Busy streets, busy lives and busy blackberry devices. We all share one common theme in today’s world and that is, busyness. We run around with our heads in a buzz because that is what society demands of us now. Some would say that technology has become a curse because of it, others say it is a blessing because it makes our lives easier in many ways, and I for one love new gadgets and technology. They do make things run a little more smoothly. However, I am reminded by those closest to me that they can become all consuming, if allowed to. No matter what you think or how you feel about new advances in the “tech world” we live in, it is still very much a reality and it isn’t going away. There is something that is taking place though underneath of it all though. I think one of the main concerns people in general have, is that our society is fast becoming a computerized habitation. We have replaced humans with computers and live operators with recordings. We’ve replaced face to face interaction with an email or a text and it’s easy to respond without a voice attached. It seems the further we journey into the world of digital impressions and graphic display, the more we strip the human presence out of our midst. The surface of our daily “rush” seems like all is well, but what price are we really paying underneath of it all.
I do a lot of interacting online and have met some great people across the globe. We feed each other our responses at break neck speeds as we hit the enter button every few seconds. It’s great to “hear” someone’s response as I see it appear in front of me. Our thoughts fly as quickly as we can slap the key board. Once and awhile I stop myself and think, Oh! Should I have said that? My thoughts race as I wait for their reply. Most of the time I am careful, but there are those times when I have wanted to climb into my computer with a giant eraser in hand and quickly wipe away what I had written, thinking it may have caused an offense as they were unable to hear the “tone” in which I had said it. Ever been there? Good! I’m not alone!
You see, the problem with this fast paced world is sometimes we only have a moment to think and respond. There is hardly any real time to sit and have lengthy conversation over a cup of coffee, sitting face to face with someone in a place of safety anymore. Oh sure, we have Starbucks down the street from our home or workplace and we can order a Venti over a few words, but to have quality interaction in a place where we can be ourselves is something we have to work at making happen. I have to purposefully wipe out a section of my calendar, turn off the iphone and most importantly, turn off my computerized brain for a time, to truly engage in meaningful conversation.
Designed for safety
When we start out in diapers and high chairs, all we knew was that we were being taken care of by somebody. Hardly any of us can remember what that experience was like. We just know that we are now grown up and we made it through the baby stage with someone changing our plastic pants and wiping the split pea “mush” off our face. In a healthy family environment where love was present, we either had a mom or dad or both, who nurtured our growth. No one really had to show either parent how to love or protect us, it was already present within them to do so. It was part of their nature to love, protect and talk funny to us. There was laughter and playfulness throughout our youth because of a place called home, where love and safety were the norm. At least that is the way it was for me as a child, until I was old enough to realize the reality that our home had its share of problems just as much as the next family.
I am truly sorry if you were not one of the families that experienced much love, it must have been very difficult for you. But if you have become a child of God, then you belong to a loving family now and one that is eternal. You may think, really? I haven’t seen much love in the church, at least in my church. Again, I apologize and grieve inside over the thought of it. While it may be true to a degree in many places, there is a transformation of a different kind beginning to happen all across the globe. God is pouring out His love and grace to all those who are open and ready to receive it. He is transforming the hungry into vessels of safety. He is taking those who have been through the furnace more than a few times and causing them to shine with heaven’s fragrance and love that is tangible.
God never meant for anyone to become a haven for harm. When He created Adam in the garden, His goal was not for Adam to become a monster, but a lover forever. He created him for love and to multiply that love to every generation that would follow. The Garden of Eden was a sphere or space in time where everything screamed safety. Before he sinned, Adam could walk out of his house and leave all of the windows, doors and screens wide open. He could leave his vehicle running for years without anyone ever stealing it.
It was a place where you could bare your soul and no one would slam you for it. The garden was consumed with love and acceptance, because The Owner was full of it. He was full of transformational intimacy, grace, mercy and empowering encouragement. Can you imagine living in a place where you could totally be yourself without fear of someone making fun of you? That is the zone or place God wants us to dwell in today. It’s called abiding. It’s the place where God still lives, it’s the garden of His presence and it ours for the taking. Once we tap into this supernatural realm, we will begin to live in a place we were designed for.
Love takes up residence in human flesh
John 14: 23 Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.
