My teeth have been an ongoing topic because my struggles with dental health are a focal point for me, a type and shadow for the health of my very soul.
Anyway, in March (thanks Ma!) I got my initial partial to replace teeth that I’d lost from a variety issues. And for the first few weeks, I struggled. STRUGGLED. With what, you ask? I had accumulated some serious habits designed to hide the devastation of my mouth. How I covered my mouth to laugh. How I held my mouth a certain way to talk. How I had perfected the art of a tight lipped smile. How I moved my tongue around. With my mouth once again (mostly) filled with teeth, I was still doing the same things to cover my (now-fixed) shame. I was still relying on the crutches I had accumulated to hide my mouth. I was unused to being…normal.
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus “came out, his hands and feet bound in grave-clothes, his face wrapped in a head-cloth.” Jesus had to tell people there to unwrap him (John 11:44 NLT).
When you receive salvation, God is literally bringing your dead soul back to life by placing God’s Spirit within you. Though grace by faith in Jesus Christ, God is raising you from the death of sin. And yet, here you are. Wrapped in the bad habits–the grave cloths–that have come from years of living in iniquity, separated from God. Whole, but not sure how to live that way. Comfortable with the habits and desires of your personal grave even though you know in your heart you should not be.
Beyond the opportunity to not be separated from the presence of God and the fullness of joy therein for eternity (this is that part about hell folks be talking about, okay?), God wants you to live life abundantly. Whole. Complete. Totally secure. Lacking nothing. Chillaxin’. Coolin’. Unbothered. Unpressed. Happy and content and satisfied. I know, I know! Church folks never get around to talking about what the gospel really is because church folks like to control people, situations, finances, etc. And the best way to do that is to focus on the fear that can be culled from the word of God. But that ain’t what Jesus was trying to get you on. Jesus wanted you to know that if you can suffer the struggles of getting out yo grave clothes–if you can crucify your flesh, you can be free indeed. He didn’t ask you to sacrifice your life; Jesus asked you to give your life to Him–and He would take care of the rest. And who don’t wanna be taken care of in this piece? Tell me something cuz I’m tryna be taken care of!
Anyway, today, I pray for you, that you go back and begin to read the actual contract found in the word–the one that tells you alllllllllllllllllllllll that you have access to because you have (or you finna) accept Jesus as your personal savior and Lord. Listen, fam. I don’t blow smoke. You have so much available to you that you gone wanna go turn over all the tables at your old church. God wants you to live free: free from the penalty of sin (salvation, level 1); free from the power of sin (salvation, level 2); and free indeed (salvation, level 3). Free to be the wonderfully gifted and loving person that God placed on His mind before you blossomed in your mama’s belly. Free to be the person you dreamed about, pretended to be when you were little–before folks and life got to clickin and trippin. Let’s get free! The world needs us now.