Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Divine Arrogance: Who do you think you are? What makes YOU so special?

When I was a teenager, I dreamed a horse spoke to me. It said, "Sometimes you have to be conceited just enough to survive." I woke up laughing, because I had heard that from "the horse's mouth." Around that time I also had another dream in which someone said, "The exception on earth is heaven's rule."

So let's talk about exceptions. One really has to be arrogant and conceited enough to believe that the good that doesn't happen to other people CAN and WILL happen to you. Not being conceited in one's own righteousness, of course but making one's boast in the goodness of God and the finished work of Christ.

Then there is the dream about exception. It was the kind of pun only a dreaming Christian could come up with. "Rule" can mean both "reign" and "standard."

Psalm 91 and much of the Bible talks about the normal person who, through faith, became exceptions.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee. Psalm 91:7

Can I believe that? Can we believe that? What if we aren't raptured before the antichrist reigns? (I'm not convinced either way about pre or post.) But if an explosion came my way can I believe I could be an exception? Is it possible for the wind to blow everyone else's house away and for the house of the man who built his house on the rock to stand firm? It's not about faith this divine conceit, it's about our ability to believe God personally is aware of us and will do special things for us.

Many ministers have done great sermons telling people that they have suffered because suffering is the common lot of man and God wants us to understand and love and endure all things. Quite true, but are they perhaps not also training people to stop thinking they can be exceptions?

So many Christians praying for super-miracles and so few receiving them. Why not? In the parable of the sower, a lot of seed is sown. Few of those seeds end up growing. And even those that end up planted end up dying and being aborted before reaching fulfillment because cares choke the plant. (The seed of God's words can only grow in a heart at rest in God's true rest, and trusting in God's shalom.) But even those seeds that manage to grow and make it past the weeds may not attain their fulness.  A successful seed might bring out 100 times more seeds, and another successful seed might bring only 30. Good work to have arrived at such multiplication but it shows how difficult it is to get seeds. It's a tough battle.

But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." Matthew 13:23

Before I got published I would listen to tons of Black and Christian writers talk about how hard it was to get published. I had to clear my mind of all the crappy visions of unsuccess they put in my mind. I had to see myself as a great writer and to see my book published. God, who is so kind, gave me great sweet dreams that I could wage war with.

Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, 1 Tim 1:18

When one has a dream prophesying that one will do 6 great works, one has to set one's heart on it and put aside all negative comments to the contrary. One must uproot the negative strongholds. (ooh, this reminds me. I want to write a story about two priests who find out they are dying of cancer or some such thing. Maybe AIDS. And one priest prepares his congregation for his death, while the other prepares his congregation for his miracle. Uhm..wonder if I can do it.)

But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" Romans 10:16

This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: "Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" John 12:38

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? Isaiah 53:1

FACT IS: Who has believed God's report that "by Jesus' wounds we were healed!?" I have.

Yet, I often imagine that I will not get my prayers for Gabe's and my healing. answered. Visions of movies and memories of sermons from ministers about people being failed by God cloud my mind. Although, I gotta say that I tend to think it's not God who would not grant the prayer but that in this case it would be my fault. I've managed after many years to reach the place where I know that God's will is to heal me and my son. (Anyone who doesn't believe this has arrived in my life too late, alas. It cannot be that God wants my son to be in pain for 21 years or for me to be in pain for 25 years from sleeplessness. OR for our family to lose all its finances and happiness because of money problems. Or for my marriage --or the marriage of sick people-- to falter.)

We live in a world which taints our mind and where the word of God is made to none effect by man's traditions.

So, yes... I totally believe that by Jesus' wounds we were healed...but I have to fight the good fight. Unfortunately, this getting a miracle thing is a collaboration. It is not faith alone that does the work. God who worketh in us and in us. Without our forgiving others, speaking the word, resting in faith, listening to the word, casting off strongholds, developing single-mindedness and single vision, abiding in the vine...miracles don't happen.

I will put away my negative imaginings. I will be of good cheer. Jesus Christ has conquered the world.  Though no one else ever gets to be the exception, I am determined I will be an exception. 
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