Give Him The Ashes
In 2004, Pamela K. Dillon, Pastor of Agape Time Ministries Inc - City of Refuge, wrote a book entitled “Give Him the Ashes”. The first time I saw this book was in 2008 at Family Christian Book Store (the West Florissant location to all of my St. Louis, Missouri subscribers). It was tucked away on the top shelf. I picked it up, examined it, flipped through the pages and remembered thinking “this seems deep”. I put the book down and I ended up leaving the store because our food was ready at the restaurant down the street. It took another 6 years for me to get a copy of this book in my hands and own it for myself. The Lord allowed my path of life to cross with Pastor John and Pam Dillon in 2011 and I have not left their vicinity since -- even if I try.
Within the pages of “Give Him the Ashes”, Pastor Pam pens how life has the ability to present itself to us by way of problems, burdens, struggles, worries, pains and issues of life yet we have the ability to be free--and free indeed--just as the scripture says and promises us! We have the ability to obtain a level of peace and joy that we can only get in the presence of the Lord as we present the issues of our heart to Him. We have this habit of replaying hurts and pains into the perfect “what-if” outcomes that did not happen. It is the ideal love-hate relationship that we have with each event that has caused us pain. We love to think about the potential outcomes that never happened yet we hate the reality of the matter and how it leads us to a healing process.
When giving the Lord our Ashes, the healing process is (1) acknowledging that we have issues, (2) capturing them at the root, (3) casting them down (2 Cor 10:5), and (4) leaving them at the altar, allowing the Lord to burn them in His perfecting love. We have a great High Priest who is able to empathize with us in every way (Heb 4:14-16) and knows that the things that easily beset us as it states in 2 Cor 10:5 are not going to be easy so when we cast (throw down with force) our cares then HE DOES HIS PART. This is the second part of Eph 3:20..”according to the power that WORKETH in us.” We love to dance and shout on the first part alone: “Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think…” But we cannot forget that we have our part in this process as well: bringing, casting, throwing, the issues to him. The Lord has the capacity, infinite wisdom, even the desire to take these things from us so that there is nothing hindering the love, communication and communion from Him to us and us to Him.
The Old Testament tells us how the priests (chosen by lot) would wake up daily, cleanse themselves, dress for their duties and lastly pour water on their hands and feet from the brazen laver. The Priests assigned for the day would take a specific amount of the ashes from the altar, place them in a silver pan, carry them to the east side of the ramp depositing them on the ground in a special spot designated for that purpose. After this task had been completed, the Priests that were on duty that day, after proper cleansing, would remove the remaining ashes from the altar” (Give Him the Ashes, pg 8). In 1 Corinthians 6:19 it speaks of how our bodies are a temple of the Lord. Notice in the scripture and description above of the priests’ duties. It was THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to take the ashes out of the temple. It is not our responsibility to take the ashes of our sacrifices outside of our mind, emotion and character.
With all of this in mind, today is December 28th, 2015. We have examined our heart, set goals, and celebrated our victories these past couple of weeks on our journey. There are three days left in this year. I encourage you to leave the issues that may have caused you any hindrances, whether great or small, and take them to the altar and leave them there. The thing is we will have to trust the Lord knowing that He knows what to do with what we present to Him. I can tell you from experience that HE DOES!! I know that I have started to give the Lord some things this past year, but thought it cost too much to “complete the process”. Once I got sick of myself, I had to commit to the process of allowing the Great Priest do His work in my heart. We all have to get to a place of coming to the end of ourselves: no more fight, no desire to be in control anymore and no need for the mask to hide where we really are and how messed up I really am. In those moments for me (as my grandmother would say), is where the REAL YES comes from. Lord knows that I don’t have it all together nor have “I arrived” to my fullest potential but there are a lot of burdens that I have laid down and the Lord gave me beauty for my ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness...*(Is 61:3). The more and more I do this (you as well) the latter part of the same verse will be smeared across our very beings, “...that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be gloried.”
[caption id="attachment_197" align="alignright" width="347"]Photo Credit: CrossTraining-us.com[/caption]
The new year starts in four days. If we make a conscious effort to purge our hearts of the things that are not like him and dwell in His presence for the next three days, as it says in Psalms 91, you can imagine the strength and glory that the Lord would allow us to experience, on the fourth day. Romans 6:1-11 reminds us that if we have allowed ourselves to die with Christ Jesus then we would be resurrected with Him as well.
The plan of the Lord for our lives is only found in His presence.
The issues and the video tapes of life's happenings can only be disposed in His presence.
Jesus became sin (all of the hindrances that would keep us from His presence)...He hung on the cross and died. But in three days He rose again with all power in His hands.
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is ALIVE working in us (Rom 8:11).
In three days He rose with all power….IN THREE DAYS YOU CAN BECOME A NEW CREATURE. IN FOUR, YOU WILL CELEBRATE ALL THINGS NEW!
GIVE HIM THE ASHES.
Wash and rid yourself of the residue.
Allow the Word to stand up strong in you to become a standard for you to live by.
And let the glory of the Lord shine through the broken places of your life. The grace of the Lord is sufficient.
I can do this!
You can do this!
We can do this!