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Podcast 1.11 Three Yucky Feelings that are an Invitation from Jesus

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Episode 1.11: Three Yucky Feelings that are an Invitation from Jesus

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Intro: Welcome to the Encounter Jesus podcast, also known as the ‘feel like Jesus is hugging you today’ podcast. I’m Elizabeth Ellynshaw, and today we will be talking about three signs that you urgently need to have a conversation with Jesus. We all have situations where we know without thinking where to go with a problem. When we feel hungry, our feet turn toward the refrigerator. When we have a headache, we reach for the medicine cabinet. When the doorbell rings, we go to look and answer it. And there are three situations that should signal just as clearly, ‘this is a problem for Jesus Christ, take it to Him, hurry, run!’ But the danger is that the same three things that are you-need-Jesus signals are the same kind of things that most tempt us to pull back from Him, hide from Him, or run away. That’s what happened the first time a human being ever felt these three things, and it’s been happening ever since.

When Adam and Eve first bit into the first sin and they stood there with the juice still dribbling down their chins, they felt their very first bad, bad feeling. We don’t know if that forbidden fruit tasted delicious or disgusting, because all of a sudden, what the fruit tasted like didn’t matter anymore. The only thing that mattered was this really bad feeling they were feeling about themselves, about their bodies, about being seen, this burning need they felt to cover themselves up. They were feeling the first shame.

While they were still trying to figure out how to get leaves to stick together enough to cover their bodies, they heard God coming. And instantly they felt another really bad feeling for the first time. Fear. And especially the fear of being punished. And the response was instinctive, a decision made in a flash: Run! Hide!

And after God had searched for them until He found them, and begun asking really insightful questions, the only place left to hide was behind a pointing finger. “It was Your fault!” Adam tried desperately. “You gave me this wife. It was her fault. She gave me this fruit.” Which was a long answer to what had actually been a yes or no question: Did you eat the fruit I told you not to eat? And Adam gave a long answer to that yes or no question because Adam and Eve were both feeling a third really bad feeling for the first time: guilty.

What was brand-new for them is oh so familiar for us. I find I don’t fit into my favorite outfit anymore. Guilt. Fear. Shame. I check my bank account and it’s lower than I expected. Guilt. Fear. Shame. I feel a head cold coming on right before an event I really care about and I’m helpless to stop it. Guilt. Fear. Shame.

But what if guilt and fear and shame are actually the sound of a doorbell ringing, and what if, if we dare to answer the door, the Person standing there is Jesus?

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Prayer: Lord Jesus thank You that You came to save us from sin and its three effects of guilt, shame and fear. We admit to You that sometimes, often, the very things that should signal us to run towards You, we still receive as signals to cover up and run away and hide instead. Help us today to come to You with those things and find out what You are really like. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Content: Guilt, shame, and fear, are an invitation into a conversation with Jesus. Because He said that a doctor comes for the sick, and that He came to bring sinners to repentance. Just like a fever makes us turn to the doctor and a growling stomach makes us turn to the kitchen, guilt shame and fear should make us turn towards Jesus the only Savior from sin, just as fast as we yank our hands back from a hot pan. They are an invitation to a Jesus encounter, and not just any kind of Jesus encounter, but the only kind that is said to make God throw a party in heaven and invite the angels to dance. So it might be safe to conclude that this is God’s favorite kind of encounter between Jesus and people. The kind where Jesus gets you to change your mind, to turn around and change directions, also known as to repent.”

I want to share a few experiences I’ve had that have made me realize again just how safe it is to come to Jesus the doctor with sin the sickness, just how good. I remember once I was really entangled in a confusing web of sin and having been deceived and their consequences and I thought I don’t know how to fix this, I don’t know how to make this right, I don’t know how to get out of this, I don’t know how to come back to Him. I even sat down and read a whole book entitled What is repentance?, and it didn’t help me understand. But that very same night after reading the book I went to a meeting of Christian university students, and the speaker raised the exact same question as the book title, ‘what is repentance?’ But he answered it with a simple story of his own child. He said he recently came into his living room and saw his little girl surrounded by markers and bright colored scribbles all over the white sofa. He asked, rather like God asked in the garden of Eden, ‘Jane, who colored on the sofa?’ ‘I don’t know,’ insisted the toddler. The answer was obvious, so he just kept asking, ‘are you sure? Jane, who colored on the sofa?’ Until she finally answered, ‘the horsey did it!’ The speaker said, “now I was much more concerned because my child is lying to me, I can’t let it end here, so I prayed and I just kept asking, ‘Jane, who colored on the sofa?’ until finally her eyes brimmed up and she burst into tears and sobbed, ‘I did it Daddy!’ and I picked her up and said, ‘I forgive you, I’m so glad you told me,’ and it actually turned into one of the most beautiful moments I ever had with my daughter. But that’s repentance. Just tell God you colored on the sofa. Just tell Him it wasn’t the horsey, it was you.

