To begin with this isn’t the blog post I intended to write. The Holy Spirit has a way of hijacking my intentions and blowing up my brain in wholly and holy unexpected ways. This blog post is a result of a few of those difficult, mind-blowing encounters.
I spent the weekend with my life-long friend Pat. That she also happens to be my cousin is just the butter cream frosting on an already delicious layer cake. Pat understands in some deep, unspoken way that the root word of hospitality is hospital and there is always healing for me in her unhurried, attentive, prayerful, LMAO presence. Such things cannot be taught but must be caught as the saying goes. Well, this is one of many things I pray to catch from Pat. There is such freedom in being known as deeply as Pat knows me.
At church on Sunday I sat next to Pat as we sang in Spanish and English, “Hay poder en el nombre de Jesus para romper cadenas. There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain…” GREAT SONG in any language but “romper cadenas” just sort of rolls off the tongue. I do love Spanish, well-spoken. There I am minding my own business when the Holy Spirit taps me on the shoulder and shows me a picture of myself handcuffed to a nameless, faceless person. I was trying to drag this guy straining with all my might to no avail. He was dragging me wherever he wanted to go. I felt like the Holy Spirit was saying that the chains of sin in my life had long since been broken, but that I clearly have some things to which I am “yoked” that are just dragging me down.
I began to pray into this asking for greater revelation and then came the sermon from a great Costa Rican pastor. The text was John 5, the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. Pastor Carlos was talking about real worship. What he said was good but I was thinking about how it was Jesus talking to this woman about her marital status that ultimately led her to true worship. I think Jesus was after something much deeper than just her sin. You see this Samaritan and this Charlottean were both unequally yoked, not in the sense of an actual physical partnership, although maybe there too. We partnered with and in some cases became married to ideas about ourselves, our situations, and other people that are not of God. It is often these partnerships that lead us to do stupid things. Maybe you are yoked to a political ideology or a way of thinking that isn’t of God. We need freedom! To quote Pastor Bill Johnson, “We cannot afford to have an idea or a thought in our heads that God doesn’t have in His.”
So I have begun to pray that the Lord would show me all the ways I am unequally yoked and that the power of the name of Jesus would set me free. I don’t want to have a thought in my head that the Lord doesn’t have in His. There is freedom in being known as deeply and as well as the Lord knows me but it is not without some ouch moments. It is the ouch moments that bring the deepest healing. (One more thing that I have learned from my cousin Pat.)