Delivered Part 1

Deliverance.

Delivered from bondage.

I love to see folk delivered from whatever it is that is restricting them to be free.  Delivered from ourselves. That is Jesus’ gift to us.

Delivered from trying circumstances.  From ‘dead-end’ situations. From demonic oppression.  Addictions.  Disease. Death. From our own boxes, mindsets, cultural ‘norms’.

I am currently re-reading Exodus.  I love reading God’s heart to set the children of Israel free.  They were living

their lives bitter with hard bondage  Exodus 1:14

Fast-forward a few years ( which means this bondage was not a short-term experience. It was multi-generational and becoming cultural norm).  Moses was born.

the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. Exodus 2:24

The children of Israel cried out. And their cry was heard.

And God’s heart can be seen in His conversation with Moses..

“I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. Exodus 3:7

God knows your sorrows.  He sees your bondage.  Hears your cries.  – And His response?

So I have come down to deliver them ..  Exodus 3:8

I fully believe that God looks over New Zealand and sees the bondage.  Hears the cries. Knows the sorrows.  His heart, just as it was those many years ago, is the same…. it is for deliverance.  He is The Deliverer.

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It’s simple. Isn’t it?

Two commandments.  That is all.  It’s that simple.

Love God

Love one another.

As I began to explore John’s writings on abiding, and reading of the relationship between abiding in God and loving others, I kept coming back to these two commandments.

Having experienced revelation of Jesus’ love for me,  I began asking for His love for others. Because let’s face it, I think we don’t really know how to love others as He does. I’m not flogging myself in saying that. I just think human nature is self-serving to a large extent.  So I decided on asking God for His love, to see people through His eyes.  Because I know it’s His love that ministers.  It’s His love that delivers, heals, encourages, strengthens, makes whole..  And because I believe He is fully able to place the grace for that love in our hearts.

It’s been many years since I first prayed that. There have been the ugly seasons. Where I have learnt that love takes risk. And pain. And forgiveness. Where I have learnt it takes initiation. And persistence. And it takes my time.

And I have seen God ministering to people.  That’s the wonderful part.  I have seen the impact of loving others as I learn to recognise and respond to His prompts.

And I have had precious encounters with God as he has shown me aspects of  Himself.

It’s a journey I feel I’ve just started. And absolutely want to continue!

Just today I read these beautiful words in another blog (the full post can be read on the link)

I believe there is new movement waking to Love. A movement like the Celtic saints of old.  Out of broken places comes beauty that transforms brokenness itself.  Interconnected communities embracing the marginalized, seeing the unseen, choosing the raw and real.  Supernatural molten hot glory filling our lives to be a river to the low places changing landscapes within and without. 

Michelle Perry

 

I can not add anything to this week’s feature post. Love – is living as a life poured out to those around us.

D. Michele Perry

{and what you can do to help}

Wow these last 24 hours have been a whirlwind over here.  So many of you have clicked and read and shared  the last post, and prayed too.  I am so humbled by that.  Please keep sharing, keep clicking, keep praying, keep wrestling with what love looks like when it is most costly.

I want to share a little bit more with you as we pick our way on this unpaved road we travel.  May I?

This picture above is of my favorite captures ever.  It is of a little girl whose world was torn to shreds, who came to us barely alive on the heels of an LRA attack almost in our backyard. {If you haven’t already, you can read about it here.}  A few months later she was running down our trails, leaping off of fallen tree trunks and flying…

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Abide in Love

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

John 15:9

My last post I wrote of abiding in God or withering. And that I’d choose to abide rather than wither.  

This past week I pruned our grapevine in the garden, so the sun could ripen the grapes. The cut-offs are frizzling up in the sun, and will be thrown into the compost in a few days. The grapes are becoming ready to pick. Those grapes are the treasure.  Not so much the withering pile on the lawn. 

Abiding

Here in John 15:9 Jesus is more specific about abiding. He tells us to abide in His love. So I guess the question for us becomes – how?  If I’ve chosen to abide in Him, I definately want to know how.  When I first read this passage, and followed this line of question, I didn’t expect the answer.

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

John 15:10

Keeping His commandments. Simple. Right??

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:12-13

Loving one another. And what does that really mean? That’s a journey I started years ago.. and still on. Discovering what it means to really love others. I mentioned this in an early post ‘A Life Poured Out‘. It’s loving others with a love greater than what we could ever have on our own. It’s loving out of pure motive. It’s risk-taking. It takes our time. Our initiation. It’s loving the least. It’s pouring our life out. It’s not stopping when it hurts. And yes it can really hurt. But I have refused to stop my journey in loving others because of painful experiences.

It’s being practical (see  What’s in my hand?). It’s spiritual. Praying for each other. Forgiving.

It’s been a prayer of mine for many years.. that I’d have more of God’s love in me, to understand more of His love.

 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 1 John 3-6

It’s having a deep revelation of His love for me.  Love others as you love yourself. Hard to do if you struggle with rejection and low self-esteem. So I started with seeking an understanding of His love for me.

I can name the very place where that happened.  Back in 1995 I went to a conference in Christchurch where John and Carol Arnott were speaking.  I can not remember the actual message, or know who even prayed for me afterwards ( I never opened my eyes to see).  But I do remember the encounter I had. As the person prayed for Jesus’ love to wash over me, (and continued to soak me in prayer for what felt like a good hour), I felt the nearness of Jesus. I was taken right back to a wonderful pre-school memory I have. Of playing on a large wooden cable reel in the sunshine, feeling the autumn air, and hearing the birds in the tall trees over the fence. Jesus spoke straight into my heart saying the reason that that was such a beautiful moment in time, (and well remembered) was that He was right there with me. And with that, came a download of His love.

That I know without doubt that I’m loved by my God.