Monday, March 06, 2006

Observations and Examinations

I wanted to share with you some things that occurred to me at Church yesterday morning...

If eyes do not see:

The healer cannot examine a wound or illness to be able to diagnose it correctly.
The farmer will stumble and sow seed in bad places.
The warrior will lash out and may wound allies.

If fists are clenched:

The healer cannot administer medicine, or manipulate surgical equipment.
The farmer cannot sow seed, nor reap the harvest.
The warrior cannot hold wield his weaponry.

If the heart is hard:

The healer may give up on a patient earlier than they should.
The farmer may not bother to rise out of bed to tend the crops.
The warrior becomes a mercenary or a bully fighting only for lesser causes.

There are several reasons why the eyes do not see. Perhaps through hypocrisy, we have a log in our own eye... and we are blinded in such a way as to stop us following our calling like we should. Perhaps we are afraid... and we have closed our eyes so that we can shut out the potential monsters that terrify us. Or perhaps we are downcast through lack of confidence and are filled with despair about the future... preferring only to look at our toes, not that which rises to meet us.

We clench our fists when we are angry... but there are many reasons we feel angry. We may be jealous, may feel hard done by, may harbour resentment due to ill relations to those around us... or perhaps we are even filled with self loathing.

Our heart becomes hard when we do not listen to God... and when we shut out other people - who are made in the image of God. It can come from arrogant pride (believing ourselves to always be in the right), stubbornness (continual resistance to God's Spirit), or from being worn out by refusing to rest when we are spent.

Not all of the descriptions above would class us as a "bad person" according to the World's eyes... but all of them if left unchecked, lead to damage and disruption to our calling and spiritual well being.

If you know in your heart you are hypocritical, then remember Jesus' words:

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

If you know in your heart that you harbour resentment or unforgiveness for someone around you:

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift."

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

If you know deep down that you have become callous or hard hearted towards God... and want to change that... if you ask it of God know this:

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."

If you know in your heart that you are afraid, lacking in self confidence... or are filled with self loathing... then hear these words:

"Be still, and know that I am God"

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!"

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing"

"The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him"

Finally, I should add... when I say these things, I do not do it lightly or flippantly. In all truth and honesty I have at some point of my walk been guilty of and wrestled with all of the things I have mentioned. In some cases I still struggle. I actually typed the first half of this last night... but did not feel in a position to either finish or publish it. However having passed that hurdle, I felt it equally important to show people that I share in the fellowship of their struggles,as well as showing ways through scripture how to overcome.

I pray God grants us all the strength to walk in his light and resist the call of the dark.



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