Thanks so much for your prayers. My dad got out of the rehab center last Wednesday and I was able to fly home and leave him and my stepmother in the able care of another sibling. We are praying he will grow stronger again and they will be able to continue to live independently.
There has been quite a conversation on my blog from two weeks ago on the topic Are Negative Consequences Unbiblical? Today I was reading in Hosea and Hosea had some boundaries and implemented negative consequences with Gomer, his wayward wife. We read that after he extended Gomer extravagant mercy by purchasing her back from slavery he says to Gomer, “You must live in my house for many days and stop your prostitution”(Sounds to me like Hosea said change NEEDS to happen here for our marriage to survive). Then he adds, “During this time, you will not have sexual relations with anyone, not even with me.” It’s interesting to note that at the beginning of this section of Scripture, the Lord tells Hosea to go and love his wife again. Loving Gomer did not exclude negative consequences, in fact, it reinforced it (See Hosea 3:1-3).
Thank you, Dawn, for filling in for me while I was gone. Here is part two of the Glorious Unbecoming.
The Glorious Unbecoming – Part II
Welcome back, Christ followers! Looks like many have decided to pick up the challenge of last week and let 2017 wash you anew. This is tantamount to your own Glorious Unbecoming. What priceless gifts await us in the process of it all? The most priceless gift being a cleansed, renewed, and radiant self. That’s what we’re signing up for here. What better testimony to the work of sitting in the presence of the Master Creator ~ a new creation, the old has passed away and all things have become new in accordance with 2 Corinthians 5:17.
How did you do with your questions from last week? At the very least they led to some wonderful threads and interactions in the comments section of the blog. So this week we will continue to explore and frame the process of a Glorious Unbecoming. As we unfolded last week it begins with a lost soul meeting the Master Himself during the drudgery of the daily. First note to self, He comes to her, meets her right where she is both figuratively and literally. He does the same with us today.
Secondly, He came to make her an offer. It was to be an offer only He was authorized to make on His Father’s behalf as her Creator. It’s the same offer that stands before us today in the form of our own Glorious Unbecoming. He offered her so many things, but the three we will unpack today are her deliverance, her dignity, and finally her destiny. It’s important to know that these were only things He had the ability to bestow on her. Why? Because she belonged to Him. He had purposed her from eternity past … nothing at all has changed over the centuries.
Deliverance. Let’s start there. Let’s trace back for a moment in eternity past to the process that was started in the Garden of Eden itself. From the presence of perfection rose the first cry for deliverance. The first example of our need for redemption, renewal and salvation. When perfection itself was destroyed by the first children. The Master was familiar with the process, He had been at this for quite some time. So many similarities throughout Scripture in the way He handles these sticky wickets.
The woman at the well started her Glorious Unbecoming right at the moment she decided to listen to what He had to say about her ~ Step One in deliverance. One of our readers declared quite truthfully that listening is the first indication of love. Not only did she listen, but also she leaned into the truth He was speaking to her. These weren’t the soft and pretty, feel good truths He unfurled to her. This was her resume of wrongdoing that was quite accomplished. Yet she learned, listened, and asked for more! What was it about His approach that drew her into Him?
My estimation says His pencil was one of love, grace, and space that drew her inside of His circle that day. This would have been in direct opposition to the pencil of her community that had drawn a circle of judgment, shame, and blame in which she found herself on the outside … continually. Of one thing we can be sure, when we are inside of the wrong community we will always be on the outside looking in. That outside leaves us vulnerable to the enemy’s attack. Just like an animal pack, the vulnerable are hit first. Crushed by sneak attacks of lies, deception, isolation, doubt, fear, and finally the deathblow of a crushed spirit.
Proverbs tell us that hope deferred makes the heart sick. Can you relate? She could. That’s why she needed deliverance, and so do we. Here’s the deep work of deliverance. It starts with the “Aha Moment” in which the unraveling of ourselves begins. He shows us, as He did her, her need for a Savior. He showed her the great need she had for Him because of her brokenness! Again, this is the gift that only He has the capacity to deliver. The gift of Himself, her Savior. He says to her, “I who speak to you am He ”(John 4:26b). She believed Him instantly. Do you?
Repentance is the next work of deliverance. It literally means we are offered the opportunity to “turn around,” to make an 180 degree flip in the opposite direction. Let who He is so overwhelm you that the response could only be your own personal Glorious Unbecoming. “If any man is in Christ, He is a new creation. Old things have passed away (died) and all things become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). That’s the result of repentance right there.
Deep repentance requires deep knee bending. Shallow repentance yields the same shallow results. Are you fully in, committed to the deep work of becoming Gloriously Undone? She was. The reason I ask this very personal question is for years, I lived at surface level repentance thinking I was doing much deeper work than I actually was. It wasn’t until I was thrust into my own wilderness, was I capable of allowing Him to do the deep work of dismantling my lifetime history of horror. So there she is accepting His offer, the one that only He was capable of making to her, repentance. Let the Glorious Unbecoming of her deliverance begin.
