Thursday, 30 January 2014

Reflections on a puzzle

One Sunday, as I was walking home from church, I came across a lot of jigsaw pieces scattered on the pavement.  It had been raining and they were wet.  The pastor at the church had been speaking about disunity amongst God's people, and while I was walking through the town I was reflecting on this and wondering why it was so.  These jigsaw pieces, separated one from another and scattered all over the ground, seemed to be echoing what the pastor had been saying, and I felt the Lord was trying to tell me something.  I gathered all the pieces up and placed them in my bag. 
 
When I arrived home I proceeded to piece them together to see what the picture might be, but each piece began to separate into two parts because the rain had neutralized the glue that was sticking the picture to the backing card.  I started to have understanding of what the Lord was trying to reveal to me.

If I pieced the backing card together I
would have no picture















If I pieced some of the backing card together
with some of the picture pieces they would
join together because they were the same
shapes but I would only have part of the
picture. 















If, on the other hand, I pieced all the upper
pieces together, I would have the whole
picture.

                         
















I could see a parallel in these jigsaw pieces with God's people.  The blank backing card represented the old creation of the flesh which was dead in sins, while the top layer with the picture on represented the new creation in Christ, all the pieces together forming the body of Christ on Earth.  Old and new mixed together could only bring disunity, a partial picture of the whole body.

We can be carnal or we can be spiritual.  Those who live according to the  carnal mind can never have unity with those who walk according to the Spirit because  'the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.' Romans ch. 8 v.7, and the things of God are foolishness to it, having to be discerned spiritually.

The element that had separated the two parts of the jigsaw pieces was water, and only the spiritual water that comes down from Heaven, the word of God, can separate the old man from the new creation which God is forming in us through Christ Jesus, as confirmed in Ephesians ch. 5 vs. 25b - 27, ' just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her   to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. '  As each of us allows the Holy Spirit to work in us we will grow up into the united body of Christ.  The first book of Corinthians ch. 15 v.22 says that 'as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.' 

God had shown me through the pastor's words that there was disunity in the church, but it was only through the jigsaw pieces and the revelation to me through them could I have understanding of why there was disunity.  This incident taught me how vital it is to be alert to the ways in which God is able to reveal something to us, and how it is for our benefit that we act on that revelation so that we might be changed into our Saviour's image to be able to soar with Him in the Spirit. 

The enemy has many ways of trying to tempt us to forsake the Lord's ways and return to our old carnal ways, but we must resist Him and carry on down the road to eternal life with our Saviour, even if we suffer rejection and taunting from others.

The following is a poem that I have put in an earlier post, which I wrote at the time of this revelation to me.

New man for old

Lord when I’m being taunted and mocked for loving You
Cause me to remember that You were taunted too
When I’m being laughed at for calling on Your name
Let me see You standing there and taking all that shame
And if I’m being tempted to draw back into sin
Tell me ‘Turn away child, don’t let the devil win’

Lord sometimes it’s difficult to die to sinful man
When the Spirit says ‘You can’t’ and the flesh says ‘Yes you can’
I’m so afraid I’ll fail You, the old man can be strong
Sometimes it’s hard to tell Lord what’s right and what is wrong
The old man says ‘Retaliate!’ To every harsh word said
The new says ‘You’ve been born again, the old man is now dead’

So Lord teach me to listen, when I hear You speak
Create in me a spirit that is lowly and meek
Take away the old man of anger, greed and lust
Form a new creation inside this outer crust
Help me to forgive them , when the world abuses me
Teach me how to show Your love, that I know can set them free

Lord help me go all the way to that rugged cross
Show me that to lose this life is gain and not a loss
And then just like the chrysalis that hangs upon it’s thread
I’ll become a butterfly - and You’ll have raised the dead
 

24 comments:

Stephanie said...

My dear friend, what a powerful message you have shared with us today. I am so thankful you allowed the Lord to show you and teach you His lesson through a few puzzle pieces because you were then able to share a good lesson with us.

Also, thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comments on my blog - you are a joy :) Hugs to you!

child of God said...

Hi Brenda,

I love this; "We can be carnal or we can be spiritual. Those who live according to the carnal mind can never have unity with those who walk according to the Spirit" That totally makes sense. Disunity in believers is because some are living in the flesh and not walking in the Spirit. When all walk in the Spirit then we are sensitive to the movement of the walk and flow along with it.

Good word sister and I love your poem.

Blessings,
<><

Sola Scriptura said...

My spirit rejoices when I ponder the thought that I am a new creation, the old is gone and the new has come.
I enjoy your poetry, thank you for sharing and encouraging us through your blog.

