

Let’s break down a couple of interesting things in the Older Son / Prodigal Son passage.

Look at verse 28 –   The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.

So he got mad.   Understandable.   But let’s break down the rest of it.

He refused to go in.

Do you realize what that’s saying?   The older son refused to go back into his Father’s house.

If you break down the Greek in this passage, it basically says that the son didn’t take pleasure going in to the father’s house.

The Father’s house represents the safety of relationship with Him.   Sure, the prodigal as well as the older son were still His children – whether they were in the house or not (that’s another post for another day).   But when they left the house – they left relationship with Him.

Notice what happens next in verse 28 – The father goes out and pleads with the son to come back in.

This. Breaks. My. Heart.

That’s twice in one day the Father has left the house for his sons.

First for the younger son.

Now, He’s coming back outside from the party to plead with His older son to come back home too.

Wow.

How many times has Jesus pleaded with me to just simply come back inside and enjoy the party but I was too stubborn, too prideful to do it?   No, instead I wanted to point out all that I had done, had accomplished for Him to try and validate why I had a right to be mad, to be upset, to leave the party.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Every time, He will come out and beg you to come back in.

Every.

Time.

Over the years (and honestly I still suck at it some times) I have had to learn to trust that God loves me just as I am.   I have had to learn that I can’t earn His love.   I have had to learn that He is not holding out on me because He does something for someone else and not me.   I have had to learn to just abide – just rest – just enjoy His presence.

If I can just convey this one thing, then maybe it will help free you too.

No amount of work, of striving, of trying to prove yourself will ever earn you a higher spot in His kingdom or in His heart.

Nothing.

He just loves you.

He just loves you because you’re you.

That’s all.

Nothing more.

Nothing less.