Spirit of Love
The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing. (Exult over you means to spin as in a dance–in Hebrew the word “geel” לשמוח.)
Many current posts are being updated with new insights based on the material we are learning in Ministry School. This will happen by the end of soon.
In the mid-sixties I was a teenager and became a token hippie in an exclusive high school that has a tennis court and a swimming pool. That was quite the school and the neighborhood defined it. I worked on a guest ranch in southern Colorado when I was sixteen years old. My father, founder of The Rocky Mountain Center on Environment and instrumental in establishing the Environmental Protection Act, wrote an article for the Rocky Mountain News on Wheeler Monument near the ranch. We stopped by the ranch after a backpacking trip. My dad said that it would be nice if I could work there. Even though college students were typically hired, I think I prayed almost more for that job than for anything in my life then and since. I was hired because I could play, “Blowing in the Wind” on hayrack rides and had an impeccable work ethic. My parents taught me how to work.
After my twin brother hid the fact that he was reading “Fellowship of the Rings” (Tolkien Trilogy) in his basement room, (far away from the maddening crowd,) he handed me those books; at the time the most amazing books in the universe. I had the entire ranch reading the books. One would finish one book and pass it on to another girl. That beautiful summer, we picked wild flowers and put them in Mason Jars on tables set with fine white linen; European style laden with brilliant polished silverware complete with desert forks and china as well as bread and butter plates with little polished silver bread and butter knives across each plate. The evening suns danced through the dining room reflecting light upon crystal goblets full of red wine. There was the laundry room where they ironed the white cotton sheets. A little Spanish speaking couple worked there and I noticed people were not very friendly to them. Funny thing happened, until I was friendly with them. All it took was just asking how their day was going. During clean-up I can still feel the steam on my face from the dishwasher as we filled it with load after load. I loved the smell of the dishwashing soap and the steam on my face was amazing–just one small random memory. It was a summer of first kisses under Aspen trees and chasing rainbows. It was a summer of laying on grassy banks writing poetry and eating sandwiches made with homemade bread. It was a summer of freedom. It was a summer of above all, the most amazing and deeply profound love I have ever known. I learned how to talk to God in all that La Garita summer brilliance of LIFE.
That summer I wrote to the Public School system in Denver calling them out on the fact that they had not initiated “Open Enrollment” in the school system. Much to my amazement, the Superintendent wrote back to me thanking me for my letter. He said it was instrumental in initiating open enrollment in the Denver Public School system.
I remember returning from that summer to an all Black school. I remember the identity that was forming at La Garita Ranch embraced a theme of “Love.” I was a Tolkien loving flower child preaching love in every single class. I notice my yearbook had many writing, “Thank you Sally for teaching me about love.” My senior picture was taken with a Black classmate holding hands. That picture represented my heart because it was about embracing the people of the world. The fact is, I was not aware that I was a Christian at the time and the Holy Spirit was transforming me. (I had an encounter with Jesus when I was nine years old but had no idea what was happening in my life because, “I did not see myself do anything.” I remember the first thing I did after Jesus came into my heart was a strong compelling to write a pledge. It was called, “My Pledge to Be Good.” It listed all the sins in my life. In other words, no one had to tell me to repent. I just did so at nine years old when I told God I did not believe in Jesus but I wanted to. I know now, I repented because I could not help but do so as a response to receiving the Holy Spirit. But there on there was absolutely no one in my life teaching me about Jesus; except of course, Jesus.)
God was transforming me to a life of love and I did not know any better. The “love generation” just facilitated an identity for me. Once more, I had no desire to do drugs with my friends or attend parties. In fact I loathed Rock and Roll music. (I will admit I was a Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, and Joan Baez lover of folk music.) I saw the “Beautiful Day” sing “White Bird” live at a concert in Boulder, Colorado, was personally invited by a member of the Rolling Stones that I met in the Denver Airport to a backstage “groopy party” (that scared me to death–I was not interested.) The member of The Rolling Stones also insisted on buying me roses at a flower cart in the airport because I showed him where the escalator was. All the while he repeatedly declared: “You are the perfect groopy! “I’ll buy you seven dozen roses!” I told him, “no, thank you.” When he insisted, I gave in to one lone daisy. I could have cared less.
I had from an early age a propensity to know the meaning of life and to “find” God.
Because I did not have a religion inundating me with beliefs and doctrines based on the Law in one way or another, the Holy Spirit was working the New Covenant in my being. The refreshing insight of what the New Covenant means is going to be woven through these posts to enlighten the truth that we cannot follow the Law and have never been capable of following it for that matter. Through and with Jesus, The New Covenant in His Blood, is a covenant of Grace and Love. The judgment of the Law is, “You are guilty. You are going to die.” The judgement of Love is, “Mercy and Grace. You are going to live a new life now and forever.”
