“That’s an oxymoron,” said my sister. They don’t belong in the same sentence, impossible and faith.
Ah, but here’s the thing, I responded. Not that it’s only an impossible event you expect to occur, but that you have to nerve to believe it. Impossibly so. People will marvel at your faith in the face of such obstacles. Impossible faith renders life’s circumstances possible.
It’s hard to have faith when dealing with seemingly insurmountable barriers. Believe anyway. People will laugh and ridicule you. Believe anyhow. They will make you feel simple minded … until you do it. It will take crazy, unshakeable, impossible faith to reach your goals. But, once you have accomplished it, you won’t seem so crazy.
I saw a wonderful movie on Netflix, Little Boy. I highly recommend it! It’s about believing in spite of what it looks like, no matter what it looks like. I loved it so much, I walked away from that movie with my faith in God and in my own abilities strengthened. You just gotta continue to believe! Faith is not passive, nor is it for the faint of heart. Someone will definitely come along and challenge your stance, making you feel foolish. But I take comfort in this scripture: Wisdom is justified by her children (Luke 7:35). It’s the end of the thing that declares it. So let the haters hate, the mockers mock, and the naysayers say what they will. Believe God and let them think you are crazy.
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.” John 11:41
I sat in church on Sunday and listened as the pastor expounded on his topic. See, this is the Year of Jubilee in Jerusalem, according to the pastor. Every seven years God granted the Israelites a get out of jail free card, so to speak. It was a time when every man was forgiven his debt and regained his freedom if he were enslaved. He could start over fresh. (Our bankruptcy laws seem to follow this pattern.) After seven cycles of these periods of forgiveness, the Year of Jubilee was proclaimed and the Israelites were assured of additional blessings, i.e., given back property that he’d mortgaged, for example. So the pastor had a list of seven blessings that he determined were also a result of Jubilee: Presence of God, double portion, family blessings, miracles, financial abundance, restored relationships and an open heaven.
My mind fixated on that last one, considering the possibilities. I got excited the more I thought about it. I mean, I really bought into it. I believed it meant I could pray and have God’s ear always and therefore, was more likely to have my request granted. Every blessing listed could be mine, similar to how Solomon asked for wisdom and received wealth and peace, as well. The concept seemed to me a wonderful catchall. It covered everything. It was like getting a surprise bonus, a twofer, a bogo. (You should have seen me the other night when my brother got my frozen yogurt free with his purchase at my favorite shop, LOL!) I latched on to the idea eagerly. The pastor said, “Point to your blessing and call it out!” (The words were displayed prominently around the walls of the sanctuary.) Obediently, I pointed to An Open Heaven, figuring it would get me the most bang for my buck! I receive it, I cried aloud with the rest of the congregation.
But my mind said, “Hey! Wait a minute!” The entire premise is predicated on our covenant being the same as the Israelites. But it’s actually not. The covenant of Israel can seem appealing (blessed coming and going, in the city and the field, lender not a borrower and all that) but the new covenant is better. The old testament or covenant is contingent on being able to keep the law. If you break one, you are guilty of all. The new covenant, the Bible says, is a better covenant. The blood of Jesus does what the sacrifices of goats and bulls could not do. It saves and cleanses and forgives and restores continually. While we are descendants of Abraham (“And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29) because of our faith, we are entitled and can lay claim to the promises made to him. It’s just not limited to a certain time during a specific year.
I realized that Jesus died so that I can have access to heaven every second of every minute of every hour of every day. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. So in reality, I already have the ear of God, always. He hears me and answers my prayers. I don’t need to proclaim a special year to receive that. My former pastor once said of the coming new year, “Every year can’t be your year!” Au contraire mon frère! Oh, but it can! Because the veil has been taken away, I have unlimited access to God. I can come boldly, confidently to his throne and make my request as His daughter.
I was elated. If news of one Jubilee year got me excited, a lifetime of being able to claim these blessings made an even bigger impact. Membership has privileges, I thought to myself as I quoted an old commercial. I became bolder in my prayer life and began to believe God for more. And I saw more results. What if, all this time, I was only hindered by my belief or lack thereof? So I began to pray like Jesus and know I have the very ear of God. I no longer wonder now. I know this of a certainty. Thank you Father, that you always hear me. Oh, the blessings in store for us now that we know we have them! I feel I have found a treasure that is secret no longer. And that is good news, indeed!
I’ll be honest. Brutally. I’ve avoided blogging for a while. Been turned off to it for quite some time now. All because of those who perpetrate and pretend to be Christians. They give those of us who are His disciples a really bad name. I’m not ashamed of this gospel but I don’t want to be counted amongst that number. We’re supposed to be good guys, people! But folks have got it twisted, thinking they are THE (ONLY) GOOD GUYS and, as such, above reproach. Oh, it breaks my heart, really it does, to see the foolish and vile things we visit upon our fellow man in the name of Christianity. Jesus said the world would know us by the love we have for one another. That would be the evidence, proof that we belonged to Him and that we are His disciples. So let’s ask ourselves, in light of that scripture: What are we really showing the world about us, as those who espouse His teachings and citizens of the oft proclaimed “God’s country?” It’s sad, truly and if you think God is down with it, you’re wrong. If Jesus came back today, looking for his church (without spot or wrinkle) would he even recognize you? Or would he count you as one of the goats – you know, one of those non-believers that we have been conditioned to look down upon. Would He see you, claim you as one of His own or call you out as a Pharisee so busy straining out the gnat that you swallow the camel? Worse yet, would He identify you as one of the wolves come to deceive the flock. Let us examine ourselves more closely. What would the evidence reveal about you? As one of my late pastors used to sing, “you oughta show some sign” of being a Christian. If only there were such a thing to indicate where our loyalties lie, a way to know for sure. Aha! But there is! It is LOVE.