Saturday, 6 February 2010

Our way? My way? YOUR way? Give me - give us - Your wisdom, Father!

5 February 2010

Thinking about this situation … Is it better to just let the past be past? And to trust You to not let false words and perceptions influence people?

(Sometimes I just want OUT… I feel like You have put me in a role that I am not up to… But of course You are totally up to it. Help me listen only to You, obey only You, have no “fear of man” but trust only in You alone!!!

Prov. 11:2 When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom. [Oh dear God, please keep me humble….] 3. The integrity of the upright will guide them. [Oh dear God, please give me integrity: You! Please guide me! Not “me” … because…] …the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. [I do not want to be treacherous. I do not want to destroy. But my old nature, and the attacks of the enemy threaten always to take me that way. Oh dear God, help me to put on Your armor, and stand firm and resist the enemy – and resist my old “self” … with all prayer, petition, perseverance… and bold utterance of the mystery of the gospel – at all times in the Spirit! (Eph 6:10-20).]

Prov 11:5 The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness. [Oh dear God, I want, I long, I desire with all my heart, to be righteous! Blamelessly righteous! (And yes, it is possible – in You!)] … 9. With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered [I wonder, do those old files I found contain the knowledge that will overcome the rumors and gossip that continues to destroy?] [But Father, the people telling those old rumors really do seriously think they are true – and they really do think they are seeking Your right, by telling them] [Does it matter anymore, anyway? …. Is it just “me” being “hurt” instead of just trusting You to take care of things? Papa???]

Prov 11:11 By the blessing of the upright a city [or family, or organization, or church, or….] is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down [Papa, what if the people really believe what they are saying is true… but it isn’t? Papa???]…. 12 He who despises his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding keeps silent [does this mean, then, that to keep peace and love one another, those who know the truth should keep silent, and let You work things out in Your way and time? Papa??? But maybe Your way and time could be pointing out those old “lost files” right now, long after we thought they were gone? Papa??? Or is that just “me” thinking, again? Papa! Please make Your way clear!] 13. He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy conceals a matter [hmmmm… that was “confidential” information in its time, wasn’t it? Should it be kept that way even now, and let You work things out, change hearts, whatever? (I say “whatever” because Your ways are so creative and amazing and beyond anything I myself could think up, lol! )] 14. Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory. [Papa???]

Boy oh boy, what are You saying here, to this situation? (It sure seems like people on both sides could quote these verses to their “own advantage” ….)

(I wonder about that last verse, #14: is it right that ALL the people involved in this situation should be given ALL the information [about the current situation, and/or even the info from “the past” …] so that the “right decision” can be made? Is that Your way, Your plan? Papa???)

(And are You telling me to keep silent… and not even share “truth from the past” in face of “memories” that have in the meantime changed the original story [Papa, the people sharing those “memories” seriously think they are accurate! Bringing up this “new evidence” of “old events” could really cause hurt and dissension to people who truly believe they are providing true and helpful information… And I so do not want to be the source of new hurts and dissension… But, Papa, if their “memories” aren’t true…??? Oh dear…. Maybe the others won’t worry about it anyway, and will just take the current situation at face value??? That would be nice…. You could touch their hearts and make that happen… Or You could do something else altogether? … But, then, Papa, why or why did You lead me to those old files NOW? To share them and bring out the truth, as it bears on the current situation… or to test me and see if I will be a person of understanding, and keep silent (as in verse 13)… or what??? Papa???

Papa?? Do You have a clear direction for me? Please???

