The Prisoner In Cell Block #6

Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. I Samuel 15:1-3

(Disclaimer: Okay, this one is a little “dark”. This blogger is allowed one every now and then. Besides, it may be excusable as this post is being written from the city of writers from the likes of Edgar Allen Poe and such. Maybe it pervades the atmosphere). So here we go.

Some Kings Cannot Live

God instructed King Saul to destroy all of the Amalekites in the land and not to leave one standing. He didn’t. Saul did not obey God’s orders. And it cost Saul his soul.

He kept an Amalekite alive. Not only just an Amalekite, but the head honcho of all people – King Agag. Saul played around with the enemy as if he were his own personal pet. Playing with sin is a fool’s game. It will burn you every time. Saul fed Agag bread and water (symbolically speaking) to sustain his life as he toyed with him.

How many of us keep things alive in our lives that God commands to be destroyed? How many Amalekites do we slide bread and water beneath the iron bars of our minds and hearts just to barely sustain them and keep them breathing? They are likened to insidious little pets or obscene, perverted parasites who we find tantalizing to keep entertained.

How many? And Why? The answer is simple. Control. We want to keep control over some things in our lives and not turn them over to God. We can serve in the church and still maintain a level of uncommitted self in our lives. Dying out to sin (and as the song says – “Breaking Up”) is hard to do. Turning it all over to Jesus is hard to do and hard to sustain. The way of the cross (as one writer penned it) “was not an easy sell to the Jews (Israel)” in Jesus’ day. And if we are really, really, really (emphasis on “really”?) honest with ourselves, the cross is likewise not an easy sell in our day and age.

And If the Amalekites in our lives ever find freedom their first victim with be the one who has held them captive – me and you. And they will put their former master into the now empty cell they previously occupied. The Amalekites must die. They must.

There are some things God will never resurrect after dying. There are some things in our lives that must remain in the grave. If not, they will destroy us and thwart God’s will. Sin always breeds a litany of ominous bystanders. Sin never operates alone. It will find converts and canvas for disciples. Sin is always looking to enslave. Sin hunts diligently for occupiers to fill its empty cell blocks.

The Bible tells us that Hell is never full, is never satiated and will always be looking to fill vacancies in the corridors of its empty jail cells:

Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied. Proverbs 27:20

Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.
Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. Isaiah 5:13-14

There are three things that are never satisfied, yea,four things say not, It is enough:
The grave… ; Proverbs 30:15-16

And we must never think it could never happen to me or to you. Oh yes it can. Well, at this point some will turn off and move on. Before you do that, please read this:

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12

A Potential King Born In Shame

Solomon was not the next rightful son to ascend the throne and inherit the blessings and honor of the Davidic kingdom. Solomon actually had an older brother that he never saw nor knew. An unnamed child was conceived and birthed from the tryst between his father and Bathsheba:

And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.
And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. 2 Samuel 12:15, 18

This innocent child was not destined to live nor was it the Lord’s will for this child to inherit the throne. He is never mentioned again after his death. This unnamed son never lived to see or experience the kingly inheritance rightly due him. There is nothing more heartbreaking to a parent than to experience a child’s passing, especially prematurely. The emphasis here is not intended in any way to minimize the loss of precious human life, but on the judgment of David’s sin.

It was a potential kingly dynasty cut short. A child whose life briefly flirted with royalty, but never lived to see the fulfillment of his kingly inheritance. His brother Solomon would receive that honor and the prestige that should have been his vaporized. An unknown, potential king forever lost in Israel’s ancestral vein of royalty. This unnamed son would not be included in the lineage of King David, nor in the recorded lineage of Jesus Christ.

One remarkable aspect concerning this child is that he was nameless. The child lived for seven days, and against Jewish tradition, was never given a name. The son lived one day short of the commandment to be circumcised – on the eighth day.

There was a reason. It tells us that somehow David and Bathsheba understood the brevity of this child’s life. This child was not meant to be. For seven days this child stood as the heir apparent, the next King of Israel.

Upon learning of his son’s death, the king was heart-broken. He wept. He fasted. He mourned. And he hurt. Sin will always do that. Especially those who are called to be kings. God’s people, the king’s and priests of the Lord. King David knew he sinned. His sin hurt his own soul. His sin hurt Bathsheba.

But, worst of all he knew his sin hurt the One he dreaded the most to hurt – His sin hurt the God he loved.

Can God forgive a man and/or woman who have made the decision to abort an unwanted pregnancy? Can God forgive those guilty of adultery  or fornication? Oh, yes most definitely. If the Lord forgave King David (and He did – read Psalm 32 & 51, the same man who wrote Psalm 23), he will certainly forgive anyone who sincerely repents and calls upon His name. Perhaps it was King David’s intense brokenness towards his son’s death that somehow affected God’s ultimate decision to grant David tremendous measures of mercy and grace. God only knows.

