Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Outside the camp

I've had a rough re-adjustment home. I'm not sure if it's just exhaustion from traveling with 2 kids in a car all over the country for a month or more than that, but it's been a season of clinging to the cross and trusting that the small act of "sowing" will be multiplied by the Holy Spirit into fruit that explodes out and lasts. One encouragement for me in this has been to look back on what God's taught me in my journals. As I've looked back and prayed and just rested in Him, I'm seeing the height from which I've fallen... I am right back to looking at me, desiring my comfort and ease,  and missing Him. But OH WOW...to look at Him again all new is amazing! He is sooooo good. 

Here's a journal entry from August as I went through Hebrews that brought Him flooding back central in me. Yes, JESUS! :

"Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name".- Hebrews 13:12-16

I’ve been reading Hebrews lately (complete with notes from a sermon I heard ages ago that has brought it freshly to me as I reread it this go through) and God has been bringing it ALIVE to me and reminding me of why the book was written- it’s all about Jesus! The first 9 chapters seem to go on and on with who He is (awesome!) and then suddenly it shifts to suffering and taking HUGE risks in light of who He is. It’s filled with people who were willingly plundered, beaten, jailed, obeyed and yet didn’t receive the promise here, etc. All because they knew the real and true treasure wasn’t here, but is in JESUS! I’ve been floored by the call in Hebrews 13 to go TO HIM outside the camp and bear the reproach He bore.

My tendency is to want to fit in, belong, be liked and wanted (and in full honesty, I’d like to be praised- ouch.)
And yet my call- shown clearly in Hebrews 13 is to love Jesus so thoroughly and completely that I’ll willingly and joyfully remain in Him through suffering and make ALL decisions by FAITH looking towards heaven and not here.

It’s so timely since moving has given us many temptations to “fit in” and try to be liked by people. I’ve already had to check my insecurity as we prayerfully consider which homeschool materials, how we feed our kids, what activities to choose, church to commit to, get pictures taken with my short hair, consider how to act in the office, and even when to exhort people in truth as they make decisions that could cause them or others harm. We know God is calling us to be bold for Him. He’s calling us to remain steadfast in Him and obey His Word. He’s calling us to go reach people groups that no one else has gone towards and believe Him for impossible things, not settling or ever viewing here and now as our home. That is radically different from how most people we know live and it makes for many awkward conversations where we perceive that people think we are freaks or may think we're being judgmental of them for not doing it with us. Sometimes we feel incredibly attacked.

I’ve shared with some of you that since we’ve moved, I have had nightmares daily. Though people give different thoughts to why, as I’ve prayed God has given me a peace that regardless of the cause, He is with me, He is pleased with me, and He is my strength in it. I have been surprised sometimes at how fully rested I still feel every day even though I have such horrid and short sleep. And though I’d expect it, I’m not at all consumed by fear, but filled with joy. This is evidence to me that God is with me in it and guiding me lovingly through it.

Sometimes it can be tempting to shirk back from Him or our call because it’s hard… but here’s what God reminded me: I’m not just going out from, but I’m also going to someone… JESUS! 

And Hebrews had just reminded me some incredible truths about who I’m going to…just who this Jesus is. He is:
-God’s final revelation 1:2
-heir of all things 1:2
-creator of the world 1:2
-the radiance of God’s glory 1:3
-the exact imprint of God’s nature 1:3
-upholds the universe by the word of his power 1:3
-made purification for sins 1:3, 2:9, 2:17, 9:24, 10:12
- sits at the right hand of the Father
– Majesty on High 1:4
-is God and is enthroned forever with His sceptor of uprightness1:8
-is worshiped by the angels 1:6
-His rule has no end 1:8
-is above all other beings in the universe 1:9
-took on human flesh 2:14
-is crowned with glory because of His suffering 2:9
-is the founder of our salvation 2:10
-was made perfect in all His obedience because of His sufferings 2:10
-destroyed the one who has the power of death, satan 2:15
-delivered us from the bondage of fear 2:15
- is a merciful high priest 2:17
-made propipiation for our sins
-is sympathetic b/c of His own trials 4:15
-never sinned 4:15
-offered up loud cries and tears with reverance and God heard him 5:7
-became the source of eternal salvation 5:8
-holds His priesthood by virtue of an indestructible life 7:16
-appears in the presence of God on our behalf 9:24
-will come a 2nd time to save us who eagerly await Him 9:28
-is the perfector of our faith 12:2
-is the same yesterday, today, and forever 13:8

This is Him! This is the Jesus I am seeking to know and live in light of and JOYFULLY “give up” mini wants (like fitting in) and take risks to share with worldwide and endure hardship and suffering (even small like a financial need or nightmares) because of His great love. THIS is who we go to outside the camp and bear His reproach. What a joyful privilege! I’m honored and pray I remain in Him and He is well pleased ☺ Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

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