Random Blog Clay Feet: June 29, 2008
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Sunday, June 29, 2008

More on Living as a Butterfly

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. (Romans 13:10-11)

Not long ago I wrote a piece about wanting to become a Butterfly. Not literally, you understand, but in many other respects. God has embedded within the many things of nature powerful lessons that can illustrate spiritual truths for us that can be revealed to us by the Spirit who was involved in the original Creation of both nature and our own minds and hearts. Very often things in nature can better unveil deep emotional and spiritual truths and facts much easier than the difficult exercise of translating them into the symbols we call words and language.

This issue of letting go of resistance is very often on my mind since it has been brought to my attention over the past few months in my study of Romans 13. One reason I wrote the piece about the Butterfly was directly related to this very thing. Butterflies are almost the perfect demonstration of living a glorious life and beauty and freedom while exercising an amazingly low amount of resistance to the environment in which they fly. And yet they can travel thousands of miles across land and sea to arrive at very precise destinations which they have never even been to before.

It also occurred to me this morning that a very great percentage of a Butterfly's noticeable makeup is constituted of the beautifully decorated wings designed to utilize the sunlight to dispense loveliness and beauty wherever they go. Their bodies sink into near insignificance to our attention in comparison to the beauty of their wings. This is in contrast to most other insects that have no such large displays of extravagant beauty. It really appears that the main purpose of Butterflies may be to dispense beauty primarily – and maybe in more ways than we thought.

As I reread the above text this morning it came to me that the very process that creates the beautiful Butterfly – metamorphosis – is strikingly parallel to what I read here in this verse as well as in 12:2. And it is also very closely linked with the verses before it which talk about not resisting and being filled with genuine love. What verse eleven seems to be saying is that it is time for me to be born again and emerge from the cocoon of metamorphosis into a totally new creation that doesn't even resemble the body (my internal perception of my identity) and surroundings (the emotional and spiritual atmosphere in which I function) that I have been so familiar with all of my life. And if this parallel is true – and I believe it is – then salvation itself must be something descriptive of beauty and joy and freedom and intimate interaction with the breezes of the Holy Spirit that Jesus talked about in John three.

I suppose that there may be instances where Butterflies may cause damage somewhere, but I am not aware of them. But given the pervasive nature of the effects of sin in this world that is certainly possible. But in most respects I believe that Butterflies live to dispense beauty and inspire gratitude and praise on the part of all who are capable and willing to engage in and be blessed by this exercise.

Along the same line of thinking, verse ten says that Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. This is clearly an indication that the law, far from being done away with or ignored in the life of a true, converted, born-again Christian – the law will be the internal structure now implanted in the heart that has become so much a part of the natural thinking and reactions of a person that that person's life will reflect the light of God's love in unique and startling, even dazzling ways that will enrich the lives of all who are blessed by their influence.

Just as a Butterfly is not generally known for any damage they cause or even being a nuisance, the life of the true, transformed Christian full of real love will never do any wrong to others. And never doing any wrong to others is another way of saying they are perfectly in agreement and alignment with the Law of God. They will not be found dissing the law or complaining about talk of the law or feeling threatened by the law. But like David expressed so many times in the Psalms and particularly Psalm 119, they will love God's laws and guidelines and descriptions of the principles which govern all of His interactions with others.

I was again reminded this morning as I meditated on these thoughts of the passage that I received as something of a prophecy of my future a few years ago. 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) You will be changed into another man. That sounds an awful lot like what happens to a caterpillar when it is changed into a beautiful Butterfly.

And the last part of that passage also reminds me of the close interactions that Butterflies have with the wind and the words of Jesus to Nicodemus. "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) Doesn't that sound strikingly similar to the flight of a Butterfly?

But as most people know that have ever learned much about the process of metamorphosis necessary to transform caterpillars into butterflies, the creature itself cannot bring about this amazing transformation. It simply cooperates with the impulses that God implanted into it and then rests quietly and safely inside the cocoon while the power of God mysteriously does its work of total transformation until the day it is ready to emerge in glorious and surprising beauty to live a completely different life.

When you are still living in a cocoon it is very hard to see what is going on in your own transformation process. I feel like I have been in the form of a caterpillar or in a cocoon for most of my life, but all I can do is rest and trust in the transformational work of the Spirit in my life until the day it becomes more obvious that I can learn to really fly. And when that happens I am also certain that the beauty of God's light and love will be so much more clear than it ever has been in my life that it may well be breath-taking – especially to me. But that beauty will not occur because of anything I have accomplished but because God has created yet another new creature, a wonderful experiment of grace to be a glorious reflector of part of His own beauty to attract others to Him with the loveliness that originates in His own heart.

Another thought that was brought to my attention this morning was again about this issue of resistance. I have been praying for some time now for God to remove all resistance from my heart, and I still feel that is very much needed. But in my cursory look through the Bible on the subject of resistance I noticed that a few times we are instructed to resist – but only against the devil himself.

I find this a bit curious and have wondered what this really means. I am specifically instructed not to resist an evil person (Matt. 5:39) while at the same time told that I must resist the devil (James 4:7). I have had a number of discussions about this with others and realized today that I need to pray to be full of resistance to Satan and all his suggestions while at the same time totally devoid of resistance to God and even to the evil that comes my way from others. This is all part of the alignment process very necessary to get me prepared to encounter the power and presence of God safely. Most Christians claim to desire to encounter His presence but they very often fail to see the enormous danger inherent in such a request. I will have to meditate and listen for more on this topic as the Spirit unpacks it more thoroughly for me.