Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How Reading a Vampire Book Showed Me a Picture of the Holy Spirit - Made New

(CLICK HERE for previous chapter.)
Up to this point, the Breaking Dawn story has been wrought with pain and suffering. While reading, you wonder if the beloved and the lover will ever have peace, a happily ever after, the dawning of a day that leave all storms behind. In such a story, I have garnered a picture of the Holy Spirit, and thus perhaps also given the impression that pain and suffering is all you get when you allow Him into your life.

Because in that darkest hour, when the unbearable fire rages on and you experience a misery that is beyond comprehension or explanation, you cry out to a God you used to think was Great and Good. And yet here you burn. Unmercifully. At that moment, where is the evidence that God is Love, that He cares, that His Word – like when He says all things work together for your good – is true? What proof can you point to, in that agonizing moment, that God isn’t dead, or if He isn’t that he hasn’t abandoned you? That, in His sovereignty, He’s allowed this fiery ordeal, this heinous trial, this catastrophic calamity and yet still desires for you to Praise Him? How can you trust a God like that?
I can answer that by pointing to the Breaking Dawn story.
Consider Edward’s motives for injecting his searing, painful, fiery venom into Bella’s veins. #1 - to save her life. #2 - something she willingly desired, to transform her into his likeness. So it is with our Perfect Lover Jesus.
You see, Bella wakes up from this death. And when she does, she’s perfect, whole, improved, transformed. In a manner of speaking, she’s ‘sanctified.’ Her old self has been burnt up and all that remains is her new, indestructible, immortal self.
The first thing she says is, “Everything was so clear.” What she means is that every sense has improved a million percent. She hears everything all at once but distinctly, near and far. She smells fragrances in the air including the essences of her family members surrounding her. She tastes everything she smells which just enhances its impact. She feels every fiber and texture to its individual cell, its precise temperature. And she sees every detail down to the dust motes floating in shafts of sunshine. Although she marvels at the fact that there is so much to look at, she knows that “Edward’s face was the most important thing…” Here’s how she describes it:
The greater part of my senses and my mind were still focused on Edward’s face. I had never seen it before this second. … I may as well have been blind. For the first time, with the dimming shadows and limiting weakness of humanity taken off my eyes, I saw his face. I gasped… I needed better words.” (BD, pg. 390)
It reminded me of… 1 Corinthians 13:12 – “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” This verse talks about the moment we wake up in Heaven, having passed through literal death into the eternal life He’s promised, and being able to see clearly. Without the encumbrances of this fallen world and our sinful selves, we’ll be able to see our Perfect Lover as He’s always been – perfect in love. And like Bella, our first words to Him will undoubtedly be – I love You.
But the hope of Heaven is not the only hope we have. We also awaken in this life to newness within the process of sanctification. From each trial we face, we emerge stronger, wiser, connected on a deeper level with our Perfect Lover, equipped with gifts to benefit the fellowship of believers and witness to the lost. While the pain of our experiences never fully subsides, perhaps like Bella’s scorching bloodlust thirst that constantly burns in her throat, our new selves are improved and capable of much more than we ever thought possible. While we still face barriers and resistance, like Bella having to defend her family and the Truth of Renesmee to the Volturi, we are better equipped to stand in the power of our Perfect Lover having been filled with His Holy Spirit. Without having experienced the fire, we would be defenseless against life’s oppositions, just as Bella would have been in the battle at the end of Breaking Dawn without having first been transformed into a vampire – if she hadn’t become ‘like’ her perfect lover.
The dual illustration in this story allows us a perspective on our process of sanctification that begins the moment we accept our Perfect Lover’s hand in covenant union and lasts into and throughout eternity. It’s the picture of the reality we experience as we are transformed from mortal to immortal, destructible to indestructible, sin-full to purified by holy fire – all because of the perfect love our Perfect Lover has for us.
Let me conclude with this – please take the time to read it because it says it all:
“There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.
It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.
The Scriptures tell us, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living person.’ But the last Adam – that is, Christ – is a life-giving Spirit. What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man, was made form the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.
What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” 1 Corinthians 15:40-58
Well, one thing remains – review of the final Twilight Saga movie – Breaking Dawn part 2, which I hope to have here on Friday. See you then! Be blessed, Dry Ground friends!
CLICK HERE for my review of the movie!
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