Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Meeting With The King - Ch. 2, Life of Grace Excerpt

I haven't done much book posting, so to be featuring an excerpt from a heretofore unpublished work, much less from Chapter 2 is a little unorthodox.  It's from the first book in a trilogy I'm working on, based on Matthew 22:37-40 (as well as Mark 12 & Luke 10).  It is in that verse Jesus redefines the Greatest Commandment and adds on another,  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.

Here is the summary of the trilogy, all based on that verse:
First book: Love the Lord (Life of Grace, because it all starts here).

Second book: Love Yourself (Life of Liberation, because we always forget that part).

Third book: Love Your Neighbor (Life of Agape, because when we are filled, whole and healthy, we can truly love others like Christ).

I wrote this passage after some intense prayer time this morning, in which the Lord gave me the visual.  I'd just read today's entry (August 17th) in Jesus Calling and the verses associated: Philippians 2:9-11 and Isaiah 43:1.  It comes towards the end of the chapter, as I'm really making the case for why living a life to experience the grace of God is the best way to live here on Earth.  You would think that was a no-brainer for those in the Church, but it isn't.  

Not yet at least.

So, that's all the introduction I'll give.  It's really more an mental exercise, to center on the Lord's love.  It was so powerful for me, I wanted to share it.  I pray it encourages you to dig deep in Christ.  Enjoy!! 

A Meeting With The King

Most people will change if there is something in it for them.  I learned this from my eleven years in sales.  In a life lived for the grace of God, there is much more in it than you can even imagine, but that’s, well, a hard sell.  It seems like pie-in-the-sky or even snake oil.  “Oh, great.  Everything I’ve always wanted.  Yeah, right,” says the cynic.  And a lot of us, in modern day American, even in the church, are cynics.  We’ve come to understand, through life’s various lessons, when someone says something is too good to be true….it is.

It fails unless it is based on the Truth.

So, based on Philippians 2:9-11, Isaiah 43:1 and Hebrews 4:12-13 (and probably a lot more) I want to stop to do a little mental exercise.  Let’s call it your commissioning in the Grace of Jesus Christ.  I’m not going to promise anything because only you will know what this little episode will mean at the end, but bear with me.  Read through the scenario in a quiet place, when you can give a few minutes  (if you are at home with small children, this could require waiting till they are napping or even sneaking off to the bathroom, which I have been known to do.  Of course, I used to do that at work too, so maybe the bathroom is just a good place for me.)  

Once you’ve read the text, sit with your eyes closed and imagine the scene before you…. 

You find yourself on your knees with your face to the ground, but you aren’t in any discomfort.  You are resting in that place, knowing it is right where you are supposed to be.  For split second, though, you take a quick peek around to see the room, which is grand and intricately ornate with impressive stained glass windows from floor to ceiling.  It is wall-to-wall packed with people, in the same position as you.  Still, you have the feeling as if you are the only person in the room.

You bow your head once again, only to hear your name called.  You look up to see the King, on His throne, majestic, supreme and totally in control.  He has all the trappings of a king – crown, scepter, royal and regal bearing.  You are cowed by the sight, He is that impressive.  In that second, you realize He was the one who called your name.  You remain kneeling, not quite sure what to do, when you hear Him call your name again.

You stand to your feet and meet His eyes.  They are kind, gracious but fierce.  They paralyze you until you see Him beckoning you forward.  Almost like He is pulling you in with a tractor beam, you begin to walk to Him.  You weave your way through the people, finally finding yourself standing before Him.  You are totally exposed, you know nothing is hidden from His sight.  The urge to fall on your face is so strong, you succumb.

Then you feel His hand on your shoulder.  He pulls you to your feet and you look up into His face, seeing only love there.  You know His name – Jesus Christ.  This is no ordinary King, but the Only King and you are floored to be in His presence.  He holds out His arms and wraps them around you.  You respond the same, melting into His shoulder.  It is the place you’ve always needed to be, the place you’ve always wanted to experience.  You want to stay there and not move, ever again.

The King turns His head, to whisper into your ear, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.   I have called you by your name.”  He pauses, pulls you away to look into your face, then says,

“You are Mine.”

As you stand there, in the King’s embrace, those words echo into the space between your soul and your spirit.  They fill all the empty places you’ve tried to fill on your own your whole life.  They carry much more meaning then you could ever imagine.  They speak of purpose, meaning and the promise of no more toil.  You will not have to sweat and push; prod and force your way anymore because you are walking the path He lays out before you.  Your passion and His are one in the same.  You can rest and let Him take over.  Truly, nothing you do with Him will ever be done in vain.

You are safe, secure and confident in His care for you.  You are saved from all the bad you’ve done, the scars that remain, you know now, will fade with time in His presence.  All the love you’ve needed is present, in you.  You are whole, healed and full of light.  You don’t even want to participate in the darkness again.  There is no place you would rather be, than right here, with Your King.  You don’t want to leave.  But you know you must because there are others out there, beyond this room, who have no idea what this feels like.  They don’t know there is a King like this, who loves them with a love that has no boundaries.  He has done the impossible for you, because you stand in His presence.  They need to know they can too.  You know His name and now you know He calls you by yours.  You know Him and He knows you. 

Stay in this place.  Stay focused on this image and experience.  Take a break and come back to reading when you are ready.

1 comment:

Janice and James said...

Oh! The glory of His Presence! Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.......and yet He loves and cares for me! Thanks, Amy.