Philippians 2:2-4 (NKJV) “fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
1 Corinthians 13
I am guilty. I can honestly confess this today because the word of God says, in 1 John 1:8-9 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Due to this new heart that is in me, that has been mold and shaped by the Lord this past whole year, the Holy Spirit by faith and in spirit has shown me what the error of my ways have cost me and caused me to do not only in my past but often even today. I am surely without excuse.
Have you ever been hurt? So have I. Have you ever felt abandoned, neglected, slandered and offended? So have I. Have you ever justified treating someone badly or talking about them behind their backs? Speaking against them to someone else because of hurt and pain? So have I. Using someone else’s circumstance or sin to justify how you’ve grown from that stage of life or assume that you are without sin? Are we right in doing this? No, we are not. We may claim that we are not selfish or self–seeking, but let us examine truth and our hearts by God’s word, when we think of how one moment we can forgive and still not have kind words for those we have forgiven. We spend much time pondering the hurt of someone else, or even what we have done to ourselves and not consider that there is something greater we can do, we have the strength and ability to do it in Christ, yet, we just don’t do it. What can we do? We can bless.
I have been hurt through many stages of my life, not only as an abused child, a rebellious teenager, a lost adult, a single mother, a daughter and a sister and while living for the world as a lover. I have for years carried the baggage of hurt, frustration, anxiety, insecurities, turmoil, and hostility; furthermore, I have carried willingly unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, humiliation, outrage, pride and exasperation. What did any of this do for me? It hardened my heart, not only towards myself, my family and life all together. It kept me and held me prisoner to live a life full of shame, guilt and sorrow. There was no happiness found in me. It made me look past the good in people with skepticism. For though there is much beauty God has created, I could only see the ugly, for its how I felt about myself. We don’t know at the moment this is how we feel about ourselves, but the word of God testifies this “Matthew 12:35 (MSG) “A good man’s speech reveals the rich treasures within him, An evil hearted man is filled with venom, and his speech reveals it.” We not only have the tendency of poisoning others, we bypass the fact we ourselves have been poisoned. It is so sad the conditions of our hearts that all we can see is the worst in people instead of the Lord’s best that He poured out into them through His spirit when He created each and every man that walks upon this earth. We rather see the bad than the good, it’s our sinful nature to do so.
When there were moments I was treated kindly, within my mind it was a trick. Sooner or later, and this was hidden in my heart, I felt they would eventually fail me or hurt me. Trust, I had none, for I myself could not be trusted. What gripped me? Fear, Isolation, ruined relationships and solitude beyond loneliness. I too became a gossiper, a slanderer, a hypocrite and a hater, for where there is no love for myself or others, what is there? Would I have admitted it then, no, it was far easier to dig through someone else’s garbage than realize the stench of my own, not only in my heart within my being, but it began to permeate throughout my home. I have found that the solution to this issue is submission, humility and desiring earnestly to be changed by God, for of my own strength, my own wisdom and understanding I could not move in loving someone completely and for Christ, neither would I gain love for myself. Submission I have learned is to acquire, desire and be obedient to His way, soon we see the difference of who we use to be and what we become through the promises of God. (Jeremiah 29:11) (Deuteronomy 28).
I found it is one thing when someone abandons or slanders you, but it’s a whole other situation when you abandon and slander yourself. No desire to change is an absolute disregard for growth. I call this the non-caring attitude. The word of God tells us this is what children do. 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NKJV) “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Glory to God, this is every reason why we are in need of a Savior, for God’s word leads us to the truth of the condition of our state of mind and hearts and as we search His Word we find His wisdom, knowledge and understanding is given freely. Yet, I find we have to receive it, in order to be changed and made new. It takes time to walk out of the past, but by the grace of God He remains close waiting to hold us up and comfort us. While I cried dire tears of pain and hurt from the past and present and desired for the Lord to take up my cause, I heard the Lord speak directly to me, “I see what has been done, but I want to work on you.” When we have been hurt, abused or abandoned in life trust, submission and belief are weighed thin. In friendships, relationships and even towards family members. Even as a saved woman, it took me years to even trust God. All this happened because all I could see was the past and could never see the future God had for me. Never would I have thought I would come to a place where I could forgive with the strength of the Lord; that I would find courage to live, that I would have confidence to speak up and tell the truth about where I have been and with the Lord, where I am now.
