You wake up and you’re just not sure if last night was real, or if it was a dream…. your eyes are squinting from the morning sun blasting through the curtains that you thought you had pulled tight to keep the light out, yet the sun on your face feels inviting. For the first time in a long time you invite the light onto your face and smile. You question:
What happened last night?
Feels like a hangover, but not the hangover of years past when the next morning would bring back the pain you were trying to drown in booze. No, this hangover is actually one that could be called uplifting! Light, recharged, full, head-spinning – yes! – but not from the attempts of drowning out the voices. Although this morning there is a voice…it’s the same voice you heard last night pounding through your heart saying. “I AM who I say I AM and you are who I Say you are…. say YES to me and beLIeVE….”
Now the thoughts are coming together. Yea yea, you went with friends who were as they reported “following through on their yes to Jesus by being baptized”…. ah yea you grew up in the “church” and kinda believed but lately that seemed like another person, somewhat like a fairytale. You vaguely remember the flannel board chats when you sat in a room that smelled of play doh and kool aid. But that wasn’t really real was it? Well today you have a totally different outlook as you heard these verses last night:
Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:16-20 NLT
You remember looking around the room that was not a gigantic arena you grew up in, but a room filled with people who looked like they genuinely loved each other. I mean you had encounter after encounter of people coming up and hugging your neck, shaking your hand, asking your name more than once so they could try and blaze it to memory. You were thinking, “No slipping in a back row in this joint and slithering out afterwards without being noticed…”
Songs were being sung with hands raised, eyes closed. Prayers offered up and smiles man you just kept seeing smiles even when people had just cried their eyes out sharing a hurt in their life. What is going on within them you are asking…why would someone share THAT…. but the words above keep ringing be FILLED with the HOLY SPIRIT…. and you are wondering how…you never saw that on that flannel storyboards. And you had been acting thoughtlessly; honestly you acknowledged that you were traveling with no direction at all. And and you desired to make music in your heart but HOW…. who will show me? How do I learn to give thanks for everything and like these people are expressing to do so without FAKIN’ it…. I’m a faker…everything is always FINE and IT IS NOT…. but…
You are invited or asked…who is the Jesus you said yes to? And you know that you cannot honestly answer that without faking it… oh you could stumble around the facts of emptying the tomb but why? Why did Jesus do this? So you listened as some of your friends who had been sharing their journey with you, but you weren’t really listening, you were only half way pretending to be excited, because you really didn’t know what the big deal was until you allowed yourself to hear their journey…you heard words that you had heard before like repent, forgive, mercy and they connect the dots when they express how being HIMpowered meaning being FILLED with the HOLY Spirit is who is keeping them from filling themselves with wine/drugs/anything to mask the pain…..
They, your buddies are giving the pain to HIM and beLIeVING that they are who Jesus says they are…WHAT OR WHO IS THAT you are screaming in your heart now and not your head. And the answer is HIS…. Jesus purchased you when you went on that cross to satisfy the penalty of the sin of the world and by blasting out of the tomb, HE, Jesus conquered death and gives us life through our YES to beLIeVE. You can now be LED by HIM…YES YES YES is your answer when your friends who came up out of the water with the most joyous faces you have ever seen ask. Do you beLIeVE? They invite you in the water and now you sisters in Christ take you down with the old and bring you up with the NEW and you have never felt this aLIVE ever! The people in the room are with you clapping, whistling, thunderous ovation in giving thanks to Jesus for another family member coming home…WOW WOW is all you have to offer and the smiles are glistening in the tears of joy that are now streaming down your face. You feel your heart, a heart that you haven’t felt in awhile is now beating with life.
So now as you smile with the SON of the next morning on your face. You will begin a new journey that will still be filled with crazy BUT now you will no longer identify yourself with circumstances of the crazy, you will have the reminder of who you are FILLED with and give thanks…. you also know that you have sisters/now brothers in Christ that are going to help you beLIeVE out your uniqueness in the areas of life you navigate. It’s a circle of people who will allow you the space to learn your way with the WAY JESUS…
If you have not experienced what was described above, we invite you to Refuge, a group of people learning their way in following the WAY of Christ.
love em up!