Saturday, July 08, 2006

Surviving the Tempest

I have passed through the storm.

The latest personal struggles I have wrestled with have not overcome me and i thank God for that. I was stretched and hard pressed in the face of my old insecurities and now I understand why. I suffered because it bothered me that people... even Christians tend not to listen to me... and the enemy wanted to remind me oh so much. However as wily as evil is it always, ALWAYS makes the same mistake... it becomes overconfident and overextends its thrust.

Sure enough when I was on my knees in despair a misunderstanding flared up between me and a couple of brothers/sisters in Christ that threatened my entire relationship with the Body of Christ - that is, the Church. I could have just been hostile or shrink away dejected at what had happened... but despite my feelings, I sought the Lord in my troubles - I asked him to use the day's set scripture in Every Day With Jesus to be relevant to what was happening and speak to me about the situation. Here is the verse that stood out most:

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

I felt convicted about my emotions and my fears. While it's true that we all have them, it is not always healthy to base our actions entirely on them. You see, I conformed to my fear of being ignored. It governed my actions. If I felt depressed about not being listened to, I obsessed over it and hankered after people all the more. Deprived of contact by people around me, I wallowed in hurt and pestered people. Looking back it's been a dominant factor.

I wonder why God chose now of all times to call it to account? It feels like he had been filling me up like a jug for some time but was holding his hand across a hole in the bottom of me to stop the water falling out. It then felt like he took the hand away so that I'd notice the water falling out and call on Him to fix me.

Maybe this is something new I'm learning and if so, I offer you this same pearl of wisdom:

If God's hand wasn't there to cover each hole in the first place we'd never get filled with His blessing. That God sometimes chooses to take His hand away so we notice the sense of being blessed seemingly ebbing away, isn't an act of negligence or callousness on His part... but a way for us to understand we have a need to be healed... and the means to find that healing in Christ.

In my case I got others to pray for me and do you know what... I've not been bothered the slightest since. I need to remember this victory, lest I fall back into the same conformity that damaged me before.

It is not merely enough to strip ourselves of the ungodly armour that protects us - I had done that... but it was insufficient. we have to clothe ourselves in God's might too, there's no room for Conan the Barbarian in God's army we need to protect ourselves and one another by relying on God.

I felt God saying to me that if I place too much value on how other people, even Christians feeling about what I say... then how can he use me to say the hard things that may need to be said soon?

Could it be that God is preparing his people in this area... for something major soon?

I pray it is so



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