Tightrope Theology

As a person with a mental illness, it seems my issues are a matter of extremes.  Life seems uncontrollable; the wheels seem to always ready to come off of the wagon.  It strikes me as a semi-crazed place to be.  I look at the “norms” with envy, as their lives are crisp, healthy, and strong.

I once met a man that had a prophetic ministry who was speaking at a local church here in Alaska.  When I met with him, he looked at me intently.  He said many things, but the most significant was this. “You are an unstable man; you are like water.”  This was almost 30 years ago.  It has been an accurate prophecy and assessment since I heard it.  At first it stung, I hated it; but now, all these years later, I find a certain comfort in it.  God knows me; He understands.  I haven’t found any reason to be condemned for being Bipolar.

Those of us who walk the tightrope of sanity and insanity have One in heaven who not only knows us, but is on our side.  Hebrews 7:25 declares:

“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”

I must realize that I am not the “bad apple in the barrel,” nor am I cursed.  Rather the opposite is true.  I am the richest of all men, because of His radical grace that gets extended to the weakest. Those who “touch” my life are blessed by their contact with me, and since I have been so unnaturally “graced,” they become blessed by His presence through me. WOW! I simply need to be me, and they are drawn to you.

The issues that a mentally ill person (and those who are often a struggler and a rascal) faces are formidable.  But without His promises they are impossible.  The secular view is just to create a “zero sum” game.  It is to bring a person to some stupefied place of stasis.  Not exactly up–but not down either.  Stable, sort of.

It is very good to be stable.  But my goal can not be stability, but an obedience to a supernatural God who loves me supernaturally.  I simply can’t live without knowing that.  However, when I know it, I can handle the tightrope.  I will start to walk a “supernatural” walk.

You could say that God has a hobby, or a specialty.  It is weak and handicapped people.

He loves working with us and in us.  And I have become very much convinced that He pours out special favor on those of us who struggle so difficulty, those of us who will never fit in or be ‘normal.’

We need to come to that real and authentically holy place where we see God. But also in that place, and at the same time, we need to see ourselves as well.  And actually, both are most critical.  They are done imperfectly— but both must happen, nevertheless.

I exhort you to take on your tightrope.  You will only stay upright and cross it if you are aware of His grand love and presence.  It is an amazing thing to balance and walk, and if we fall?  Well, we drop into His net.  Get back up, and get in line again.  Secure your heart into the love of God for your soul.

aabryscript

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A Walk in the Clouds

What Jesus intends for us is to learn to walk in the supernatural intelligently.  Each disciple must learn to walk out a life that is totally beyond what is ordinary.

We need to learn how to walk in the clouds!  The things He has done for us are definitely and profoundly out-of-this-world.  He provides an exceptional power to us who have tasted a gentle grace.

We have not been elevated to this place without understanding the humility which this new life is rooted in.  He provides the power; we provide the humility.  Or at least that is what it seems.  But a “Jesus walk” will always take humility and perhaps even a brokenness of heart before it can work.

It’s like if I was to give you a new 2017 BMW.  It’s a beautiful car, no question.  But if I don’t give you the keys, the  car really isn’t yours.  It can sit in your driveway, but without the key all it is an exterior ornament to your success.  But it goes nowhere, without the key in the ignition.

Humility is the key you need to power your Christian life.  If you don’t have humility you will never “walk in the clouds.”  And without it, you will undoubtedly end up traversing into something, but way less then what could be an amazing supernatural walk.

Your life was meant to be lived out on the margin of supernatural understanding.  We have never been walkers, but fliers.  We mount up with wings, just like the eagles.

“But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again.
They will rise up as an eagle in the sky;
they will run and not need rest;
they will walk and not become tired.”  Isa. 40:31

Will you keep struggling, or will you fly? God’s grace gives you wings. What does your theology allow?  Will it permit soaring, and gliding?  Yet He approaches us.  He asks us, “Do you believe that I can make beauty out of ashes?”

“I will give them a crown to replace their ashes, and the oil of gladness to replace their sorrow, and clothes of praise to replace their spirit of sadness. Then they will be called Trees of Goodness, trees planted by the Lord to show his greatness.”   Isaiah 61:3

This sounds like a supernatural walk to me. Walking with Jesus is a miracle every day.

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What Good are the Miracles of Jesus?

His touch makes the difference
His touch makes the difference

But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 

–John 10:38

The healings Jesus performed boldly attest to his claim to be God.  When we read about them, as recorded in the Gospels, we cannot doubt their supernatural flavor.  A normal person cannot give sight to someone who has been blind from birth.  I cannot raise a dead person, it’s simply not in the realm of even remote possibility.

Jesus performed hundreds and hundreds of healings, many not recorded in the Scriptures except through a vague and veiled reference to them.  There were not just healings, but he also did miracles over natural laws.  Water turned into wine, walking on the Sea of Galilee, feeding 5000 people with a little boys simple lunch.

You would think that the presentation of each miracle would bring a person to faith.  But that is not the case.  We assimilate them, and then process them to the point where we can nullify them.  “Sure Jesus raised a widow’s son from the dead,” we say— but we inoculate ourselves against the truth of it.  We deafen ourselves, and silence the miracle. We roll right over it. How many miracles have we seen on any given day?

I need, I must re-visit these supernatural events again and again.  They are a tonic to my jaded soul.  These miracles require that I pick them up by their handle and make them my own.  Jesus Christ is waiting for us to accept him as supernatural, because that is what he is.  Does your Jesus work miracles?

“Remember the wonders he has done,
       his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,”

–Psalm 105:5

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The Quiet Power of Jesus

“The master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.  He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside.”   John 2:9 

Jesus Christ performs the first miracle of his short ministry.  He will perform thousands of them in his brief work on planet Earth.  This miracle was done silently, there was absolutely no fanfare or hoopla. (What a contrast for ministry today!)

Silently, quietly, much like he does today, he touches the hearts of thousands of men and women.  I wouldn’t have done it this way, I would’ve advertised, had the 12 disciples out doing some PR work, maybe some autographs and definitely make it quite the show!

He is not in the storm, or the fire, or an earthquake.  That is not the way he operates (but he can). He comes quietly in a still, small voice to our confused hearts.  Silently help comes to us, and silently the answers to our prayers glide down to us.  Not a shred of ostentation; no gaudy bows or ribbons.  When Jesus is ministering to someone who is in a horrible fix, he does it peaceably–quietly and calmly.  He is infinitely gentle.

It is significant that “the servants who had drawn the water knew”.  Often those who minister for Christ get to see his omnipotence and his power, they know it first-hand.  As a young man, I worked as a full-time evangelist in San Francisco.  I saw God change people! Addicts, gays and transvestites would often come for the Bible studies, and God would work and they were changed.  As you and I mature and step into service, we are privy to the work of Jesus.  We are no longer strangers but friends, and he lets us see his wonders for ourselves.  I have been allowed to see up close his workings in a twisted heart of a lost soul.  The water is turned into wine. I simply stand in awe.

The master of the feast did not know what had happened.  Is this not the same with us quite often?  We cannot explain where the blessings come from.  It happens quickly and quietly.  Look, over there, see the confused woman as she desperately seeks an intervention.  She sobs out in prayer, imploring the Lord for mercy.  Suddenly, through faith something happens, and it is completely supernatural.  And no trumpets sounded, for these are common, regular everyday miracles.

We drink the wine, but we don’t quite grasp the miracle.  But that’s okay.  Our limited understanding handles these quiet miracles and we will step into the light that grace leaves behind.  The water has become wine and we are changed as well, forever, by the quiet power of Jesus.

ybic, Bryan