Peace Part 6. True Vs Fake.
My last video, the one where I shared the story of my friends who had his head smashed in, lost his business and got thrown out of his church - well I showed what I recorded. Actually, I shared it with him and asked him to have a look before I posted it. His response surprised me.
He said "I don't think you've gone far enough."
I had no idea what that meant, and so he explained it like this. This is not the first time he's had his life shattered. And he's learnt, over time, that God can, and does, bring help to other people through these horrible situations. I'm not talking about a Tony Robbins type of 'help', but a life altering and miraculous help.
And on thinking about this, he's right. That's exactly how God works. Psalm 147 says
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
Many of God's attributes have cheep counterfeits. Knock offs for the real thing.
God is love. Pure and uncorrupted Love. Love that seeks only the best for the other person.
The counterfeit is love that uses and discards the other person. Love that, when consummated, tosses the person away like a dirty tissue.
God is infinite in wisdom and understanding. It says in Proverbs Proverbs 9:10 it says
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment..
The counterfeit is the internet. Seemingly boundless amounts of information, but most of it incomplete at best, skewed and distorted at worst. None of it worthy of your complete trust. It lacks life, and if you're honest with yourself you'll know to be true. It's an imitation of the real thing.
God is beauty. Timeless and breathtaking. What he makes, like the stars, was beautiful when you where born, and will still be beautiful when you die.
The counterfeit is fashion. Fabulous today, discarded tomorrow. Used to separate and delineate between the haves and the have-nots. Rather than beautiful, fashion is fabricated.
The list goes on and on and on. Even down to specifics.
He creates a banana, for example. We create the banana. His has incredible nutrient value and a completely bio-degradable packaging that actually provides nutrients for plants. Ours actually sucks the life out of you. It literally, for a specific period of time, knocks your immune system out of action! And ours comes in a handy plastic packet, that can never be reused...!
Cheap knock-offs for God's extraordinary attributes are everywhere.
But there is one attribute of God for which there is no counterfeit. Those who lie and deceive, have a hard time producing a fake copy of redemption.
Resurrection, redemption and bringing the dead to life - there are no cheap knockoffs that come close. God, in his ability to bring that which is dead back to life, stand's alone.
That's one of the reasons that Jesus strung up on a Roman cross and killed in about 33AD, only to come back to life again, is so important.
It's the exact same power that's available to work in you, right now.
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
The power that raised Jesus back to life, that's the power that those who follow Jesus give testimony to. We (I'm one of them) all have stories where that exact power has been at work in and through us. In our own lives. That's why 'crazy Christians' are so irrationally passionate about a crucified messiah. It makes no sense right? They're passionate because they've actually experienced the power that brought him back to life!
I'm sure you know a 'crazy' follower of Jesus ... go and ask them! Say this, "I know you're one of those people who believe in Jesus, tell me when you've seen his resurrection power at work in your own life." Ask that and see what they say. Ask as many as you can find... and make the judgement yourself.
Asking this question is the beginning of discovering the power of God in supernatural realm, for yourself. Here's what Paul, in the book of Ephesians in the Bible, says.
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead ...
If you don't know any Jesus followers, then let me share with you one of my own experiences.
Back when I was about 17 I lived in Grafton, up on the east coast of Australia. I went to South Grafton High School and I lived on a farm about 20 minutes out of town.
There was a girl I really liked, Michelle, and I was good friends with her younger brother, Nathan. I was over at their house, and we'd made this massive rope swing that swung out over a gully. They had this giant gym mat, which we dragged down the bottom under the swing. The idea being that we'd swing out, let go and do some flips or something, and then land on the mat.
I was keen to impress, so I went first. But, being 'sensible', I decided to not do anything fancy but just land sitting on the mat to make sure it was safe.
So out I swung, flying through the air, let go, and flew down in a sitting position. But totally missed the mat. I came down from a massive hight straight onto bear earth. Sitting, just like this.
Well it was like somebody rammed a metal pole straight up through my spine. It was like a lightning bolt of fire. Everything went red, and I remember rolling over onto my side not even able to breath.
Now my the time Nathan and Michelle managed to scramble down to me, my vision had come back, and I think I wheezed out that I'd be fine, or something like that. I just needed a moment. A bit later I managed to get back to my feet and hobble up the hill. But the pain was immense, and now, 20 years later, still very vivid!
Now there was a lot going on at home at that time, and somehow I managed to hide from Dad and Mum what had happened. It was my final year at school so they probably thought I was being spending tonnes of time in my room studying. In reality, I was in constant, excruciating pain.
Days went by, then a week, and nothing was getting better.
It came that we had the school Cross Country carnival at the end of the next week. The whole school, all 2000 kids, would run a couple of mile course around town and back to school.
I decided, that one way or another, God was going to heal me for that carnival. I'd been constantly praying for help, but he'd done nothing. I needed help. And so I set resolutely that I would run the cross country course and he would heal me.
Well it came to the day, and I lined up at the start, off went the gun, and I started running. I tell you, the pain was like somebody was shooting me in the back with bullets of fire. By the time I got across the oval I was fully bent over, I couldn't straighten up, and I so I leant against the fence and pretended to tie my shoe laces. All the other kids where passing me, jumping the fence without a second glance, and kept going. I remember squeezing my eyes shut and praying.
"Lord Jesus. I am putting all my trust in you. And I am running this race."
Well, I can't explain what happened next. I hauled my sorry arse over that fence and started running, and the pain simply fell away. There was no flash of light or some brilliant angelic display, but I was completely, 100% healed.
Now I'm no long distance runner, but that day I ran, and ran so fast I caught up with my friend Matthew Collins (who actually was a good long distance runner). He was pretty surprised to see me pull up along side him, grinning like an idiot. I can't run one mile without stopping, let alone catch up with the race leaders!
Listen. All I've described to you is a moment where I, honest to goodness, experienced the exact same power that raised Jesus to life. I have no doubt it's legit because I've experienced it, for real, in my own body.
Here's my point. There is no cheap counterfeit for that. Resurrection, bringing health to that which is irretrievably broken, that's what God does!
I have great hope for my friend, whose had his teeth smashed out, his skull fractured, his business stolen and his church leaders kick him out. Because in that mess, in that horrible darkness, that's where God meets people. That's where people turn to him, finally, even though he's been holding out his hand the whole time.
And if that's where you're at, then that's where he can meet you.
So out I swung, flying through the air, let go, and flew down in a sitting position. But totally missed the mat. I came down from a massive height straight onto bear earth. Sitting, just like this. with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”