Next stop would be dignity, or rather her lack of dignity. OUCH! She was one hot mess of unholiness, and before her stood “I who speak to you am He.” In great gospel fashion, He offers her the clean slate of 1 John 1:9, “If anyone confesses his sin, He is faithful and just to forgive Him of sin and cleanse Him from all unrighteousness.” This is the fertile field in which He plants His dignity seeds of identity deep into our souls.
In the Glorious Unbecoming, “What exactly does that mean?” you may ask. Let’s break it down into the simplest of terms. We are, like she was, His masterpiece. The Apostle Paul says it this way, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). That means our purpose was established in eternity past. That’s where her problem lay, the same place ours does. She had been severely marred, twisted, broken, basically rendered incapable of any of those good works for which she was created.
She needed the Master’s overhaul. He was there to perform that work in her. Since she was His creation it was He who made the call as to who she was. I’m sure somewhere in that conversation, He filled her in securely anchoring her to Himself. Whispering to her the new name He had for her. Seeing her in His strength, the source of her new identity.
How do I surmise that to be true? Let’s look at how it all rolled out historically with another one of His masterpieces, Gideon. You’ll find him conveniently cowering on a threshing room floor in Judges 6:12. He was a hider, a fearful one. Driven to that place in a moment of panic from the onslaught of the enemy. Yet, the Angel of the Lord grabs hold of him that day and in that moment gave Him his dignity, his calling, His purpose with these words, “The Lord is with you, VALIANT WARRIOR!” Wait, what?
In a signature move of the Master that day, just like at the well, just like in our own lives, He assigned Gideon his identity. With that new name, He aligns and assigns His masterpiece to its purpose. In the gift that only He is free to bestow on us, as the Master Creator, He calls the future into the present. In his own Glorious Unbecoming Gideon arose that day from that threshing room floor armed with his new identity as Valiant Warrior. The rest is history. From that day on, He operated from that identity base, just like the woman at the well, just like we can.
With our dignity restored, we are free to fulfill our designated calling (Click to Tweet).
Where did she find her dignity? Where do we find ours? Those are great questions that I’ve been asked. They are ones I’ve asked myself. The answer is at the Master’s feet. We have the benefit of His word in addition to the Holy Spirit. In our own intimate Glorious Unbecoming, we can write from the pages of scripture who HE SAYS we are, daily, deeply.
I can’t stress the importance of assimilating that, Christ Sisters and Brothers! The reframing of our dignity happens when we bend our knees fully to receive His name for us. Listen, for in that name lies our destiny. Deuteronomy 6 says this about how intimately we are to know the law, “Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads, write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” How much more our identities bestowed on us from the Creator Himself?
Dignity intact we are free to begin the process of fulfilling our destiny. This is the Master’s call on our life.
Just as in any great masterpiece no two are exactly alike, nor are our callings. As our Creator, He gives us those. We are free, in a healthy way, to begin fulfilling the good works of Ephesians 2:10 that He has prepared for us.
He shared it with Simon Peter this way in Luke 22:31 – Listen Simon, Simon, Satan has demanded all of you. He’s gonna break you down good, pulverize you, but don’t worry, I have a name for you. You are going to be the rock on which I build my church. Your faith is not going to fail because I have prayed for you. Because of Me, you will fight this battle knowing that you’ve already won it. I want you to fight that way, because it is true. Stand in your dignity. When it is over, here’s your call. I want you to take that pulverized, broken story and turn around and use it to strengthen the Sisters and Brothers behind you. Bedrock, that is your name. Let the broken pile on top of you. That’s my church.That’s your destiny.
Wow! That, sisters, is how we war to fulfill our destiny. We are free to fight knowing that victory has been secured by the Master. Fight that way for your own Glorious Unbecoming. This is how the woman at the well did it that day, with her deliverance, she picked up her new identity and ran towards her destiny. She was no longer broken, she was now whole in a million pieces! Wearing her new name of Victorious, she ran right back into the throngs of her oppressors proclaiming her deliverance, offering them theirs. Funny how He works like that. Not long after He followed down with his disciples and spent days working with her to sow and reap His harvest.
This, Sisters, was her own Glorious Unbecoming. Are you ready for yours? Again, I ask if we are committed to letting Him do the deep, down-to-our-core work. If so, are you positioned correctly? Are you surrounded by the “right others” who offer you love, grace and space? If not, why are you stalled in judgment, shame and blame? Find your tribe and let the healing begin. Check out Leslie’s groups. Let this be the year you learn so much, you find your deliverance, claim your new name and begin the good work of using your broken story to strengthen the sisters behind you. Let’s continue the dialogue in the comments below.