You Are A Gift

And gifts are for unwrapping

This morning, one of my pastors at church was talking about allowing God to unwrap us. He was drawing from John 11:38-44 and was really hitting on a lot of heart places. He spoke of how after Jesus resurrected Lazarus from the dead, Jesus told the family and friends of Lazarus to unwrap him. He told them to take off his grave clothes and then let him go free. Pastor Jurgen explained that when one comes to Jesus and makes that decision to follow Him, spiritually we are free. We are no longer going to be found dead in sin and we are no longer under the control of death, meaning our spirits will find eternal rest in Heaven at the end of days. But, we still have to be freed from everything else, such as our earthly constraints. He went on to say that we need unwrapping after coming to Jesus because we are still wrapped in where we just came from. Places like abuse or divorce begin to wrap us up and bind us in ways that make it difficult for God to use us to the capacity which He would like and which He intends because we still operate out of our "death cloths". Those wrappings also determine how we see and experience things around us.

He said we get unwrapped by allowing the Church (also know as the Body) to do it when we serve in it and connect to others in it. As much of a people person I appear to be, I prefer to be by myself because I find it hard to trust others. I feel as if I'm going through a lot of this whole unwrapping business and it's not easy. Moving in with people I didn't know previously and sharing my life with them is not a very comfortable place in which to be, not because there is anything wrong with them but because there is still a bit of my heart that has not been "unwrapped". I like my own space and I don't enjoy having to place trust and reliance on others. I like being as independent as I can be but as a Christian, I am meant to rely on others and not do life alone. And if there is one thing that this new church of mine focuses on a lot, it's to have community and go through life with others.

Something else Pastor J said was really stirring, he said to the degree that we have been "unwrapped" is the degree to which God is able to use us. This is where things can get difficult, guys. Getting unwrapped is not the best feeling because there is so much to face. But for the sake of being used by God and for Him, we have to go through the difficult process. We can't throw out the promise because of the process, or the potential because of the problematic journey (Pastor J).

What I took away from this message today was this: after salvation, the hardest part begins. We have to be unwrapped and loosed but we have to allow the process, we have to cooperate because God will not force us. Maybe you are being pricked by this and you're in a place where you need to be unwrapped and loosed. Ask God to help you and give it all to Him. Know it's going to be uncomfortable and will probably hurt when certain bandages are being removed but Jesus will not abandon you on this journey of healing. He will stand by you all the way.

Happy 14 days until Christmas!!


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