Dwelling in God’s Heart – The Sick Bay

Dwelling in God’s Heart – The Sick Bay

Dwelling in God’s Heart – The Sick Bay.

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  (James 4:8).

“I am inside My Father, and you are inside Me, and I am inside you.” (John 14:20).

Even though the phrase “accept Jesus into our heart” is not in Scripture, we get the picture. Accepting Jesus into our hearts means we receive Him into the very core of our being, into the centerpiece of who we are, affecting everything about us. When we receive Jesus into our heart-home, our identity becomes His, the essence of our personhood is intimately wrapped into the essence of Christ’s Personhood. When we make our home in His home, He miraculously become a resident inside each of us as well. And when we experience that Double Union with Jesus Christ, we discover that our spiritual location is inside of the very heart of God. In other words, if the Son is inside the Father, and we are inside the Son, then logically we are inside the Father! By dwelling in the Son’s heart, we dwell in the Father’s heart as well. By living inside the “Person after God’s own heart,” we find ourselves inside God’s heart! As Paul claims in Colossians 3:3, believers are “hidden within Christ, inside of God.”

Way back in 1954 there was a creative little evangelistic tract produced by Inter-Varsity Press, written by a pastor named Robert Boyd Munger. He entitled his brief tract, “My Heart – God’s Home.” I recommend it if you find it. Following up on Revelation 3:20, Pastor Munger imagined a believer opening his door and escorting Jesus through the home of his heart, now that Jesus has taken up residence in him. Now that Jesus dwells in him, and He has moved into his heart, what will Jesus see there? So the believer in the tract proceeds to give a tour of his heart-home with Jesus as he welcomes Christ into his heart. Together they tour the person’s study, dining room, living room, workroom, recreation room, bedroom and hall closet. I thought this was an engaging idea, but now I would like to give the other side of the story. Jesus lives within us, to be sure. But we also live within Jesus, hence inside the very heart of God. So if the Father was to give us a guided tour of His heart, what would we find? What will be waiting for us to discover in the many rooms of God’s heart? We could easily entitle this, “God’s Heart -My Home.

Like anyone’s home, God’s heart will reflect His attitudes, motivations, personality, character traits, His heavenly “tastes” in interior décor. God’s deeply held convictions will be revealed in His heart-home, as they are in our own hearts. Using Scripture as our guide, we will explore God’s heart as we make ourselves at home and abide in Him. We will explore everything from the front porch to the front door, the living room to the dining room, from the kitchen to the study to the chapel. And many more rooms as well, like the bedroom, the bathroom, and the nursery. There may even be a sneak peek at the family room, the children’s playroom, and the school room.

“So Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. And when He opened the scroll, He found the place where it was written…” (Luke 4:16-17, paraphrasing Isaiah 61:1-2).

THE SICK BAY. Reading the Gospels, seeing how Jesus conducted His ministry here on earth, it certainly is no surprise that restoring mankind to full health is important to the heart of God. Naturally, there would be a first aid station in His heart, so that His people could be made well again.

(The following is spoken in the first Person, and explores what Jesus might have said or might have been thinking during this important time of defining His mission). That’s right, the Holy Spirit of Yahweh has anointed me, your home town boy! Yes, I am the Messiah, the “Anointed One.” The Spirit fell on me at my baptism not long ago, and that was my official anointing for this ministry of the Lord. In fact, going back to the beginning, I was even conceived by the Holy Spirit, right here in Nazareth! It was a miracle. And so in many ways I have been anointed since birth, and the Father has simply been waiting for the right time to send me on my mission. So the time is now! The year of God’s grace has come! Yahweh has accepted this time period as the one “when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound.” (Amplified Bible).

So this is the time for the spiritual Jubilee. This is the reality of what God hinted at back in Leviticus 25 with the Jubilee year: the time when debts were cancelled and slaves went free. The time when prisoners of war were released and everyone is freed from their oppressive burdens. I am the Messiah, and I have come that you may have your spiritual Jubilee, a time when you are set free by a gracious God to start over with Him in the spirit of redemption and blessing.

