Live Pure. Speak Truth. Right Wrong. Follow the King.
25 years ago I painted those words on our basement wall. I pulled out an old Bible today that I’ve had for 40 years. I found I had written those words in the opening pages of that Bible, and that sent me down into my basement to see if those words were still there, and if they could still be read? My basement is not a pretty place to go.
It’s only a partial basement, almost like a large storm cellar. The walls leak. A sump pump carries the water out but doesn’t do much for the dankness of this chilly cave under our house. As I’ve shared before, we are working on this place and trying to bring beauty out of ashes. Our water heater and furnace use to be in the basement, but I’ve changed all that. They have been replaced with new and have beautiful locations upstairs free of all fear of flooding. Progress made.
So this ugly basement is mostly a tornado escape and also a place I have built support beams to level and strengthen our floors. More progress made. But as I saw those words in my oldest Bible, I remembered a day 25 years ago and the events of that time, leading me to clean that basement as best I could, and create my own little cave where I fellowshipped with God. We had a street ministry at that time reaching out to youth. Every Friday night 30-45 youth came to this old beat up house. Believe me, I needed a lot of alone time with God during that time.
The story of that youth ministry reaching street kids is a tale in itself. We had church support for the first year, until… the Pastor decided it did not fit his church vision and it was too risky and growing to fast. Something bad would happen. They asked me to shut it down. I said I could not. They left us alone with the street ministry. We ran another two years without their help and nothing bad happened. Oh it could have, many times! But God delivered us out of every one. They had no faith. I saw miracles. They did not. The head pastor even got caught in an affair many years later. Go figure. And now today, I’m still running rogue with God.
When God showed me those words in my Bible I knew I could not go to the next movie yet. After considering the Chivalric Code, and the Knighthood Code, I kept contemplating a “Christian Code”. And as I mentioned before Philippians 4:8, and I also highly recommend the Beatitudes, but there is one other, perhaps the most important of all? Before I reveal it, here’s a few pictures of my own condensed form of a Christian Knighthood Code I formed 25 years ago during the time of that street ministry.
Like I said, it’s not a pretty place. This last summer I did spend much time digging against our house and laying drainage pipe. It has helped. Progress made. But the Christian Code I’d like to recommend most of all this day, I believe to hold the key to it all, a key our modern churches have lost.
This Christian life is supernatural or it is nothing at all. We don’t please God through our own force of will-power. The good we do accomplish is by way of God working in us and moving us to do some good. Don’t kid yourself that you’ve accomplished God’s will through the power of your own hand. Fire will test all our works one day, and most will be shocked how little comes out the other side! The modern church has lost the truth of seeking the Holy Spirit. He is the power that charges us to accomplish godly things, even to live holy so God can do mighty things through us. When was the last time you heard a good message in your church about “holiness”?
True holiness is born out of fire, not will-power. It is born out of love, not law. It is a natural fruit within as we hunger and thirst for more of the Holy Spirit. But how many of us are doing that anymore? Does anyone truly fast and pray for more of the Holy Spirit these days? Does anyone spend such time out of love, and not because someone said you “had” to, or shamed you into it? Hhmmm.
I have lost my way on this for a while. These “Codes” have challenged me to get back to some more of the “Old Ways”, a journey I began when I went rogue from the modern Church. With that in mind these scriptures have become my new “Christian Code” of following Christ>>>
This is quoted from my 40 year old Bible, which survived a trailer fire we once lived in, and happens to be an Amplified Bible: “Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the (Holy) Spirit. Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices (and instruments), and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” Ephesians 5: 17-20 Ampl.)
We got to get back to the power of God, not man. If we are filled and stimulated with the Holy Spirit, then everything following in that verse will happen by the power of God blooming in me, and my own will-power will only be a small part of it. It is involved, but it is not the powerhouse! One of the joys of my walk with Christ is most of the time I do find a melody in my heart unto God and life, and I know it’s not there because of any goodness or power in me, other than the Spirit of Christ. It is supernatural.
25 years ago when I spray painted those words, I also hung a jigsaw puzzle I had put together and framed. I hung it next to those words. It was a picture of a warrior in golden armor. He had a sword, a shield with a bright red cross, and he was riding a white winged horse! He was in heated battle with another warrior in black armor riding a huge black dragon! I found that picture so inspiring at that time, but for some reason when I finally stopped using the basement, I never took that picture with me. Here’s a few pictures of what it looks like now, after 25 years of time in a dank basement. If you look hard you might make out the head of the horse, approximately center in the picture.
I don’t know about you, but I want to start seeking more of the Holy Spirit in me in a very real way, here under the Willow Tree. And remember… it is a weeping willow. Thank you for sharing the Willow Tree with me.