I have so many prayers for all of us, the Lovers of Jesus---for 2009 and beyond. They are my fervent prayers and my hopes and dreams, and of course my personal aspirations.
The Dream and Hope that I share with you today is one that is perhaps the most deeply rooted in my own emotions and heart. It is this:
That we all begin to perceive ourselves and to define ourselves in the Affirmative and in the Positive.
May we be a people polarized to the Positive Person called Jesus. Jesus is the most affirming person I know.
My prayer is that I am known to you not by title, role, race, age, sex, income bracket, job description, five-fold ministry assignment, or by my physicality. I pray to be known to you by the identifier of Christ in me. That I am so marked in my spirit by Jesus that I am unmistakable to you, and likewise.
I feel this so deeply that it is as if this prayer and wish is somehow tied to my heart right under one of my ribs and the other end of the tether is in heaven, fashioned to a corresponding rib belonging to Jesus. I feel that if I were to let go of this prayer and desire I would die along with it. It is a gift and a prayer burden, and it is precious to me because it is one of the infinite connections that we have, the Lord and I. Do you feel it too?
I pray that our personal self-images as well as our collective self-image makes the shift to our metaphysically magnetic True North, the positively charged Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Positive; He is the most positive personality bar none. He is Light and He is the Light of the World. There are no shadows or gray areas in Him. His Word is Light and it is unequivocal. Jesus and His Word are the plumb line of the Universe, both temporal and eternal.
My desperate prayer is that I become solely indentified with Christ. This is also my prayer for the Body of Jesus Christ. Paul said:
"For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. " (1 Corinthians 2:2)
That's focus. Paul's life and the gospel he preached were Jesus and Him crucified. His life-message was light like a laser beam, a powerful, coherent Light source that continues to draw all men and is the only power that subdues darkness.
Paul's perceptions of the Jesus-people he ministered among were also as laser-focused. Paul was determined in his heart and mind to only perceive these people as they truly were: one with Jesus. Not only was Jesus the only knowledge that Paul had, it was the only knowledge that he sought out. This was the only perception that he wished to have of his brothers. This insight of course only comes from Holy Spirit Who reveals it.
We have the awesome opportunity to perceive ourselves and one another through the lens of the wisdom of God in a mystery! According to scripture this is stuff not revealed to mere mortals. This is heavenly perception available to the righteous. These are secret and hidden things which are the counsel of God for His people and His purposes.
My desire and prayer is to see the Jesus in you...before I see you. And, let me tell you---I have been tested in my most sensitive area.
I began to seriously pray this way about five years ago. A year into asking to see myself and others with spiritual eyes alone, God tested my mettle with His typical compassion and enduring sense of humor. This time I felt that I must have been His favorite joke.
My son was a freshman at college and I missed him desperately. I called and asked him out to dinner on a Monday night. He seemed really tentative which was unusual for our relationship. He even asked if he could invite his new girlfriend, and I said 'yes' but with a feeling that he was rallying reinforcements.
The drive to the university was about 45 minutes and during this time I was praying, and especially praying my "let me see only with spiritual eyes...let me see only the crucified Jesus in everyone" prayer. I was stopped at a red light, ready to cross the bridge into the college town, not a block from the restaurant. It was in this place that I began to hear God laughing. He was laughing hard. I had no more insight into the laughter but I was glad to cause Him a bit of joy.
I parked at a meter across from the restaurant and saw my son's car parked directly across from mine on the other side of the street. He and a gorgeous girl were standing on the curb putting coins in the meter when he recognized me. Hands waving he yelled, "Mom! Mom! Wait! Stay there a minute."
"Whaddaya nuts?" I called back, and I crossed the street.
At once I was face to face with the freshly pierced face of my baby boy, nose and top lip. However the only unattractive thing I saw was the abject fear in his expression. I heard the words of my recent prayer thundering and echoing back to me: "Let me see nothing but Jesus and Him crucified." The three of us went in to the restaurant and had a great time. As he kissed me goodbye, my son said, "Mom, thanks for seeing me, for seeing that I have not changed." He was so right. The heart of Christ-compassion continued to beat in his chest as it always had.
If we want this badly enough we will be tried in the fire. When we declare that we are only who Jesus says we are we will have plenty of moments of decision. Kingdom authority comes in passing these tests. When we pray for eyes to see and ears to hear the Spirit, the physical realm will bombard our physical senses and emotions with a barrage of Technicolor distractions.
Our success will come in what we are willing to ignore.
I ask the Lord for the grace to ignore the temporal and the unimportant. Denomination, title, political affiliation, evangelical, charismatic, blue collar, professional, boomer, head banger, hard core or old stuffed shirt. Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear and sharp discernment to judge myself when I catch myself judging.
I ask for grace to ignore the things that others say are so important and impressive about me. May I never believe my own press, and may I never accept a title or appointment other than those You confer: servant and child.
May our focus be singular: One thing I desire, one thing I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, beholding the Lord and inquiring in His temple. (Psalm 27:4) In beholding Jesus we will become like Him. In beholding Jesus we will become so familiar with His attributes that we instantly see them in others. We have all come across someone we have never met in the mall and looked them in the eye saying, "I know you from somewhere." We know them in the highest reality: Jesus.
Finally, I pray that all in the Kingdom of Jesus stop defining ourselves by what we oppose. This is a really fallen, weak practice of defining ourselves in the negative. It makes us stand in the shadows of the very thing we do not wish to have manifest. It is a fear-based behavior that does more to highlight the darkness than it does to further the gospel. I pray that we become people who are more adept at proclaiming the glory and attributes of Jesus than we are skilled at proscribing behaviors. I trust the goodness of God to lead us all to repentance. Guilt and condemnation are vicious task masters.
Lord, let us see ourselves as those empowered by Your goodness and loving-kindness.
Let us use this power to create the Reality of the Kingdom in the realm of the earth.
And may we become polarized to You and become like You.
Love, Kelly January 12, 2009