Affirming Audience of One

As a writer and a blogger, I often think after I’ve written a piece, “Oh I hope this person or that person reads this.” Usually, it is someone whose approval I want. Of course, I always ask my husband to read my blog, sometimes before I publish, but always after to ask his opinion, because I respect his spiritual insight and I want to make sure that what I wrote came across correctly. I am always curious to see how many people I’ve reached, how many people have read each piece, and how many click like or respond. I write because I want to share whatever knowledge I’ve gained with others, hoping that they might either agree or see something that they haven’t seen before. And yes, it’s disappointing when not many people click ‘like’ (something I have hidden on my blogs). I am also disappointed when I don’t see comments I’ll admit and I am not saying that to make people say something now. I am not a consistent blogger, I am sporadic in my writing, going periods of time without writing and then writing several pieces in a row. But when I get the urge to write, I have to write.

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Sometimes when I write, I don’t always share what I have written, they stay in draft form, unpublished. This comes from wondering if what I have written is too simple to share, because when I have a spiritual revelation, it seems so apparent to me once I’ve grasped it, that I think, “Why did I not ever see this before?!” Then I am hesitant to share it, because I think everybody else already knows it. But lately, I’ve come to realize that we don’t all get the same revelations at the same time and what revelation one person may get, another may miss entirely. I have friends I find deeply spiritual, who I think have “all the answers” and yet, they miss things I find so easy… but still, they see things I think are deep. It is like my sweet friend Mary will say to me… “God is still growing me up.” I have news Mary… God is still growing us ALL up! And in quiet moments, and in moments with friends we find out just how much we have to grow up.

As I do tasks that need little effort, I usually listen to praise and worship music in the background and this gives me time to spend with God and think about him and my relationship with him. This is when I usually get thoughts for my writing and the last few days have been no exception. As I was thinking about my writing I thought ‘Lord, what if nobody read anything I wrote, what if you were the only one who knew what I put down on paper?’ And that was fine with me, because that would mean, I was giving him the Glory he so richly deserves. I was sharing back with him the things he has taught me. What greater praise to a teacher than to have a student recite back to them what they have learned? And if in some way me sharing my thoughts show my Father that I am growing and learning and he is my only audience then I am blessed and He is blessed in the process. I have given him the affirmation that He so richly deserves. The affirmation that I was wanting by looking for ‘likes’ or comments are the very same thing my Heavenly Father wants… words of affirmation.

Affirmation: the act of affirming;  Affirm: to express Agreement to or Commitment to, to Uphold or Support.

Whether you, reading this are the only person who reads this and you are an old friend of mine or you’ve never met me, if anything I’ve said has touched you in some way… if you’ve felt embraced by my love, by the love that the Father has given me to share with others, then I have done what I set out to do when I started writing my blog… to touch others, to share a bit of my life and my experiences and in doing so, to share the love of my eternal Father who has touched me so and has changed my life. Because without him, I would not be where I am today, either literally or spiritually.

I loved you so much that I shared with you not only God’s Good News but my own life, too. — 1 Thessalonians 2:8 (NLT, paraphrased)

Dessert or Banquet?

“Heal the sick that are therein and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” Luke 10:9 (KJV)
“Heal the sick and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you now.'” Luke 10:9 (NLT)

As I was reading this yesterday, I realized there was so much more to this verse than I had ever seen before. Yes, we are commanded to heal the sick, not just pray for them. I had read a short piece another minister had written on healing, and they had brought this point home to me… how Jesus didn’t tell us to pray for the sick, he commanded us to heal the sick. You may say, how do ‘we’ heal the sick? We don’t, it is the Christ in us, we are just his instruments. Also in Luke 9:2 it says that Jesus sent them out to heal the sick and tell everyone about the Kingdom of God. What really struck me though, in reading verse 9 in Luke 10 was where it says the kingdom is “near” you. What I get out of this is that we are to share not only in healing them, but to share with them the power of transformation that is attainable through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Healing is there for everyone and a transformed life is there for everyone. Their healing could be the first step into a power-filled life and walk with our Lord and Savior. It is like a taste of what they could be experiencing.

