Wounds Unveiled

Jeremiah 6:wound14 & 8:11 “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. Peace, peace, they say when there is no peace.”

Jeremiah 6:15,16, “Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the Lord. This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.”

Jeremiah was calling God’s people back to God but they didn’t like his condemnation of their sins and so chose to ignore that and listened instead to predictions of peace. God had called Jeremiah to warn them as he rose up with vengeance for their conduct. Sin cannot be removed by denying its existence. God gave this warning so that the people could confess and walk in His ways. He does that for us today. Do you have areas of your life that need a touch from God? An area that you need to press in further for full reconciliation?

Are you walking wounded? I believe this is a time that God is calling His people to account, to press into those areas that need healing and reconciliation and not walk around as though without power. Christ in us, the hope of glory! Are you walking in the fullness of what this means? Hear me when I say, I am included in this list and am not pointing fingers. I have heard it said on a few occasions lately, what would my life look like if I was walking in the fullness of what Christ did for me?

I have been praying specifically for revelation in some areas of my life to live this out. I was asked the question recently, What have you been believing if you continue to have the same behaviour even when it is not working? This caused me to press in deep. This was a no peeling layers question, it was a deep cutting to the root one. It was the beginning of a beautiful unraveling; albeit a painful one, that will take consistent hard work with the Holy Spirit to break it off. God knew my heart was ready. The lie: I am unworthy to be loved by people or God, I have to earn it. The truth: I am loved and nothing I have done or haven’t done or will do, will change that. Deception: I have the gift of generosity but the enemy has twisted it into my shame and believing I have to earn people’s love and being generous with all things was the means to do it.

carnivalmaskI have also been deceived into thinking that shame was healed because I did not search to the bottom of the wound. You know when you pass over the surface and it seems enough…peace where there is not peace. I know there are layers and it is a process. I have previously called process the swear word of life but have come to realize that it is just life and we will always be in process until the day of Christ Jesus. My root wound was rejection and my trying to earn love and favour from God and people was my heart’s way to protect itself from that. Performance has been so integrated into my behaviour because of this that even in my path of healing, it still reared its ugly head sometimes in the middle of true generosity. The issues at hand were mainly my spending and my eating.

So this is my call to account. I know this is not every pathway to healing, to display our wounds and behaviours but I feel this is part of the process for me to be able to walk in the fullness of God’s power and life in me. This life is so much bigger than my struggles. I want the pain I have lived and caused to be used for God’s good and His glory. The enemy cannot have this power anymore, I have given it to him too long.

My husband, son and I are currently reading ‘Do Hard Things’ by Alex & Brett Harris – A Teenage rebellion against low expectations. Little did I know it was not just for my son’s benefit. I am discovering that I had low expectations of what God can do because I had not studied His character enough. I had low expectations that my deeply-rooted behaviour could not change because I have taken easy paths in my life often, trying to create peace where there wasn’t any really. I had low expectations of who I am in Christ because my wounds got in the way of fully believing my identity to be true. I had low expectations of the magnitude of our God because my identity did not have a solid foundation in him but I have just taken snippets of truth here and there and let my emotions rule me. I had low expectations of this all because I had not fully surrendered all of my heart to Him.

My word is Trust this year and this is what God is requiring me to do, give Him my heart so He can make it whole. Trust in the Lord with ALL my heart…oh yeah, that is what it says in Proverbs. Where are you withholding your heart from God? What behaviours are you continuing to do and expecting different results?  Take up this call to account and seek healing, forgive, do the hard things, choose peace in the midst of circumstances, ask Him to remove the blinders of your own deception and trust Him with the outcome.

trust-rock

 

 

Encourage Yourself

“David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6

walklikejesusI spoke to a lot of people today who were discouraged and were needing some encouragement. I am beginning to think that the words encourage yourself in the Lord are a lifeline. There will often be times when no one is around to give you the boost that you need. To press in and receive God’s heart in a lot of situations requires us to find answers in His Word and not from those around us. Human as we are, we are quick to ask someone or wait for someone to pull us up by our bootstraps.

I think it is the same with any kind of discipline or relationship. There comes a point where we need to take responsibility and not expect everyone to do the work for us. Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when our hearts may take more than encouraging ourselves in Him, but I think this is a discipline worth learning. We can’t count on others to keep us alive spiritually. It is kind of like me asking you to keep my marriage in a good place. Nobody else can do that for me. Or for you.

I remember when I first became a Christian. My Mom was a prayer warrior. So whenever I had an issue or a prayer request, I would call her and ask her to pray. Oftentimes, I wouldn’t do it myself. I hadn’t been raised to press in to things and if they seemed too hard, I would ask someone else to do it or look for an easy solution. I tell you I am still reaping the consequences of that kind of thinking. Perseverance was not a quality that was instilled in me. I learned the hard way when my Mom passed away that in order to have relationship with Jesus, I needed to talk to Him myself.

I really had no idea that I relied on her encouragement and prayers as much as I did until the silence ensued after she died. Encouraging ourselves is not just blowing smoke to ourselves and being positive but to dig in deep, lift your eyes up to the hills and let God be the one that brings the encouragement. Our words need to be filled with His truth and not used to speak defeat over our lives.

Chuck Norris wrote the foreword to a book called Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris, he wrote, “Today we live in a culture that promotes comfort, not challenges. Everything is about finding ways to escape hardship, avoid pain and dodge duty. In the past, young people were expected to make significant contributions to society.” The Harris twins write about combatting the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility. I think this statement speaks loudly of what our culture has been doing in the last generation. Out of brokenness, this vacation from responsibility mentality has carried over into our lives as adults.

Hence, it has carried over into our spiritual lives with an expectation that God will just do things or a miracle will bail us out (not that miracles aren’t possible but they don’t teach us as process can) or that someone else will help to carry this responsibility. I think our spiritual, emotional and physical lives will come to a standstill or spin on a hamster wheel until we really take the bull by the horns per se. I am preaching at myself too.

The story in 1 Samuel 30 finds David coming back from being turned away from fighting with the Philistines only to discover that the Amalekites had burned Ziklag and taken their wives and children. David’s men in their distress talked about killing him even though David had experienced the same losses. Instead of giving in to blaming, David sought his encouragement from the Lord and looked for a solution in Him. Because he took this stance and listened to the Lord’s wisdom, they were able to recover every person.

David chose to be encouraged in the Lord. This meant pressing in and seeking Him in the midst of trouble. He could have easily given in to the blame or the hurt of rejection by His brothers/soldiers, or just the difficulty of the situation. He talked to God himself. Often, that is just what we need to do, talk to Him ourselves.

There is a song called Encourage Yourself by Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers. encourageThese are some of the words. We are more than conquerors. Don’t let the enemy speak lies into your discouragement. Don’t take a vacation from your responsibility to encourage yourself in the Lord. By learning this, encouragement will be quick on your tongue to speak to others that need it or to teach them how to seek it.

Psalm 10:17, “You Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them and you listen to their cry.”