Galatians 6:1 ESV
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
Today the Lord Jesus gave me a vision to illustrate what this is saying here:
Vision: I saw a young woman standing, facing left (or west) with a winter coat on. She had long straight hair and breath was coming out of her mouth. End
Working through the Symbols
As I began to work through the symbols of this vision, I could immediately see where this was all headed, and how it fit with this passage of scripture. For, the woman represents the church, but not all the church.
She represents the church which is unsullied, unmarked by the world of sin. She is clean, renewed, pure, upright, and shining as a light in a dark world.
She is immovable, enduring, abiding in Christ and in His Word, and she is suffering for her faith and for her testimony for Jesus Christ and for his gospel.
Yet, she is prevailing over the darkness, and is continuing and persisting in righteousness and holiness, and in the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
She is also facing – opposing, confronting and challenging that which is opposed to righteousness, purity and uprightness, i.e. that which is of the world and of the flesh of man (of the human nature).
She is also confronting spiritual apathy, which is unfriendliness towards God and towards his Word. And, she is opposing and challenging spiritual aloofness and hostility towards the gospel of our salvation, which is disdain, scorn and contempt for the true gospel message and for its messengers.
She is facing left, which often means west, so I felt as though this was about confronting the spiritual coldness (indifference) to the true gospel of our salvation, which is predominant within the church here in America.
Covering of Protection
Her coat (covering of protection) is a winter coat because it is protecting her from being touched (impacted) by this spiritual coolness and this hostility, disdain, scorn and contempt of the true gospel and of its messengers.
She is neither influenced by the coolness (indifference) nor is she deterred by it from her stand for what is righteous, holy and pure, and for what is obedient to Christ and to his Word. She will not let the hostility deter her from continuing to speak the truth.
And, that covering of protection is Jesus Christ, her Lord, and his gospel of salvation, and the Holy Spirit, and her walk of faith in Jesus Christ, by the Spirit, not living to fulfill the lusts of the flesh, but living to please her Lord. And, it is the armor of God which she must put on daily in order to fight off Satan’s evil schemes and his tricks and his attacks coming against her.
She is wearing this coat to protect her from the cold, i.e. it is what she put on as her protective covering, which then brought to mind the scriptures that speak of putting on Christ and his righteousness, putting on the armor of God, putting on faith, and being dressed in robes of righteousness, which is the righteous acts of God’s holy people.
It is winter outside, and winter, besides meaning cold, can also mean ending, conclusion or closing. So, I sense this is speaking of the last days before the return of Christ, which is where we are now. And, it is speaking of the church at the end of time, too, i.e. either of those who are hot (on fire) for the Lord, or of those who are spiritually indifferent to the Lord Jesus.
Outside can also mean unknown or unfamiliar, which I believe also describes these last days, in particular the days yet to come where we are definitely headed into unfamiliar territory with the rise of this beast who is coming to rule the entire world.
Her Head Covering
The Bible speaks of a woman’s hair as her head covering and also symbolic of the authority which is over her head. For the true church, the authority (covering) over her head is Jesus Christ.
And, her hair is also the outgrowth (produce, fruit, result) coming from her head (mind). And, the mind has to do with our thinking, believing and attitudes, too, which are either given over to the flesh or over to Christ and his Spirit.
For, what we truly believe will be evidenced in how we live, no matter what we say we believe, for what we say may not always agree with how we live.
Her hair (the fruit coming from her mind) is straight, i.e. it is honest, fair, law-abiding, upright, trustworthy, pure, moral, and righteous. It is unmixed and unadulterated with the world of sin, or with those living worldly lives, or with the idols of the flesh, or with the false (cheap) grace gospel which is permeating the church here in America. And, this fruit is continuous and ongoing in her life, because her life is given wholly over to God.
Since her mind is set on Christ and on his righteousness and holiness, the fruit coming from her mind is holiness, godliness, purity and righteousness, which is a sign that the authority over her mind is indeed Jesus Christ.
Out of Our Mouths
The Bible states that what comes out of our mouths comes from what is within our hearts. I am not saying this is 100% of the time, for no one is perfect, but this should describe us and how we are consistently, regularly and habitually (what we practice).
