Today's Scripture: Romans 7
Powerless – That's where I have spent most of my christian life, powerless. I do not think I would be wrong to say that most christians can confess that it is the same for them as well. We've watched as preacher and teacher have come before us at Sunday worship and preached a rousing serman that has uplifted and encouraged us and then by lunch timeafterward all sense of peace and right are thrown out of balance by the fighting of our children or lack of agreement between you and your spouse making you wonder if those who are with you sat in the same room. I felt powerless. I had no power to keep the peace I had while sitting and listening to the preacher. My own frustration and lack for the correct answers to questions asked of me adding to my frustration so that I was time-after-time no better off than those around me, christian or not.
That's just the way it is – Not only is this a popular line from a song in the 1970's (I think), but also an unspoken theme for the way most lead their lives. The outward turmoil to be matched with inward turmoil; only to be at peace when we are being entertained here or there and our problems momentarily forgotten. And so it goes day in and day out month after month and year after year.
You mean I can read for myself? - The answer to that from most is yes, but no. I understand, that's just a confusing sentence. What are you talking about? I can only talk about my own experience. I can only tell you what happened to me. I sat in Bible studies on Sundays and I went to small group sessions through the week, listening to scripture and reading scripture to others, but time and again I began to see a pattern that was frustrating me and I couldn't put my finger on it. What I realized only much, much later was this; Confused people who don't even know their own hearts giving their interpretation of what the Lord says or is saying about scripture they had read and what that means to be lived out. The problem is that I was in the same boat as they. I could see, perhaps, some that seemed to have it “more together” than me, but looking at them as a whole I wanted to be nothing like them. Looking at myself as a whole I didn't want to be like me either. I was just like them. Perhaps they had understanding. Perhaps I had understanding, but there was still no lasting peace. So easily stolen day after day, week after week, year after year.
Something has to break - And thankfully it did! What broke was me. Just like the man of Romans 7 frustration came to the fruition and God's Word was proving true and I broke. This wasn't just a little breaking either. It was a shattering. The exact events and God's supernatural intervention I may share later, but for now I will only tell you how God's intervention in my life was worked out in me.
Need a translator? - The answer is NO. A thousand times no. We translate folks. We translate to hide what's really on our minds or in our hearts. We translate in our lives. The problem is what we have translated into speech and in our actions is not what is in our heart. I'm speaking to those who have been baptized and have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit. What we say is not how the Lord spoke it. What we do is not what we were told to do. We do this until we believe our own lies we speak and believe our own actions are what we wanted to do. We deceive ourselves and do not know what our own hearts think. Ahhhh, the life of a hypocrite.
Man...I'm slow – I was shattered. I no longer trusted in “I” and I know longer trusted in “you”. Right where I needed to be. No longer trusting in myself, my own thoughts or the thoughts of others I could only hope and trust in Jesus to be and do all for me He said He would, come what may. Living for so long in the church and having read the Word many times over I came to the realization “I know nothing”.
Jesus take the wheel – Finally and utterly broken I was in the place where Jesus could finally prove Himself to me and in me. I stopped hiding in speech and in action. Wow, what an eye opener. I cannot tell you how many times I had to say “I don't know” where before I would have offered my educated guess and submitted it as fact (LIE). How many times I had to face consequences for previous lies and actions and accept the punishment for actions I had taken before Christ's intervention. I spoke the truth as God revealed it to me and was reviled by friends and family alike. No longer caring to please man I spoke it plainly as God was giving it to me. Friends became enemies and enemies became friends. For the first time ever in my life I was walking in Truth! But, not just in Truth, but in Spirit! If Jesus said it to me I said it out loud. If Jesus told me to do something I did it. No questions asked. No thought for myself taken. I was done with me.
Yup, this is a mess – My life in my hands was a mess and God had a lot of cleaning up to do. That means a lot of things I had set up God had to tear down. Relationships that should have never been were broken. In all my years of being a “Christian” and reading the Word and going to church God revealed only one thing that was true in me “Nothing can snatch me from my Father's hand”. Brothers and sisters it was tough. So many times I felt myself wanting to cringe from speaking the truth or doing something God had told me I should do. I was miserable, but my heart was at peace!
I will pick up with my next blog where this one leaves off. Until then please feel free to share your thoughts with me. I would be so encouraged to hear what God has layed on your heart!
Jesus bless you!