I was listening to this song, “Every Time You Run” by Manafest ft. Trevor McNevan, and a flood of memories came over me. My past. These lyrics reminding me of the darkness I was rescued from.
Those dark foggy blurry nights of partying, desperation and promiscuity. The longing to escape the emptiness and insecurity. The overwhelming desire to be liked and accepted. The alcohol. The drugs. The boys. This song reminded me why it is so important to remember where you came from and the darkness you were delivered from…
In the Hebrew Bible, our old testament, God made it clear that He wanted us to remember where we came from and what HE did for us…
‘I am ADONAI your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, where you lived as slaves.” Deuteronomy 5:6 CJB
“When you come to the land which Adonai will give you, as he has promised, you are to observe this ceremony. When your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this ceremony?’ say, ‘It is the sacrifice of Adonai’s Pesach [Passover], because [Adonai] passed over the houses of the people of Isra’el in Egypt, when he killed the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” Exodus 12:25-27 CJB
“Also, taking a piece of matzah, he made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to them and said, “This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.” Luke 22:19 CJB
He didn’t want us to remember our slavery and our brokenness to shame us or to throw guilt in our faces. He wants us to remember where we came from so that we will forever be grateful to Him and to also have empathy so that we will never become like the Pharisee who was self righteous and hypocritical in the parable Jesus told…
“Also, to some who were relying on their own righteousness and looking down on everyone else, he told this parable:“Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Parush and the other a tax-collector. The Parush stood and prayed to himself, ‘O God! I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, immoral, or like this tax-collector! I fast twice a week, I pay tithes on my entire income, . . . ’ But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes toward heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God! Have mercy on me, sinner that I am!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home right with God rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18-9-4 CJB
We as Christians and Messianic Jews must never forget that we were once enslaved in Egypt to our sins and our brokenness. We were once, like the tax collector, standing far off and unable to raise our eyes towards heaven. Instead of attacking the sinner let us remember we were once in their shoes. That is why Jesus is so AMAZING. When He humbled himself to come into this world as a small, fragile, baby He modeled to us what we should be doing. We ought to humble ourselves too. When Jesus looked at the Samarian woman, the adulterous woman, the prostitute, the tax collector, He saw their brokenness…not their shame. He saw their bruised hurting hearts that desperately needed a Savior.
I know I’m not the same as I used to be. I have changed. I’ve heard the comments, “What happened to her?”, “She’s like REALLY into Jesus now”, “She’s a ‘Jesus freak'”, “Why can’t she just chill and mind her own business?”, “Why can’t she just leave Jesus out of it?”, etc. I just want each and every one of you to know that I remember where I came from and it is because of what Jesus did in my spirit, heart and soul that I just cannot ‘tone it down’. I don’t share these messages with you to point fingers or to say ‘shame on you’. I share these messages and what He’s done in my life because I long to see you FREE. I long to see you restored and whole. I long to see you found.
Transformation, not by our own strength but His Grace, is possible brothers and sisters. I’ll share with you something that had been weighing on my heart a long time. I had the honor and privilege of Meeting Jesus (you can read about that here) and after I was given such a gift it didn’t take me long to spiral downward and backslide. I was given such an amazing gift and I spent about 5 years or so living in revelry and brokenness. I knew I was loved but I just didn’t stand firm. I was still so broken. BUT….here’s the cool part….Jesus, who is all knowing, knew my future and how I would fall but He still revealed Himself to me and chose to give me that gift anyway. So what I’m trying to tell you is that He knows your weaknesses, He knows how deep your brokenness runs, He knows what you will do tomorrow and yet He still calls you to Him.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in that the Messiah died on our behalf while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8 CJB.
That doesn’t mean we get to live out our days with no transformation. Our lives should look different after surrendering to His radical love and sacrifice for us! Jesus said many times, “Turn and sin no more”. But may we never forget where we came from.