Sunday, September 1, 2013
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:22 (NIV)
I had just finished Day 3 in Week 3 of an amazingly anointed women's Bible study Gideon by Priscilla Shirer. After reluctantly closing my workbook, I looked up at a bright yellow Post-it I had slapped on my desk "who knows when", on which I had scrawled the above Scripture. My gaze at that 3" cubed piece of paper took on an intensity which I clearly knew was incited by God's presence hovering low.
My eyes locked on the word "sprinkled". Read all of it. Huh? Read all of Hebrews 10. Okay God.
And I did. Hebrews 10. And I understood. Ah God, you truly are here with me right now and your presence is not to just impress me, but to impress upon me what I need to share.
It was no coincidence that my homework assignment in my lesson today (before I looked up at the Post-it with Hebrews 10:22 on it) covered Judges 7:3-6. I was quite impressed with how God thinned out Gideon's army so that the men would fully rely on God. The fearful and weak and then the men who were not vigilant were sent home. I'm not going to be a spoiler and tell you the outcome (but if you read all of Judges 7, you are making the same hand gestures and in awe of what the Bible brings to us to help us realize that even when we are the underdog - - there is always hope). That is - - hope as long as we are obedient to God's marching orders, His direction, His stripping of people, places and things from our lives, etc.
Hebrews was written to the Jewish believers who were tempted to abandon all of Christ and the fullness of life Christ embodied (and still does). These people were tempted to go back to a life of religious emptiness.
Today, too many believers, like Israel in the OT, are kneeling at the water where death and decay beckon. They have become more focused on fulfilling their fleshly desires and turning their backs on their enemy -the devil who seeks to devour and destroy. They cup their hands and vigorously attempt to hold all the water they can before again digging deeper into the water of sin until they bring with it the miry clay. Rather than spit out the dirt of iniquity, they keep drinking because they are thirstier than ever. Their palate has sought out the sensation of wetness rather than recognize the grit that will ensue.
Lord, I sit and read your Word. I have a bottle of purified water next to my study book and not just one Bible, but a commentary as well. These resources have not collected dust on a shelf, or been used to press flowers for an art project I will never make. Instead, these resources are the tools for the beginning of my heart to be "sprinkled" from an evil conscience.
Thank you God, for Your graciousness. You have allowed me to continue to represent you in the army and the battle ahead. I will remain vigilant. I will give You my fear when it comes (2 Corinthians 10:5). My body will be washed with pure water. I have my armor on (Ephesians 6) I am wearing my steel-toed shoes of peace. But don't be deceived. I will kick Genesis 3:15 Satan in the head. I will be the last woman standing. I am ready for the battle ahead.
As I look off into the wilderness behind me, I sadly take in the scenery. Friends I worshipped with and prayed with, those women whom I had prepared a meal for and spent time with in the Word - - - we laughed, we shared, we cried, we danced. And now they don't even notice me. They kneel in the mud at the edge of the water. Some cup water, and some stick their faces into the murky depth. They only see what they want. Their armor lays unworn sprawled across the dead grass behind them. They don't even notice or even care that close by a pack of lions have gathered, and are patiently waiting to attack.
With a quick prayer on my lips, I wipe a lone tear from my cheek and then look ahead at the mountaintop above. I draw near to my Savior - my Lord Jesus Christ with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having my heart sprinkled from an evil conscience. I have a mission. I don't look back.I have a mountain to climb.