Random Blog Clay Feet: December 27, 2007
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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Continue in His Kindness

Do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. (Romans 11:18)

Arrogant toward the branches. Have not Christians for centuries been arrogant toward the “natural branches”, the Jews? The intense hostility toward Jews through centuries of persecution and extermination are nothing less than arrogance at its worst. And this has been done by Christians who believed that they themselves were more favored by God than were the Jews whom they disdained. This attitude is not something just in the past but is still very much alive and thriving yet today.

They were broken off for unbelief – in what? What is real belief or faith?

We must not be so glib as to think we know what faith and belief are just because we are not Jews who were broken off. It may be very likely that much of what is purported to be faith is actually, in God's eyes, conceit and unbelief and arrogance, not genuine faith. We may have been grafted in to God's tree at some point but that does not prevent anyone from being broken off again. If God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. This blows a major hole into the doctrine of once-saved-always-saved.

Behold then the kindness and severity of God. (Romans 11:22)

First of all, it is something we are instructed to behold, to focus and dwell on, to not ignore but to keep it in front of us to ponder and gain deeper understanding, to become more and more acquainted with it at a much deeper level than we are used to thinking about.

When God's kindness and severity are carefully observed it will begin to be seen that in reality they are one and the same thing. God does not change and does not feel differently in His love toward sinners than He does toward saints. This sounds like heresy to many people, believers and unbelievers alike, but it is true nonetheless. It is always the condition of the viewer, the perception and attitude and beliefs of the recipient that determines what they think they see when exposed to the presence of God's passionate love for them.

To those who refuse to believe in the reality of His unfailing, unconditional love they will only see severity in His countenance and will suffer more and more pain from the resistance that they cling to in their hearts and minds to the real truth about Him. But to those who believe the truth about His love, who confess with their mouth and submit to His Lordship and His rights over their life because they are His creation, they will find their hearts filling with real faith and responsive love. They will experience peace and joy that is beyond their ability to logically explain. They will live with an attitude of repentance and submission to the Sovereignty of God over their lives and increasingly enjoy the overwhelming power and joy and peace that comes from synchronization with the heart-beat of God Almighty.

Those who refuse to accept this truth about God's character are incorporating resistance into their heart that will create dangerous and eventually fatal reactions of heat when exposed to the presence of the One who loves them too intensely for their capacity or willingness to accept. To them the words of Paul in chapter 2 are so important to grasp. Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)

The determination of whether we will be saved or lost is not up to God; He is not the one deciding that issue. His desire overwhelmingly is for everyone to be saved, to be completely healed and restored into the close intimacy with Him that His heart craves and bleeds for and that He gave His Son up to accomplish. It is not ever God's decision for anyone to be lost, He only respects their choice to cling to lies about Him that causes them to remain in a life-risking, soul-endangering condition. Right now He is protecting all of us from His glory so that we can stay alive during a time of probation until as many as possible will choose life instead of death, for that is the inevitable result from the embedded lies in our hearts when exposed to His unveiled glory. He offers all of us the means of salvation and offers to remove these dangerous lies at the heart level as well as in the mind so that we will be safe to receive greater exposure to His presence.

As every electrician knows all too well, power is not something to take lightly. For a person to ignore taking the right steps to be in right relationship to enormous amounts of electricity is a fatal choice whether made in ignorance or deliberately. What is very interesting in this analogy that is so close to the reality of God's power, is that the most dangerous and fatal choice a person can make when dealing with very high voltage lines is to allow oneself to remain connected in any way to earth ground. One has to completely disconnect or insulate themselves in every respect and be perfectly free from connection to anything that would ground them if they wish to survive connecting themselves with a high-tension power line. Otherwise, they had just better stay a good distance away from that source of power until they are prepared to separate from everything that would endanger their best good.

Behold the kindness of God to you, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you will be cut off.

I once watched a television airing that showed a man who inspects high power lines by sitting on them and moving along on them for inspection hundreds of feet up in the air over canyons and forests. He stated that he was afraid of heights and afraid of electricity and yet ended up with this job. They showed him sitting on the landing rail of a helicopter high in the air approaching the high-powered wires and reaching out with a metal rod to equalize the electrical difference between the helicopter and the wire. There was brilliant flashes of lightening arcing between the rod and the wire for a few seconds before he touched the wire and neutralized the craft with the cables. Then he placed a special rolling apparatus on the cable and climbed onto it to roll along great lengths of the cable to inspect it while the helicopter left him to his work.