What helped me me the most about that story was that Jane didn’t have to clean the sofa. She didn’t have to be able to clean the sofa. She didn’t have to know how to clean the sofa. She didn’t have to be able to fix what she’d done or make it right again. She just had to say, “I colored on the sofa Daddy!” and she was back in his arms and all her problems were his problems again.

There’s a verse for that, 1 John 1:9. It says if we just confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Confession means if we just agree with Him and admit what we did, He will forgive us and clean both us and the sofa.

So I told God that night, “Lord, I have no idea how to clean up the mess I’ve made. But I can stop resisting You and start to cry and admit ‘I colored on the sofa Daddy’ and let everything after that be what You do, not me.” And He did it. I wonder how many times am I going to tell a story on this podcast and find myself repeating the words, and He did it? In this case, He untangled the mess and cleaned up and healed me from the whole thing.

I found out how easy this can be the first time I went for an inner healing prayer session. I had no idea what to expect, but the woman sitting across from me led me in asking Jesus questions. ‘Father God, is there a lie I’m believing?’ she said and I repeated after her. Then I told her the first thought that came into my head, and based on it she led me in saying, ‘In Jesus’ name I break agreement with the lie that…’ followed by each thing He had brought to my mind. Then she led me in asking, ’Lord, is there anyone I need to forgive for contributing to me coming to believe this lie?’ Again I told her what popped into my mind, and she led me, ‘repeat after me out loud, in Jesus’ name, I choose to forgive [we named the person] for [we named the thing].’ ‘Or sometimes we did, ‘In Jesus’ name I choose to forgive myself for…’ Then she led me in asking, Lord, is there anything I need to repent of?’ and I told her what He said in my thoughts, and she led me again, out loud, ‘In Jesus’ name I choose to repent of…’ and we filled in the blanks with exactly what He had said. I don’t even remember most of the particulars of what we dealt with in that session, I just remember walking out with the tools. It felt like all my life I’d been trying to eat steak and soup with my hands, making this huge scalding mess of self-hatred every time I tried to get a bite of forgiveness in my mouth, and she had just handed me a fork, a knife, and a spoon, called ‘In Jesus’ name I choose to repent,’ ‘in Jesus’ name I choose to renounce,’ and ‘in Jesus’ name I choose to forgive.’ They were so powerful and they were just lying there on the table ready for me to pick them up and use them and pick them up and use them again, whichever one of them or combination of them I needed, and pick them up and use them again. Repentance and forgiveness weren’t just words to talk about and memorize their definitions, they were something to DO and doing it could be as simple and fast and easy as picking up a fork and stabbing a potato, as simple and fast and easy as just saying one sentence out loud. I’ve been using that fork knife and spoon ever since, day in and day out, praise the Lord.

And finally, I remember one day I was sitting on the grass under a tree, which is a place where I would normally have enjoyed talking to God, but this time I was avoiding talking with God because I was remembering all of the sins I had committed in the past few months and I was afraid that if I talked with God, He would want to talk about those sins and remind me about them. Which made me feel guilt shame and fear so instead I was just sitting there remembering my sins all by myself. And all of a sudden my thoughts were interrupted by a thought from Him saying so clearly, as if He was sitting next to me stretching out on the grass, ‘You know, I feel really bored and lonely when you do that.’ What? God bored? God lonely? ‘When I do what?’ I asked. ‘When you keep talking about things that you know I don’t remember. I told you in the Bible that when I forgive your sins, I cast them into the depths of the sea and I remember them no more. So when you keep bringing up things I have no memory of, I feel left out. Can we talk about something else?’ Instantly I realized how utterly wrong I’d been in my fear that if I talked to God, He would remind me of my former sins. I was the one doing that, not Him. Ever after that day it became part of our conversations that if I bring up a sin I’ve already confessed and He’s already forgiven He would say, ‘I don’t remember that.’ Even when I had just finished confessing something to Him and just ask His forgiveness I would know we were done when He would say, ‘what was I just forgiving you for? I remember I’m forgiving something but I don’t remember what it was.’ He is such a wonderful Person to be around!

So feeling yucky in any way shape or form is an invitation into a conversation with Jesus. He might show you that the yucky feelings are because of a sin you committed, in which case you grab the spoon and say ‘ Lord I repent.’ He may show you that it is because of a sin somebody else committed against you, in which case you grab the fork and say ‘Lord I forgive.’ Or He may show you that it is because of a lie you’re believing about the whole thing, in which case you grab the knife and say, ‘Lord, I break agreement with the lie.’ And as soon as you’re done, if you turn back to reminding yourself and feeling guilt, fear and shame again He’ll say, ‘hey, you know I can’t remember what you’re talking about, can we talk about something else?’

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Question: So today I invite you to bring Jesus the worst bad feeling you can find inside of you right now, whether it’s guilt or fear or shame, or maybe it has taken the shape of anger or numbness or something else. Dare to admit to Him where you’ve colored on the sofa. Dare to ask Him what He sees is really going on inside of you. And dare to let Him show you just what a merciful Savior He can be.

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