On Tuesday July 10, 2018 the world watched as an international team of rescuers safely extracted the two remaining members of the Moo Pa, or, wild boar soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand. It took 18 days to get the 12 boys along with their coach, out of the 2.5 mile cave where they had been trapped by torrential rains.
Thanks to the tenacious efforts of the Thai Navy SEALS and a band of British rescue divers – the young soccer team was rescued and extracted from the watery cave. The world watched in awe as this great search was conducted successfully without any one of the players not making it out. However, there was a casualty, one of the SEALS, 38 year old Suman Gunan, lost his life while attempting to help the team.
The overall purpose of the search and rescue team is just that to seek out and bring to a better end. Oftentimes, search and rescue teams must go through some intense moments but they never lose sight of the goal of completing the mission of rescue. You see they go out to find that which is lost- no matter what the circumstance or the reasoning. The example mentioned above was a water cave but oftentimes the odds are stacked against the rescue team, and even still, they are moved beyond themselves to go and rescue. The end result is to lead to a better condition if they are allowed to perform as they are trained to do.
I am reminded of a loving Father who loves us and often goes to great feats to rescue those who have gone missing, not only searching for them but searching for those that appear to be unreachable. Sometimes we all have found ourselves in a state of how did I get here. There is no way out but the Lord searches for us and desires to rescue us in the midst of our unfortunate situations much like these young boys and coach in the cave created by their own doing. The good news is friend that Christ does not concern himself with the motive of why we are lost but He just responds with one mission to bring us to a better condition than where we are currently.
In this passage, David recognizes the omniscience of God and how God has found him and not only found him -knows him. He is a “searcher” for those things that are lost or broken and knows just how to lead us to a better place of freedom from that which entraps us. Don’t push away the greatest search and rescue team ever to be known to mankind- if they (Father, Son and the Holy Spirit) are on the mission – Victory is always the end result.
Naked is defined, naturally as devoid of customary or natural covering; lacking an external covering; lacking embellishment; unadorned, unarmed, defenseless; devoid or concealment or disguise; unaided by an optical device or instrument (visible to the eye).
When something is naked it is viewed two ways (1) in its most original form -nothing added or taken away (2) seen uncovered as it is.
Being naked is the most transparent form of truth that one can show someone or oneself. To be naked is a double edged sword, on one hand, naked means to not be afraid to allow the vulnerabilities of who you are to be seen. And secondly, to be naked means that you have to be willing to be seen.
When Adam was in the garden, and the Lord had went looking for him. The Lord asked, “Adam, where art thou?” Adam replied, “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” Adam was naked the entire time since God created him, but in this moment he acknowledged his nakedness in shame.
God does not want us to be ashamed before him but He does want us to acknowledge our faults and change direction. He wants us to be naked but unashamed and I believe that when we get to that place, that is where true transparency is demonstrated. This is the place where God can help by seeing us at our vulnerable place and then allowing Him to change us. He wants us to acknowledge those damaged areas that we may be struggling with and hiding from people, but he sees all.
We don’t have to be ashamed of our nakedness if we truly recognize a loving Lord does not want any of us to perish or stay in a place of shame. Being truly transparent before Jesus Christ is truly the heart of the matter. Because friend he already knows. God was walking in the garden and he called out to “Adam, where are thou?” He already knew what had been done and knew exactly where he is, just as He knows where you are reading this right now. Embrace your nakedness before a loving Father so that He can transform and begin to change you from the inside out.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he pruneth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” John 15:1-2
In the front of my home is a rose bush that I planted when I first moved in. The interesting thing about my rose bush is the upkeep. Every summer when it is really flourishing- I have to always take a closer look. As lovely as the roses look there are some brown places on the branches that the nutrients are not reaching.
The brown places are dead places that need to be removed because without their removal- the productivity of the rose flourishing is stunted. These are the things that have to be pruned in order for growth to continue. I learned the brown places on the branches are where there is a disconnect from the vine which is supplying nutrients to the branches. Once I have pruned the “dead places” I notice in a few days the branch is green again and the roses are vibrantly multiplied. You see the pruning is not the same as the cutting. Pruning is to cut back so that more growth can produce but something being cut it so it can be removed permanently.
The pruning process is just that a process that is required to grow continuously. Some look at this word in a negative manner but the truth is -pruning is necessary for increase. It is so amazing how the Lord prunes us at times to cut off some of the temporary to see the permanent. What do I mean? In order to see the permanent fruit we have to move temporary conditions – we must be willing to see those things as just that temporary. There must be action to receive the permanent – the action the Lord takes is the pruning- we must be willing to allow the process to take place.
In order to receive the permanent we must be able to endure the process of the temporary. Prune the dead weight to receive the full blessings of the Lord.
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, I will return to my house from which I come. And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first”
Oftentimes, security is one of main selling points when we are purchasing a home. The main reason is because we don’t want anyone getting in that does not belong and we want to deter anyone from attempting to want to get in. The door is considered an entry way from one side to another. It is a petition that grants one access to what is behind it. The door is one security feature that can deter unwanted visitors but even the door must be protected. If you just rely on the door oftentimes the door can be broken down.
It is imperative that we protect the door to our inner man. Leaving the door unattended oftentimes leads to other things being allowed to enter in. In my own life, there have been times when I have left the (spiritual) door unattended and fear, anger, denial and doubt have all crept in and tried to take up residence. Friend, we must be careful and be alert- making sure that our door is guarded and we have cleared out anything that would entice anyone to want to break in. Are we being careful? Are we periodically cleaning out clutter that takes up space. As we are a month into a New Year be mindful to guard your door but also remove anything that would entice the wrong things to want to enter in or reenter in.
I am learning to be intentional in what I do. I’m learning to be intentional when I “guard the door” and why it is important to guard the door. And it is an everyday job that we must strive and diligently commit to.
Lord, help me to commit to guarding the door to my life, my peace and my walk with you. Help me to be intentional in what I allow in my life and the placement behind the door. Anything that is a hindrance allow me to be able to remove it and not be concerned with anything except guarding the door to those things that are important to me but especially for you.
In Jesus name,