April 24, 2013

Thoughts from Mark

My journey over the last several years has been a rather extreme one–with some left wondering what is going on (including me).  The only way I know to explain it is this: I met Jesus, again.

I have been exposed to a Jesus who sees me as good, who loves me with reckless abandon–yet works with me at my own pace.  He sees, understands and feels my pain.  He doesn’t hang the responsibility for it over my head as a mocking reminder of my failures.  Instead, He says I know your pain and every wound you’ve experienced–self-inflicted or otherwise–has been put on Me.

Yes, He sees me as good.  He sees my sin as a barrier, a mask, hiding the greatness designed into me by the imaginative creativity of my Father.  He died to remove it, to reveal who I really am–His son.

I am continually pursued by His incredible love and Spirit.  I cannot shake Him, cannot get away from His presence.  One time He is a warm blanket providing shelter, the next, an encouraging voice to run toward the giant who wants to kill me.  He is in the dark with me as much as He is when I’m in the light.

He IS love.  He IS grace.  He IS the word.  He IS truth.  He IS the anointing.  These are no longer arbitrary nouns to work with, but are the living reality of the person of the Lord Jesus.

This Person I’ve encountered is transforming me a little each day into the same.  With some hiccups and retreats along the way, I am surrendering to Him who is Love.  I am not trying to be like Him.  I am allowing Him to be Himself in me.  Those two cannot be more different.

My prayer for all of you is simple: I pray you encounter the person of Jesus.  I pray for your appetite.  May nothing else satisfy you like the presence of the Lord.  May this encounter and future ones ruin you for anything less.  May a belief system and weekly obligation leave you so empty that you run to Him.

I repent to all of you for attempting to do ministry without an active and living encounter with Jesus.  My past has some success and fruit, but it is marred by dry and cutting attempts to lay down truth without the Person of Love being involved.

I repent for thinking I was called to present the bible.  I recognize now I am called to present Christ and allow the bible to reveal Him.

I repent for making Jesus a belief system to be mentally apprehended.  I see now that He renews our minds as our hearts are healed.  I know this because it happened in me.

I repent for trying, for striving, for demanding.  It created performance and false religion in me and in others I relate to.  Now, I realize that it is through surrender and a good death that true life, abundant life, comes forth.

I honor each of you who have endured my becoming.  I know it hasn’t been easy and I’m certainly still a work in progress.  I hold no offense toward those who couldn’t continue in close fellowship in this journey.  Heck, there were times I wish I could have gotten away from myself.

I have a request of you: I ask that you send this letter to every person who has left our ministry or any other over a lack of His true Spirit.  They might not know why they left, or why it didn’t feel right, but this letter may help to explain it just a little.

I love you all deeply.  May Jesus be our finish line.

In love,