When We Die… by Pablo Giacopelli
By Pablo Giacopelli
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By Pablo Giacopelli
I was listening a short while ago at an Evangelist share the Gospel according to his perspective. He spoke for a while and towards the end of his time he started to share about this movie that God is going to show to everyone. He spoke how everyone would get to see all the bad things we did both in public and in private.
I must admit that as I listened to him I felt a blanket of shame attempt to cover the whole of my being. So strong was the feeling that it made me shift my position on my seat. As I turned off the TV I began to contemplate what I had just heard. I began to recall how I once long ago subscribed to this very heavenly movie theatre experience and perspective. Yet today what I once vociferously supported, didn't quite sit the right way within me.
Please understand that I get where the Evangelist was coming from and what He was trying to communicate however the more I listened to him the less I wanted to know about this God that seemed more interested in burning me up and shaming me than in loving me and telling me how precious I was.
He'll Sit Beside Us
You see today, if there is going to be this so called movie at the end of our lives, I believe that instead of God watching it from his throne seat and me from the sea of glass before it He will instead sit next to me like a Father sits with his child. He will put his arm around me and He will say here take a look at this I have a surprise for you. Suddenly the tape of my life will begin to roll right in front of us and He will begin by saying "Oh this was an amazing moment remember it Pablo?" followed by "Oh what about this moment, remember how you trusted Me and I came through for you. It was so good when you chose to listen to My voice through the sunset and not the voice of others that told you it would not happen. What a moment that was hey son?" or "That was a hard moment remember how much that hurt and how lonely you felt, but look now what I was doing within you while you were crying" or perhaps "Oh and here check this one out. Look what was happening while you kept writing those blogs that you thought were making no difference. Here check out Harry. Take a look at the life transforming moment I had with him after he finished reading that blog you struggled to write that sunny day in Israel"
As the flick comes to an end I am sure I will look at him and I will ask "Dad that was amazing! Those were all amazing moments I had with you. So many I realized and so many well I just didn't. Thank you for also showing me the difficult and painful moments where yes I felt lonely and rejected. But whatever happened to all those moments when I was sinning and falling short. Those times I chose other things and others to try and satisfy what only you could. Where did those go? And today more than ever I believe the reply will come and He will say, "Oh those? Yeah well My grace took care of those. My blood edited (blotted) them out of the tape…"
Remember, the cross was meant to show us all along how ferociously loved we are instead of protecting us from a deranged God that enjoys destroying what He lovingly created.
God says do not harden your hearts – I have been meditating about this for a little while now in the hope of being able to understand in a practical way what this might look like and how it impacts our lives when it happens. I began for some reason to think about muscles and how they work and are renewed. As I sat there I tensed the main muscle on my leg and kept it tense for a short while. As I did this I noticed that even though this was a voluntary movement it nevertheless rendered my muscle useless as in this state of tension nothing could enter nor exit from it. I also noticed that unless I relaxed it the muscle would cramp up and remain hard and in pain until treated.
"Man one thing is for sure and that is that this Christian walk is so hard," said a man on a plane I had the opportunity of speaking with in a recent trip. Unfortunately the reality is that for many of us our encounter with Jesus is nothing more than a mental illusion instead of the spiritual experience it was always meant to be. Even though we make a decision to follow him, and try really hard to do it, we do so from our minds and not our hearts. This is why so often Christianity is so hard and so many of us give up on it and God, as we believe that if practicing it is that hard then God must be equally hard to relate with.
I had the opportunity last week to speak to thousands of people in China where I spent twelve days sharing the message Dad has given to me. As I spoke to many people before and after each engagement I could not help but to sense that the majority struggled along in their spiritual journey. Please understand that what I am referring to here by "struggled" is not circumstantial as much as it is experimental. In other words it was not the hassles they experienced but the impact they had on them and how they felt. I sensed that somehow with each obstacle there was a lot more that was challenged in them and it had to do with their identity.