Pearl 19: Lay Down Your Stones
Can I just say that I love how God works? I created these images over a month ago as led by the Holy Spirit to share with you as a part of 21 Pearls to transform your life. Between the transformation of an old Budweiser building into our church, The Well, and preparing for events, I have been a little distracted as you can imagine;) So here I am just now getting to Day 19:) As I sit to write each day, I select the Pearl for that day always being surprised as to where the Spirit will lead us. So when I pulled up this pearl, I just laughed, because this past weekends event in Joplin, Missouri was about laying down stones and picking up stones and believe words that God puts on stones instead of what the world says about us. It was a weekend of stones! And the pearl today is....Lay Down Your Stones!
God is obviously calling us to lay down our stones, so hopefully today is a day of freedom for someone. When I think of stones, I immediately think of the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery. Though the law says both man and woman caught in such an act would be stoned, they only grab her. We can assume she is barely dressed, if at all. We can assume she is gripped with fear for her life while shame, guilt, and condemnation are rising up from a deep dark place that has overtaken her soul. The humiliation must have been unbearable as she is taken to the feet of Jesus.
However, to the surprise of the men who place her on display for all to see, Jesus doesn't condemn her. He doesn't further wound her spirit with His words. He doesn't lash out a hand or give the eyes of disapproval. Jesus says, "You without sin cast the first stone." And to her surprise the men drop their stones and leave. Can you imagine The way of Jesus was different than Law. The way of Jesus for many was scandalous. He operated out of love and grace and mercy.
To be like Jesus we must see as He does and love like He does and be a vessel of Grace like He is.
What I have seen is that so many are missing their destiny or the fullness Jesus came to bring, because they are holding on to stones though the call of Jesus was to lay them down. I have ministered to women who stood on both sides of that line though. There are those that feel such great need to see restitution for their pain and someone should pay. And while your pain is valid, the problem is that holding on to that stone is more toxic to your own soul than theirs. The person that hurt you 3 months ago, or 3 years, or 30 years ago did the damage then, but yet even today the pain lingers. Haven't you lost enough of your life? Laying this stone down is not about them, but about your freedom.
The other woman I see more often that I would have ever imagined is the woman that holds the stone aimed at the woman in the mirror. Her disappointment in herself over her choices or how her life as turned out have stolen her joy. Her regret over her past pain has played a huge part in nailing her to current circumstances and have kept her living in a place permanently that should have been a season.
May I take you back to Jesus and the adulterous woman? He told her ....I don't condemn you for there is no condemnation in Christ, so go and sin no more.
He didn't demand 7 steps to freedom or penance or intense therapy. He said, Go, and basically in a moment she was restored. He is in the business of instant restoration and us living captive when He gave His life for our freedom is like saying what you did was not enough. Wasn't it enough sister?
He came to set you free. It seems almost too good to be true, but He says I make all things new and that includes you!
Today, will you lay down your stone!
The woman in the mirror is dying to be set free!
In His Grip,