Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Great Exchange

I recently began a study on the life of David. I love David! I can not wait to meet David! I have so much to ask Him and share with Him. Next to Jesus, I think he is one of the people I most look forward to talking to in heaven. I hope he is seated near my end of the table at the great wedding supper of the Lamb. Needless to say, I began this study excited and eager to see what new things God wanted to reveal to me about David's heart and life. I was in for a shock though. It wasn't David's heart God wanted to take me to the depths of, but my own!

After a great lesson Tuesday night, I began the homework early the next morning asking God to make His Word come alive to me. I wanted it to leap off the page straight into my heart. I wanted a fresh word so bad I could taste it. I can almost say that
I sensed, no, I knew it was coming and I couldn't wait to see what God was going to show me. So after prayer, I eagerly began my study.

Although I am faithful with it, I must admit I am terrible at this type of formatted homework because when it says read 2Samuel 7:1-17, I always find it difficult to stop at the last verse and turn back to the homework. I either get caught up in reading the Word or I begin to chase my own rabbits all through Scripture before I get back on track with the assigned lesson.

Today's lesson would be no different. The assignment instructed me to read the above mentioned verses. As usual, I became riveted by David's life on the written page all laid out in black and white. I got ahead of the lesson and did not stop until 2 Samuel 12:14. Unfortunately, I wasn't stopped because my memory prompted me to get back to the homework. It was more like I was driving along an intense road, paying close attention, and yet unexpectedly slammed head on into a brick wall. I had received the word I was waiting for, but I was not prepared for the delivery. It was received with such a jolt and shock that my immediate reaction was like gulping down spoiled, rotten milk and immediately wanting to spew it out of my mouth.

In the past, and through this study, God has shown me some painful things about myself in relation to David. I have always been able to relate to David more intimately than anyone in the Bible. Unfortunately, as much as I wish it were, it is not because he is known as a man after God's own heart, the warrior King. But rather, because he is a man that sinned, and sinned selfishly, grievously and murderously. I have been able to relate to how he can be dancing with all his might before God one minute, experiencing blessing and victory from God's hand and yet coveting and sinning so horrendously the next. I relate to how he can be unashamed before the Lord in worship one minute and then when God acts in His holiness, David is angry, fearful and fleeing God the next. I relate to how he can be so willing to serve God one minute and then unwilling to get too close to Him the next. I relate to how he not only sinned, but heaped sin upon sin to cover it up. I relate to how he knew he was nothing without God because he proved it over and over.

That said, I was reading and relating closely to David's experience with worship and sin and reading about his confrontation by the prophet Nathan when I hit the brick wall. I believe God allowed me to land upon the verse in 2 Samuel 12:14 where, through the prophet, the Lord confronts David's sin and says "the son born to you will die". I cannot tell you how those words leaped off the page and penetrated my heart like a dagger. It has never happened so powerfully before and I was devastated. THIS is the fresh word I was waiting for? THIS is what You were so eager to show me? THIS? THIS? THIS? NOOOO!

After the initial shock, I immediately began to beg God not to take CJ. I believed completely He was telling me He was going to. I was angry and confused. I have walked long enough with the Lord to know when He is using His written Word, His people, His creation or His Spirit to speak a direct word to me. As much as my brain wanted to reject this and convince myself I was 'just reading into it', I knew what He was telling me. I did not read past that line. I couldn't! Besides, I know the end of the story already. God does not take His spirit from David like He did to the previous King Saul, but the son born to David does surely die for the sin that David committed. No matter how hard David wept, fasted, prayed or lamented before God, his son died.

I just sat there staring at the page. The short verse seemed to be larger than all the other print on the page and it seemed to be in bold black letters. I was frozen, waiting for the pain in my chest to diminish. My breathing became short and my brain started to react. I was confused. Why would you tell me this now, Lord?Just as CJ enters maintenance and just after a birthday celebration of his life. It made no sense.

