|"For whom the Lord loves, He disciplines." Hebrews 12:6|
This week I happened to be reading in the book of Amos and his vision of the Lord immediately captured my attention.
“This is his report of what he saw and heard: The Lord roared – like a ferocious lion from His lair – from His Temple on Mount Zion. And suddenly the lush pastures of Mount Carmel withered and dried, and all the shepherds mourned.” Amos 1:2b
Grieved by sin, including that of Judah and Israel, His chosen people, the Lord warned through Amos of impending doom. Through Amos, the Lord said, “Of all the peoples of the earth, I have chosen you alone. That is why I must punish you the more for all your sins. For how can we walk together with your sins between us? Would I be roaring as a lion unless I had a reason?” Amos 3:2-3
Always first, the Lord warns through His prophets. “The Lion has roared – tremble and fear…” Amos 3:8a. “Seek the Lord and live, or else He will sweep like fire through Israel and consume her…” Amos 5:6a
I’ve always loved the image of God as the Lion of Judah, as Aslan in Narnia. I’ve pictured Him in this way and derived comfort and a sense of being protected by His powerful but furry paws!! As a matter of fact, the Lord recently reminded me of an experience I had as a young child. I was in the bathroom of my home and in a very vulnerable position (you can guess) when I heard the roar of a lion. I thought at first I had imagined it, but it terrified me nonetheless, and I’ve never forgotten the memory. I asked the Lord when He brought this to my remembrance recently what it meant. He, much like Aslan spoke to Lucy, said to me, “Terry, that was Me roaring over your life long before You knew Me!!” I cannot tell you how this thrilled me. To know that at a time when I felt afraid of most everything, including God (for I never felt I could keep myself in a state of being forgiven), He was there, my strong defender, roaring to hold back what would have otherwise destroyed me.
I have not associated a ferocious Lion roaring in response to His chosen one’s sin however until I read this passage in Amos. As I read the sins enumerated in list after list by Amos, several hit me between the eyes, convicting me of my own sin. I realized that I had judged a brother and spoken out of turn in a hurtful manner and needed to repent. I heard the prophet’s warning loud and clear. Tempted to feel guilty as in former days, to shy away from the fierce Lion, able to destroy me with His breath of fire, I trembled, then pressed my weeping face deep into His mane anyway!! The Father has done such an incredible work in me of revealing His Abba heart for me His little girl, that I had no choice but to turn to Him in faith, and accept the forgiveness and restoration He offered.
|His kindness (understood!) leads me to repentance|
He spoke gently to me, “Terry, I desire for you to walk upright in your healing! I am holy, and with the revelation of my tender heart there also comes a deeper revelation of my holiness.” Fearing God and loving God simultaneously and continuously is honestly a new concept, better put way of life for me. To fear Him without fear, by that I mean fear which causes me to distance and hide myself, to revere in a manner that causes drawing near to God to receive correction without shame, penance… – resuming intimate communion with Him even as He dries my tears, that is new.
|He Makes All Things New -- Spring!!|
From this point, I then entered into a time of “Tending My Heart” with God during which He revealed what led me into the sin confessed. You see there was in me a “trigger,” if you will that He saw and desired to address. He got below the hurtful action (sin) to the heart of me the sinner to do even more healing!! He AMAZES me!!! He showed me why the behavior of a fellow believer so irritated me, what in my background He desired access to in order to put truth in the place of a lie I had long believed. Not only did He lovingly forgive me, but He continued to bless me with still more healing!! So you see, an appreciation of His holiness, His being other than anyone else, led me not only to repentance, but into a greater experience of being loved and deeply cared for.
I plan to post the “Heart Tending” guidelines I received during SOZO so you too can apply the principles to tending your own heart with the Lord. It will change your life forever I promise!!
In the Shadow of His Mane
Loving His Roar,
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