Lord, Undo Me

 

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29 “For our God is a devouring fire.”– Hebrews 12:29, NLT

“Brother, I know you labored,  So hard to please,  But I cut you down.  And I left you on your knees, Well I know it must be Time to get down on my knees and pray “Lord, undo me!” Put away my flesh and bone’ ‘Til You own this spirit through me Lord I am wanting, needing, guilty and greedy… Unrighteous, unholy; undo me. Undo me!

Abba Father, You must wonder why, More times than Peter I have denied. Three nails and a cross to prove, I owe my life eternally to you!   And it’s time, To get down on my knees and pray, “Lord, undo me!” Put away my flesh and bone, ‘Til You own this spirit through me Lord, Undo me.”Jennifer Knapp

 

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailJennifer Knapp wrote these lyrics.  The song itself is wonderful.  She develops and then understands the deep struggle we believers go through.  Her deep cry is for God to undo her life.  I really think that is impressive, and I know, deep-down I fall very short.

We look at the relationships we have.  And in so many ways we must admit that we need to be dismantled, to be taken apart.  And then, to be put back together, in a better way.  Ms. Knapp points us into a better way, of showing the deep heart of Jesus to all those we face.

What can we say, we know we are falling apart.  We know we fall short as His witnesses.  We vainly attempt to be honest and right.  But it seems our weak and feeble efforts are really at their basic sense, pathetic.  Simply put, we must come to the point where we understand our desperate weakness and deep failure.

Father, dismantle me, and then please put me back together again.

We must pray the prayer, “Undo Me.”  Reorganize me, and reestablish me.  I simply give up my claims of being exceptional and all-together.  I am none of these things.  I admit I falter and stumble in so many ways.  “Undo Me.”

Our deep lostness, is His opportunity for His deep grace.  ‘I will not leave you dear one, without hope.’  He has promised that He would come to the desperate and weak.  When we pray “Undo Me” we come with a weakened heart and a disturbed soul.  He will make certain that He will connect with you and draw you to His side.

When our hearts begin to cry out “undo me” we will enter into an exceptional place.  From here we expect to be dismantled, remade, and then re-established.  Our hearts will be remolded.  We will probably not recognize our selves.  His work in us is quite intense, and certainly quite complete.

Our change is significant.  We will not operate on a mediocre plane, or level.  He has directed us deeper.  We will actively understand things on a more intense place.  We haven’t done anything, we only have prayed, “undo me.”  That simple prayer, from the heart is most significant.  Please Father, “undo me.”

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Matthew 5:3, NLT

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Jennifer Knapp is a gifted songwriter to the Body of Christ.  When we examine her songs/lyrics we will be blessed and encouraged.  Quite recently she has come out and admitted she has a struggle that necessitates leaving her ministry.  Although that is a deep, and considerable shock, we still need to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit has used her and her gifts to bless His people.  Somehow, it seems fitting. “Father, please take us to the place where we will understand.” Kyrie elesion.

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When You Need to Cover Nakedness

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“And don’t build an altar that requires steps; you might expose yourself when you climb up”.

Exodus 20:26

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8

While I lived in the SOS Ministry house in the Mission District of San Francisco a dear brother taught me this principle.  Living in Christian community is a really wonderful thing.  But it also could be a challenge at times.  What Michael shared, allowed my understanding to grow to meet the need of the moment.

The principle is this:  

We are called to cover up our brother’s nakedness.

 Throughout the scripture “being naked, or nakedness” is always a shame.  It comes welded to the concept of being vulnerable or exposed to the sight of everyone else.  It also carries the idea of sin; it is sin that everyone can see; it is very obvious.

For those of us who often sin, we evolve the idea of keeping a lid on it, and being secretive with it.  There will be people who will never know.  Often sex sin, drug and alcohol sin, both are kept hidden from view of family and friends, and the Church.

Noah and His Nakedness, Genesis 9

noah1“Noah became a farmer and planted a vineyard. When he drank wine made from his grapes, he became drunk and lay naked in his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, looked at his naked father and told his brothers outside. Then Shem and Japheth got a coat and, carrying it on both their shoulders, they walked backwards into the tent and covered their father. They turned their faces away so that they did not see their father’s nakedness.”  

Genesis 9:20-24

It’s hard to process this patriarch’s gross sin.  But in all fairness Noah had lost everything in the flood, so perhaps we should be gentle with him. On the other hand, people who cover up the nakedness of others seem to be gentle and humble.  They would never, ever dream of making a scandal.  They are trustworthy and understand to a great degree the things that make a man or woman of God.

