Maybe you think about a mess as a Tough Mudder Obstacle Course, a pie eating contest, finger painting, or getting caught in the rain?
Today, I am talking about a different kind of mess — I am using the word mess to describe when the things of God are out of our understanding or our control and appear to be messy.
Let’s take a look at Scripture from Proverbs 14:4 in the Passion Translation:
“The only clean stable is an empty stable. So if you want the work of an ox and to enjoy an abundant harvest, you’ll have a mess or two to clean up!”
Proverbs 14:4 TPT
What this is really saying is as we grow in relationship with God our experiences with Him can appear to be messy. The reason for this appearing to be messy is because we are seeing in part and not from the fullness of God’s perspective.
It may sound strange, but there is a messiness in being open to the Holy Spirit. This appearance of messiness occurs because we only have glimpses of what God is wanting to do through us and for us so it appears to be a mess. But to God, it is beautifully and perfectly orchestrated.
The Blood Sacrifice
From the time first sin was committed by Adam and Eve it has taken the shedding of blood to take away our sin; for there is no remission of sin without the Blood. (For a better understanding read Hebrews 9)
Christ came to bring an end to this shedding of blood, this sacrificial system, once and for all. He gave His life for ours. It was brutally painful, but it was a necessary sacrifice to pay for mankind’s sin.
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said,
“Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 1:29 AMP
Jesus, the Lamb of God was the final sacrifice, slaughtered in order for us to have life from the outpouring of His blood.
To us the shedding of blood can appear messy, but it cleanses and purifies, it is necessary, and is in God’s perfect way!
Receiving is Messy
Jesus says when we believe in Him, we will receive the Holy Spirit. And believe me — at times giving the Holy Spirit freedom to move as He will can appear to be very messy. Part of this feeling of messiness is the Holy Spirit has a plan, that we don’t understand or have the blueprints to what is happening. So, to us it can appear messy!
On the day Pentecost was being fulfilled, all the disciples were gathered in one place. Suddenly they heard the sound of a violent blast of wind rushing into the house from out of the heavenly realm. The roar of the wind was so overpowering it was all anyone could bear! They were all filled and equipped with the Holy Spirit…
Acts 2:1-2, 4 AMP
Holy Spirit has been given to us that we may be filled and equipped just as Jesus was. We have the same vantage point as Jesus through the Holy Spirit living in us. We are able to see what the Father wants to do and do it!
But imagine sitting with others when the sound of a violent blast of wind rushing into the house roars while being filled and equipped with God’s Holy Spirit must have looked like and how it had to have messed with their thinking. After all they did not have the Book of Acts to reflect on.
Recently, Holy Spirit showed up after a mid-week service and to look at from a distance – it appeared messy – one wilted to the floor – another was crying while another laughed till they were out of breath. But each was filled with the presence of God receiving what He had for them.
Experimenting is Messy
When we accepted Jesus as our Savior and believed Jesus to be God’s Son we were saved by the blood. Through this we have received His Holy Spirit to establish His Kingdom on earth.
SO NOW — it is time to experiment with what He has given us. The reason I call this messy is that we must be willing to step into what God is doing in the moment, without fully understanding, as we trust God to understand.
Let me share a few stories of our experiments. These testimonies are how I am learning to walk in what appears to be a mess only because it is unexpected — but in reality, from His vantage point it is His radiance and beauty displayed for all to see. And once testimony is given we have a greater understanding of what really happened and it no longer appears to be messy, but so gloriously orchestrated.
At the beginning of worship one Sunday I had a word about God opening ears. I released the word and I went on and gave the message forgetting all about it.
While I am preaching, I notice a person sticking their finger in their ear — over and over. In my mind, I am thinking, is my mic up too loud? Is there something wrong with her?
Then, as I was closing the service, this same person began jumping up down saying, “Pastor, Pastor, can I say something.”
This may seem silly, but I had to decide — do I keep moving and get with them after or do I interrupt the closing and see what is happening? I did a quick check with the Holy Spirit. Interrupting the closing I invited them to speak.
At once a voice of excitement filled the air saying….
“God healed my ear while you were preaching. That is why I was sticking my finger — I was testing it! My ear is opened so I can hear.”
Emotionally Healed – Physically Healed –
During our Healing Rooms we had a man come in with arm crutches, bent over, barely able to walk even with his wife’s assistance.
As we begin to pray for him, we realized that there was a mess of emotional brokenness that has prevented his healing.
Normally, emotional healing is done by appointment separate from the Healing Rooms.
But, as I leaned in to the Holy Spirit and saw from God’s point of view God showed me the time was now and to deal with his emotional mess.
I knew I needed to ask him a few questions. These questions led him to receive forgiveness and he was able to be healed in both his heart and his body – the mess was cleared!
He walked out with his crutches held up over his head — standing straight, body moving freely, smiling and shouting!
Translated in Time
My friend and I were traveling to Black Mountain, NC. It was a snowy January and being a Florida girl, my driving skills for that weather were not that great. So, it was a slow, careful drive.
When we arrived at the hotel, I called my husband and told him we had arrived. His response, “This is impossible — you haven’t driven long enough to be there.”
But we were!
This was a major mess in our brains. God decided to move us to our destination in the way He wanted to — without us knowing what was happening. We were unable to wrap our minds around it, in fact, I could not talk about it for over a year.
For me, it was messy!
It has been 15 plus years since that first time and God continues to do this for me. And I still get messed up when it happens! Because it is so out of my norm.
We are the ones who equate the unexpected, the unexplained as messy. I want to reiterate what I said earlier —
We only have glimpses of what God is wanting to do through us. And for us, it appears to be a mess — but to God — it is His beautiful plan, which is perfectly orchestrated.
God is not messy — God is perfect. His plan is beautiful. His purposes are good.
I would love to hear about your messes!
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May 30, 2019
The Gathering with Jesus
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