If he had not known the dangers of electricity or had not respected the laws governing the workings of electrical power, then no matter how sincere or honest he was that electrical current would have fried him in an instant. He had to learn all the principles important to his safety and then carefully obey every one of them or he would have quickly become a piece of cooked meat. But when he did understand and comply with all the conditions he was able to accomplish things and live in the presence of enormous power without being hurt. The most important aspect of his safety was coming into perfect synchronization and harmony with the voltage that he wanted to live with. For him to live and thrive in the presence of such great power he had to disconnect from everything that was not in harmony with that power and commit himself totally in trust to the very thing that would otherwise destroy him.

This is a very close analogy to the problem God has in connecting with His people. God is the source of all power, but because of sin, which is desynchronization from His power, we are in a fatally dangerous relationship to Him at this point. God has removed most of His power from our presence for our protection for obvious reasons seen above. But His heart yearns to reconnect us with Him and he wants us to experience the exhilaration and joy of real life as it was meant to be lived. But for us to enter into eternal life we must become disconnected from everything that grounds us and endangers our safety.

God does not change the rules of the universe to protect us anymore than He changes the rules of electricity so we can touch high tension wires with impunity. He wants us to learn how to live in harmony with all the principles already in place in the universe so we can once again live in the life-giving presence of all power without danger of being hurt. But that requires not only instruction in how to live safely but requires that we be brought into proper alignment with those principles so that it will be safe for Him to release His glory and power into our lives without being grounded by lies in our hearts.

Given this context we can see that the kindness of God and the severity that we see in Him are really the passion of God and the inflexible principles of power that we must learn and respect. His passion is is pure, unfaltering love for every being He has created and His desire to be restored into full connection with them, especially at the heart level. But the apparent severity of God is the importance of remaining in proper relationship to this Source of dangerous power. That proper relationship requires the crucial ingredient of faith and the renouncement of unbelief in our hearts. The lies that we have about God are the root causes of unbelief that endanger our souls. The plan of salvation and the grace of God have been put in place to help us become free of these lies so that we can be safe to live in the presence of all Power. But it is completely in the realm of our personal choice as to whether we decide to be transformed by the renewing of our mind or we stay entrenched in unbelief and cling to our distorted, fearful views of a severe God who means to do us harm.

It is clear in these verses that arrogance, unbelief and conceit all participate to cause us to be disconnected from the only Source of life. It is also explicit here that if we do not continue in unbelief then it will be safe for God to reconnect us with our source of life. But there can be no compromise between the high-voltage power of God and any ground connection whatsoever to anything connected to any of Satan's lies about Him. We either choose to be all His or we endanger our very existence through violation of the principles that govern power.

The very same Power that can be so fatal to us is the same Power that shows us kindness, grace and causes us to thrive and become fully alive when we submit to His authority. This is the true meaning of the word “holy”. For holy simply means to be totally dedicated and committed to a single person or use. A dedicated telephone line for use only by a Fax machine is the illustration of what holy means. It is not to be used for any other use – it is holy unto the Fax machine. With that understanding it is easier to see why God insists that we be holy people. We must become totally committed to God and disconnected in our heart from all other sources from which we think we can get life. It is only those who are holy who will be able to survive the intense power inherent in the presence of God, only those who are totally committed unconditionally to glorifying Him and emulating His loveliness of character, only those who are filled with His Spirit and obsessed with His passion. Anything less than this is playing with electricity, and we all know what can happen when someone continues down that path.

Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. (Romans 11:22)

I know that I have a great deal of lies still buried in my own heart that create great liabilities and resistance to the power of God. But I also believe in the faithfulness of God to continue to completion the work that He started in me. One of the most important parts of that work is learning to believe and trust in the kindness of God. I want to learn better how to live and continue in His kindness and thus be filled with more and more faith and love for Him. I want the lies about God to be exposed and eradicated by the truth about God in every area of my own heart. I want all resistance to melt away in the presence of His kindness and love for me and those around me. I want a much clearer picture of God in my heart so that I can behold more clearly His kindness and not view it as severity as I have for most of my life. Severity is what those in unbelief see when they look at God. (see Rev. 6:16, 17) So when I perceive Him as severe I know that it betrays the presence of yet more lies in my heart that need to be expelled by the real truth about Him

God, continue to deepen Your healing presence in my heart. Make me an experiment of Your healing grace that even the angels will be astonished at. You have a lot of work left to do, but I give You permission to do whatever You need to do to finish duplicating Yourself in my life. I look forward to enjoying the thrill of more power and refreshment as I come more fully into alignment with Your heart and into fellowship with Your children. Use me as an agent of healing and invitation to others who are hungry for healing as well and keep me from unduly damaging Your children as I am so prone to do. I need more grace, more healing, more truth and a clearer view of Your face so I can behold You in Your beauty and continue in Your kindness.

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