As a prophet, it seems like every little tiny thing is a sign, and every nuance is something God is saying. Here is a good example.
I was on the couch yesterday and noticed my legs were peeling. Earlier in the day I noticed my arms were peeling. This was bizarre to me, because it seemed to me as though it was a delayed reaction. It has been almost three weeks since Darryl and I went tubing in New Braunfels. This would have been my only opportunity all summer to catch as much sun as it would take to get sunburned.
I never peel. Ever. So, this is a phenomenon that is unfamiliar to me personally. I know WHY I’m peeling, but usually by this time of year I have a nice deep base tan on my legs and arms from working on the farm with the chickens and garden. So much so that any amount of sunlight really never makes me burn or peel.
I’m not bragging or anything. I realized there was a spiritual principle being revealed by this supposedly “delayed reaction”. It wasn’t until this morning at church that I realized what it was.
Come on, you’re already this far. Just go a step or two further with me.
At church this morning Pastor talked about putting on the Armor of God in Ephesians 6:13, and how every act of Obedience to the Lord adds another layer of protection. He said the more often one obeys the voice of the Lord the thicker the garment gets. Of course, we all know that sometimes we “hear” things that the Pastor never said, but that instead what we heard was what God wanted us to hear. So, Pastor, if you read this and that’s NOT what you said, I’m sorry! It works for me!!
Anyway, that message made me think about peeling skin OFF. God first has to peel off the layers of junk in the world before we can effectively wear the Armor of God. I didn’t say, nor am I advocating, that one shouldn’t put on the Armor from Day one and never take it off!! I am simply saying that to EFFECTIVELY wear the Armor of God – as an action verb – we need to have less of the world on us and more of God. And His Armor.
It’s WORK to use our faith, don’t you agree? Faith is an “action verb”, but so is “wearing” the Armor of God! Each piece of our Armor requires that we “DO” something. We cannot just put it on and go trotting into the enemy’s camp! We have to exercise our faith, be truthful, decide to walk in peace, use the Sword of the Spirit and so forth.
The one that really hit me was the Helmet of Salvation. The scripture says “…we have the mind of Christ.” (1Cor. 2:16). Did you have to work really hard to “change your mind”? I sure did!! I was a scoundrel in the world! I thought really filthy thoughts, and did even dirtier deeds. But it’s the mind that controls what happens, for “as a man thinketh so is he” (Prov. 23:7). It took a long time for me to change my mind. Without God it would have been impossible!! However, Praise God that it is a continuous process, this “renewing of the mind” (Rom. 12:2).
Which brings us full circle, to the peeling issue. What happens when we peel is that we are sloughing off the dead skin cells, while allowing the new ones to come to the surface of our skin, being obviously changed from having been exposed to the sun. The “new” skin cells are there the whole time — they’re just not visible yet.
That is the same principle that happens when we are exposed to the Son. Our dead brain cells, or thoughts that lead to death, are sloughed off, and the obviously changed cells in our hearts and minds – that were there the ENTIRE TIME, they’re just not seen yet, they’re not EVIDENT — lead us on the path of righteousness to life “…and life more abundant” (John 10:10).
What is really exciting is that these “new” brain cells were there the whole time! The Bible says that God planned for us to be His children since before the creation of the world. He has our days numbered, every hair on our head is counted, He formed us in our mother’s womb….He knew, and because we were hand-selected since before the beginning of time, He put His own mind in us. Look at Romans 8:29-31….
“29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. 31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?… “
These changed thought patterns, and ‘new” life brain cells, if you will, give us the ability to choose to listen and obey the voice of our God. This increases our faith, gives us more spiritual “muscle”, and cloaks us in ever increasing Armor. And the cycle continues.
So, don’t be afraid to step out into the Son. You’ll be changed, OBVIOUSLY changed, for the better.