The prophet Isaiah has defined my mission well:

  1. To preach the Good News to the poor.” In Isaiah 61:1, “poor” means humble or meek. So I am giving words of hope to the poor in spirit, those who are spiritually bankrupt, hopelessly poverty-stricken in their spirits. In fact, I hereby promise that the poor in spirit, the empty and helpless, will receive the Kingdom of heaven and become spiritually rich. I am here to tell the lowly that they will be held in honor, and will receive all the blessings of God’s new world. I will seek out the humble to tell them that they will be raised up to a new life of fullness and new-found strength.
  2. “To proclaim liberty to the captives.” In Isaiah, “captives” referred to prisoners of war, or by extension anyone in bondage to sin because of our ongoing spiritual war. I will minister unto those who are casualties of our war with Satan and with sin. I will release all those who are battling their demons and those who realize they are in bondage to their sinful nature. I will grant a full pardon to all these victims of hidden warfare, to these prisoners held captive by the enemy. During this time of favor and blessing, all prisoners will be liberated from sin and Satan. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Everyone who sins is a slave to sin. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” (John 8:32-36). If you are in bondage to sin, you indeed are a slave to sin, you are imprisoned by sin. And in this spiritual Jubilee, I will release the slaves and set the prisoners free.
  3. “To heal the brokenhearted.” Some historical manuscripts omit this phrase from the Luke passage. But the original Isaiah 61:1reference includes this phrase, so in keeping with some NT translations and the Isaiah reference, this phrase will be included here. As Messiah, I will heal those who have had their hearts broken by rejection, by loss of loved one, by shame or guilt or failure. I will bind up those who are broken by the state of the world and its presence of sin and wickedness and pain. I will mourn with those who mourn, and my heart will be broken by whatever is breaking your heart as I come alongside you. I will personally bring the Good News of salvation and healing, and so we will mourn as those with hope. My tears will absorb your tears as I offer my comforting and healing presence to your misery.
  4. “To proclaim recovery of sight to the blind.” This phrase was added to the passage in Luke, and is in the spirit of the spiritual Jubilee. To all you who are spiritually blind, I will open your eyes to see the truth and goodness of the Lord and His Kingdom. Since you are helpless to take off your blinders by yourselves, I will remove your blinders personally. You simply can’t make yourselves see without my help. I will open your eyes to see the reality of God and His love. And to make sure this important truth is understood, I will heal every physically blind person who comes to me in my ministry. All of these physical healings of the blind will be a sign of what I will do spiritually to those who allow me to do so. I will cure your blindness to the depravity of sin, to the depth of your sinful nature, to the hope of God’s salvation. And then finally, you will truly see and believe. “Everyone who believes in me will not remain in darkness.” (John 12:45).
  5. “To set free those who are oppressed.” The “oppressed” in Isaiahis intended to include anyone who is downtrodden, burdened by life’s difficulties, bruised by the system, broken down by some calamity. I will deliver you from these spiritual bruises, from whatever may be weighing down your spirit. I will come to encourage you and help you rise above life’s travails. If you feel oppressed in any way, I will deliver you and set your spirit free. “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29). So come to me during this acceptable time of blessing and favor, all you who are oppressed in some way, and I will be your liberator.

“Then He rolled up the scroll, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, ‘Is this not Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:20-22).

Later on, John the Baptist seemed to have some doubts while he was languishing in prison. (Matt. 11:1-6). “John’s two disciples found Jesus and said to him, ‘John sent us to ask. Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’ At that very time, Jesus cured many people of their diseases, illnesses, and evil spirits, and he restored sight to many who were blind. Then he told John’s disciples, ‘Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard – the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” (Luke 7:20-22). As Jesus says here to the Baptist’s disciples, the Jewish Bible stated that miraculous healings would be a sign of the Messianic Age, vivid pictures of the New Kingdom… Isaiah 26:19‘Those who die will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people in the place of the dead!”  Isaiah 29:18-19: “In that day the deaf will hear words read from a book, and the blind will see through the gloom and darkness. The humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord. The poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.”  Isaiah 35:5-6: “And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!” Isaiah 61:1-2a: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”  So through His healings, Jesus confirms that He indeed is the long awaited Messiah. The healings authenticate His role as the anointed Servant of God. Jesus claims to be the Messiah. His healings prove it.