Somehow, keenly aware that, like David's pleading, it wouldn't change anything, I still began to beg Him not to punish CJ for my sins as David's son was taken for his. I began to try question the wisdom in it. Then I began to offer The Great Exchange....my life for CJ's. Take me instead, Lord! Please don't take CJ! But no matter how I pleaded for him to punish me instead, I found no peace. So I just sat there alone with God, stunned and spent. Fear welled up and I sensed God speak to me. He gently said, "What will you do now, Dawn? You can close the Book, and shut Me out. You can drown out My voice so you won't have to face me. You can run and hide like David did when I did something that He did not like or understand." (2 Sam 6:6-10) But I just managed to sit there and whimper, 'No'.

I was afraid of what would happen if Chris woke up and I was sitting here like this. Do I tell him? I have to tell him! I was afraid to see CJ when he woke up. Will he know by the look on my face? I dragged myself to the kitchen to make some coffee and as I was pouring the cup, the Spirit suddenly spoke straight to my heart LOUD and CLEAR......."You know Dawn, The Great Exchange already happened!." I stood there frozen and suddenly the verse that had been ringing in my head went from "the son born to you will die" to "the son born to ME will die".
Relief, coupled with sadness, washed over me like a flood. Once again, God took me to the depths of despair only to show me the most beautiful portrait of love and sacrifice I could imagine. CJ will not die for my sin as David's son was taken as a ransom for his. The ransom has been paid! The Great Exchange already took place on the cross. God's son died so mine could be spared! I believe God wanted to sear this truth into my broken thinking once and for all. I have continued to fall back to this broken mindset and struggle with this since the birth of my first child, which was also, ironically, right before Easter. So God's timing in this lesson was specific. After all the emotions of the morning, I felt like I had just received a beautiful gift from the Lord. The wrapping was not very pretty or painless, but that made the gift all the more special.

As we near the day that marks The Great Exchange, I am acutely aware of the significance of that death. There is no other death like it my friends. Even if God would allow me to die in CJ's place it would be a deserved death, because, like David, I am a wretched, awful sinner who deserves His just punishment. But the life given in exchange for ours was a perfect, sinless, life. "He committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth." (1 Peter 2:22)

I pray that you will mediate on that death. Ponder its significance. If you have already accepted the blood shed on the cross as your ransom and as The Great Exchange for your life, I pray you will be once again affected by the price paid to secure your standing before a Holy God! May you rejoice and be restored to the joy of your great and costly salvation. (Psalm 51:12)

If you have not yet placed your trust , faith, and hope in His death, may this Good Friday be the day you do so. Get a hold of the movie, The Passion of the Christ. Watch it. Then run to the cross! Throw yourself at the foot of it, look up and receive the blood of Christ, shed for you.

"Who (Christ Jesus), being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2: 6:-11)

After spending Friday night and Saturday pondering the death of the perfect sacrifice, arise Easter Sunday morning and celebrate, like King David, with all your might before the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Like David, dance, shout, sing, rejoice and celebrate God's presence. If you have no one and nowhere to celebrate with, you can dance, shout and sing along side me and my family and friends on Easter morning. I have much to celebrate this Easter! Not only the implications of His death and resurrection on me personally, but now, He has given me two of my children back from the grave on Easter! (I promise to share the other story of His precious Easter gift to our family with you soon.)
For now, I will leave you with a song once again. If you have never heard this song, I pray you will listen to it carefully. If you have heard it before, listen as if for the first time. Look to your left by the pictures, there is a You Tube link. Click on it!
I PROMISE YOU it will be well worth a couple minutes of your time to watch and listen. I am adding the words of the song below as well.

Lead me to the Cross by: Hillsong

Savior I come
Quiet my soul....remember
Redemptions hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as loss

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Oh Lead me, lead me to the cross

You were as I
Tempted and tried
Human
The word became flesh
Bore my sin and death
Now you're risen
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as loss

I'll meet you there my friends. At the foot of the Cross. Rejoicing in the Great Exchange!

11 comments:

the Grays said...

Dawn,
Thank you for once again pointing us to the cross and reminding us that our debt has already been paid. I look forward to celebrating our Lord's resurrection this Sunday with your family! HE IS RISEN!!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome video. If this doesn't touch your heart and let you know what Easter is about. Jesus was born to die for us. Thank you for sharing.

