Sometimes what propels us to move forward or soar higher are the questions that we are being asked that pop up during ordinary conversations. Either we answer them directly or take the questions home with us to think and re-think.
Caught unaware, I was asked, “Why do Christians not believe in carved images of saints and the crucifix to be placed at home or worn as jewelry?”
Hmmmm … if I was to answer this question years ago as a new believer, I would have said right away, “because it is written in the Bible, “Do not make idols or set up carved images, or sacred pillars, or sculptured stones in your land so you may worship them. I Am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 26:1) But, somehow, my mouth was shut. Thank God!
As for the crucifix, it is all because Christians believe in the RESURRECTION! A cross not a crucifix is more likely acceptable because of the RISEN CHRIST although Christians do not deny the truth that JESUS CHRIST died at the cross to purchase us and pay for all our sins. A cross would be a reminder that because He is RISEN, we, too, will ARISE, for the same power that raised Him from the dead lives in us. The resurrection power of Christ, the Holy Spirit, is IN us empowering and enabling us to change us from faith to faith, from glory to glory to be more like CHRIST.
Hmmm … oh well, yes, I literally came home with that question that made me dig deep into my heart and finally dug out from the depths of it this revelation which the Holy Spirit, our Teacher, unveiled.
“Always remember that our DOINGS are products of our BEINGS! What we have faith in we will openly live out and will be seen by those around us. Matters like these are very sensitive and personal. We are not to judge. It is not about religion! It is not about denomination! IT IS ALL ABOUT THE REVELATION THAT WE HAVE OF OUR INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON, AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.”
Before I became born again, I believed in those, too, because it was the only way I would be reminded of that He is with me. Many still believe in it, yes, but I never talk about these things because God has given us the gift of free will to express what we believe. I honor and respect what people believe. Unless I am asked, then I answer from what is deep within me.
I used to be a radical believer in the sense that I will just do what I read in the bible, “because it is written!” Well, I still am a radical believer in CHRIST, but this time my revelations come from my relationship with Him. It is no longer “because it is written” in the Bible, but because it is already written in my heart that was birthed and breathed by the Holy Spirit.
“This is the agreement (testament, covenant) that I will set up and conclude with them after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their hearts, and I will inscribe them on their minds (on their inmost thoughts and understanding.” (Hebrews 10:16 TPT)
My relationship with Him brought me to a place of obedience because of love. Because I love Him, I choose to obey Him, NOT by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God”
His Word says, “Loving Me empowers you to obey My word. And My Father will love you so deeply that We will come to you and make you Our dwelling place.” (John 14:23 TPT)
Years ago, I used to hear people say, “Christianity is not a religion! It is all about RELATIONSHIP!” Oh I never understood it before until I had powerful divine encounters of and in His presence when He became so alive in me, speaking with His still small voice. Hmmmm .. one cannot make a mistake when He speaks! But until we experience such intimacy with Him inwardly, we tend to look for Him outwardly.
We never despise where we have come from. He always take us from precept upon precept, from one revelation to the next and the journey is so personal that no two lives are alike, yet we learn from each other. He is a very personal God and He longs to have a relationship with each one of us. I believe our past experiences were vital steps that He uses as foundational ground, but with the Holy Spirit, our Teacher, revealing to us more and more of Who Jesus is everyday, those foundations are shaken to reveal the cracks and fill them with Himself so He now becomes the firm, solid and unshakeable foundation of our faith. When our relationship with Him becomes MORE REAL than what is happening around us, then we no longer are threatened when questions arise. We do not answer to convince people. We answer from the truth of what we believe in with full conviction in our hearts. We are called to be witnesses of God’s goodness and out of our deep encounters with Him, our lives become diffusers of His love, mercy and grace that make those around us SEE and TASTE that the Lord is good.
I asked Him once to explain to me regarding matters like this and this is how He answered.
“When you find a person who is dearest to you, you always want to be in contact with him, right? Because you are not together all the time, your natural propensity is to put a photo of that loved one of yours in your wallet. Every time you open your wallet, you get to get a glimpse of him that makes you smile and warms your heart. Now, when time comes that you are together, talking, laughing, eating, driving, etc etc … do you still want to open your wallet and look at the photo? NO MORE! Why? Because he is in front of you, getting to know each other more while enjoying every millisecond of it.
It is the same with Our relationship. You ask and I answer. You seek and I am found. You knock and the door is opened. I speak and you recognize my voice and you follow. My presence is always with you, leading and guiding you, comforting you, cheering you on, strengthening you, celebrating with you, rejoicing over you with singing, and loving you. Everything else becomes shadows in the light of My presence with you. You do not need those things. You are My home where I dwell and you are IN ME, where ALL things consist. No one can be so close to you other than Myself and I am ALWAYS with you 24/7. Remember this, you and I are ONE, just as the Father and I are ONE! That’s intimacy! That’s relationship!”
In awe of what I heard, I worshiped. Thank You, Jesus.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus Whom You gave because You so love us desiring us to become Yours forever. Thank You, Jesus, for paying the price that no one else is qualified to do. The power of Your blood cleansed us that we may become the temples of Your very presence here on earth. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for being the Seal of ownership as You take up residence in our hearts forever. As new creations in Christ, we belong to You and You belong to us. It is You, O Lord, Who made it possible for us to become Your very own sons and daughters, intimately connected to You 24/7. Amen!