Random Blog Clay Feet: June 12, 2008
Feel free to leave your own comments or questions. If you would like to be in contact with me without having it published let me know in your comment and leave your email address and I will not publish that comment.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I Want to be a Butterfly

God has given us many, many illustrations of the principles of true reality within nature. When guided by the Spirit of the One who created everything we can glimpse very helpful insights into truths that have escaped our notice or been obscured by the deceptions we have lived under all of our lives.

As I have been contemplating the idea of the importance of letting go of all resistance over the past few days (from my study of Romans thirteen), I was led to think of the example of the Butterfly. The dramatic change that is seen in the formation of a Butterfly after living most of its life as a lowly caterpillar has often been used as an illustration of the new birth experience that is needed in order to truly enter the kingdom of heaven. But I noticed that the way a Butterfly interacts with its environment is also descriptive of how a true Christian will live in many respects.

A Butterfly has a very important relationship and dependence on the sun. After it emerges from its cocoon it waits while its wings dry out and fill out in the warm sunlight. The sunlight highlights the striking and unique beauty of the Butterfly wings and are also examples of the loveliness that can be seen in the life of a person who is reflecting the true light of God's beauty.

Then as the Butterfly takes to the air, it does not surge into the sky with powerful wings like a hawk seeking out its prey but it simply lets the gentle breezes carry it along while guiding itself through those breezes to seek for the sweet nourishment from the beautiful flowers that God has provided for it to feed on. It does not seek out the rottenness and garbage like the flies commonly do but looks for the sweet and the beautiful.

I am reminded of the words of Jesus when speaking of the new birth experience. "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8) A person who has been transformed and reborn by the miracle-working power of the Holy Spirit at the heart level will live as a gentle, beautiful Butterfly carried along by the breezes of the Spirit as they seek out the loveliness of Creation that God has given to cause us to thrive.

That is the kind of life I hunger for and that I sense God has been preparing me for in the many lessons that He is seeking to teach me. I think back over several of the important points that He has been instructing me on in the past few months and years and notice the pattern that is preparing me to live this kind of life.

He has warned me of the dangers of criticism and fault-finding and the destructive effects that it has not only on my own heart but on my influence on many around me. This problem is very deep-seated and is even generationally rooted in my past, but God wants me to become free of it so that I can become a more useful agent of blessing and truth in my sphere of influence.

He has worked to help me focus more on the goodness of God and the positive blessings all around me in direct contrast to the negative perceptions that I have had most of my life. I insisted that I was simply being realistic, but I have come to realize that what I believed was realistic evaluations of circumstances were actually endorsements of the enemy's spin on what is real in contrast with God's declarations of what makes up true reality. My dark views of God were due to the lies about Him that Satan has implanted in all of us to keep us from discovering the life-changing transformation that we could enjoy if we would simply believe in God's kindness and true attitudes toward us.

God took me on a two month intensive study of Hebrews twelve to focus on my deep roots of bitterness and carefully search out from His Word some of the causes of them and the ways in which I can become free of them if I allow the Spirit to have its way in my heart. Soon after that and more recently I plunged into a very uncomfortable study of Romans thirteen as I was forced to face some of the most volatile roots of bitterness and rebellion that are like tap-roots in my heart implanted there at a very early age by negative experiences with authority.

As I have opened myself up to the searching and convicting presence of the Spirit of God during this study, I have begun to see that resistance itself is possibly the most important part of the problem that is exposed by my problems with authority. But the issue of resistance is not confined to just confrontations with authority, but it may be most easily exposed under those circumstances. In contrast, Paul immediately presents the antidote to resolve this root of resistance which is the softening effects of true love working in the heart. Genuine love at the heart level puts me into proper relationship with everyone else and produces the result of aligning me perfectly with the requirements of the Law of God. But that love only comes from the Source of all love and is not something I can work up myself.

As I think about the flight of a Butterfly, one of the most obvious aspects of it is it's lack of resistance to the breezes that carry it from flower to flower. Even in the migration patterns that carry them for thousands of miles to places they have never personally seen before to join millions of other Butterflies for a giant love festival, they do not fight the winds but allow the breezes to assist them and guide them to their destiny. And as they are carried along they enjoy the blessings of beauty and sweetness provided for them as they also reflect the striking beauty of the gifts God has written all over their wings.

God reminded me of the destiny that He has spoken for my own life and how this example of the Butterfly fits so well with it. And the spirit of the Lord will come on you with power, and you will be acting like a prophet with them, and will be changed into another man. And when these signs come to you, see that you take the chance which is offered you; for God is with you. (1 Samuel 10:6-7 BBE) Another version puts the last verse this way. Now when these signs meet you, do whatever you see fit to do, for God is with you. (1 Samuel 10:7 NRSV)

That reminds me of the glorious freedom of the life of the fragile Butterfly that lives in perfect harmony with the provisions that God has given for it and that spreads blessing wherever it goes. Yes it is very vulnerable, but it trusts implicitly in the provisions of its Creator and lives a life that exemplifies perfect freedom and joy. It is carried around seeking out and sharing the beauties of nature on the warm breezes just as God wants me to do likewise trusting in His Spirit and living out a similar life of freedom and joy.

I crave the experience of the Butterfly that God has planned for me. I want to become free of all resistance and trust in the wind that blows me where It wishes. I want my life to be more full of beauty and attractiveness to inspire others who are still crawling around on the ground to allow God to take them through the metamorphosis needed to transform their lives into the wonderful freedom of Christ that He desires for all of us. I desire to be changed into another man so that as I live from my heart that the natural impulses that flow from it will be those that reflect the beauty and loveliness of heaven and the very heart of my heavenly Father.

Once again I find myself waiting for the Spirit to do its work in me today. I cannot change myself but I can and do choose to let go of my resistance and trust in the kindness and faithfulness of my God. I choose to accept His lessons and corrections and pray that God will finish to completion the work that He has begun in me. I feel like I am still wrapped tightly in a cocoon but I have to wait for His timing to accomplish His purposes in me.

I want my loving Father to make me a clean channel of love and light to others who are longing for something better themselves. I want to be a reliable friend of the Bridegroom to interact with those He is seeking to attract to His love nest so that He can ravish them with His attentions and comfort and lavish love. God, make me an instrument of Your peace and grace and loveliness today for Your name's sake.

Hey little butterfly, where'd you come from? Dancin' in the meadow playing in the sun! Hoverin' over flowers in the warm summer breeze Silently making music with your wings as they tease. Flitting high, flitting low, through the garden gates you go Until the perfect flower comes to make your day in the sun Free to linger, free to fly, Free to mingle with the sky, never showing you are shy Just free to be a butterfly! Hey little child, what do you know? Before I could be free, I had to learn to grow..... - By Licia Chenoweth