How many walk away with ‘only’ a healing? How many who heal others only heal and never offer more? It is like giving someone a dessert and not the full banquet. While that may be really good, wouldn’t you rather experience the whole banquet? Because, just getting the dessert, will leave you with a sugar high, it won’t last. You need the full banquet. You need all the courses to satisfy! You need the meat and marrow, the starch, the bread, you need to eat from the five food groups… you get my point? Don’t just give them a taste, offer them all. We need to train them in everything, not just leave them with a glimpse of God’s glory… Offer them the whole banquet! We can do this by showing them the whole kingdom of God. The whole kingdom of God is the corporate expression of the body of Christ working in unity. As it says in Romans 12:6-16, we all have different gifts and we should use them together. If we as Christians could operate with the same unity that those under the rule of Solomon operated, we could touch more people than he did in his day. And our king is wiser than Solomon. Where did Solomon gain his wisdom? Do you remember how impressed the Queen of Sheba was at how organized, wise, and prosperous King Solomon was? 1 King 10:1-9 She attributed it all to God. Do people attribute our knowledge, choices, and relationships to God? Hopefully the life we live is an example of wisdom, unity, love, compassion, and prosperity; which all points to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Hopefully, it shows a life that has been completely healed in body, soul, and spirit, because we must also be healed to be effective. See Mark 2:17 & Luke 5:31-32

In that healing, humbleness, and repentance, we have come in contact with the kingdom of God. What is the kingdom of God? It is the Power of the Holy Spirit, the Power of the Christ working through a body of believers, carrying out what we have been commanded to do. See Matthew 10:7-8Luke 9:2 & 10:9

Was Lazarus’ sickness in vain? No! It was so the Glory of the Son of God could be shown! See John 11:4 & John 11:40

So, those who believe in the healing power of God and see his healing power ministered, are a witness to the glory of the Son of God. If only we would believe in Him and his healing and do as we have been commanded what greater things we would See and Do! 

As long as we ask for things that are in line with the will of our Heavenly Father, He will do them. 

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” John 14:12-14

In Jerusalem, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    will spread a wonderful feast
    for all the people of the world.
It will be a delicious banquet
    with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat.
There he will remove the cloud of gloom,
    the shadow of death that hangs over the earth.
He will swallow up death forever!
    The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.
He will remove forever all insults and mockery
    against his land and people.
    The Lord has spoken! Isaiah 25:6-8 (NLT)

It is Finished!

Jesus entered by lowly birth

To give all he had to this earth.

In swaddling clothes, a baby wrapped

His destiny our God did map.

In ministry, He was betrayed

By Judas’ kiss quite firmly laid.

Sent by leading priests to stand trial;

Charged as King, there was no denial

In death and burial, He freely gave

To those His Father sent to save.

Like a crim’nal, His back was whipped.

His body was bloodied and stripped.

The priests and teachers mocked aloud

Their jeers were heard throughout the crowd,

‘If you’re the Messiah, Prove it!

Can you save yourself? Just do it!’

To Father’s will He did submit

Sins of this world would He remit.

A pure, Holy, unblemished Lamb

To save the lives of All of man.

On Simon’s back the soldiers tossed

The heavy burd’n of Jesus’ cross.

For his clothes, soldiers tossed the dice,

Our Savior paid a higher price.

Darkness fell, changing day to night,

The world sought to put out the Light.

The crowd heard Jesus’ tortured cry:

“You abandoned me my God, Why?!”

Bystanders thrust the sour wine

Into the mouth of the True Vine.

One more cry where they could hear it,

“Father, I release my Spirit.”

Immedi’tely the veil was rent;

To the throne room our Savior went.

The world with earthquake was shaken.

“The Son of God has been taken!”

He was pierced for our transgression.

His blood flowed for our accession.

His body wrapped, laid in a tomb,

But this was not His final room.

His fate was to be raised again

To reconcile the world of sin.

His last words were “It is finished.”

Our image, His grace refinished.

© 12-11-2011 Kimberly M. Alligood

Note: To explain my thoughts on the last two lines: Jesus’ last words as a man were ‘It is Finished.’ but His words live on and on. We are transformed daily into His image when we accept him as our Savior and Lord and follow His will for our lives. Pressing towards the mark of seeing like him, treating others as he would, etc. He paid all of the debt to take us back to God. As it says in 2 Corinthians 5, we are being called back to God: 

And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 (NLT)