Are You Ready To Drop Your Fig Leaf?

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6

There is not a good deed, a job well done, a self-sacrifice, or a self-condemnation that can cover our sin.  There’s not a fig leaf fancy enough that can atone.  It is God alone.  His boundless love for us propels Him to relentlessly pursues us.  He can’t help but to call for us.  Our job, our sacrifice, is to humbly accept His offer of forgiveness and allow Him to restore all that we have forfeited.

He can & He does!

Moses murdered a man.  David had an affair, got the girl pregnant, and then had her husband killed.  King Nebuchadnezzar, of Babylon, was an arrogant and bloodthirsty man.  He liked to watch people burn alive!  Peter walked side-by-side with Jesus, his friend, and still denied Him when things got a little scary.

BUT GOD!

God passionately pursued them all.  When a heart repents and turns from wrong, God restores.  God gives new hearts.

After 40 years of living a quiet hidden life, stripped of all titles, Moses was chosen to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.  God even allowed Moses to see His glory.  God sheltered Moses in the cleft of a rock, because our physical selves cannot handle the weight of His full majesty, but God still allowed Moses this intimate moment.  He was Moses the murderer, but now he is Moses the forgiven and the redeemed.

There were some tough consequences for David’s sins, but there was also amazing redemption.  When David repented, God continued to bless him with many victories.  David, a mighty king, was named by God with an honorary title, “a man after God’s own heart.”

God loved the wicked King Nebuchadnezzar so much that He stripped him of every earthly blessing, all his social status and his power, to get his focus on what is truth.  Through the storm of losses, God already had a plan in place for Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom to be restored.  After 7 years of eating dirt this earthly king lifted his eyes to heaven, and then his “understanding returned”.

“My reason returned to me…  Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.”  Daniel 4:36-37

Can you see now?  Do you realize that you and I are not so special that God cannot redeem us too?  It’s pure arrogance to think we’re beyond His reach.  But do you also understand just how uniquely valuable we are?

“Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?””  –Genesis 3:9

God came walking in the garden like He did every day.  God already knew the choice that Adam and Eve had made, the choice to ignore His warning, the warning any loving parent would give a child, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat,”.  God tried to protect them from harm, but instead they chose to listen to the voice that led them to believe a lie.  Thinking God was holding out on them, they reached for what appeared better than what they already had, and they ate.  Their eyes were opened.  That voice did not tell a complete lie, because now they did understand more than they had before, now they knew the weight of shame.

So often we trade the whole garden for the knowledge of shame.

Shame’s voice always sounds just like the voice that reasoned us away from God in the first place – the voice of the thief.  The thief’s voice also mocks us after we concede to his tempting.  Why does he temp us?  It is his hatred for God not his want for us.  God loves us, so the thief reaches to take from God what God holds so dear – YOU!

BUT GOD!

But God already had a plan in place to free Adam, Eve, and all of us who’ve been tempted and shamed.  The very moment He comes calling, “Where are you?”  He’s ready to show us the way back to fellowship with Him.

“But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Rom. 5:8, (amp)

“Where are you?”

At one tree we picked shame up.  At another tree we can lay shame down.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” ~ Jesus

Are you ready for a new heart?  Are you ready to drop your fig leaf?

Fig Leaf

It doesn’t cover much anyway!

God already knows where you are.  Nothing is hidden from Him.  Love stands waiting for you.  Are you ready to follow the voice of truth?

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” – John 3:17

Jesus left heaven for you!

We’re not so special yet we’re so uniquely valuable.  So let’s drop our fig leafs and come home.

Are you ready yet?  Are you ready to allow God to restore all that’s been forfeited?

~ Shannan

~ A big thank you to my editor, Kimberly Wyse.  I could not be so clear without her.

Can The Melon Atop Your Shoulders Contain Him?

Sometimes I look up to Abba with my hands grasping the sphere upon my shoulders, and with deep emotion I declare, “You… You… You… are so BIG!  You’re so deep, so wide, so high, so overwhelmingly (in the words of Elf) Ginormous!  I feel like my head is going to explode just trying to understand the first fundamentals of You.”

Melon Atop Your Shoulders

I’m grasping just a fraction of why no one can look upon God and live, (Ex. 33:17-23).  Just a fraction is all I need to understand that I would be mere dust once again to see His face.  He is so wonderfully magnificent.  His Majesty is too much for the human mind to comprehend, yet He made our hearts able to house Him.  Wow!

Only One so great could love me so wonderfully in all of my imperfections.

To say thank You is not enough, but I cannot stop giving thanks.

“Thank You for pursuing me, for forgiving me, for continuing to lead me to places where You can teach me.  Thank You for purely loving me for who I am today, yet You love me enough not to leave me in my present condition.  Draw me closer to You.  In seeking You I find the whole Shannan You’ve known since before my conception.”

I feel the more I learn the less I know, even so, may my mind be a sponge for God’s truth alone and my heart always be gripped with the wonder and awe of Him.

“Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, “Lead these people”, but you have not let me know whom You will send with me.  You have said, “I know you by name and you have found favor with Me.”  If You are pleased with me, teach me Your ways, so I may know You and continue to find favor with You.  Remember that this nation is Your people.”

“The Lord replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Then Moses said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.  How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and Your people unless You go with us?  What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

“And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” – Ex. 33:12-17

God, Most Holy, knows my name!  He knows your name!  Love sees me and I am enough.  I am whole in Christ, and He allows me to discover who I, Shannan, am with each step I take toward Him.  All the treasures of this world cannot afford such wealth.  Oh!  If we could only absorb the beauty of this truth…

No doubt that we will face storms along this life’s journey, but God’s love for us has not changed.  When brokenness rocks your world, trust Him.  He knows us.  He knows what we can and cannot handle and when.  Just as He cared for Moses, He too will protect us at every angle, “I will put you inside a crevice in the rock and cover you with My hand.” *

“God is too wise to be mistaken.  God is too good to be unkind.

So when you don’t understand, When you can’t see His plan,

When you can’t trace His hand, Trust His heart.”

I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” ~ God

Love not only sees me, Love lives in me!  Now tell me, can the melon atop your shoulders contain Him?

~Shannan

2013, The Adventurous Faith Journey Continues… He’s still writing my story!

Nightstand entry, 2:00 AM, June 17, 2013

*Ex. 33:22b

“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.  With unfailing love I have draw you to Myself.” – Jer. 31:3