A few updates.
1. We still have rats. We bought a cat and are hoping this will scare them away, but it’s just a kitten so you know, it has to grow.
2. This past Saturday marked 8 months here on the island, as I affectionately now call it. God is so faithful and amazing.
3. I speak Haitian Creole!!!!!!!!!!! I’m not like a Haitian by any means, but I am confident enough now to have conversations with most people. Continue to pray for fluency and cultural understanding.
Those are the updates.
Here is the post.
A lot of times God will speak something to me, a new section of scripture to read, a place to move to, a promise about my future, and when he speaks so often I think, “yup, I know where this one is going,” and proceed in the later months to discover I don’t know anything about anything. This has occurred in the last couple of weeks.
I had finished reading through Nehemiah and felt the Lord speak to read through the Psalms again. I honestly thought, “Awesome, I’m going to be so encouraged with new ways the Lord stands with me, how He is a rock, he never leaves, he is my defender in times of war, Psalms is going to be awesome, like it always has been.” It has been awesome, but in a totally different way. I’ve just been reading them 1 by 1 and in order. At the beginning of the book, like Psalm 3 or 4 I can’t remember, I was reading as David pled with God to justify him based upon his righteousness and punish his enemies based upon their unrighteousness. I was hit in a brand new way with a revelation of the actual power and reality of the cross.
Now, I don’t understand all of scripture nor God’s ways, I just feel like I was given a piece of revelation in this. David was not under the peace of the cross. Although he was a man after God’s own heart, and he wrote all those scriptures about only wanting to be in the presence of God, he still his whole life had to strive to be allowed to enter the presence of God. His ability to enter God’s presence was based upon his righteousness or unrighteousness and the sacrifice of animals on a yearly basis for his atonement. I wonder if David ever knew true rest until his life ended.
That is what is so beautiful about the cross for today. I have ultimate rest, not just justification of sin. David’s sin was justified through animal sacrifice. In his life when he was found righteous it was granted to him as righteousness. However in reading through the Psalms, I’m not sure he was ever able to find true rest in his life here on earth. He was always pleading for justice to be given based on what he had done. Guess what, through the cross and through the resurrection we actually can have true rest. My sin was punished, on a cross when the Son of God died. All of my sin. All of my unrighteousness was made righteous through Jesus on that day. Justice has been served; I don’t have to plead for it. I no longer have to wonder or wait for the next ceremony to be made righteous and have the permission to enter the dwelling place of God. I don’t have to ceremonially make myself clean. I’m always allowed because before the throne of God I’m white as snow. His blood has made it that way for me.
The even better part about this is because I’m free I can actually rest with him instead of working for him to prove that I deserve to be in his kingdom. I can joyfully say yes and joyfully obey him because I know I belong to him and with him. I can fight alongside of him because I know that at the end of the day we already won. Obedience is joyful when you aren’t trying to prove something to the one you obey. I already have everything from him. I am free because of the cross of Jesus. And I have access to life and life to the full because he defeated death, meaning I have access to resurrection life! At times I become grieved over all we do in our religious lives, me included. We try to so hard to be righteous when in reality through Jesus we already are.
I think rest from the cross and the revelation of access to abundant life makes it easier to make healthier and more whole choices in my day to day life. I am not fighting for my heavenly father’s approval. I have it; he died on the cross so that I could have it. Because I already have his approval and his everlasting love, when I choose to obey him or when I make a decision in my life to live at a certain standard of holiness, it’s just because I enjoy doing it that way. I have nothing to prove to God. Even if I thought I did, I still wouldn’t have anything to prove to him because my flesh will always fail.
Anyways, all that rambling to say new revelation of the cross and its power has come to me from David’s yearnings in the Psalms. Thanks for always reading, and if you know and follow Jesus, remember you’re free. Stop working so hard to prove your righteousness. You’re beating a dead horse. It’s already been done. Now just walk with him and obey him out of great joy and thankfulness.
Rest children. Rest church. It is finished.