When you’re moving, you take down all your pictures and shelves. And when you’ve taken everything off the walls, you can see every nail hole. So you set about filling them in so that the new owners don’t have to see them. But no matter how hard you try, when the light hits that spot just right, you can still see the hole. You move your furniture & discover the massive amount of dust and cobwebs that have accumulated so you sweep, mop, & vacuum so that everything is clean. We do all this to remove all the ugliness. How often do we try to do this in our lives too? While…with the help of Christ…we can clean up our lives & behavior, remove parts that clutter up and collect dust, no matter how hard we work, there are still scars. Scars that no matter how hard we try to cover them, will always be visible to others. But even covered in scars, we should be thankful that we have them. Because by the scars endured by Jesus, we are healed. And with no healing we would have no scars. We would have open wounds.
It’s so easy for me to get disgusted & overwhelmed by the deterioration of the world’s morals & ethics. I was watching something on the news & my normal knee-jerk reaction was to blame the government. And in doing so, I heard that all too familiar still, small voice say, “It starts at home.” This country as a whole has a disease that is eating away at it. A disease that makes sin ok & calls Christians fools. The problem is…the government is not the disease. It’s the symptom. The root of the disease is in each and every home in America. It begins when we fail to make God first and foremost in everything that we do. Yes…everything. We put ourselves in first place and everything becomes about, “what’s in it for me?”. It festers and multiplies when we fail to teach our children biblical truths by living our lives as examples and showing them the path to righteousness. It spreads from home to home when we fail to love our neighbor and instead spread rumors, boast pridefully of “our” accomplishments, or look down on someone when we should be lifting them up. We can treat the symptoms and things may seem somewhat better for a little while. But it’s only when we get to the root of the disease and make Jesus Christ the Lord & Savior of our own family…my own family, that true healing begins. And then we start helping others heal by sharing God’s word and biblical truths.
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31
After a few cloudy days, I’m ready for some sunshine. After a few more I feel like the sun is never going to shine again & I’m sick & tired of mud. It makes a mess of my floors. It’s a pain to put on mud boots every time I have to walk across the yard. It gets to the point that every step takes so much effort because my boots stick in the mud & I have to get unstuck before I can move forward. It’s pretty easy to lose your footing and next thing you know, you’ve fallen & are covered in mud. But even through all of this, and even though you haven’t seen the sunshine in days, you know that the sun is up there. It’s just blocked from your view. Sometimes we let things get between us and God and it blocks Him from our view. It’s not that He’s not there. It’s just that we’ve let the storm clouds of life get between us & Him. And then the next thing you know we have allowed so much sin into our life that we’re bogging down in it until we don’t think we can move forward. But even when it’s the darkest and we’ve lost all traction and fallen to our knees in the sin we’ve allowed into our life, all we have to do is ask the Son to shine into our lives and He will.
I remember one day when I was packing up our old house to move. While some rooms were overflowing with boxes, others just got emptier. I began to notice that the more stuff that I removed from a room, the easier it was to hear even the smallest noise. I had a small solar operated flower in my kitchen window. When the sun was shining, it moved back and forth. This little flower had been in my window for at least 2 years and until that day I never knew that it made any noise. We are very much like a house. When we are filled up with things from the world it is sometimes hard to hear that still small voice guiding us. But when we start removing the unnecessary things and instead fill that space with the Holy Spirit then it gets easier and easier to hear what God wants us to hear.
My oldest child has the strangest habit of wrapping herself up in her sheet like a mummy when she goes to bed. It drives me crazy because I just know she’s gonna suffocate or strangle herself some day. So I can’t sleep until I make sure she’s asleep & unwrap her head every night. Because while she appears to be sleeping, it’s hard to tell if she’s breathing. It sounds awful but there’s a fairly fine line between sleep and death. Our relationship with God is very similar. So many people say they are Christians but when it comes to being an active Christian, it seems they are sound asleep. My biggest fear is that when Christ returns, He won’t find sleeping Christians but rather dead ones. Because if you want the Holy Spirit of God alive in you, you have to be alive in Him. Wake up & be revived!!!
Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. Holy cow!!! How are we mere humans supposed to do that?!? Especially when Satan is right there providing every blunt rude remark or reaction that we desire & calls it ‘speaking our mind’. He’s telling us to enjoy others misery and calls it karma. All this & what he’s basically saying is, “Trust me. Don’t trust God.” Because he knows that God will handle it at the perfect time and in the perfect way. He knows that by obeying God and holding our tongue and guarding our actions, we have disarmed him & his control on us. So back to my question. How are we supposed to do that? We simply let go & let God.
I’ve seen many people hurt by careless words in my life. Sometimes the words weren’t meant to intentionally hurt but sometimes they are. Sometimes they are words of judgement. Sometimes they are proudly stated because an inability to control the tongue is confused with boldness and speaking ones mind. And I have suffered from many of these same afflictions. But then I think about Jesus. And all the times that He had every right to be angry. And all the times He could’ve lined someone out with a good tongue lashing because the fact is He was ALWAYS right. But He didn’t. He always chose His words carefully. Controlling His tongue at all times. And never using His words as a weapon. Because where our tongue goes, our body follows. Just as a horse that is bridled goes in the direction that you pull the bit.
Proverbs 17:27-28 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,and discerning if they hold their tongues.