Down the Via Dola Rosa!

What an amazing passionte sacrificial journey! Every step one step closer for redemption to all who would believe. I think of the vivid images that were portrayed in the Passion of the Christ, one long journey to sacrifice. In that march up to Skull Hill Christ endured all forms of suffering all endurance of ridicule. Christ knows first hand everything we are going through, and He desires to carry us through, fight for us, refine us. He doesn't want us to be arms length away, He wants us side by side, arms embraced on this journey together. Christ gave everything He had for us, why do I always come up short, more concerned in what others think of me, rather than giving my all to the one who sacrificed all just for me, only for me...just as He did for you!

In the past I've had to learn lessons through hardknocks, and Christ pruning me, taking that which is deseased and working me to be prepared for the next step. I have not produced quality fruit in a long time. I have found a comfortable place low in the vine, a shady spot, where I gain the nutrition that I need, but it is only enough to produce the tiniest littlest grapes, and in the end I would not make any fine wine or be delicious to savor off the vine, I instead would be cast in the fire, consumed to ashes. There is only so long that you can live this way.

While, I know that God will allow satan to sift me as wheat in the future, there will be more refiner's fire that I will have to endure, more painful pruning will take place...and in this moment in time I feel I would relish feeling His hands upon me, working me to new, Lord knows I need to be hollowed out so He can fill me up to brimming! However, Christ has been so gentle and powerful in this moving and stirring in my soul as of late. It has been a beautifully tragic fantastic agonizing sorrowful gracious merciful moving, and I'm astounded at the personable passionate love my Saviour has for me. HE CARES FOR MY HEART! - the deepest being of me. Through my journey through the "Journey of Desire" John challenged us in the study to consider this single statement of "He Cares for my heart" for ten days, over anything else, above all things, and see where we come out of it in the end. Just doing it for a day has been powerful, amazing, and totally humbling. I want to fall on my face before Him, I want to be consumed, I want to be renewed. I want to be so close to Him that He is my oxygen.

There are so many places God has revealed this truth to me. Certain things that are going on in the news, Kat's (Amy's) Blog, the Lexington Passion Play, my Pastor's glorious messages. Christ aches for me, His heart is intuned to me. His passion is for me. Oh Lord Father why am I so utterly stubborn, why do I run, WHY?

He has truly blessed my Easter season beyond measure, and it happened all sort of unexpectadly. Thanks to those who have prayed, continue to...as I continue to fight for you on my knees as well. Remember not to forget to tremble in His presence. Love Him, walk down the Via Dola Rosa with Him...be so close that you can breathe Him in!

In my Pastor's previous Sunday morning lession he talked about Peter, and how His relationship with Christ can be reflected to our life, I would like to share some notes from this lesson...

Luke 22:31-34;54-62
Life of Peter...Life of Melissa...

1. The enemy has a desire for you (me)
2. The enemy will sift you (me)
3. You (I) will return to the Father

- Distance between God and myself is a dangerous thing as a believer.
(I put...I'm ready to give up!)
-Many walk with the Lord, but always where it is safe! (I put...safe enough to get away...I am afraid of what Christ will ask me to do. I've chosen to stay at a safe distance to keep my identity intact and my tail safe!)
-Distance from Christ allows you to find yourself fellowshipping with someone you have no business fellowshipping with!

Like Peter we can deny Christ...
-The first time Peter denied Christ He was looking in from the gate, looking in on the world...we often do not take part of the things of the world, but we are looking in...(How often do I find myself doing this, just taking a peek, I won't get hurt...after all I'm just looking!)
-The second time Peter denied Christ He moved into the gates, and was warming himself by the fires of those separate from Christ, he was trying to fit in...(I think often, especially in my work place, that I fight to fit in even, even, yes denying Christ for the fellowship of men...how shameful of me!)
-The third and last time Peter denied Christ he was on the front steps...he had now become a part of the sin that consumed him...satan sifting was powerful and strong...(How many times do I get off into my own sin, lost in the lies that satan has given me, moved by own desire for myself, not Christ)

*Christ allows the enemy to break me down to the smallest particle, sifted through! - I was there when they Crucified my Lord, Indeed!

The pastor began wrapping the sermon up with this account of the story of the resurrection of Jesus in the book of Mark...it states in scripture that Jesus said...go tell my disciples and Peter that I've Risen! (This was a reminder to Peter that he would return to the Lord, Christ had not given up on Him...Thank you Jesus for not giving up on me!)

When Jesus spoke with Peter on that morning of breakfast and fellowship on the beach, he asked the question three times "Peter, Do you love Me?" and three times Peter said, "Lord, you know I do!" and Jesus followed with "Then feed my sheep!", through this walk on the beach Christ had his arm around Peter pulling Him close to Him, and when Peter got lost in the thought of what Jesus was going to do in others lives, John, Jesus pulled him back to His side, and said don't concern yourself with him Peter, I'm only concerned with YOU! God desire a closeness with us, we have to be close to Him or we will perish! Close enough to where there is no way possible we could tuck tale and run!

In closing my sister, Meredith, shared with me her pastor's thoughts on blasphemy that I felt were pretty profound...he said blasphemy is when God's working all around you and you do not see it, claim it, or believe it, or it's when God is not working around you and you claim that He is!

I love you all, may Christ fill your cup to overflowing this Easter season. May those of you who read this blog, see and feel the presence of Christ, and if you do not know Christ as your personal saviour, He desires deeply and passionatly that you know Him...

All you have to do is pray this simple prayer with a passionate abandoned heart, and Christ will take care of the rest, it doesn't matter where you are in your life right now, or what has gone wrong in the past, you can be made whole...

Dear Jesus, I accept that I am a sinner, I truly believe that you died on the cross for me, and that your blood covers my sin, and that you rose three days later and reside at the right side of the Father in Heaven. Lord come into my life, change me, move me, make me new. I love you dearly, guide me on this journey, and go before me preparing the path. Yours completely, Amen!

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