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take & eat

take & eat.png

I’m not sure if I’m focused on this concept because I’m hungry or what, but here we go.

I often forget that the enemy never has the upper hand.

I’m in the middle of a season of crap. Just grey, dreary crap. And it’s not just me, but those I love are in the middle of crap too. It has, simply put, been a really weary season in a lot of different ways.

I have seen up close & personal that the enemy comes only to steal and kill and destroy. And – especially in isolation –  I forget the rest of the story. That Jesus came to give life and give it abundantly.

I love the way Jesus sets it up in John 10:10 – “the enemy does that, I do this.”

Jesus steps in and flips the script on what satan is trying to accomplish.

Which brings me to: “take & eat.”

In Genesis 3, we read about the serpent tempting Eve. He taunts her with, “Did God actually say…” – manipulating God’s truth and planting doubt in Eve’s mind. And she falls for it. The enemy essentially says, “Take and eat. You’ll be fine! God just doesn’t want you to eat this fruit because you’ll be like Him. Don’t you want that? Don’t you want to be your own god?”

So, she takes & eats.
And so does Adam.

And in comes brokenness and disobedience and shame and separation from the Holy One who created them.

The enemy does that.

Then Jesus does this:

And when the hour came, he [Jesus] reclined at the table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

Luke 22:14-20

Jesus’ invitation to His disciples: take & eat.

He redeemed that which the enemy marred.
He took the invitation that ushered in death and remade it into an invitation that brings life.
He made the meal and the invitation new.

And guess what?

He’s going to do it again.

When Christ returns – just as He said He would – and sets all things right, we’re going to have another meal together.

I imagine being at the marriage supper of the Lamb, Jesus standing at the head of the table with a glass raised high, arms outstretched and declaring to all in attendance, “Take & eat.”

It makes me weepy thinking about how God is actively making all that the enemy has broken new and whole once again. How even in the middle of what feels like death, satan still doesn’t have the upper hand.

All of the crap, all of the weariness, is being pierced with light and given fresh life. The season is being restored, whether I can see it happening in the here & now or not.

It is.
Jesus is still in the business of giving life and giving it abundantly.
He is still flipping the script on the lies the serpent tries to tell His people.

The bread might be dry, and the wine a little bitter, but the invitation to take & eat is enough hope to hold on to for today.

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When Purity is about more than just not “Doin It”

It should be noted that I’m not mature enough to type out the technical term for “doin it” yet. I still giggle a little when I say it out loud.

I may still be a middle schooler.

Since I’m a girl and I grew up in a conservative church, I’ve had the “purity talk” many, many times. My entire adolescence was filled with True Love Waits rallies, awkward discussions about sexual activity, and talks about saving myself for marriage.

The problem with all of this was that I never knew why. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to “do it” with anyone but my husband, but the only motivation I had to wait until marriage was that God would be unhappy with me and I’d never be able to be redeemed from that sin.

I recently read a book by Beth Moore called “So Long Insecurity.” I can’t recommend this book highly enough for all the ladies in the house tonight. In it, Beth discusses our roots of insecurity, types of insecurity, identity issues, and what it looks like to fight to overcome insecurity.

In my journal I have the following quote from that book written down:

Contrary to the claims of our sensual culture, we were not created merely for sexual gratification.

What I love about this quote is that it’s reaffirming that I was not created for myself. But guess what, I wasn’t necessarily created for my husband either. I was created to bring glory to God.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.-Romans 12:1

My life–mind, body, spirit–is made to be a living sacrifice to the Lord.

But here’s the kicker. Purity in my life and relationships doesn’t mean just don’t have sex. (Ugh. I said it. And now I’m giggling) It doesn’t mean to find the line of what I can & cannot do with my boyfriend.

Purity goes beyond that. It means that I choose to chase after Jesus over chasing after a line that I may or may not cross with a guy. It means that I am held accountable to people around me that know my struggles of the flesh. It means that my motive is no longer to please myself, but to please God. It means that I was not created merely for sexual gratification, but that I was created to glorify God in my body (1 Corinthians 6:20).*

And for those of us that have struggled with sexual sin, guess what…we CAN be redeemed from that! We HAVE been redeemed from that!

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Jesus has made us–all of us–new. We can live in the freedom that He provides. We can chose to run away from the line and into the arms of Christ.

Purity is about more than just not doin it. Purity is about chasing after Jesus because He is better.

*I couldn’t have a post about sexual purity and not put something from 1 Corinthians in it. #typical

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