I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. Sometimes I get really frustrated because I don’t speak what’s on my heart — not to be arrogant or opinionated. At times, I just see into situations, thanks to my law school training, I can see past emotions & be objective. I always pray for the right time, and my heart is ready to explode with some stuff that God’s been saying to my heart for quite some time. I also am aware that there are people around me who don’t like me, or judge me for being authentic. I’m not going to apologize for that, ever. I am being who God has called me to be. You should do the same.
I’ve got some stuff that needs to be said. If you’re not looking for a blunt post, here’s your warning to stop reading. Otherwise, I hope that what I have to say inspires you to run after God and sit at the feet of Jesus.
Okay, first I just need to say that I’m hearing a lot of complaining and it’s driving me up the wall. I will admit that I have been a bit guilty of this because I get frustrated when situations don’t change. But, I seek God until He does what He needs to do, which is usually changing my perspective or teaching me a lesson like any good father does. I said something similar to my husband about this the other night. God is gearing up to change our perspectives & maybe our circumstances, again. We sense change is coming, and whether it makes sense or not, we love Jesus so much that we’re ready for whatever He tells us to do.
So, if you’re in a situation you feel stuck in or frustrated about, then get on your knees before the Lord. You’re in the situation because He’s allowed for you to be there. Instead of complaining and letting your heart feel disappointed & blaming God, you need to humble yourself before Him and ask Him what He’s trying to show you. He always has a reason for every season. Surrender control. You’ve never been in control anyway, and you will continue to butt heads with God/your life until you do. Things will not change until you do that.
DISCLAIMER: I know that sometimes God allows very scary, or very painful situations happen – death or serious illness of loved one, murder, rape, incest, divorce, miscarriages – etc. I’m not talking about those situations. Those require counseling and a lot of time spent with God trusting Him to heal your hurts. I plan to blog about that at another time.
I’m talking about most of our day to day problems, work problems, or our problems with “church.”
I put church in quotations because I am using it as a general term – for whatever the word means to you – like the church you belong to, or the people who make up your particular body of church.
Okay, I beg you to please: STOP GOSSIPING. STOP ACTING LIKE YOU ARE PERFECT, and STOP JUDGING EVERYONE ELSE. STOP PRETENDING THAT YOU HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER. Guess what? We’re all sinners, but by God’s grace we are made righteous through Him. We are not any better than any other person in the entire world. We all have had and all will have problems and sin in our lives. DECEPTION is NOT helping anybody. If anything, it is HINDERING the gospel.
Newsflash: NO CHURCH IS PERFECT. I wrote about this recently, and you may wonder why I’m saying it again. It’s a lesson that people have trouble learning or they refuse to learn it. Back to my comment that not a single church is perfect because all are full of sinners. If we believe this to be true, then why do we go from one church to another, hoping that the next one will be different? Do we believe that we won’t run into people who might offend us, hoping that the church will function the way we think it should? We are kidding ourselves.
Everyone screws up, members and staff alike. Jesus tells us to FORGIVE. Now, forgive and trust are two different things. Jesus NEVER said to TRUST your brother as I have trusted you. No, He was talking about forgiveness, which releases that offender to God – God is the only judge, not us. If you have any unforgiveness against someone at your current church, please forgive them. You will know if you are harboring any unforgiveness because you are either completely uncomfortable with what I’m saying, or your heart twists up whenever you think about that person.
Most of the world believes that we are hypocrites, so let’s work on changing their views.
I blog to share my life with whoever is interested in what’s going on. I am not perfect, nor do I claim to be. If you’ve read my blog long enough, you know that. You also know that I admit when I’m screwing up. Actually, I’ve been pretty frustrated with people lately, so I’ve had to ask God to forgive me a lot over the last couple of weeks, and I’ve asked Him to help me forgive my offenders. And, that’s okay, it’s what He wants us to do. I haven’t been able to write a decent post in awhile because all of this has been on my heart, and I’ve been letting fear of my reputation being ruined get in the way. I’m done with that. I’m done being afraid. When the Lord tells me something, whether it’s encouraging or a warning, I will be speaking it – whether through blogging, or to someone at my church – to advise/confirm with me who needs that word from God or for the perfect time to share it.