Leviticus 18 is the “magnum opus” of nakedness. We are pretty much told over and over in this chapter, not to ever uncover another. Actually is pretty emphatic and somewhat redundant. But I think the Lord wanted it repeated this way.

Our vulnerabilities are there for all to see.  But there are also men and women who go out of their way to protect and shield.  They are safe people, in the classic sense of the word.  They cover-up, but never in negative or criminal way, but in love and blessing. (If it is a serious crime, the police should be involved.)

Mature believers will step forward and protect the open areas of others. 

Quite often we are exposed, open to attack on our weaknesses.  Mature believers will step forward and protect the open areas of others.  They will refuse to judge or point out sins.  But they will stand in the gap, shielding and protecting.

God’s final word on nakedness is in Revelation 3:18, and this is a good place to conclude this post,

“So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.”

*

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Putting It Simply

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“But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:41-42, ESV

I tend to over-think things a lot. Everything gets so darn complicated. Often there is ‘a paralysis of analysis’ that gels into something stagnant and murky. I am definitely not the decisive person I admire from a distance. My illness is such that I can easily become “immobilized” in making simple decisions.

But I am aware of my desperate need of Christ Himself. My many issues demand a ‘heavy duty’ Savior, one who is capable of handling them. I guess I have tried many ‘gods’ and I haven’t found any of them who can take the load like Jesus can.

All that He has done in the Gospels, and all that He does presently declares to me his trustworthiness and power. My admiration for Christ as my Savior and Deliverer is written on the pages of the Bible. His present day ministry to me (and many others) is consistent with what I read about him in the Word.

And it is amazingly simple, when you think it through. He lived, died, and rose again for those ‘rebels’ who deserve death. The simplicity is profound. I do not have to be a Nobel Prize winner to understand. Without cheapening ‘redemption’ He has reduced things to a straightforward idea. He dies in my place, and now gives me his life to live.

I want to listen to Him. I want to come so close that I can hear the very inflection of his voice when he does speak to me. You see, we are built as communicators, and that is the part that ‘small gods’ can’t provide. They’re merely ‘dead idols.’

I so want to please him, even if he corrects me.

I want to learn at his feet, just as Mary did at her home in Bethany. Often I feel like I will probably be ‘the least of all the disciples’, but I’m okay with that. After all, it’s all about Him.

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“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

Revelation 3:20

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Animated Dust

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18 “I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

Luke 15:18-19, NLT

“In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’”

Luke 17:10

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I admit it. I am flawed. I am a contradiction inside of an enigma– at times more a devil than an angel. And today I fancy no pretenses to righteousness. But I can tell you all about sin, I’m thinking that maybe I’ll sell tickets. I’m the spiritual version of “the elephant man.” But yet, I still know that I’m completely loved and secure through faith.

I’m convinced that God’s ability to hold me outweighs all of my sin. His mercy is continually refreshed and continues to exceed my iniquity by a massive margin. I can try to blame my erratic behavior on my mental illness, as I’m reasonably certain that it has something to do with things.

“At best we are but clay, animated dust; but viewed as sinners, we are monsters indeed. Let it be published in heaven as a miracle that the Lord Jesus should set His heart’s love upon people like us.”

Alistair Begg

I will never have it together. At best I can only keep coming back to this Grace that has decided “to never let me go.” I only stand, only because He makes it so.  I’ve given up trying to be worthy enough. I seem to chase a ‘laser pointer’ like a over-caffeinated cat, and it is starting to get a little old. (But maybe this time I’ll finally catch it.) Writer Anne Lamott wryly explained her own issues:

“I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.” 

Anne Lamott

The Holy Scriptures never put human beings on a pedestal. We are never seen as noble or excellent specimens of righteousness. We sin in deed and in thought continually. The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-collector tells us that a consciousness of sin and a holy God is the only way to be declared just. Both men were rascals, but only one admitted it.

We sin sins of commission and also of omission daily. In fact, I have determined that I have sinned more as a believer than I ever did as a non-believer. This shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is. I’ve been pretty busy the last 32 years. I have been ‘ungodly,’ on more than one occasion.

I want to encourage you today in Him. Life can be such a grind, and your hope anemic. But consider Him who has come for you. Let Jesus take your heaviness, ask Him for His peace. A fair exchange, don”t you think?

Pastor Bryan Lowe
Pastor Bryan Lowe

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