Mary B. and family

Ily(hearts) said...

once again...came, read, saw and I am speechless. Dawn thanks for sharing and allowing the Lord to use you in such a deep way.
Blessings,
ILY
Hi Cj and the rest of the Gang
xoxo
ILY

Enzo said...

Dawn,

What a perfect time of the year for this post, this video, this lesson. He has covered us. Praise God. If anyone reads this message from Dawn and hasn't watched the video please go back and watch the video.

This Sunday we will especially think of what He has given us and I know the other story Dawn is eluding too. She truly almost lost another child a couple years back on Easter Sunday. The doctor even said they never saw this type of injury with a result of looking at a live child. I'm sure that story is coming up in another lesson.

I am so glad that CJ has had a fun filled week for once. A spring break that he wasn't at the hospital 3 out of 5 days. I know he is going in today for blood counts and I am praying they will be where they need to be so he can see his family on Easter day.

Thank you again Dawn for the beautiful post. I really feel part of CJ's illness was meant to bring this out of you. I've noticed over the years that many people that are suffering the most, lost the most, have alot of pain, can teach the most meaningful lessons, and in your case the most important lesson that your faith in God never wavers no matter the circumstance and you keep praising Him, praising Him and teaching others. I love you lots.

Mom

Anonymous said...

Dawn,

I can only imagine how hard it was for you to share that story with the whole world to see. I know it can be hard to tell such sacred moments that happen when you are in the word and your own mind is trying to depict it's meaning. Thankfully, you stayed in coversation with the Lord until HIS dialouge with you was complete. Amazing! Truly amazing! The price has been payed for our sins. Thank you, God. We truly are nothing good without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I LOVE YOU LORD.

Jackie

Break the Mold said...

Jacks,

Thanks for the way you put it about 'sticking with God until His dialogue was complete.' That was helpful for me. I understood why He did it that way once it was done.
Sharing it here is another story. When I heard, "now go share what I just showed you" I was even more appalled. I wrote it and sat on it for a day waiting for Him to say I did not have to post it because I already had my Easter post all ready in my head and was thinking through what I wanted to share. But it seems the Lord had something else in mind. I am learning to trust Him in this as well.
Dawn

Wendy Whitlow said...

Hey Dawn...I agree with Jackie. Well said Jacks. You taught me a lesson here about trusting God. My tendency is to want to "fix" things...or people instead of being quiet and hearing His voice. As I read...I was shaking my head and a voice kept saying.."no Dawn...no..this is not How God is working with you." I was thinking what verse can I seek to give me answers...to give you. But as I read...and hung on to every word...the goose bumbs took over and suddenly I felt so foolishly to think that you had abandoned all hope and TRUTH. But Glory...you brought it all home...and created this beautiful dipiction of the true meaning of the Easter celebration.
Thanks Dawn for sharing...and of course...I couldn't again...help but to pass it along.
He is Risen! :)

Hey Jacks...call me or you are gonna be in big trouble! xoxox

CeCe said...

Mrs. George,
I know for a fact that every time I read this blog, I always have an impact in my life. If I just want to check in about what is happening very quickly, I always get drawn in. I feel like this is happening to me to. I know that kinda sounds weird, because I am just a kid. I am so happy that the great exchange did already happen! Thank you so much for shearing this.
CeCe

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,
I had to come back and reread your post. God truly has given you the wonderful gift of writing. As I read through your post I can almost feel the emotions you are going through and the struggle of your heart and mind. Again, I am grateful for your openess and for the obvious love that you have for God. May you continue on your journey always looking to God for comfort.
Blessings,
Wilma

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn

I have no words to thank you for the beautiful teaching on your site - thank you so very much - you are a blessing to so many of us, especially Mom's. Please continue to encourage and feed us from the wealth of love you are experiencing. I have been recently praying and asking for His Righteousness and my awareness of who He really is, what He really said and do I really believe Him and if so, why am I not experiencing more and more

Much love to you for sharing,
In Christ,
Olga

Anonymous said...

John 9:1-3 As he (Jesus) went along he saw a man blind from birth,His disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned this man or his parents that he was born blind? Neither this man nor his parents sinned said Jesus, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.>>>>> Hope you find Gods peace, mercy and abundant grace in his holy words. You are all lifted in prayer to the throne of our Father.