Can we trust Him? Can we really believe that God will forgive us for sins? The hideous ones? Those nobody wants to talk about? The ones that you do not want to acknowledge, the ones that you cringe to even think will again come to the surface? The ones that keep us forever encased in a perpetual jail cell?

No? It is a lie from the pits of hell.

Yes He will. Our God is merciful. Your God is merciful. Ask Him. Cry and weep before Him. He will hear you and forgive you. Who are you to hold on to it?

How will you know He has forgiven you? You will feel it. You will know because when He heals you you will feel clean. You will feel whole. You will feel forgiven and free. And lastly, you will know because you will feel something you have never experienced before the sin – PEACE.

Peace can only come from one source – Jesus Christ:

For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. Isaiah 54:10

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. Isaiah 48:22

It Will Cost Us Something

I apologize here for lapsing into the first person voice. One objective when starting this blog was to deliberately make it not “about me”.

But, in prayer on the morning of February 12th I asked God to give me more. Give me something that is real. I want the “real deal” from God. I don’t want to be an imposter, a hypocrite, the shell of a former believer.

Okay, and I will tell you what He said. Can you believe that? God actually talking to someone? Talking even to you? Yes He does and yes He will.

And what did He say you might ask?

He said four words:

“It will cost you”.

Doesn’t it always! Can we really expect Him to ask anything less of us. It will cost you. It will cost me. If we really want the goods from God, it is going to cost us something.

Why? It cost Him. It cost Him EVERYTHING!

I will regress here. And please understand that this blogger’s intentions are innocent.

Someone reading the last few paragraphs are going to tune out and immediately start down the road of grace, God’s grace. Hollering, “But, God’s grace”. Screaming God’s grace! “We are saved by grace and not by works”. You can’t “earn your salvation”. “Eternal life is free. He paid the price, not us”. “Once saved, always saved”. However, mind the words from a great saying of old: “Grace is free, but it ain’t cheap.”

“Even if I die drunk in an automobile accident, I can’t be lost if I wanted to”.

Really? I wonder what the one in hell who did die drunk in an automobile accident would have to say about that? It is something to think about.

Still believe that you cannot be lost? Before writing this blogger off, please consider the following verses before making that call:

Galatians 5:7
I Timothy 5:11-12
Hebrews 12:15
James 5:19-20
II Peter 1:10, 2:1, 20-21
Revelation 3:5

What does this all mean?

So, it’s not going to cost us anything? We just go about our business, live for God any way we want and show up in heaven and say: “Here I am Jesus! Been waiting for this day. Just me and you along with the heavenly host.”

I want to be healed. I want to see others healed. You don’t have to be a proverbial rocket scientist to see that we are living in a broken world that is made up of broken people. And if we are really honest with ourselves we have to conclude that we are living in the midst of brokenness.

And I will be so presumptuous and arrogant here to say that you and I all have pieces of our lives and shards of self scattered all over the face of the earth. We are broken. And we need a Savior. Desperately.

Just like the character in the story “Humpty Dumpty”, we have fallen off the wall and all of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men cannot put us back together again. Earth’s kings – never. Heaven’s KING – Oh Yes!

It is going to cost us. Yes. There will be a price to pay for it. But, it will be worth it. Anything will be worth going through if we come out at the end HEALED, WHOLE and HEAVEN-BOUND.

When God decides to open the door of our jail cell and forever close a regrettable chapter in our lives, we need to honor His sovereignty, keep it shut and not allow it to surface, breathe again and live. Like David and Bathsheba’s first child, it cannot be resurrected.

There comes a time when a past action, actions, inactions or behavior has produced offspring when God says: “This can no longer live. This offspring has got to die”.

And whether we realize it or not, we and those close and dear to us are the better for it.

It is painful. It hurts. It hurts deeply. But, it is necessary and needful. For the consequences, if left unchecked, are more catastrophic if allowed to mature, grow and develop.

Offspring conceived outside the plan God has for our lives. We have all birthed future kings in our lives that if allowed to live on would become overlords and masters that will drive us down a path of destruction. Kings birthed that are not meant to live. And God has chosen it to be that way. They must die and not live. Just as with King Saul and King Agag.

The Bible gives us some insight into offspring who were allowed to live and the destruction and chaos left in their wake. Our thoughts go back to Cain, Ishmael, Nimrod, Absalom, Ahab, Ahaziah, and many others.

How many kings have we conceived in our lives that have grieved the heart of Almighty God? Let’s start with these: Unforgiveness. Guilt. SHAME. Lust. Greed. Lying. Cursing. Ungodly thoughts. Fill in the blank ____________ .

The Number Six

Why cell block #6? The number 6 is the number of imperfection, the number of incompleteness. The number of carnality. The number of man. Left unrestored and unregenerated by the blood of Jesus, it is our number – 6, incomplete.

