When I was a kid The Wizard of Oz was shown on TV once a year. Young people under 25 may do a spit take at the idea, but before video tapes and DVD, there was no “on demand” viewing. If you missed The Wizard of Oz airing Sunday night at 8:00…well, there was always next year.
Lately, I’ve had to think a lot about The Wizard of Oz again as I’ve just been cast in a high school production. Alas, there was a time when I would be cast as the dashing lead who got the girl. Now at 47, I am simply Uncle (“Get in the cellar Dorothy, there’s a twister coming”) Henry!
If you’re like me though, there’s always a moment of “Are you kidding me?” when it is finally revealed that Dorothy had the power to go home back to Kansas all along through the magic of the Ruby Slippers.
Yes, the very goal she was seeking and striving for was at her disposal throughout the entire journey.
Come to think of it, sounds like a lot of Christians I know!
Whether it’s “the power of the Spirit” or “intimacy with God” most Christians will admit they don’t have it and are willing to try anything to get it. That’s why we often buy books, go to conferences, attend church, and yes, even read blogs; we feel something is missing and we want that feeling to go away.
Believe me though, after that hour long sermon on 7 Steps to Knowing God you probably aren’t going to know God any better than you did before you sat down. Truth is much of our Christian world seems bent on trying to achieve New Testament results through Old Testament means!
The Old Covenant is full of God’s people striving, seeking, and grasping. They wandered around always seeing God “out there” but never feeling the intimacy and rest that his presence brings. And that I believe is the crux of many Christian’s struggles and feelings of inadequacy today;
We are trying to live in a New Covenant World using Old Covenant Culture
It’s like putting regular gasoline in a diesel motor. You end up contaminating the engine causing damage to the entire car.
Jesus: Our Ruby Slippers
In the New Testament we are granted free access to the presence of God again in a way not known since humankind was exiled from the garden. No longer did we need a priest to go before us as an emissary to God. When Jesus said, “It is finished” that meant the separation between us and God was over, done, banished! Through Christ we have been reunited:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17: 20-23
The Bible says that the Father loves us in the same way that he loves Jesus!
Believing this will change everything!
Personally, I have come to this place in my life. I know the Father’s love and feel the Lord’s “rest” (Heb 4: 1, 9-11). I don’t feel any separation from him.
I know who I am!
I know I am his son!
I know that He knows I am His son! (Probably even more of a revelation)
Like Dorothy, my Ruby Slippers are with me all the time. I don’t have to go through a journey of battles in a seemingly never ending attempt to find “home”.
I am Home! My Father and I are One!
But my revelation of this didn’t come through:
* planting churches
* being a missionary to foreign lands
* faithful church attendance
* a vision for “taking the nations” (glad I retired that one)
The “rest” I have experienced from God comes simply because I believe He loves me.
The message hasn’t changed.
He loves us!