Thursday, February 19, 2009

Freedom & Rest

Last night I posted a photo of the cutest panda bear I have ever seen; he was round and furry with perfect "panda markings". He was laying on his stomach on a log with his head resting on another log. I wrote about freedom and how that results in rest. Like the resting panda looked like he had not a care in the world. After I posted, I noticed the photo had a copyright printed right on the front, so I had to delete it. So sad. Maybe you have had the privilege of seeing the panda pictures in a forwarded email. I hope you did, I assume they went around cyber-space.

As I recount the things that the Lord has set me free from...fear of failing, fear of being rejected, fear of men's anger (though I still have to fight these fears from time to time~I no longer live with them every day)...It is astonishing how anxiety dissipates with trusting in the Lord and not man, uh me. Truly His perfect love casts out fear. No fear = freedom & rest.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

That was the short version of last night's post.

This morning as I am reading Leviticus 7-9, I found myself pondering many questions. Perhaps some of my bloggy friends have pondered this or heard teachings on it and can help me.

Moses was on the mountain for 40 days to recieve the law, eating and drinking nothing. For 40 whole days I imagine he didn't even need to go to the bathroom. ALL the time was spent communing with God. So, was Moses there with a scroll, taking notes? Let's face it, Leviticus would be hard to memorize~though I suppose if you had 40 days with nothing else to do...Or did God just impart all of it to Moses, and he was able to relay it accurately to the Israelites when he came off of the mountain.

Then there are the gruelling animal sacrifices instructed by the Lord. I have seen my dad butcher cows over the years growing up on the farm, and it took at least a couple of hours, maybe three, for one cow! To think that they did so many animals, and also had to go in and divide the parts. Some of it was burned on the altar, some eaten, some taken outside of the camp. Amazingly, many of the sacrifices were given different instructions. What a ton of work! It dawns on me that Moses' earlier time in the wilderness prepared him in more ways than one for the future mission that God called him to! He must have had to butcher sheep out there~I am sure he never did when he was in Pharaoh's house!

The thought of the smell of the "fragrant offering" to the Lord had me a little queasy too, thinking that they burned the heads of the animals. I don't know, maybe the fragrance of the meat overpowered any burning hair smell (forgive me for the depth of pondring here).

All this to say that I am extremely grateful to have the One sacrifice; the Once~for~all sacrifice for our sins the day Jesus gave up his life on the cross. No longer do we need to go through all that work to receive forgiveness, or peace, or freedom. It is simply a gift received by faith. (See previous post)

Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. Hebrews 7:27 NIV

Moses was certainly faithful in God’s house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later. But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ. Hebrews 3:5,6 NLT

It is no cooincidence, I'm sure, that my post last night tied into my ponderings this morning, because the sacrifice and the blood of Jesus has everything to do with freedom and rest. Only when I am forgiven of my sins can I find peace. Only when I know and understand the love God has for me can I trust Him and not look to myself or other people for approval, or validation. It is in freedom from idols~trusting in anything other than God~that we find true rest.

Thank you, Thank you Jesus! For giving your life for me. Help me never take it for granted. Help me never become desensitized to, or forget the excruciating, bloody, humiliating, painful death you endured when you didn't have to so I~and anyone else who trusts in you~can be free. I love you!


Joyful said...

Kathy, I actually was able to read your post before it was deleted because I have your site on my 'bloglines'. The picture was adorable, but your post was 'me'!!

When I was at She Speaks last June I received the exact same verse with "FREE" written in the shadows. I too have been shackled and bound by fear.

This morning I read Lev.9-11 and the sacrifices continued. Are you reading through the Chronological Bible this year? I'm posting daily on my "Pondering In His Presence" blog as the Lord speaks to me each day. It's a great way for me to stay accountable as I read through the Bible this year. (Did you know that Wendy Pope from P31 is posting Mon-Fri as well as she reads through the Chronological Bible? Maybe you'd find some of the comments there helpful with explainations.)

I too am so thankful for my sacrificial Lamb.


Angie said...

Kathy---I am there with you...THANKFUL for the once and for all sacrifice!
So thankful ---I hope you are doing well---I know you've got much on your plate right now...just remember I am here...if you need anything...any all!

I may not can fly up there---but I would if I could! I can help long distance :)

Tamela's Place said...

hello Kathy,

I think there are probably many women that can relate to fear and the delivering power of our Lord Jesus Christ in our lives. Even though it might try to sneak back in, i am reminded by the Holy Spirit that that is not from God and not to yield to it. Each time i do that i soar just a little bit higher.. Thanks for sharing and may God bless you and your whole family!

Deanna said...

:O) ~ nice to 'meet' you.
I too think how greatful I am from time to time that we are post Christ's ressurection (although I weep to know He shed His blood for me... then I quickly shift gears to remind myself that He is risen , He is Alive, and He made a way for me! )... but to think of the animal stuff, yea, I know what ya mean:O)


A Stone Gatherer said...

I so agree Kathy! When I read Leviticus I am always so glad that God took care of the sacrifice once and for all! Just like the Israelites I couldn't keep up!

Edie said...

Kathy, I didn't see your previous post before you deleted it but have been thinking about posting on Rest. I've been studying the Jubilee and I think I'm in a period of rest like I've never had before. Would have loved to read your thoughts.

On this post, my steps in coming to Christ began with reading about all the sacrafices and then explaing to God how and why it wasn't possible for me to do that.

I'm late getting over here but you asked what Rotel was. It is diced tomatoes, green chilies, and spices.

Angela said...

I can see the panda pic in my google reader! My pastor was speaking on the Hebrews verse about Moses and Jesus last night. In Bible study we have been talking about it starts with fear of the Lord..and we came to the conclusion that wisdom stems from knowing what God did for us through Jesus..and how we can live in light of his sacrifice. Because we understand that we are not under the law, we freely choose from gratefulness and love to follow and obey Christ. When we understand how good God is, and that there is none other who comes even close in love, power, and majesty, we live wisely. Sorry for such a long response, but it seems like we are being reminded of similar messages, and that is cool!