Ceil said...

Hi Brenda! This is just beautiful. I love the way you brought all the elements of the puzzle pieces into a spiritual frame. And the water being the spiritual water? I LOVED that!

What a beautiful illustration of your pastor's words. And God had those puzzle pieces placed in your path, just for you. He is an awesome God.
Ceil

Brenda said...

Hi Stephanie,
thank you for your kind comment. I love the way the Lord shows all of us different things in different ways, and I believe absolutely that we must all share what we experience in the Lord in order to keep the enemy at bay.
God bless you, and your blog is lovely.

Brenda said...

Hi child of God, I absolutely agree with what you have said that when all walk in the Spirit then we are sensitive to the movement of the walk and flow along with it. I spent many years walking in the flesh and know that there is no comparison with walking in the Spirit. The Lord is beautiful and I am so grateful that He came into my life. Thank you for your visit and God bless you.

Brenda said...

Hello Solar scriptura, my soul too rejoices in the thought that I am a new creation. I can not imagine being without the Lord now, even though I am glad that I experienced living in my old worldly life. Without doing so I could never have had empathy, and therefore sympathy, with those who do not know Him, and this makes me want to evangelize more. God bless you for sharing the scriptures in such a lovely way on your blog.

Brenda said...

Hi Ceil,
lovely to have you stop over. The Lord never ceases to amaze me at the way He can bring something to a person's attention. He certainly is an awesome God. I love the way He does it, He seems to speak to us all in a unique way. I suppose it is because He has made us all unique. Every night I look at my little cat as she sits on the bed and say 'wonderfully made'.
God bless you in your lovely ministry,

Never Forsaken said...

I am so glad that you paid attention and got this revelation to share with me...I love this poem!
Sometimes my heart just breaks when I see how disjointed believers are...and not just people who go to the same church, but people who are at odds with other Christians who attend a different church/denomination! As long as we call upon the name of the same Lord, Jesus who is the heartbeat of our faith...we are joined into ONE family.
God bless you, my dear sister~

Patrinas Pencil said...

Brenda dear,

Powerfully rich...once again!

It never ceases to amaze me...how the Lord reveals to you deep yet simple things...that have the power to open hearts and minds ...to the reality and truth of Jesus Christ and his Kingdom. This is a great example of walking in the spirit. Had you been walking in carnality...you wouldn't have even noticed these few scattered pieces...and therefore would have missed the revelation! ...the teaching experience that God used with you...to share with the world!

This is an example of one of God's 'suddenlies'! I would like to add a link to this post on my post about watching for the suddenlies...if that's ok....and add it to my side bar for 'choice reads'!

and the poem...how beautiful. loved it all...and the ending is what I remember from the other time you posted it..." I’ll become a butterfly - and You’ll have raised the dead"!

thank you Brenda for sharing this revelatory truth!

I love reading how God speaks to you. It is so empowering for me to keep watch over my days and nights!

hugs,
patrina <")>><

Brenda said...

Hi Lisa,
yes as long as we are under the same Lord's guidance we shall all learn from His words. I know that if I am feeling uncomfortable about something then I have to examine myself to see if there are areas that I am not in His will. It may be bearing a grudge against somebody or doing something that the Lord has told me not to do. I love the way that He understands that we are flesh and is long suffering with us but I also love the way that He can be firm with me if I do not heed what He is saying, because I know that the reason He is bringing me into line is because He loves me and wants what is best for me. His ways are always best.
God bless you Lisa, I hope you have found some of the nice green plants that you wanted.

Brenda said...

Hi Patrina,
lovely to hear from you. The thing that never ceases to amaze me is how the Lord loves us so much, and how He is able to speak to each of us in a way that He knows we will understand the message. He understands all our weaknesses and wants us all to be complete in Him. With a love like that who can resist trying to do His will, for only blessing can come out of it. Yes of course you can add a link to my post. I really have to learn about links. I know child of God gave me some good advice on how to do some things but I have not got down to doing them yet. There is so much I have to learn, from the Lord and from brothers and sisters.
God bless you Patrina, and you are right about 'suddenlies'.

Frank Blasi said...

Dear Brenda,
When I was a boy, Mum often bought me jigsaw puzzles, including a whole series of Western scenes. I was the only member of my family who enjoyed the quietness of the evening pastime, perhaps on similar lines to my Dad, who spent countless hours with the intricate use of the paintbrush and easel.
I guess a jigsaw is rather like the Bible, with each piece like a single Bible verse. But to get the complete picture, you have to read and understand the whole Bible.
An excellent post, including the poem.
God bless.

