“Come and See” is written from the story of the woman at the well who meets Jesus, and then goes from hiding in her sin to proclaiming His ability to really see her. The Messiah sees all we have done…and still offers us abundant life, and real healing encounters with Yahweh, the God of their forefathers, through worship in Spirit and truth, and freedom through Living Water (the Holy Spirit).
When I experienced the piercing seeing of God, His rescue of my heart began. It was when I opened up to be seen by Him every day that started my journey of healing from anxiety and panic attacks. As I sat with Him and listened to what He had to say, I began to trust that He would not reject me or hurt me, because everything he pointed out to me about my heart was said with such gentleness and love I could not be afraid of Him anymore. At the root of my anxiety was sin. It was controlling arrogance, pride, selfish motivation, a love of self. And despite this, He was not there to punish me. All my punishment was carried by Jesus. Instead, He was offering me freedom, but these other things would have to die. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, this oil, this light, this precious thing we buy that costs everything. We buy the oil that makes the light, that makes the fire. It is the Holy Spirit at all costs. Anything that dims the Spirit’s life in me is ruthlessly eliminated, not out of fear, but out of love–love for God, but also love for how it is to live this way. It truly is better. Way better. Come and see!
It seemed crazy to start and walk in this way, but every step led to greater freedom. As I surrendered all my hopes, dreams, and plans and submitted to life in His service, led by His Spirit, subject to His law of love, my heart expanded to hold this fire, this passion, no longer for my name, for my recognition, but for His glory. I had tried to live for His glory before, but this was different. It is nothing outside of me anymore. He is inside me, on fire, burning, and I am simply living in His glory, in full flight, fully filled, and the fire does not die.
In the story in John 4, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman…she is hiding. She is ashamed of her choices. And yet Jesus asks her for water. He engages with her and says give me what you have so you can hear what I have to offer you, which is infinitely better and more real. The woman gives him water, he says,
She doesn’t understand. So she engages him in a conversation about the protocols of worship—where should we worship.
When the woman at the well is talking to Him about where to worship and he doesn’t quite answer her question the way she wants.
He offers her living water instead…
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”17
Notice he didn’t answer her question about theology first, He spoke to her core need.
What a gut-wrenching moment that would have been for her.
“I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
And finally she sees Him, and she sees the reality of her value, because He saw her and knew her.
What convinces this woman to drink the living water was the fact that Jesus offered it to her and then proved that He saw to her core need…to be seen, though she had avoided staring eyes. To be confronted by truth, though she lived a lie. To be known, even though she felt ashamed. Jesus knows us. He already knows the people we love in our lives and around the world. And He knows their core needs too. And He wants us to be able to meet that need by His power—which requires a reliance on Him and His Spirit and a determination to get at the root issues in peoples lives in cultures.
Jesus was fully aware of what that woman’s deep needs are. HE saw her sin, and knew exactly how to manage it. And don’t think for a second that we are identifying primarily with Jesus in this parable…we are the woman!
And all of us have sinned…Sin is just simply that disobedience to God’s moral law, the mutiny of which is rooted in the belief and actions that WE KNOW what’s best and most enjoyable for US more than God does). Sin is not just making a mistake. Sin is the deliberate decision to disobey based on the presumption that we are better than God at directing our lives. As a parent, I don’t get mad when my children make mistakes (although when they get in the car and we go somewhere and they don’t have their SHOES on? —I mean really? What IS that?). But what makes me livid is when they make the deliberate decision to disobey based on the conscious or subconscious presumption that they are smarter than I am and know better than I do as to how they should do things. In reality Disobedience is based in their distrust of me. Sin is based in our distrust of God.
But guess what.
When we make the moral decision to reject our sin and turn instead to trust in Christ’s sacrifice for our punishment, we are invited to be seen without judgment, so we can be healed and whole again. As we choose obedience and holiness, washing ourselves in the water of baptism, being filled with the Spirit, declaring our decision to be done with a life of “self-protection, self-reliance, and self-satisfaction,” the same Spirit that was in Jesus, the living water of the Holy Spirit enters into US and enables us to address our woundedness, but also engage people and cultures at the very POINT of their need! Just like Jesus did.
The woman’s felt need was to get water. Jesus knew she needed to meet Him. The Holy Spirit will teach us Where to go to meet the people who need meet and go deeper with Jesus. He will perfectly place us for perfectly timed ministry. The woman needed to hide/to appear normal
Jesus knew that she Needs to be seen and to be perceived as unique. The Holy Spirit will help us see why people feel like they need to hide/what needs to come to the surface. In ethnodoxology this looks like spirit led participant observation, where we are prayerfully observing culture. The woman’s felt need was to know the answers. But what her core need was was to see Jesus for who He is. The Holy Spirit in us will help us see when people need to be re-focused or shift focus to Christ. This adds a simplicity and intentionality to our work in global contexts. She said she wanted to know where and how to worship. Jesus needed to redefine altogether what true worship is in Spirit and in truth. The Holy Spirit will also give us wisdom in conflict resolution to understand what the transcultural theological issues are that underlie the felt needs/superficial debates. She thought she needed to be taken care of by a person (and tried many options) but her core need was to be truly loved. Jesus will help us know what the truest form of love is in a given situation.
The Album, SOIL, was written from the parable of Mark chapter 4 in the Bible which describes our hearts as the soil in which the Word is planted. Some hearts are full of rocks (fears and trauma), thorns (love of money, worries and cares of this world, desire for other things), and some are so dry you cannot even get the seed to penetrate the soil. It is stolen by the enemy. So the invitation is to allow God to soften our hearts again and return to a position of trusting reliance with Him by repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus.
At Beloved Creative Studio, we celebrate the love of God and loving God through writing, art, and music! Our family tries to serve others with the gospel of Jesus Christ, in love, generosity, hospitality, word and action. We also consider as our family all of those who confess Jesus as savior and the only way to the Father- those who live loved and led by God. Because Jesus died and His blood covered the ransom for me from sin, I can be who I was created to be. I am free from sin’s grip and free to obey God from a heart of love. I run in the path of His commands with lots of room for joy and hope for the future. Beloved was a name given to me by Him as a name under which to do creative projects, and He invited me to take on His name for His fame.
You can stream “Just Soil” from all streaming platforms now! Just don’t get it confused with the heavy metal groups out there who also happen to be called Beloved. This may help…
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