Thursday, June 25, 2015

The List......

Walking into my bathroom this morning, I heard HIM speak straight to my heart.  "Make a list of ALL the people who offend you and annoy you."  Hearing those words made me cringe.  I "tried" to play it off like I didn't hear HIM, and began getting ready for the day, and the voice was persistent.  Over and over ALL I could hear, and think about was The List.

I quickly text my best friend, and asked her to call me.  I shared with her what was said to me, and she laughed.... and well I think even cringed herself, as if she were to do the same, well just how long would The List be?  Knowing full well that I was supposed to be writing this blog, I vented to her instead, and "tried" my best to avoid what I knew HE was calling me to do.  We ended our conversation with her saying that she would be looking forward to reading today's blog sometime after 4 p.m. today. I laughed, but secretly cringed, as I knew HE was going to have be me writing it even sooner rather than later... and well I couldn't have prepared that sooner would be just ten minutes later.

In thinking about The List, it makes me want to run and hide because after all how can I, Heather profess to be HIS FAITHFUL Follower, when I act, and react in the flesh far more than I do through HIS HOLY SPIRIT.  YIKES!!!  What I mean to say is I can't begin to tell you how many times I have reacted poorly, and completely unholy or honoring to how I am being treated.  To take it even further, I react poorly when it doesn't have anything to do with me, but is hurting someone else.

Case in point..... yesterday...... driving with my teens, a situation arose, about someone who hurt one of my teens.... I had similar encounters with this person, and instead of keeping a level head about what was said, and happening, I went straight into the emotions and "feelings" that I had obviously been harboring obliviously to my own knowledge..... well that is until I opened my mouth, and well words of anger, hatred, animosity, and pure disgust came out. 

Not feeling any remorse or guilt right away, I assumed that it was okay because I was just venting.  I mean after all, it wasn't like I was saying it to this person, I was just..... venting...... right?!?  HE let me know right away this morning just how detrimental just venting is for my spirit, my heart, my mind, my bones....well ALL of me.  HE made it clear that each time that I allow myself to just vent instead of speaking words of life, I speak words of death, and the more I speak words of death, the more I allow words of death, the enemy to sink even deeper into my heart, and keep on distorting HIS truth that HE is breathing daily into my very heart, soul, mind, spirit, and bones.  

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." Proverbs 14:30

This is WHY HE made sure that I heard HIS words loud and clear this morning in giving me a heart check of the truth of the matter of what the condition of my heart really is.  HE reminded me of the book that is laying on my bedside table just waiting to be read by me.  The same book, that I read only half of the first chapter, promptly closed it and said, "oh this can't really be for me, I don't struggle with unforgiveness......"

"Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the Lord." 2 Chronicles 34:27

Okay, okay, I know what your thinking... um have you met yourself?  Yes, you see I have, and well that is why I have admitted to being a slllloooooow learner.  This is because I "think" I have conquered something in the way that I "think" how I was supposed to.  However, in my foolishness, I forget how HE NEVER teaches me the same way twice, and is always switching things up for me. Today I am eating humble pie once again, as HE is revealing to me just what really lies deep within. 

 "But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them." Matthew 15:18

HE is wanting me to know that HE knows how much I am hurt by people and their actions.  Their words cut deep like a knife, and HE knows how much I cry by people misunderstanding me, or judging me, or whatever it is that I am "feeling."  HE is telling me that in asking me to forgive them isn't because it negates what I am "feeling" or what I have been through, rather it is HIS gift of TRUE FREEDOM for me to LIVE with HIS TRUE PEACE.  HE is wanting me to know that in order to LIVE, TRULY LIVE according to HIS PLANS, and HIS PURPOSE for my life, I must understand that I don't have the time nor the energy to waste in being upset, angry, and harboring unforgiveness in my heart.  

