Friday, February 08, 2008

Heart of flesh

A friend of mine said something to me the other day that really got me thinking. "The Church (in the States) is missing something- the Spirit and compassion for the poor/needy/marginalized."
Yep. That pretty much sums it up.
Thinking of this, reminded me of the verse that I have prayed over my daughter, Ally.
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." Ezekiel 36:26-27
Yes, this is old testament, so I'll put it in new testament mind-frame.
He has given us, His believers/followers, His Spirit. He doesn't just pick and choose anymore, it is a free gift to those who want to take it.
What is His law now? "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind", and "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Who is our neighbor? Whoever you see that needs help.
Hmm... there are a LOT of people out there who need our help, huh? It is overwhelming if you think about it. Often times I think it is an impossible mission. We could be out there 24/7 helping people who are in need and never feel like it is enough, right? If you think about it, a lot of people would just not do anything because of this overwhelming feeling, the feeling of being uncomfortable or well, because someone else will do it, right? And those are pretty silly excuses now, aren't they? I'm not trying to be haughty or condescending in any way. Just voicing some thoughts and understanding of Truth.
Since he has given us His Spirit, shouldn't it be moving us to embrace this new law? I'm just wondering how many out there are hearing His Spirit speaking and refusing to move? I get a little fired up, I know. But there is an impossible mission out there that needs to be embarked upon. An impossible mission that God can make possible. If we let His Spirit move us, we can make mountains move, figuratively and maybe even non-figuratively speaking. His Spirit is the voice inside you that reminds you of Jesus' words. "Go to the orphans and widows. Feed the hungry. Give the thirsty a drink. Walk my path. Follow me. When you throw a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, the lame."
I've had my fair share of learning a lot of Truth and being inspired in a bible study, having deep, meaningful discussions, reading books, etc. But nothing has taught me more than being with the homeless under the Burnside Bridge, buying someone a jug of milk, telling someone they are a good mother after I saw her struggle aimlessly to tame her child, telling a small, neglected child that their picture they colored was beautiful, or hugging a stinky, sad, drunk lady. Something in me knows that is where I am supposed to be; loving the "unlovable". That is where Jesus would be if he were walking around right now. In fact, Jesus hung out with the sad, needy people ALL of the time- they followed him everywhere he went!!
Don't get me wrong, I have a long way to go also. I still cringe and react the way I don't want to. I'm not trying to lift myself any higher than the rest of you. But, I am listening to His Spirit speaking to me and it has moved me to a place I never could have moved myself to. The compassion in my heart causes me to literally ache at moments. So, I can't imagine how Jesus felt. That is why he cried tears of blood.
All that to say, I sense a movement of compassion in the Church. I think people are starting to wonder why they don't feel anything anymore. This void is becoming so big I see some starting to hear the Spirit beckoning them to reach out into the unknown. And the unknown is scary. The big question is, "If I go, is He going to ask me to go again?" I can't answer that. But I know for certain that if you are wondering where God wants you, just follow in Jesus' footsteps and He will guide you to where He wants unique little you and He will, in fact, give you a heart of flesh.


Susannah said...

Thanks for the beautiful reminder, Seren. I also think that a huge pouring of Compassion is sweeping through the US through mighty Holy Spirit. I am soo excited to see your journey played out! You guys are true pioneers and God is so fired up over you faith!

kristian & katy said...

such encouraging words!! thanks for the reminder and the call to listen to his promptings.
im excited....


Tim Fidanzo said...

Preach it sister!!! The Spirit was meant to move us. I was reading about the full armor of God in Ephesians and was thinking many us love that verse becuase we can put on our full armor of God to stand against the devil's schemes, but we forget that He gives us the sword of the Spirit(an offensive weapon). We're not just suppose to put up defensive barriers, but were actually suppose to go into the enemies territory(the homeless, broken, and marginalized) and and unleash the Spirit of God. Your compassion Seren will open many hearts. I'm excited to see it happen.

Mommy to Four Blessings, so far said...

OK. For some reason my email to you bounced back? I just wanted to say AMEN to the recent post. Let me tell you , my frustrations ran high while we were in America--where is the compassion, the desire to meet the needs, both physical and spiritual, of a lost and dying world? Press on, sister!

Sheila said...

Seren, I found your blog through the Irwin's blog. I just wanted to share how the Spirit is stirring one little cell in Christ's body out here in the Phoenix, AZ area in the same way as many, like you and your family are. I recently read Shane Claiborne's book- Irris. Rev.- and just finished The Jesus I Never Knew by Yancey. Both were tools God used to stir up even more what He was already stirring in me- to reach out to the poor and touch them and be with them in Jesus name, and to remember the body of Christ in third-world countries who are rich in faith but poor in this world's goods. And also to pray for the Bride in America and to begin to myself do those things God's Spirit stirs me to pray for.

My husband is an unbelieving man, yet he's the tool God uses to keep me real in Christlike love and keep me far from mindless religion. I recently have started taking my 3 and 4 yr. old sons to a homeless church in the rejected areas of Phoenix- last week was my first time. I SAW JESUS MORE CLEARLY THAN EVER! And He purified me in touching and loving those this world sees as filthy. I pray He keeps purifying me and I'm so blessed when I hear about how what He's doing in my heart and leading me to in my life is not just here, but throughout His body.

I'll keep you in prayer and I'll visit your blog often.


Kristian & Katy said...

hope you dont mind... we "featured" you on our blog today :)


downward spiral said...

Who is that sexy guy in the photo next to you? You are one lucky woman!

Thanks for putting a shirtless photo on the front page babe :)

I had to comment before Goodman get's a chance.

Will and Krystal Irwin said...

Your passion definitely incites me to be compelled by Christ's love too, my dear Seren. I love you and your love for God and others.