Not only from my own speech, but from others I find that we bless and curse in the same breath. The same things we fell in love with them for and about them we begin to despise. We say we believe one thing, but speak against it just as quickly. There is power in the tongue that sets a foundation for life or death. The same people we forgive are the same ones we don’t encourage. We always find fault, or speak death over them. I know this may seem harsh, but it’s the truth. This is even more amazing when it comes to one of our family members or all. Whether it be a husband, a son, a daughter, a mother or a father, even our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ; we share with others their faults, their shortcomings, their unreasoning hearts or even their offenses towards us, and when the one we are sharing this with agrees and forms their own ill idea of them we become offended. We tend to feel we are the only ones that can speak against them, but forget that from our own tongues we have catapulted the result of our sin. We mare the image of them by what we speak behind their backs or even in their faces. We are not careful when we speak, we are not mindful of who we might be sharing this with. Yet, how much more our own accountability for sharing it in the first place. I find another thing to be true, there are those who will listen intently about your life, your problems and your issues but never reveal their own struggles with sin or this life. They never seem to struggle or strive. These are the ones quick to give advice they themselves neither live nor follow, tell you how you should walk, though they stumble in their faith, and in their disobedience to the Lord. Their words are mangled, distorted and twisted, spoken into your situation, what is shared is not from the spirit of God, but of themselves. Beware! For self-righteousness is hidden in us all and pride comes before the fall.
I am realizing today that from the past, for even yesterday is my past today I can, through the washing of the Word of God correct my wicked ways and repent and turn to God for deliverance, healing and correction. I truly believe that if we plant bad seeds, bad fruit will surely grow. But if we speak life, God is faithful and will pour out the living waters of heaven over us. We need more faith amen. Sometimes when we share our lives or our dissatisfaction with others, it can be used against us. We know the word tells us, “judge not, lest we be judged the same way.” This is so true. But, what happens when you share yesterday’s mistakes and are verbally lashed and judged today for it? No one person’s situation is the same, and again what we judge others for, we have offended the Lord ourselves. We cannot compare situations, each one is different and each one when we cry out to God is being made new for His glory. Again, why is it so hard to honor the goodness in others today, than reminding them of who they use to be yesterday?
I am blessed in all manner of things, when I can thank God for His chastisement, correction and conviction. I am blessed because I am no longer in denial, I want to be better for His glory. I just don’t want to be made well, I so want to be better. I don’t want to be fixed, I want to be made whole. I want a second chance, for I am confident today in the God I serve that He is a God of correction with undying love. What can I do different today than what I have done yesterday? Proverbs 21:23 (MSG) “Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.” I have the ability today in the newness of my heart and mind that is being transformed daily to speak life, not death. To bless and not curse, to consider someone else above myself for the sake of my soul and theirs as well. When we believe we are walking a straight line for the Lord we forget that though someone else might not be doing the same thing, we are not better than them. Why? For the same Jesus that loves us and has captivated us by His dying on the cross, died for them too. The same God that calls us His beloved, calls them beloved who have offended too. The same God who says He has a future, a purpose and plan for our lives, is the same God that has a future, purpose and plan for their lives as well.
I gathered, that in walking with the Lord it is not easy, but one thing I believe to be true that pain, challenge and the test can truly change us unto righteousness if we so seek it, desire it and cry out for it. We have to keep in mind that not everyone we come across out in the world or even within our faith in Jesus is a fan. We will meet opposition, we will encounter those who can’t stand the change in you and will even speak against it, while in the same breath they say they are encouraging you. The word of God says “be gentle as a dove, but as wise as a serpent.” By God’s word use discernment. Who is speaking into your life? Who do they listen to? We are not called to be fools, but submit in humility to what God desires to orchestrate in our lives to cause change for His glory. We fail to realize sometimes that God will allow certain people to pass through your lives, certain strife’s to arise in our homes and particular outcomes by faith to certain situations to mold and shape humility and submission to trusting He is in control and will work all things out for good. Even when it comes to ourselves, there are times we fight a battle with the old self. The one that enticed you and led you astray by your own desires. This same old self will speak against you, say you have failed, you are worthless, you are useless, and you’re unlovable and unseen.
