The overview of this redemptive gift continues in Mercy & The Principle of Fulfillment – Describing the Gift – Part 2.
“To release the holiness of God into their environment.
To come into the presence of God and worship God in all of life.”
embracing the ache and the Joy
In Mercy & The Principle of Fulfillment – Describing the Gift, some of Mercy’s strengths and life-giving characteristics were articulated. The gift of Mercy is endowed with a beauty that comes from the softening influence of being in the presence of God.
Sometimes our Mercy portion’s highest worship is set to the lyrics of “He washed my eyes with tears.” The Mercy’s ability to ache is matched by its capacity for joy. Intimacy with God is Mercy’s authority. As Mercy’s own walls come down, God’s righteous plumbline is revealed. True Worshiper Mercy begins to identify more clearly where the soul is out of alignment – the cause of the ache effect. Mercy can hurt, like a rib out of joint.
One of Mercy’s greatest strengths – its capacity for joy – is developed by learning to return to joy, for “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10 – in context of vs 9-12).
The Mercy in the Book of Nehemiah
I cannot help but see the Mercy portion of our human spirit portrayed in the book of Nehemiah. It is what makes intimacy with God so crucial for the Mercy. The Lord’s joy is a healthy dose of strength to our spirit that ministers calm to the soul’s fears, threats, and felt resistance. It is to our Mercy portion and community of the human spirit like vitamins and minerals are to our physical body. His joy adds wellness to our whole being.
F.B. Meyer, in his Nehemiah commentary, expressed what I see in Mercy’s ability to ache and yet return to joy:
There is nothing which weakens us so much as does unrestrained remorse. Contriteness of heart is wholesome and helpful, but excessive grief incapacitates us for our duties. It is well therefore to cultivate holy joy; the joy of sin forgiven, of acceptance with God, of hope that anchors us to the unseen, and that cannot be ashamed. You may not be able to joy in yourself or your surroundings, but you may always rejoice in the Lord.
The broken-down wall of Jerusalem was being rebuilt on a repaired foundation by individuals in family units. The day came that they stood to hear the reading of the Word of God. And they wept. Instruction was given, calm was ministered to the assembled, and they went forth to celebrate in joy and send nourishment to those afar. (verses 9-12)
Describing the Gift, Part 2
What a picture of Mercy’s birthright expressed, having come into the presence of the Lord. Weeping from the heart that aches over all that is out of alignment to the will, wisdom, and word of God, in oneself and others. Listening to His instruction and counsel; taking rest in His calm. Then to emerge bathed in the strength of His joy that fills up the life-giving Mercy, again. Mercy-full, not Mercy-less → merciful, not merciless.
Wisdom, Proverbs 9:1 tells us, has built her house and has hewn out its seven pillars. Mercy holds the distinction of the seventh pillar and with it, the Wisdom principle of Fulfillment. As I write it strikes me that wherever we see a cycle or pattern of seven playing out, if we look for it, God’s redeeming grace gift of Mercy will be present.
The Principle of Fulfillment – Who & Why
If Mercy is the crown jewel of the gifts, an immature and discontented Mercy can resemble a lump of coal.
Repeat with me: “the Mercy feels life and does not just do life.” That sums up God’s essential component in Mercy’s essence – and why every Mercy portion cannot feel and function well apart from time in His presence.
*Mercy, who has the highest authority for ministering to wounded people is the same Mercy that is easily hurt and finds it difficult to process and heal from injury. To be life-giving, Mercy must receive life from the Life-giver.
*Hurt results in Mercy developing protective structures for dealing with pain. Designed to be Mercy and merciful, a wounded Mercy can form a perspective that sees all pain as bad. They may choose to flee pain themselves or attempt to prevent pain in others through the avenue of the discipline of God. Either way, it keeps oneself or others from His pure and kind intention to build maturity and wholeness through discipline.
*People around them will try to change the Mercy, attempting to make them fit into a more acceptable mold. Vital to fulfilling your birthright, Mercy, is being in the presence of God who longs to release you into who He has designed you to be. The Mercy that has been with Him carries the fragrance of Christ. Two people can do the same thing, but the Mercy being healed and released to live from their design, does with a unique flavor.
The next post will take a deeper look at Mercy’s areas of weakness. To develop in redemptive living from the opposite spirit that comes so naturally to our flesh nature, it helps to be aware of the dynamics of the battle.
*A. Burk/C. Wales description of Mercy’s birthright
Click here for a printable PDF of this article: Mercy & The Principle of Fulfillment – Describing the Gift – Part 2