Another Newsflash: God wants us to do life together. He knows that it’s difficult, and according to Jesus, apart from Him, we can do nothing – John 15:5. He doesn’t expect us to do church, ministry, work, families, etc on our own. If He did, He wouldn’t have bothered preaching on forgiveness, telling us to come to Him with our heavy burdens, He wouldn’t tell us to rest, He wouldn’t tell us that the world will know Him because of how we love one another. In order for us to lean on each other, to make life a little easier, we need to be quicker with forgiveness – and not judgment, or waiting for the next new person we meet to offend us. He also tells us to forget the past, keep our focus on the path/race/purpose He has called each of us to do. For more on this, please see my prior post: https://angelasheffield.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/nothing/
He also reminds us that our REAL battle is with our enemy who purposely finds ways to distract, steal, kill, and destroy us. One of his greatest tools is deception, and the next is convincing us that our problems/hurts/offenses are by going to and dealing with people at church = a big lie.
Churches have troubles and they always will until Jesus comes back. Satan is doing everything he can to destroy every Godly institution he can so that he can distract all of us from saving more souls for Jesus, and stopping the purpose that God has for us. We have all come so far away from the commission that Jesus has given us and I sense that a lot of our problems are caused by the fact that we’ve become so distracted by the world, that we’ve forgotten that we’re here to save it.
Our world needs to know that we don’t have all the answers, that we’re still a mess without Jesus, that we are NO better than they, but by the grace of God are we not drug dealers, prostitutes, alcoholics, gamblers, porn addicts, adulterers, liars, or false prophets. Let’s stop being arrogant. Let’s stop being HYPOCRITES. We need each other to help save the world…Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” So, please stop “church-hopping” because it’s not going to work out well for you – only if Jesus is calling you to do that, but I don’t think that’s true most of the time.
So, let’s cut to the chase. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of it. There’s quite a few Scriptures that I could have posted through out, but you know that everything I’ve said is in the Bible. Here’s one: “‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.'”
Jesus would prefer you not live for Him, then to claim that you do, but Monday through Saturday, you don’t. He hates lukewarm. With all the junk going on in the world right now, we have to stop being lukewarm. If you are a believer of Jesus Christ, you must start acting like it. When you do, the passion and the power He promises will flow through you to do your part to save the world.
Some people say, oh, God doesn’t talk to me. Yes He does! All the time, but it’s up to us to take time to LISTEN. He has wonderful things to say. A lot of what stops us from listening is FEAR – which is not from the Lord. If you’ve been attending church for even less than a year, I’m sure you’ve heard some story that God told someone to do something that seemed scary, or didn’t make sense. The person obeyed and then left in awe as to all that God had done. Take the time to listen to Him. He’s got so much more in store for you. We only have one shot at this brief time on Earth. Live like you believe that. God speaks to us through His word, to your heart, through other people. If we really are honest with ourselves, the reason we’re not hearing from Him is usually our fault. We’ve let either sin, past failures, offends, unforgiveness, or fear get in the way. Jesus has the answer for that, too. Lay it ALL down at His feet.
The peace that you will feel when you sit and listen is priceless. When you get through the other side of your trial, you WILL see the hand of God in your life and think, wow, why didn’t I trust Him sooner?
He died for you, so He can pretty much ask you do to anything, but He is so good, that it will NEVER be more than what He created you to handle.
If you want something bad enough – I mean something that aligns with God’s will for you – seek Him without ceasing, pray without ceasing, and He will answer you in His perfect timing – no matter how long it takes. There were 2 specific things on my heart this week and this is what God said to me: “Take delight in the Lord, and he He will give you the desires of your heart,” Psalm 37:4. I received this same Scripture from Him when I was single & waiting on a husband. I know He loves us so much & I am thoroughly joyful & expectant that His perfect timing will come through again.
I encourage you to be real/honest, yet wise about how God wants you to handle whatever the situation is. Be blessed this week. “‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”‘ Numbers 6:24-26.