Without the focus on sin but rather on a New and Living Way, Truth, and Life in the Light of the Kingdom of God as joint heirs seated with Jesus in Heavenly realms and realities, this promise is the goal set before the King of Kings who died not just for our sins, but rather so we could live in a Kingdom. The Kingdom is called the “good news;” the Gospel of Peace. It is about the reality of what we are in possession, inheritance, unity, and above all GRACE with. When we believe in Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith, addressing the sin part is just the entrance into the race. When Jesus comes into our hearts when we believe, our “want to” changes. We want to repent immediately. It is a divine and mysterious thing. From then on just ask Jesus to continue to change your, “I want to do this or that,” to this: “I want to do your Will oh Lord.” Watch what happens. Remember, God wants to be who we depend on desperately for everything. Yes, desperately. I need God desperately in this life because essentially I have no clue what I need or what to do to be in His will and live the life He has planned from the foundation of the world. When I read His Word directed by the Holy Spirit, I am transformed into recognizing His voice so that I can hear His direction. It’s hard to explain. I have lived like this without really knowing what I was doing–I just always know what to do because most of the time I have found myself begging or almost begging God for help. I mess up all the time and people mess up around me but I have received divine direction all of my life. People ask me to explain myself. I can’t explain it. Jesus is the Way, The Truth, and the LIFE. And I need Him desperately.
I do envy those who came to Jesus as children. That is the way it should be. Thank you mothers and fathers who raised your children in the “way they should go.” We have a generation to reach with the Good News. My focus is not on my life any longer but on the generations to come. We have a lot of Kingdom work to do and it is happening in community. Communities of believers who love everyone and believe in illustrating love and acceptance. Acceptance however, is not tolerance. Tolerance is the Law in terms of a regulation on accepting others because it is a social demand to accept others “as they are sin and all.” Acceptance is: “okay, I accept you for who you are sin and all. But lets reach to the stars to become all that God intends for us to be by allowing Him to dwell in us while transforming us through the Word and the Spirit from glory to glory.
Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. Think about this. Religion has ALWAYS been about the Law. About doing right and not doing wrong. Boiling our life down to rules and regulations regarding who is right who is wrong who is good who is bad who is blue and who is green. The world is full of thorns and thistles because of this kind of Old Covenant mentality. The world is full of offenses. People respond to all the thorns and thistles and take offense sowing death. Repentance unto life means just that. It means repentance from being “dead.” Repentance also means to change our biased opinions, beliefs, labels, and constant judgement of others even when we are Christians, to love. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins (I Peter 12:8). When we go about refusing to respond to the thorns and thistles in this world and refuse to take offense, we illustrate a more excellent way, the way of Shalom and the way of Love. I wish to sow life and love into this world and know that because of that, I can bring a small bit of Kingdom reality into this world.
Once more, self-examination and monitoring often breeds more anxiety and actually perpetuates sin. When we take that time to ask Jesus to dwell with us in our house, in other words, move into our lives and situations, sin has a way of vanishing. So does anxiety. When we cultivate love and life-giving actions through “works of righteousness,” we are following Jesus. He taught us how to do this through His life. Jesus was obedient to death. When we are obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit in actions of righteousness, we are in unity with real honest to goodness faith. He gave us the WAY, the Truth and the Life to do this through His death; the veil into the Holy of Holies was rent to allow us access, by His blood we are healed. He gave us the power through His resurrection. The same spirit that raise Christ for the grave dwells in you. . . . we are seated with Christ. . . . in Him I live and move and have my being. When the Holy Spirit came upon the people like flames of fire, that was the end of the dispensation of the Old Covenant; it was the beginning of The New Covenant. I will send the Comforter in my name to teach you all things. . . By Grace you have been saved. We are blessed to live in such a time as this.
We cannot do this on our own. We desperately need God to change us, transform our thinking to the mind of Christ. We try on our own to draw near to Him. Ask God to draw near to you and dwell in you. Then believe you are in His City right now because the Word says, “the Kingdom of Heaven is within.”
1 Rejoice in the Lord, O you [uncompromisingly] righteous [you upright in right standing with God]; for praise is becoming and appropriate for those who are upright [in heart].
2 Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; sing praises to Him with the harp of ten strings.
3 Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully [on the strings] with a loud and joyful sound.
4 For the word of the Lord is right; and all His work is done in faithfulness. (When we repent unto life, we live by faith. He is faithful to the faithful. The word, “right” in this verse translates out to mean Truth. The Word of the Lord is Truth and becomes alive by the witness of the Holy Spirit speaking to our re-born soul through our spirit. The Word of the Lord is living because it brings life to our lives by the Power of the Holy Spirit manifesting the supernatural in our circumstances through faith as we walk out our days with a “New Song” of Grace.)
5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the loving-kindness of the Lord.
6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all their host by the breath of His mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea as in a bottle; He puts the deeps in storage places.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord [revere and worship Him]; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nought; He makes the thoughts and plans of the peoples of no effect.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of His heart through all generations.
12 Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His heritage.
13 The Lord looks from heaven, He beholds all the sons of men;
14 From His dwelling place He looks [intently] upon all the inhabitants of the earth—
15 He Who fashions the hearts of them all, Who considers all their doings.
16 No king is saved by the great size and power of his army; a mighty man is not delivered by [his] much strength.
17 A horse is devoid of value for victory; neither does he deliver any by his great power.
18 Behold, the Lord’s eye is upon those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe], who wait for Him and hope in His mercy and loving-kindness, (GRACE)
19 To deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. (Repentance unto life.)
20 Our inner selves wait [earnestly] for the Lord; He is our Help and our Shield.
21 For in Him does our heart rejoice, because we have trusted (relied on and been confident) in His holy name.
22 Let Your mercy and loving-kindness, (GRACE) O Lord, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping for You.