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A Lenten Meditation

Friends, this is our 200th episode!

That’s 200 conversations and teachings we hope have accompanied, encouraged, and equipped you on your journey to Becoming Whole.

At Regeneration Ministries, we believe the trial you’re struggling with can serve as a holy invitation from God to know Him more deeply.  While these episodes aren’t meant to be substitutes for coaching, they can certainly be a first step to understanding the invitation more fully.

Often, we go wide together here, covering a multitude of topics on sexual integrity.

Today, we are going deep together through a prayerful meditation. Ask the Holy Spirit to open and guide your imagination. Allow yourself to hit pause on the activity around you so you can shift more fully into a posture of prayer.

Together, let’s take a deep breath as we enter more deeply into the mystery of choice and suffering and Jesus.

Let’s begin.

(We humbly ask that you take a moment to Review, Rate and Subscribe to let others know what you think of the podcast.)


If you want to learn more, check out Josh’s latest musing on this topic at, Undoing What You Cannot Undo

Click for Full Podcast Transcription

Hey, everybody. So listen up, I have got a great announcement to make. And I also have a request. So first of all, here’s the announcement, big announcement for today. This episode, the episode you’re listening to right now is our 200th episode of becoming whole 200. So congratulations, you’re listening to the 200th episode, but also congratulations, and thank you for listening. Thank you for helping to make this podcast something that continues, and it’s helping more and more people. So thanks for listening. Thanks for sharing with others. We are so glad that you’re a part of this. And so glad this has been meaningful and helpful to you. In the months and years now, actually, that we’ve been we’ve been doing this podcast. And with that in mind, I want to I want to make a request, here’s the request, would you please would you please go to wherever you listen to podcasts, and leave a review, and a comment. Leave a rate of sorry, a rating and a review. Let people know what you think of the podcast. Whatever the magic algorithms that podcast people use, it actually lets others find this podcast more easily. So if this has been a help to you, if it’s been meaningful to you, you’re in your own journey. As you’re seeking sexual wholeness, relational wholeness, would you please rate it and leave a review so that others can can find it more easily, that would be a great gift to us and more importantly, a great gift to others who could really benefit from the content of what we share here week after week. So thank you so much for that. And thanks again for listening to, to becoming whole, we’re so grateful that you’re part of this family, and a part of the podcast in a way that that’s been meaningful for you. So with that in mind, today, we are still in the season of Lent. And as I’ve said before, Lent is one of my favorite seasons of the Christian calendar. And maybe especially for two reasons, one, because it leads up to the the crucifixion, resurrection of Jesus, our remembrance of that, our commemoration of those significant events and what Christianity is all about. And also because unlike Advent, which is also so meaningful, so powerful. Lent doesn’t have the trappings of the Christmas season, the commercialized Christmas season, the commercialization and all the pomp and busyness. This is typically actually so under the radar of of the culture that it actually makes me wonder if we don’t forget about it too much. And even for me last night I I’ve made some commitments and and fasting from some things through Lance and I completely forgot about it and totally indulge in those things last night. And it wasn’t till afterwards, I was like, wait a minute, I’m not doing that. Right, this is lint. Anyway, so today to mark the 200th episode and also to mark lint, or to kind of continue on this journey of Lent. I want to break from my usual sharing and sharing some thoughts in these minutes. Instead, I want to lead you through a meditation of sorts of prayerful meditation, in which I’m going to ask you to use your imagination. You know, many of us have misused our imagination. But today, I want to invite you to use it in a way that will honor God and help to lead us further into the mystery of what Lent and Good Friday and Holy Saturday and Resurrection Sunday are all about. And so if you’re driving or running, or or doing something else, that’s fine, you may want to pause and wait till later. Or if you want to continue with what you’re doing, I would just invite you as much as possible to to, to posture yourself in a posture of prayer. And what I mean by that is not necessarily you could but not necessarily leaning or kneeling. But rather that you seek to open yourself to the reality of God’s presence with you. The God is present with you wherever you are, the fullness of who he is, is with you fully where you are, His love, His attention, his tenderness, and attentiveness, His power, His healing, His Holiness, all that he is He is with you where you are. So you posture yourself that way as best as possible. I’m going to just lead us for the next few minutes in a prayer for meditation. So first just take a deep breath just settle yourself. Lord, we thank You that You are present to us help us to enter in more deeply to the mystery of your gift in this season. So brothers and sisters, I want to ask you to begin by imagining that you are in a garden of sorts and up ahead of you there’s a tree and you move towards that tree there’s something in it that are about it. That’s that’s pulling you that’s enticing to you. And you can see as you get there that you can see one of the pieces of fruit on the tree. And I want you to imagine for a moment what it looks like it’s, it’s beautiful to you, it’s appealing to you, it’s enticing to you. There also seems to be something a bit forbidden about it. And you become aware as you look at it as enticing as it is as beautiful as it is to as pleasing as it is to you. You’re also aware that it is a sin. Specifically, it’s, it’s one of the sins that you struggle with the most. It’s an area of sin that you’ve promised that you wouldn’t do 1000 times and 1001 times you’ve done it again. For those of you who are in the midst of struggling with sexual sins, imagine that the fruit represents one of the sexual sins that you’ve been wrestling with, or sexual sin in general. What is the fruit look like to you? What color is it? What shape is it? And you’re close enough to smell it, what does it smell like to you? Again, there’s something enticing to you about it. Even even though you know it’s wrong, even though