‘You can’t take that with you…’

As I sit to write today’s blog, oversized mug of tea to the one-hand, bowl of melon to the other, I can only say that I am feeling content.

Completely content.

Church was just another wonderful time this morning. For lunch, me and Faith cooked perhaps the greatest roast ever (Ok, I confess, we did buy an already-roasted chicken to cut down the prep time, but, you know…) And this afternoon I have successfully begun packing and also successfully got rid of three bags of ‘stuff’ that will not be moving with me.

Which pretty much leaves me with all my worldly possessions packed into an extremely large suitcase and 8 boxes of books. And two large paintings. Oh, and a guitar (I’d probably sacrifice most of my clothes before I left my guitar! ;))

Very satisfying to be honest.

There’s just something really quite liberating about de-cluttering. Minimalising. Giving things away. Deep-cleaning. Living a more simple lifestyle. Throwing out the junk so you don’t have to take it with you. Making sure that you’re not held back from going where God wants you to because of all the ‘stuff’ that you’ve held onto for so long.

Yep. In many ways, today has been quite liberating.

Because I believe that on all levels, saying ‘Yes’ to the call of God on our lives means that there are certain things we can’t take with us. Physically, I can’t take my sofa, or my baby grand piano. They must be given away. Left behind. But emotionally, I also can’t move into all God has for me if I’m carrying my regret, or my guilt, or my pain, or my unforgiveness. I have to let it go. All of it. Leave it behind at the cross where He told me He would deal with it if I handed it over.

Because God wonderfully says ‘Go’. He says ‘Move’. He says ‘Follow’. But He also says, ‘Peta, you can’t take that with you.’

He has a better future for me.

And for you.

The message this morning was wonderful. Looking at the the revelation of Jesus Christ in the whole Word of God.

Throughout the entirety of Scripture.

Focussing us on how the whole Bible is looking to Jesus and showing us the bigger picture of Him as the centre of all things. Helping us to deal with the big issues of the world through the understanding that God is revealing Christ to us and pointing to Him. The challenge to read the Bible and look for Jesus being revealed in all His power. In the symbolism. In the people. In the way the temple is set up. In the revelation of the Law. In the feasts. In everything.

It is important to understand the core narrative of the Bible. The way that the Old and New Testaments are entwined as one.

Because when Jesus was talking to the disciple’s on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection it says that, ‘Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them was was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself’. There is something bigger going on.

And, this was the point that really hit me today, if we can really begin to grasp that this revelation of Christ, of the Messiah, of the Anointed One, of our Saviour, is so much bigger than our intellect can take in, because all of the Word is shouting about God’s plan, expressed in Jesus, then it will save us from legalism, and narrow-mindedness. It will save us from critical spirits and arguments. It will save us from human judgements on others.

It will stop us from being a pharisee.

Because Jesus faced resistance and hatred and hostility when He walked the earth in human form. By those who thought they had it all sorted out. By those who thought they were righteous. And He said to them, ‘You search the Scriptures because you think by them you possess eternal life, but these are the Scriptures that testify about me’.

They had all this academic, theologically-sounding understanding about the words of the Torah, but they missed Jesus. They missed who He was. They missed what He loved to do. They missed grace. They missed that He was the embodiment of the Torah and all that God had revealed within it.

If we miss coming to Jesus because of our own understanding, we miss the whole point.

Because God created us in His image, and He calls us to Him, to have His life flowing through us, to not miss it. To be reconciled to Him. To be changed by Him. To, in every situation we may face ask, ‘Where are You in this this Jesus?’. To understand that it is all about His grace.

And it’s funny, because in that revelation, it’s far easier to leave things behind. Because what lies ahead, is far greater than anything that may be left behind. I know it and I trust it because I know Him and I trust Him.

This morning we took communion to finish the service. And I love remembering what Jesus did. And being moved again in thankfulness. But I also love the fellowship of being with family. Because as I took communion I was hugged by some wonderful, precious friends. And a woman who I had prayed for healing for a couple of weeks ago came to tell me her testimony of how Jesus had completely healed her (I love it when God does this stuff!). And Holy Spirit just gently rested on my heart in a way that brought… Contentment.

I’m back to that word again.

So, in less than two weeks I will leave Inverness. In 6 weeks I will leave the UK. And I feel like I’m leaving behind the things I need to. But, you know, I’m also taking with me a heart full of thankfulness for lessons learned, and wisdom gained, and healing brought through overcoming and some of the best friends I could ever have prayed for.

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