So, if what is in our minds (thinking, believing, attitudes), and what is in our hearts (the center of our being, the core of who we are) is what is wicked, unrighteous, unholy, impure, and immoral, this is what will come out in our actions, our behaviors, our attitudes, but also in our speech, i.e. our words.
But, if our lives represent this woman, though again not saying 100%, but consistently, persistently, and habitually, that means our minds are set on Christ and on His Word and on His holiness and righteousness. Therefore, our actions, our behaviors, our attitudes and our words should consistently and habitually (in practice) reflect that righteousness and holiness.
For, many people say they believe in Jesus Christ. They say with their words that they are followers of Jesus and that they believe they have eternal life with God. But, by their lifestyles they deny him consistently, habitually, i.e. by what they practice, and by how they conduct their lives day in and day out. So, their “belief” is intellectual only, because it has not moved its way into their hearts (into the core of who they are).
Thus, the outgrowth of their minds is what is impure, unholy and immoral.
Breath of Life
Thus, this woman, especially now in these last days before the return of Christ, is speaking truth into the church, and she is proclaiming the words of life, i.e. God’s God-breathed words which bring life and not death. Under the power and authority and direction of the Holy Spirit she is speaking God’s messages to the church who is indifferent to the truth of the gospel.
And, much of her proclamations of God’s God-breathed words, which bring life, are being done publicly, out in the open, and on the internet, where the whole world can read them or hear them. For right now, anyway, these spoken words are available to anyone with internet access, or access to the radio, or to TV, though we must be very discerning, for not all which calls itself “the gospel” is truly the gospel according to Jesus Christ.
And, the reason that she is making these proclamations of the truth of the gospel, and the reason she is confronting the fruitless deeds of darkness, and lies and deceptions and what is immoral and impure, is for the salvation of human lives, and for the revival (restoration) of the wayward church.
Restore with Gentleness
But, just know here that to restore this wayward (cold) church to a right relationship (standing) with God, and with gentleness, does not mean in weakness. It does not mean we back away from saying what is true out of fear of hurting other people’s feelings. For, sometimes to mend a broken leg bone doctors have to maneuver the bone back into place so they can reset it (restore it). And, this can be a painful process.
Also know that this word “gentle” means “gentle strength” or “gentle force” which expresses power with reserve, i.e. with “the checking of oneʼs true feelings and impulses when dealing with others” (M-W). And, this is done in the empowerment and strength of the Holy Spirit under His direction and guidance, through faith in Christ and in the truths of His Word, and with hearts of love committed to seeing others find true freedom in Christ.
So, bottom-line here is that before we attempt to help our wayward brothers and sisters back on to the right path, we need to be walking that right path ourselves, as this church illustrated here is doing, consistently and persistently. And, if we are walking that right path, led of the Holy Spirit, then we will have the passion and the compassion of Jesus Christ in our lives to want to help our brothers and sisters in Christ to freedom in Christ.
So, we will stand strong in our faith with the mighty armor of God in place, and we will proclaim the truth, and confront the lies, because we care about the wayward church and the people of this world who are not walking in holiness, but who are still following after the flesh.
And, we won’t let persecution deter us from speaking and living the truth, nor will we allow ourselves to be caught up in the ways of the world and thus lose our testimony for our Lord. But, we will be strong in the Lord and in his mighty strength. Amen!
Broken and Contrite
An Original Work / May 13, 2012
I come before You, Lord, my Savior,
With humble heart and crushed in spirit.
I bow before You, I implore You,
Heal my broken heart, I pray.
Love You, Jesus, Lord, my master,
You are the King of my heart.
Lord, purify my heart within me;
Sanctify me, whole within.
Oh, Lord, I long to obey fully
The words You’ve spoken through Your Spirit.
I pray You give me grace and mercy,
Strength and wisdom to obey.
Father God, my heart’s desire,
Won’t You set my heart on fire?
Lord, cleanse my heart of all that hinders
My walk with You, now I pray.
Oh, Jesus, Savior, full of mercy,
My heart cries out for understanding.
I want to follow You in all ways,
Never straying from Your truth.
Holy Spirit, come in power,
Fill me with Your love today.
Lord, mold and make me;
Your hands formed me;
Live Your life through me, I pray.
Thursday, January 24, 2019