A response to Jess’ recent posts ‘Excluded’ and the ‘The Man From Borth’
“There was no revelation – but there was the assurance that God was love and loved me, as He loves us all.”
I would like to un-wrap this statement and give my perspective. I hope in doing so I do not push into Jess’ personal space inappropriately but will share what I would say to someone I was trying to assist further.
Jess described a lovely encounter that the Lord arranged with ‘The Man From Borth’, at a most needy moment. In the Charismatic corner of the vineyard we refer to such as ‘divine encounters’ and someone else commented – “there was a man sent from God”; exactly so. These events often happen at turning points in our life looking back they often appear as signpost to a new phase of life in God and so it was for Jess.
Now I could never say about such a ‘Borth Experience’ that ‘There was no revelation’. I see in it a clear and wonderful ‘revelation’. It was not anything new as we read in “The man from Borth” that she believed Jesus was love and wanted to save everyone.
We often know truth in our heads. But our personal confidence in that truth may be shaken by circumstances, events or others words “The poison of asps in under the tongue” and this poison can even be spoken by the Lord’s disciples whether ignorantly or maliciously, Jesus rebuked His disciple for doing so. Jess’ evangelical advisors may have been the source of her doubt in God’s love for her or maybe it had not previously been entirely personally realize leaving room for the damage they caused.
Anyway following the Borth encounter we read “… there was the assurance that God was love and loved me”!
That was revelation. Revelation is often sensed when what we know in our head drops 18” into our heart when the ‘penny drops’ so to speak and we ‘know what we know’ as an inner knowing. Paul prays for the Ephesians 1:15-23 to have more of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in order to know Him Better and describes the experience as “the eyes of the heart being enlightened”. That sounds exactly like what we read took place at ‘Borth’ and Paul calls it ‘revelation’.
In Romans 10:5-13 we read of God’s message of faith which is near YOU and on YOUR lips and in YOUR heart. It goes onto say “if YOU confess that Jesus is Lord … YOU will be saved. For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved”. Here Paul makes it personal for each of us.
The word ‘saved’ has a much wider meaning than ‘new birth’ or ‘justification’ it is also translated as ‘healed’ or ‘made whole’ in the gospels, depending on the context. It is spoken of as a past personal event, an ongoing transformational event and a future completion.
In this context we might say then that we are ‘right with God by the faith in our hearts’ but ‘we are made whole’ by our confession.
Our confession of Christ as Lord is an act of faith and it grounds that which is in our heart it becomes more concrete and real to us, our belief often becomes experiential through our confession, which is what I consider happened as I read “The Man From Borth” post. In place of the ‘exclusion’, ‘doubt’ and ‘hurt’, there was an immediate “assurance God … loved me” and the confession brought ‘wholeness and healing’.
The spiritual guide (the elderly man) was wise he did in fact next to nothing unlike the evangelicals who tried to get Salvation worked up by the pleading. All he did was draw aside the veil from a burdened mind and assist the Spirit to reveal what was already in the heart and to encourage a confession of it.
Can I be so bold as to encourage us each to stop making the negative parts of our confessions e.g. stop saying the equivalent of “There was no revelation” and only make the positive parts from now on i.e. “… there was the assurance that God was love and loved me, as He loves us all” and start to embrace the fact that our Lord gives revelation and as He said “My sheep hear my voice and they follow me”. As we do so we become more secure as His sheep and know what and who we are ‘in Christ’.
I believe that such confession of the truth that is in our hearts engenders our ongoing transformation towards wholeness and that this is the meaning of the passage in Romans.
Salvation, healing, wholeness – is as we (most of us) agree not only a one off initial event but also a lifelong transformational process. Therefore as we continually implement ‘the confession that saves’ i.e. speaking “the word that is … in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith” we progress in the saving/healing process.
I do not mean ‘the power of positive thinking’ where we try to convince ourselves of that which we do not have faith about that becomes delusion.
It is interesting that Romans 10:14-15 goes on to speak of those sent out with the word of the Gospel to enable others to call on the Christ that they may not as yet have believed in. This will be the outcome of the Spirit’s work in our lives in some way or other whether small or large whether public or among acquaintances – as the word of faith we confess – becomes the confession that heals – and then the testimony and witness we preach.
Jess has opened her heart here in a very personal way and we all have a deep responsibility in any response we make. It is interesting that Jess has recently moved out into the work of the Gospel, she met a challenge here from one source denigrating her faith. It brought back momentarily something of that ‘excluded sense’ from that past.
Jess it is my sense (a revelation if you like) that ‘The divine encounter of the past’ is revisited here because the Lord is working powerfully and putting to death any remnants of that past experience to equip you for the work you have committed to. If this is so you may by now have realized that this is what is going on – that is for you to judge and consider perhaps with others you do this work with.