When I'm "Jerusalem"

 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers!  How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let Me."  Luke 13:34

In my prayer journal, I have written in response to this scripture, "Jesus, I want to understand more deeply and clearly what was in Your heart when you spoke this."  Today, as I looked at that scripture and entry, a more cutting statement/question came to me.  Do I want to know what it is in His heart when I am living the part of "Jerusalem?"  When I am resisting His entry into an area of my heart that I've somehow managed to keep off limits to Him?  Even when that resistance brings harm and pain to my life? Harm and pain that He would not have me go through. That He longs to set me free from, yet, I will not let Him.  When He looks upon me, upon us, and sees attitudes, habits, behaviors, beliefs, that cause hurt to us, and almost always to others. And His heart breaks over how it needn't be so.  Do I want to know what's in His heart then?  Do I want to know the pain and heartache I bring to Him then?  Do you?

It's so easy to look at Luke 13:34 and get lost in the magnitude of the numbers that must be involved here.  There were many thousands of people living in Jerusalem when He spoke that.  We also tend to think of this scripture simply in terms of those who don't know Him, and have refused to know Him.  But those were not the only kind of people living there.  There were also many hundreds who had believed in Him, who did call Him Savior.  But as I saw it put once, we have a much easier time calling Him Savior than we do calling Him Lord, and receiving Him as such.  When He calls us to Himself, it involves coming to everything that is Him.  The fullness of His Life, Holiness and Character.  It means a coming to an ever growing intimacy and knowledge of who He is, and who we are as well.  Just as there were many who outright rejected Him living in Jerusalem, there were also many who professed to be His, but had no desire to be His on every level of their life.  Jesus said that He only did what He saw His Father doing, that His life was not His own and that neither were the lives of any who followed Him.  John 6:66 relates that when He made this clear to those following Him, almost all "turned away from Him and followed Him no more."  I expect they still believed in Him, but they were not ready for Him to truly own their lives.  Are we?  

Jesus still weeps over "Jerusalem" and every other nation, people group and person that will not allow Him full entry into their lives, and their entry into His.  Where today might He be weeping over us?  Where, in what areas, are we a resistant "Jerusalem" to His Lordship, leading and life?  Are we running into His covering, or away from it?  Urban gospel singer Kirk Franklin said he did not find freedom from his addiction to pornography until he saw his sin and the wreckage it was causing through the eyes of Christ.  In that moment he was broken.  In that moment he was free.  In that moment, he was His.  Has that moment come to us? What happens when you, we, are "Jerusalem?"

Pastor O

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   May 2019   
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