Let me encourage you with the same words today I desire to encourage myself with I have not failed, for “I have accepted Christ and this is my blessed assurance.” Though I may have failed at some things in life, there is no failure in accepting Jesus. I am worth something great in the eyes of God for “He has created me wonderfully and fearfully.” “I am not useless for His gifts are being sharpened and prepared within my heart, mind, spirit and soul for His glory.” I am lovable, “For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten son, that whomsoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” “I am not unseen, for God’s watches over me and I can come boldly to His mercy seat because of the blood of Christ.” There is a living well springing up out of me for the glory of God, it is more the reason to continue pressing forward, no matter what I hear or what I see. Let us remember that such ill thoughts and words spoken against others and ourselves are lies from the father of lies we believed when we lived for ourselves out in the world. God thinks and believes highly of whom He has created, He is God and He does not fail nor does He make mistakes. “For His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways.”
I confess, that I too struggle with the fullness of believing God’s love for me, but I strive in prayer by faith to attain it, claim it and walk in it, yet, in the midst of doubt or uncertainty, I still see God’s hand upon me. How? I still want to be better in righteousness, in peace and in joy. I pray more, I cry more, I seek Him more, and in return “His comfort delights my soul.” I can’t find this in the world, I can’t find this in speaking against others, or even my family. I can’t find this in justifying my bad behavior or my slanderous ways. I can’t find this in comparing myself to others or disassociating myself from others to thinking highly of myself more than I ought to.
I find it in God’s word with such scriptures. Philippians 2:2-4, 4:8, Matthew 12:35, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Proverbs 21:23. Here is where I get to hold tightly to the Word of God as it says in Psalms 119:11(NKJV) “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you.” And another Psalm 119:105 (NKJV) “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”
Today I share from desiring to be changed and made new, to see the same glory of God touch the lives of all who call Him Savior. That we in declaring Christ can carry the banner of truth and separate ourselves from the mixture of self -righteousness and the Righteousness of God. The old heart cannot serve with the new. Let us remember that God’s word is for us to see who we were without Him and who we are becoming because of Christ Jesus. Today our only challenge is to believe and stand by faith. Amen.
Father God in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I come before you, giving you glory, blessing your Holy name, lifting you on high Lord, for your thoughts and ways are above us all amen. Lord I pray for our souls and spirits to be changed in Jesus name by a blessing within your word that is called Chastisement, Correction and Conviction. I realize Lord that in all our mistakes and short comings Lord you could have left us in our previous condition, but glory unto your mercy, your grace, and your love towards us that Lord you want to make us new. You want us to lay ourselves down, our malice, our pain, our unforgiveness, our hurt, our own deceit, our manipulation, our deception and receive the gift of living a righteous life unto your glory. Father I pray that we can fully understand that words hurt others, as well as our actions. That having a hidden agenda when you call us to help someone is prideful and self-seeking. Help us to give ourselves away and think highly of others as you consider us in love unconditionally. Lord help us to see that because of our old heart condition and only looking at what has been done to us we make excuses for how we behave towards others and don’t realize they become casualties of what wars within us that really has nothing to do with them. Help us to speak words of edification, encouragement, and spiritual love, even when we are offended, insulted, rejected, abandoned or witnessed against falsely. Help us Lord to surrender our will for yours. Help us to move out the way and seek your way Lord, for you Lord are in control. Cover us Lord under your wings. Heal our brokenness, Deliver us from pain, habits, addictions, gossip, slander, deception and selfish gain. Help us Lord to confess what we try to hide from you, when we know you see all things. Help us Lord and give us more grace and more faith to seek you and to limit ourselves from speaking things we can’t do ourselves. Your word calls us to resolve within ourselves, before we seek to resolve someone else’s issues. Help us not to speak against one another, to bite one another or harm one another, but to pray, to bless, to encourage and edify. Help us Lord to trust you first above all things and to desire righteousness, wisdom, knowledge and understanding unto your Glory, for your Word says Lord when asked for, it is given liberally and abundantly. All Glory to you Lord God. For you love us, and love us more to challenge us, change us, test us, chastise us, convict us, and correct us. To showing us the condition of our hearts and how it affects those in our lives today. Thank you Father God for your Holy Spirit who searches our heart, our thoughts and our attitudes. Thank you Lord that you are strong to carry us in Jesus name I pray blessings and spiritual growth, maturity and enlightenment for all in Christ Jesus amen.