Sebastian Moore made this astonishing confession: “It has taken me thirty years to understand that the admission and forgiveness of sin is the essence of the New Testament.” Paul Claudel once stated that the greatest sin is to lose the sense of sin. Humility, recovering alcoholics like to say, is stark raving honesty. We cannot receive what the crucified Rabbi has to give unless we admit our plight and stretch out our hands until our arms ache. If we search for one word to describe the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ, ‘reconciliation’ would not be a bad choice. The Crucified says, “Confess your sin so that I may reveal Myself to you as lover, teacher, and friend, that fear may depart and your heart can stir once again with passion.” His word is addressed both to those filled with a sense of self-importance and to those crushed with a sense of self-worthlessness. Both are preoccupied with themselves. Both claim a godlike status, because their full attention is riveted either on their prominence or their insignificance. They are isolated and alienated in their self-absorption. The release from chronic egocentricity starts with letting Christ love them where they are. Brennan Manning, Chapter Nine
In the Gospel of Matthew, there are two instances where a cloud appears over Jesus and God shouts two brief, identical messages. I have often wondered what God would shout at me in a similar situation.
Honestly, I tend to think God would shout negative things at me. I imagine God telling me to stop doing something or to do more of something. In either case, the message would focus on the ways I’m falling short and have been inadequate.
I have struggled to imagine a loving and merciful God. It’s much easier to imagine a God who is either disappointed or really, really angry.
Bringing up this disappointed/angry image of God with people tends to strike a nerve.
What would God shout at you?
Read the rest of this article at https://edcyzewski.com/2017/06/20/what-would-god-shout-to-you-from-a-cloud/
It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we see the activity and mistake panic for inspiration. That is why we see so few fellow workers with God, yet so many people working for God. We would much rather work for God than believe in Him. Do I really believe that God will do in me what I cannot do? The degree of hopelessness I have for others comes from never realizing that God has done anything for me. Is my own personal experience such a wonderful realization of God’s power and might that I can never have a sense of hopelessness for anyone else I see? Has any spiritual work been accomplished in me at all? The degree of panic activity in my life is equal to the degree of my lack of personal spiritual experience.
Put God’s Needs First.
Lo, I come to do Thy will, 0 God. Hebrews 10:9
A man’s obedience is to what he sees to be a need; Our Lord’s obedience was to the will of His Father. The cry to-day is — “We must get some work to do; the heathen are dying without God; we must go and tell them of Him.” We have to see first of all that God’s needs in us personally are being met. “Tarry ye until….” The purpose of this College is to get us rightly related to the needs of God. When God’s needs in us have been met, then He will open the way for us to realize His needs elsewhere.
And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. — Revelation 1:17
The Delight Of Despair
It may be that like the apostle John you know Jesus Christ intimately, when suddenly He appears with no familiar characteristic at all, and the only thing you can do is to fall at His feet as dead. There are times when God cannot reveal Himself in any other way than in His majesty, and it is the awfulness of the vision which brings you to the delight of despair; if you are ever to be raised up, it must be by the hand of God.
“He laid His right hand upon me.” In the midst of the awfulness, a touch comes, and you know it is the right hand of Jesus Christ. The right hand not of restraint nor of correction nor of chastisement, but the right hand of the Everlasting Father. Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it is ineffable peace and comfort, the sense that “underneath are the everlasting arms,” full of sustaining and comfort and strength. When once His touch comes, nothing at all can cast you into fear again. In the midst of all His ascended glory the Lord Jesus comes to speak to an insignificant disciple, and to say — “Fear not.” His tenderness is ineffably sweet. Do I know Him like that?
Watch some of the things that strike despair. There is despair in which there is no delight, no horizon, no hope of anything brighter; but the delight of despair comes when I know that “in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.” I delight to know that there is that in me which must fall prostrate before God when He manifests Himself, and if I am ever to be raised up it must be by the hand of God. God can do nothing for me until I get to the limit of the possible.