The text came in the middle of the Sunday gathering. “There’s a huge Copperhead at the foot of the porch, should we kill it?” Half of it lay hidden making it hard to crush the head. My son-in-law had no choice but to take the shovel and cut its body in two. One half lay detached aware of its death. The remaining half, containing the head, slithered away oblivious of its reality. The head didn’t yet grasp that it’s body was dead.
The Spirit within me quickened as my husband explained to me the phenomena that had just taken place. The snake was dead, it just didn’t know it.
That one event explains the bulk of my existence. I was dead in Christ yet I was clueless to my actuality. I was encouraged to manage my sin, be holy, make him proud, do the right thing. Everything, everywhere was about behavior. I can understand why. When I don’t understand the reality of what took place when Jesus said “it is finished” I can only focus on behavior. It becomes the barometer of my spirituality.
There’s a cliché that was often spoken throughout the years of my church upbringing. “I need to get it from my head to my heart.” How does one do that anyways? How does one get the mind to convince the heart? Isn’t it the other way around? After all God said He would put a new heart with a new spirit in me. Isn’t it the programming of the mind that is all screwed up? Doesn’t the mind need to conform to what has already happened?
I spent the better part of my life assessing who I was based on what I had done. It’s not the way things go down in His world. He sees the person at heart, not the action. He knows who I am. The question is, do I believe what He believes? Doesn’t it all come down to this. Do I really think what He thinks, about me?
Jesus speaks to a crowd. He tells them that to know Him is to know the Father for He speaks just what the Father has taught Him. He tells them that if they remain in what He speaks they too will be taught. For they will know the truth and the truth will set them free.
I was taken back the first time someone told me to ask God what He thought about me. What if He doesn’t have anything to say? What if I all I hear are crickets chirping in the deafening silence? It’s a scary place to step into, much like jumping off the side of the pool hoping that someone will be there to catch you. But one never knows what it feels like to be caught until they jump.
I took the plunge. I needed to know what He thought of me. I had been ashamed of who I was for as long as I could remember. I felt as if I was not enough and too much all at the same time. Things I had perceived about myself became the focal points of conversations with Him. Did He think these things too? If not, what did He think?
He began rewriting the story of my life as He spoke. I began to listen. I found myself overwhelmed at the thought of it all. Could it possibly be true that I was who He said I was?
My head has been learning to grasp the truth of my heart. Jesus has made me right. He has pronounced me as holy, godly, and pure. I don’t have to try to be holy, I already am. I am a joint-heir with the Son of God, what He inherits, I inherit. I am a new creation. I have the mind of Christ, the Spirit of the living God, given as a seal, is woven into my very being. I am the righteousness of Christ, even on my worst day. Nothing, absolutely nothing, changes that.
It all comes around full circle. Will I choose to believe what He says or will I believe what I feel? Will I let my past define me or will I step into my reality. Do not dwell on the past He reminds me… see I am doing something new. Will I see? Will I embrace what He speaks and be taught. It is the choice of life or death, freedom or captivity. It’s where the rubber meets the road, you know.
For as a man thinketh so is he….
©copyrighted 2011, Julie L. Todd