" But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:15

This for me is so hard to grasp, as I look back on my journey with HIM, and even though I can SEE and remember how HE has set me free, I become discouraged in how I am treated, and frankly I'm sick and tired of being hurt, disrespected, annoyed, and offended.  So much in fact that I have two sayings that I have foolishly been saying for the past eight months.  The first being I hate everyone and everything. This particular saying is my go to whenever I am jealous.  Jealous of so many different things.  Families smiling, being happy with ALL of their children, families WHO LIVE in oblivious living.  Jealous of goodness being showered over people who have hurt me, or someone that I love and care about.  Jealous that people who offend me continue to do so without what seems to me as repercussions. 

"Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else" Galatians 6:4

"But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." 1 Timothy 6:6-7

Ahhhh this takes me back to the number one rule in our household.  Worry about yourself.  There it is right there.  Keeping my eyes OFF of what is going on in other people's lives, and getting them, and keeping them focused on HIM, and what HE is telling me, teaching me, leading me, and guiding me to do.  Even in knowing all of this, I still struggle..... and because HE loves me HE is letting me know that in order to move forward in my walk with HIM, I must understand that this behavior has to stop.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

The second saying that I have allowed to spill from my mouth is I'm all out of Grace.  Thankfully because HE words tells me I know that HE is NEVER out of Grace for me.  HE is wanting me to know that because of this, this is how I will be able to endure a life of dealing with difficult people. HE is wanting me to always remember that it is because of HIS grace that I will be able to look past the offensive things people say to me, and those that I love.  HE is telling me that I will be able to look past because HE is gifting me with HIS vision to SEE what is really going on in the way that particular person is being.

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Hearing this, typing this out, reading this, meditating on this, soaking ALL of this in...... ahhhh PRAISE JESUS for HIS amazing grace.  PRAISE HIM that HIS mercies are new EVERY single morning.  PRAISE HIM that HIS grace is ALL sufficient for me, so that I don't have to worry, or waste time or energy focusing on the distractions that the enemy wants me to remain focused on.  

"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,  for his compassion's never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

In thinking about The List, I'm starting to SEE who these people are in HIS eyes.  I starting to SEE that just as I struggle with  dealing with the waves constantly crashing over me, so are they.  I'm starting to SEE that list dwindling into NOTHING, as no one is my enemy, rather an opportunity to PRAY HIS goodness, favor and blessings to be poured over their lives.  

"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:27-31

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
 Luke 6:35-38

This is why through my soul sister D's blog the other day I read, that there are no enemies, but rather just an illusion created by the enemy to keep us from seeing that who the world SEES as enemies, are really our friends.  Ahhhh this is so refreshing and just what I had been needing to hear, to know, to LIVE, because frankly is was becoming exhausting holding onto these silly little grudges.  

Today I'm seeking HIM and HIS WILL for my life.  Today I'm choosing to follow JESUS, and asking HIM to teach, lead, and guide me to learn to know WHO HE is in ALL of this.  Today I'm surrendering ALL of the bitterness and unholy thoughts that I have allow to take up residence within my heart.   Today I'm clinging to HIS HOPE that no matter how offensive or hurtful people are towards me, HE will pour HIS strength into me to TRUST to know that NONE of it matters.  Today I am TRUSTING that HE knows what is best for me, and so if HE is calling me to let go, then I'm going to do just that.  

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, friends I know how much  your hearts are hurting, and have been hurt by people.  I know that because I'm human and I know that I'm someone who has hurt people just the way that you are hurting.  Through lies and manipulations that I have allowed to be lived out, that were, and are orchestrated by the enemy.  I have let people down, I have crushed their spirit, I have failed them.  I say this because I too am a sinner, in NEED of a SAVIOR.  HE is our SAVIOR, and I pray today that you will have the courage to lay down and let go of The List of people that you are harboring in your own heart, and allow HIM to cleanse you of all of those unholy thoughts that are festering around in your mind, and heart.  I pray today is the day that HE will set you free from captivity, and that you will have the COURAGE to SPEAK HIS WORDS, WORDS OF LIFE to this broken and fallen world.  I pray today that you too will come to know and SEE that HE is all that you need to eliminate The List.

humbled by HIS grace, fervently praying for your aching hearts,

Love your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

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