Are You Focused on The 100 Crushing Question Marks?
While I enjoy Biblical discourse and know I’m called to encourage the Body of Christ – even teach scripture every chance I get, I’m not someone you’d pass on the street or see at a restaurant and think, “THAT lady thinks she’s ‘Sister Christian’.” I’m pretty laid back! It concerns me that so many times when we consider the impact of our walk on the community we use a super-critical eye.
Are your Focused?
I was speaking with a colleague I quite enjoy the other day and he was making the case that hindrances in our walk provoke God to discipline and chastise, and that according to scripture, we are corrected like a father corrects a son. True enough, there’s just more to it.
The vibe that gave me sparked my response to him, and the reason for this article today.
With that line of reasoning, we easily conclude that expecting our God to act on our behalf quickly is the latest ‘problem we have with Christians today.’
If He doesn’t respond when we ask, or we see things we don’t understand, or become pummeled with the events of our lives – we start to believe He is teaching us something, holding back for our lack of meeting criteria, or in some way displeasing Him.
It makes me wonder about how much we really understand what Jesus did for us. Without clarity here, we’re not engaging a hungry community with the same Power that raised Jesus from the dead. We may have a limited idea of what’s inside us under this better covenant.
So if awful things happen to you, are you naturally assuming you’ve missed the mark? Are you examining yourself to see where you’ve missed it, are you settling for unanswered prayer because you think this is our ‘meek’ response and shows humility? Are you feeling the chastisement in your spirit?
My friend asked me,
“Have you never been corrected? Has God never disciplined YOU?”
I smiled and explained what I’m sharing with you now, and it makes my heart bubble over still.
My God is smiling at me.
He told His Son to take my place on the cross. I AM the woman that Jesus loves. So are YOU, and everyone else you will ever meet.
The Lord gave me His Power to create with my words, but it’s better to use His because I have a very real enemy who wants my words to reflect his evil strategies. He knows scripture, too.
I guard my heart, because out of it flows the issues of life, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. My energy is EXTREMELY important to God, it’s HIM that effectually works His Power in and through me to do His work. If He couldn’t even look at sin when Jesus became sin for me, why should I?
Of course I’ve been disciplined and corrected, and I’m grateful. The word ‘correct’ means to raise someone from a previously knocked down state to an upright state. He causes me to walk uprightly, He makes my crooked ways straight. He makes ALL my ways a highway. Even orders my steps. That’s GREAT news.
I acknowledge that I don’t do everything right, and sometimes I’m downright wrong. I acknowledge that I need a Savior, and I further acknowledge that I have One. This is my testimony, and I believe I overcome the evil one by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of my testimony. This is it. It is finished.
He has disciplined me to remember that He is Love, and Love NEVER fails. He has disciplined me to trust that He will never mismanage my life. The same discipline that causes me to care for my body, or read His Word, or feed my children. A discipline is not wrathful. After all, He poured ALL His wrath on my Savior and Champion. On my behalf.
The chastisement needful for my peace was upon Him. I’ve learned that when bad things happen, I get to take authority over the situation because I know Whose I AM. I now understand that others see my response to crushing blows and are encouraged that what He does for me, He’ll do for them. A witness.
Listen, a great Father doesn’t wack his child with an illness or poverty or hateful response when the child is wrong, incorrect, or even downright willful or outright challenging. A great Father thinks the best of every person, overlooks a suffered wrong, and bears up under all things. He suffers long, He speaks Righteousness – you know, calling those things that be not as though they are. He keeps us from the wrong things by guiding us to the RIGHT things.
His ways are above our ways. He pardons iniquity. THAT’S what the scripture says. Isaiah 55 doesn’t talk about His ways being so far above us that we can’t attain them, He’s talking about the way we look at each other. He’s letting us know He is merciful, and His Word can be trusted to produce intentional seed just like the rain can. Better still, we have been born again from Incorruptible Seed. We are TOLD ‘if we walk in His ways, faithful to obey His commands’ the Blessing outlined in Deuteronomy 28 will overtake us.
His commands are:
“With the Love I’ve loved you, Love others. Do everything motivated by Love – not fear.”
“Ask Me, I’ll do it. Ask the Father, He’ll honor the Son to glorify Himself.”
“Keep your eyes on ME, not YOU – it’s MY Righteousness I give you. You can’t earn it!”
“Keep your eyes on ME, My perfect peace will garrison your heart and mind.”
“Think about the good report. Think about what’s worthy of praise.”
“Keep My Word, keep it in front of your eyes, in the center of your heart. If you love my Word, you are loving ME, and it heals you.”
“Obey Me, I’m going to lead you and you must be able to recognize My Voice.”
“Trust Me. I sound too good to be true. Don’t be afraid of that, have NO anxious thought.”
“Cast your care on Me, I’ll take it if you let it go. I’m watching. I’m listening. I answer.”
See, I’ve learned through His discipline to focus on His Goodness, mercy, and grace. I’ve learned that every time I think He’s ignored me, He’s saved me from more than I knew was attacking me. I’ve learned that He loves my family more than I do, and if I love them unconditionally and trust Him with my cares, He is faithful to watch over them, heal them, save them. Just like Rahab.
He corrected me when, like Job, I feared for my kids to the degree that my prayers and sacrifices were a continual micro-management before the Lord that was merely a distrust in His faithfulness. I learned to speak His Words – those things that be not as though they were – and I would have what I said. My children are honorable before the Lord, and all my chambers are all filled with all precious and PLEASANT riches. My children will be taught of the Lord.
From every form of addictions, bondage, poverty, lack, illness, disease, and brutal attack, He has proven Himself faithful. I walk in answered prayers, in miracles, HOURLY. I’m careful HOW I hear because I know the measure by which I measure what I hear, it’s measured back to me the same way!! With SO much answered prayer in my life, I’m a crazy, joyful, grateful, heart-singing, GIANT believer that He is FOR me and REWARDS me!! I don’t even deserve it!
Do you SEE the exclamation points? THAT is how I live. There IS nothing else. He IS a consuming fire, faithful and true, bondage-breaking, Wisdom-lavishing, Encourager, Intercessor, Comforter – God of my Peace, More-than-enough, abundant God, and riches and honor are in my HOUSE. ALL spiritual Blessing in heaven are in CHRIST in ME!
There’s only one real question. Are we giving more attention to the question marks – or the exclamation points?