Open Your Mouth Wide
Psalm 81: 10 (NLT)
For it was I, the LORD your God
who rescued you from the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it
with good things.
How do our Prodigals see Jesus? Is it in our good deeds? Is it in our (outer) perfection? Is it in our (outer) strength?
Do you know what I’m beginning to learn with God’s grace living and breathing in me? They AND I see Jesus most in my humility and my weaknesses confessed. They and I begin to see Jesus when I open my mouth wide, when I confess (to God and them):
- my doubts
- my pain
- my wounds
- my loss and grief
- my sins
- my numbed heart
- my fear
- my hiding.
Then, they and I begin to see that faith is not dependant on us or them, but on the goodness, the mercy, the compassion and grace-filled embrace of our Heavenly Father. A Father who through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us is guiding us into more and more of His truth, to make ALL things new, complete and whole in Jesus Christ – our righteousness.
As I’ve begun to speak God’s Promises into my life (particulary 1 Corinthians 7:14), I’ve seen Him humble me to not just share the wonderful of my faith, but the nitty gritty truth. I have begun to openly confess my sins, to share my grief and loss, my struggles to love my enemies and the hurt I have walked through in the church. The wall that I first saw, the fear that once held me back from sharing is crumbling, as I begin not to rest in the seen, but the unseen. I am beginning to truly believe that God is good, even here, even now and that His will is not for me to wallow in self-pity and hide my true self to not bring His Name into disrepute. But that His will is to restore, redeem and complete my weaknesses into His Perfection. I see Him doing that piece by piece as I open my mouth in confession to blessings He wants to pour into me. He is showing me that saving is not dependant upon my own or my loved ones’ faithfulness or goodness, but upon the steadfast and true Promises of His Word.
I am starting to believe that I and those I love who don’t yet believe are NOT tethered to my or their weakness and sin, but to the LOVE of God. A love that never fails. I am starting to believe that:
Colossians 1: 18 – 20 (MSG)
[Jesus] was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
I shared some examples of the blessings showered upon me as I humbled myself in confession with my very dear friend who is walking through chronic illness with three children to take care of. She shared such powerful truth with me and she’s given me permission to share this with you also. I pray that Emily’s words bless you, just as much as they have me:
“God gave me a choice. You can partner with me, or go it alone. Wait, that’s right, I’m not alone!! I am never alone. Choosing to walk this with God gave me so much joy and so much pressure melted. I still cry, but not in bitterness. There is heartache and mourning, but there is also peace! I was in church after a particularly rough morning, last Sunday. God gave me a picture of a woman in a barren thorny rose garden, bending over to smell the most beautiful rose, and savoring it. All I could think of, is that in our most desolate season, God provides.”
I see Jesus. We see Jesus. They see Jesus most, when we’re real. When we confess what’s truly inside. Watch Jesus enter that real and bind your and your Prodigal’s wounds, hold you and your Prodigal tight, strengthen you and your Prodigal, uphold you and your Prodigal, and pour Hope into you and your Prodigal. Watch Him weave wholeness right there, in brokenness.
Galatians 3: 13 (ESV)
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
Will you join me in this prayer today?
Thank You, Father, for this offering of redemption we could never gift ourselves or others. Thank You because You became my curse, I am free. Thank You because You became our Beloved Prodigals’ curse, they too are free. Thank You that all we do is entrust ourselves and our loved ones to You. Those who brought the paralysed man through the roof to You saw this in action – The Word Made flesh heal not just physically, but wholly- forgiving sins – so much more powerful than any physical miracle. We can’t see it Father, but we are growing into this truth, even now. We are living into Your Promise of completion in Your Holy Spirit’s power to lead us there. For You who is in us are much more powerful than any authority set against us and our Beloved Prodigals. Thank You, Father.
Oh Father God, I confess that this world is painful, filled with sorrow and brokenness and that our hearts yearn for a wholeness and completeness that can only be found in You. I confess that there are moments I hide my struggles from You and those I love, believing You call us to soldier on and not bring Your Name into disrepute. Father, remind me of the truth – that You died on the cross to take away this heavy yoke of the law that we can never fulfill in our own strength. Remind me that you don’t call us to self-sufficiency, but Christ-sufficiency.
Remind me in these moments when my pride shouts loudly to hold it together and to press the grief away, that You call us come, just as we are. Help me, as You helped Paul, to boast in my weakness, to confess all that my flesh screams to hide. Help me to turn away well meant advice to only speak of the glorious and great to our Prodigals. Help me instead to speak the truth, no matter how scary or painful this is. Help me to confess my sins before them, to confess my grief, to confess what I am truly thinking and feeling. And give me Your faith to believe Your will is to restore and make us whole, as I boast in my weakness. Faith to believe that Your Power is perfected in weakness.
Remind me that You have redeemed and called Your Prodigals by name and even now speak in and through them, even if they don’t see that themselves. For You who is in them is greater than he who is in the world. Thank You for hearing the prayer of Jesus to make us One in you, to unify what our enemy has broken apart. We believe, help our unbelief. In Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen.
I pray this poem and song encourage you wherever you are at right now:
You Never Left
By Anna Louise Smit
You never left
When tears held rivers dammed
You never left
When breaking heart I numbed of ache
You never left
When hidden questions buried lay.
It’s You who
Poured my rivered tears
It’s You whose
Breaking heart my own to life did break
Who raised my hidden questions high.
It’s now I see
Your ways are too wonderful
Too wonderful for us to fathom, know
For in the breaking, You speak
In the dying, You breathe
In the kneeling, You pour.
Not of this world
But Heaven’s breath
In us You grow
Faith, Hope and Love
Our own to know and sing
Intimate, Your gift from Cross still flows.