The home is where the heart is they say. Home for most of us is a place where we can let our hair down (if we have some) and we can be our exact selves. It’s a place where we feel a sense of safety and peace as we lay down at night. Or at least it should be this way. Even more important, home is where we are loved by those who are closest to us. But the “home” Jesus is talking about here in John, is a place of permanency in living vessels. This changes the whole game entirely. Perhaps you don’t have a safe place to call home in the natural. Maybe you live in a literal war zone and safety is not something you have on a daily basis. If you live in harm’s way, then be encouraged my friend because God, THE God of the universe can come in and take up permanent residency inside of you.
The Master and lover of our soul said that both He and Father would make their home inside of us. This means that not only is it exciting, it is overwhelmingly assuring. Why? Because the bible says that God IS love (1 John 4:17-18). In fact, let’s take a closer look at it.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.
Now, if God lives in us, then that means we live directly inside of love. That means there is no way we can escape it. Furthermore, there is no fear inside of mature love, because The God of love drives it away by His very presence. The scripture says that if we are afraid, it’s because we fear punishment due to our own frailties and bumblings. It just means that we haven’t really gotten to know love yet. In other words, if I am consumed by Love’s presence all the time, then ho win the world can fear even come near my door? I will tell you how, we allow it in through our own immaturity. It’s like we constantly live in a schizophrenic state of fearing one moment and then at home inside of love’s safety. We are human and humans tend to yield to paranoia at some levels. But if we really begin to understand that God makes His home in our hearts, then the only real substance it should produce in and through us is the fruit of the Spirit.
Gal. 5:16-24 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
Notice in the above scripture the Holy Spirit only produces what The Father has living inside of us, it’s called love. If He is love, then it is only natural that peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control, would come with it. You see, love is a habitation of good and safety, all the time. Love is not what the sinful nature states, it is the opposite. If we live in an environment where hostility, jealousy, quarreling, anger and division exist, then how can the full force of love even be present? It can’t because love casts out all fear and the things just mentioned in the scripture above are rooted in fear. This is why God says He leads us by STILL waters; not raging, turbulent waters.
Rough rapids carry all of the debris and noise, where still waters
enable us to hear the still small voice of love whispering to our hearts.
Those who are constantly living in a state of turmoil and rage of the soul, are never really able to understand the value of the fruit of the Spirit, because they see them as weak or stagnant. If a person thinks that acting tough or living in fight mode all the time is what it takes to be a real man or woman, then stillness and gentleness is just not that appealing. If they are used to living in survival mode due to abuse of some kind, then to them, obtaining a place of stillness or peace seems impossible because they think they can never be “good enough” to receive it.
Fear has no place to call home
Have you ever had a panic attack or known someone who has? If so, then you know it isn’t very fun. People have them due to fear and the fear of the unknown or even being alone. It’s a state or condition where there is a loss of safety and peace. Panic attacks are real and if not treated properly they can lead to a miserable existence, to say the least. To those who suffer from this oppression there is no real peace and certainly no place to call home; the indwelling of safety. The bible says that God does not give us a spirit of fear, so a present evil is always trying to gain entrance by constantly knocking on our soul. The only way to slam the door shut is to abide inside of something or someone who has the power to keep it far away from us. Love is that Someone. His very nature is safety and rest. He is The only One Who can take away the panic and trade it for peace. He is The One Who dwells in goodness, because He is good.
If hostility and fear sit next to you for every meal, it’s time to give them an eviction notice and then welcome a habitation of safety in your home. If you do, then you will indeed become that Habitation of safety to someone else. The fruit of the Spirit is a habitual place of safety and if the fruit resides within us, then all we need to do is spend more time with The Source of love to uncover the wonders of a restful place called home. In return, the abiding will consistently splash out of us to welcome another weary soul to their own place of safety.
We may not have had the best of examples throughout our lives in many different ways and we may not have even seen it much in our “church” circles, but stay tuned my friend because there is a people who have been through the fire and have come out refined. They have been taken through the kiln of life and they have been reduced to nothing but love. The kind that says, “I have no agenda other than to help you succeed in this life and I will do it through the voice and embrace of love”. These are the folks that we will see more of in the days ahead and because of it; we will all start to become houses of safety for the fearful of heart.
Make Your eternal home real to us Father….
John 17:20-22 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.
John Meyer - firstname.lastname@example.org