May the God of heaven help the person looking in the mirror search his or her heart and reveal any prisoners that may be lurking in cell block number 6:

But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets… Daniel 2:28

Yes, yes there is, there is a God in heaven that “revealeth secrets” and the Lord handles them in love, with integrity, dignity, sincerity, compassion, and grace.

What are your secrets? Tell him about them. He already knows all about them anyway. It is time to leave cell block #6 and be healed. In Jesus’ name.

If you are not connected to a body of believers, pray that the Lord will lead you to the right one. He will, but you have to ask for it takes a spiritual body to heal spiritual matters:

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3:5

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38

Be Blessed on your journey. God is very good.

Shame

Definition – noun: a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety, a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute. (Merriam-Webster)

Hearing the word itself evokes thoughts and feelings that make us want to turn our head in another direction.

It might be said that there is nothing that grieves the heart of God more than seeing a soul of His suffering under the burden of shame. Shame has to get God’s attention. It is not the will of God that people suffer under the weight of shame.

How do I know that? The Word gives us clear-cut proof this is indeed the case.

A Man Named Cain

The man is Cain, the famous brother of Abel. Most people having any familiarity with the Bible know about the interchange between Cain and Abel.

In short, Abel had a heartbeat for the things of God. Able wanted to please the Lord and do things God’s way. Cain also wanted to please the Lord. However, Cain wanted to do things “his” way. God’s sacrificial requirement was fulfilled by blood, the slaying of an animal.

Abel’s sacrifice was accepted. Cain’s was not. Cain became jealous of his brother and killed him.

Have you ever wondered why the Lord allowed Cain to live after he killed his innocent brother Abel? I have. Why didn’t God just strike him dead and annihilate him for his selfish, despicable deed?

It could be answered by the following two verses:

And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. Genesis 4:13-14

God knew Cain’s heart. Cain regretted his act, and in, essence repented of his sin. Cain really did want to please God. He really did. He did not want to be separated from the ‘face’ of God, God’s presence. And God heard Cain’s acknowledgement of shame.

There was another man who committed an act just as grievous as Cain’s. His name was David. He also did not want to be separated from God’s presence after his own entanglement with shame and sin:

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Psalm 51:11

Psalm 51. The song of David’s repentance, “When Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba” (and after having her husband’s death pre-arranged).

Another man acquainted with shame.

Cain’s words did something to the heart of God. David’s words in Psalm 51 did something to the heart of God. The Lord hears cries of shame. And it does something inside of His heart.

Why? Because God had a plan to address the sin issue, the shame issue.

The Romans designed crucifixion as a method of death in the most shameful, disgraceful way possible. It was a fulfillment of God’s plan way before the thought entered their mind:

His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; for he that is hanged is accursed of God; that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. Deuteronomy 21:23

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Galatians 3:13

Jesus knows what shame is. Jesus Christ died in shame the worst way possible by the way of the cross:

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

And Jesus is intimately aware of any shame present in our lives.

The Pain of Shame

Let me detract here. This blogger has remarked previously that this blog is intended to be angled from the third-person perspective. The intention of the blog is to not be “about me”.

But, let’s digress here. I will humble myself for the benefit of whoever might come across this blog post and be helped and be healed. The subject of this post is heart-felt. I know personally what shame is all about.

In fact, I have suffered under the weight of shame most of my life, specifically for the past 45 years. That is a long time to live in pain.

You might ask: Forty-five years of what? Time, space and the venue constrict unfolding all the details. But, basically forty-five years of sinful acts and habits or feeling guilt about those past habits, forty-five years of destructive thought patterns (the Bible defines them as ‘strongholds’), forty-five years of living with a conscience defiled by shame.

But, let me tell you God has healed me. It was a process that started five years ago.

Who healed me? The power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ (the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost) healed me. How? Through the prayers of His people. I could not do it by myself. If I could it would have happened sooner.

It is a process. A process where His body, the body of Christ, plays the pivotal role. The natural body can heal itself of things physically related, but not the things that go down deep, at the soul and spiritual level. You cannot heal yourself of spiritual wounds which includes shame. You need the church. I need the church.

No matter how ‘super spiritual’ I may think I am or how ‘super spiritual’ you may think you are, we can’t take this journey alone, this journey of being healed of shame. We desperately need each other.

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:15-16

Be Healed

Let me give you some sound advice. Don’t allow shame to foul the precious life God has given you. It is not God’s will. It is a waste. God loves you. He really does.

We must understand that God sees the pain of our shame. God is interested in our shame. And God is the healer of shame!

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

God is not a healer. God is the healer. God is still in the miracle-working business.

He will heal our shame if we ask him. Do you really believe that? Then why don’t you get on your knees and tell him about it and see what happens? Start the process now. Pray for the Lord to lead you to a spirit-filled body of believers who will pray for your healing.

Be healed. Live for Jesus. And be Blessed.