you know, it’s forbidden to you. And as you imagine this, I want you to see your hand reaching out for the fruit. You know, it’s wrong, but you you reach again. And you pluck the piece of fruit from the tree. And as you do, there’s just a bit of, of, of the aroma of the fruit that enters the air. And hardly without a thought you you take a bite out of the piece of fruit. And for a moment, or two or three, there’s such a sweetness to the taste. It’s familiar. It’s relaxing, makes you feel alive and awake. And it soothes you at the same time. It feels almost otherworldly. But after just a moment or two, suddenly the taste begins to change in your mouth, the texture begins to change and you open your eyes and you look at this piece of fruit. And you see it for what it is it’s it’s no longer beautiful in your hand. It’s now grotesque, it’s sour, it’s rotted, there’s mold on it. There may even be worms crawling in it. And that the stickiness that’s now bleeding onto your hands feels almost like tar, hard to remove. And you know that this is what’s now inside of you. And you can feel it making you sick. You’ve ingested it and it’s making you sick, you know, in fact, not just that it’s making you sick for a moment, but you feel in your stomach awakeness and you are convinced that it is actually killing you. It’s killing you. And you let the remains of the fruit fall to the ground and you you stumble forward. And you you you want to Rach but you can’t you can’t you feel this fruit being absorbed into your own body. And then somehow you you hear another noise. It’s far away. But you hear the din of a crowd. The crowd sounds angry and wondering if they’re coming for you. Because you’ve taken what you’re not meant to you, you look up and you see a hill in the distance. The crowd is on the hill and something in you feels drawn to find out what’s going on. And so you stumble your way up the hill. Again, just feeling the the sickness in your stomach and the death creeping through your bones. You stumble up this hill and somehow you make your way to the top. And the crowd that’s there is not looking at you. They’re not coming after you. They’re actually looking beyond where you can see. But as you crest the hill, you see three crosses, towering over the voices and the angry mob. And it’s the cross in the middle especially that they’re heaping their insults at people even throwing some things at it cursing at the man who hangs there. And you look in you know in that moment, it’s Jesus. It’s Jesus. And as you you you see him a part of you wants to turn back and head back down the hill you feel the shame in your body. And in that moment, you recognize that you’ve been naked, you’re naked, you’ve entered into this crowd and and you are exposed. The sickness is now coming out on your skin. And what was a tare stickiness on your hands is now is now creeping up your arms and is covered your shoulders and is moving down your back. And you feel utterly alone and ashamed. But instead of running you, you take one of the greatest risks you’ve ever taken. And you look up that Jesus on the cross. And what you notice is that with everyone else shouting at him with all the he’s going through the bleeding hands and feet, the wounds on his back and sides and shoulders, the blood dripping from his forehead, he nonetheless looks right at you. And his eyes gaze into your eyes. And unlike the menacing crowd, his eyes are full of love for you. It’s as though What drew you up the hill now, you know, it was actually him silently, somehow, somehow, he was drawing you to that place. And his eyes show nothing but mercy and love for you. And somehow, although he doesn’t speak, you hear his voice in your head, you hear His voice and replacing other voices that have been shouting at you angrily inside your own head. And his voice says, This is my body given for you. As he looks at you, you hear his voice saying this is my body given for you. And in that very moment, as you look at him, his body convulses and jolts and you see that his skin is becoming the color of the fruit. After you bet it. It’s big, it’s beginning to contort and look like that sour fruit that you would eat. And simultaneously, you begin to feel lighter. And what felt like it was the stickiness and suppression overcoming your shoulders in your back and your arms now begins to feel lighter and cleaner. And you look at your own flesh, and somehow the dirt and the grime on it. The discoloration, the sickness is leaving your body. And as you look at Jesus, you see clearly that it’s entering his that his body is being awaited down with the darkness and depravity and perversion of your own sin. But his eyes do not leave yours and that look of love, the assuring Look of Love doesn’t change. And you see on his face, that this is not happening to him unbidden that he is giving his body to you. This is why he called you here, this is what he wants, what you are carrying in your body was too much for you. And somehow you know that he is taking it for you. And more and more as you feel your body lifting, and light and confident and again, you looked down at your body and what was nakedness before somehow you have a robe on a clean white robe. It’s it’s brighter than what you’d felt before and you could almost swear that it’s actually shining a bit. And on your own head. There’s there’s there’s a garland and there’s an aroma that comes off it that is actually beautiful, and seems to be giving you life as you breathe the fragrance in. And even as this is experienced by you. You see that the Jesus his own body is breaking more and sagging more and being more filled with sickness and death. And a few moments later, you hear him and see him cry out audibly. It is finished. And his body collapses on the cross hanging lifeless. Jesus, help us to enter more deeply into the mystery of Lent and the mystery of Good Friday. And Holy Saturday. Whatever you have taken the sin and death that we deserve, into your own body and you have become sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in you. And I pray for every brother and sister listening, Lord that they would in a truly supernatural way. experience something of the power of what it is that you’ve really done for the real sins they have committed, and Lord that I’ve committed. We released them afresh learned from us and into your body and the cross. We do so with thanks and awe and reverence in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen. Friends if if God has been speaking to you if you’re seeing something when I just encourage you to stay in that posture of prayer I’m going to wrap up now and but the Lord who is with you is still with you and so stay with him in this moment as long as you want to linger there

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