Brenda said...

Hi Frank,
it sounds like you and your dad had the same tastes as me as far as pastimes are concerned. Jigsaw puzzles and art have always been something I loved as a pastime. You could not have put it better than 'I guess a jigsaw is rather like the Bible, with each piece like a single Bible verse. But to get the complete picture, you have to read and understand the whole Bible.' We are all in the process of learning from the Lord, who is a wonderful teacher and loves all of His creation.
Blessings to you and Alex.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

I hope you will work to help as many as will to realize that it is a great tragedy that there are thousands of differing beliefs in the Christian community when all of our Heavenly Father's children by faith are supposed to be of the same mind--His mind, to be exact.

Brenda said...

Jerry, I can only work out my own salvation and share what I believe God has given me to share. It is the Lord Himself who does the convincing and the convicting through the Holy Spirit. The devil is a deceiver but we are to build one another up in the faith and use the gifts we have been given. I am aware of the false doctrines within the church, they have always been there but if we seek we shall find and wisdom and knowledge will be increased in us through the teaching of the Holy Spirit. We have the scriptures available to check if all that is preached is so and I would encourage all who seek the Lord to search the scriptures to see if what is preached is so no matter who preaches it. God is no respecter of persons.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

What do you consider to be working out your own salvation, my dear Brenda?

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Brenda,
What a wonderful metaphor using the puzzle pieces to describe the carnal and spiritual man and how the living Water washes away the sins that make us carnal. If we remain carnal after we are saved, our true purpose in the body of Christ is not fulfilled, and the picture is incomplete. Wonderful poem too! Thanks as always for being a blessing,
Laurie

Brenda said...

Hello Jerry,
I consider 'working out my own salvation' to be endeavouring to act on the word of God that is spoken to me by the Holy Spirit, who is my teacher. If I do not eat the food that I store in my house I will not grow, but starve to death. The same principle applies with my spiritual growth. My mind has to be renewed in Christ Jesus, for as a man thinks so he is.

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
you have put it exactly right, what is the point of calling ourselves Christian if we remain carnal. My husband was a mechanic all his working life, but without the mechanics' manual to teach him, and the gradual practice he could have called himself a mechanic but not actually been one.

Laurie Collett said...

Sadly,many unsaved judge Christ by the self-proclaimed "Christians" who use His name but do not have Him in their heart. May we glorify Him in all we do, so that His light shines through us to others. God bless you and your ministry.

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
yes, that is right . In order to shine that light we first have to allow that light to remove our own darkness. It is a constant renewing of our minds. The lovely thing is that no matter what was in our lives before Jesus, it is always outshined by Jesus being in our lives.

Sateigdra L Knowles said...

Great Post Brenda. I think a lot of people are now realizing the disunity in the church more and more everyday. Just last night, well, early this morning, it was after midnight, I was over on facebook chatting with a brother in Christ, we were talking about this same topic, moreso, about how many persons lack understanding of the word, but these are the people who faithfully attend church every week, but they have hardly any understanding of how to rightly divide the word of God. They only know unbiblical sayings and catch-phrases they learnt around the church.

Many people have been misguided by certain messages that were taught to them in church and they would not search the scriptures for themselves to see if what was written is true, they rely solely on the pastors word and in many cases they are misguided and this causes a conflict when these persons who don't know the word come in contact with other Christians who do and try to share the truth with them.

The ones who relied on man to teach them, receive the truth as opinion, and lies as truth. They would not search scriptures to find what is true or not and this causes a great division in the church because one group that studies the Word of God and trust in the Lord to guide and teach, and then there is another group who trusts in man, and the two cannot walk together because there is no agreement. But I think this is why we must be light and salt on the earth and I also see that there are people who simply were misguided and if we boldly speak the truth as given to us by God, many hopefully will come to their senses.

This was just one example of one of the causes for the disunity amongst the church. Great post, I will share it on my facebook page, and the poem which is very lovely.

Brenda said...

Hi Sateigdra,
as always, it is lovely to hear from you. Yes, I too believe that many have had false teaching - all of us are vulnerable and satan is the master deceiver, even sometimes disguising himself as an angel (messenger)of light. The lovliest thing is that our wonderful God wants all to be saved and we have a far greater warrior than satan, and the word of God cannot go out and return to Him void. It will achieve what it was meant to do. All we can do is encourage one another, resist the devil who will flee from us when we draw close to God, until our Lord returns.
God bless you Sateigdra.