Let me just start by saying, I thought I had this blog post series down pat! I had dates and themes and series and of course they were all nuggets that God dropped in my spirit, but he threw me for a loop with this one. Phase Four was supposed to be done t-4 months ago and I could not figure out why I hadn't got on here and typed what I wrote. I've now learned that it didn't come to fruition because God had more to say to me, especially in regards to the fourth phase of this cycle. The irony is that prior to being in the cocoon of divine grace, I was doing things my way (in regards to biblical support for my posts) and we learned last phase that when we shed that old skin, we start to do things God's way. Here's what he did.
A few Sunday's ago, my pastors daughters approached me after service and asked me to lead a bible study that they have at their house every Wednesday. I graciously accepted because I knew that they were being obedient to the spirit and I too was yielding to whatever God was doing with that moment. They told me that I would be leading the discussion from John 11. John 11 is the story of Lazarus. If you aren't familiar with the story, it's Jesus' final miracle where he raised a man from the dead. (Stay tuned for videos from the session)
As I was studying John 11, the spirit kept dropping Phase 4 on my heart, so I switched my format for this post around and decided to make it more personal. I mean, this blog is about spiritual newness and it means nothing if we aren't a community of believers who can be real with each other.
When we last left off, our old self had died. We were in the cocoon of divine grace and God was taking us through the process of sanctification. We are now about to be raised to the newness of life as a completely different creation. Notice that I didn't use the word transform. One form must relinquish itself so that the other can emerge.
It’s not that the caterpillar is unworthy, or not beautiful, or sub-standard. It’s just that God did not design it to remain in its present condition. It is the same with us. God loves each of us too much to leave us the way we are. He wants us to become butterflies.
The short of John 11 (for your sake) is this: Jesus had a homeboy name Lazarus. Lazarus was Mary and Martha's brother. Lazarus got sick and his sisters immediately sent a message to Jesus a few cities over saying, the one that he loved was sick. Jesus got the news and said that Lazarus' illness wouldn't end in death and he causally chilled for a few more days while Lazarus' was sick and dying. Out of no where Jesus tells the disciples that Lazarus is dead and that they need to go back to Judea. So, they head out. They get there and Jesus is approached by Lazarus' sister Martha who had a few choice words for Jesus. Long story short, they took Jesus to the tomb and Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead by saying "Lazarus, COME OUT!"
Like Lazarus, we come to life and become a new creation. When we surrender our lives to Jesus, he comes in and supernaturally wakes us up and makes us alive in him. Now, the other short of this story is the why. Jesus waited till Lazarus was good and dead to even leave where he was. He had an audience of believers and non believers when he rose Lazarus. Jesus knows that through us, others will come to him. We weren't meant to do life without God. Jesus has used his resurrecting power on us, so that we will bring glory and honor to his name and that is the purpose for this blog.
We are responsible for expanding the kingdom of God, God is trusting us with a BIG responsibility. Us believers are the only ones who can plant the seed of God's love in an unbelievers heart. At the moment that we become butterflies, our responsibility changes. Our new job is to GO! So as a caterpillar we fed on God's word, we shed our old skin, he renewed our minds to a spirit mindset and then he made us stronger in our dark places (the cocoon). Our wings are still wet, but we are ready to "come out" now.
According to the National Butterfly Association, butterflies bring ecosystem value. Butterflies are indicators of a healthy environment and healthy ecosystems. They provide a wide range of environmental benefits, including pollination (spreading God's love from person to person) and natural pest control (minimizing harm to God's Kingdom). We do more than make a pretty picture. Our presence as believers/butterflies can tell one a lot about the environment. We have a purpose. So, now that we've come out.. we have to GO!
Stay tuned for Part Two of Phase 4... GO!