Prov 11: 19 He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life, and he who pursues evil will bring about his own death. 20. The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD, but the blameless in their walk are His delight. [Oh Papa, I don’t want to be “perverse in heart” … I DO want to be “blameless in my walk”!!! Help me, lead me, guide me, PLEASE!!!! (It is way too easy for me to jump into and carry on “conversations” that shouldn’t even ever have started… I am so sorry… Please, please, please give me wisdom to know when it is time to keep silent!) (And please help me know when it is Your word that is burning in me… and when it is only “me” … or well-meaning but not necessarily God-given words from other people… or even the voices of the enemy doing their best to sound “like angels of light” ….)]. … 23. The desire of the righteous is only good [That’s it Papa… that is my desire! “Only good” … so why do I have such a struggle recognizing it and keeping to it’s narrow path??? Oh, “I need Thee, oh I need Thee, Every hour I need thee…”] 30. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls. [Oh Papa, I want to be righteous, I want to be wise, I want to produce the fruit of righteousness, I want to win souls… and I do NOT want to cause any more pain, dissension, disunity… I don’t want to be the cause of non-believers looking at us and seeing us as unloving, disunified, selfish… and thus turning their backs on You! Oh Papa!!! Help us! Help me! Give me your wisdom and understanding in this situation… Please!!!!]

Jeremiah 11:20 But, O LORD of hosts, who judges righteously, Who tries the feelings and the heart, let me see Your vengeance on them, for to You have I committed my cause. [Okay, this really does seem like a clear word from You…. So YOU deal with it, Papa. Help me to turn the other cheek (because, yes, I have been hurt by those old rumors, Papa… I knew when I heard them that they weren’t true, because I was there back then… and yes, I DO want them “set straight,” especially now that I found those old files that “prove” what really happened… and I tell myself that it is important because those rumors are hurtful to people in the past, who don’t deserve to be hurt, who didn’t do what the rumors say… and that people who hear the rumors, who weren’t there then, might be believing them, and it might have a negative affect on how they make the decisions they need to make in the current situation… and that this is not how members of Your body should operate… I tell myself all those things, and yes, they are true so far as they go [except that obviously by saying those things, I am not trusting You to over-ride, and to fulfill YOUR purposes despite us – despite ME!) …

(Though now that I stop to think about it, and to talk to You about it, I’m afraid maybe that I’m also wanting to bring those files out with a triumphal, “I told you so!” flourish, in order to “prove” myself –and the others, of course…- “righteous” in that past situation… and, oh dear, oh dear, perhaps in so doing, also “take vengeance” on those whose old memories/ stories/ um… rumors and gossip! … make me and the others “look bad” … Oh Papa, is that really in my heart? I fear it is… And I really didn’t see it till now…)

(And Papa, I need to let YOU deal with those others who are sharing their “memories” …. Because I am not even sure that they know the information they are spreading is not true. I think they really do believe it, maybe they heard it from someone else they trust… maybe it just got twisted as it went through the grapevine over the years … oh dear… But what it comes down to is that I think they really do believe it is true, and that they really do believe they are speaking for You, and that their desires are Your desires… But oh Papa, what if, what if, despite the twisted stories they are using to back up their points, what if their points, their desires regarding the decisions that have to be made, what if they really ARE Your desires? What if they HAVE heard YOUR voice? Even if maybe they are then trying to fulfill Your desires in ways and timing that You would not choose? We all do that too often… But in the end, YOUR purposes ARE fulfilled, no matter how messy we might make the path with our short-sighted, impatient ways… Your eternal purposes do not fail… but it seems to me that we can sure complicate their fulfillment in the short term, doing things NOT according to Your best plans… ironically, in our eagerness to do what we believe is right, what be believe is Your desire and direction and purpose – what actually may be YOUR desire and direction and purpose, but not in OUR WAYS!)]

And, oh my goodness! This way of ours is certainly not a new thing:

Jeremiah 12:2 You have planted them, they have also taken root; they grow, they have even produced fruit. You are near to their lips but far from their mind. 3. But You know me, O LORD; You see me; and you examine my heart’s attitude toward You. [Oh, please do examine my heart’s attitude to You – and show me clearly what it is – and change my heart so that You are not only near to my lips (how well I can talk the talk!) but so that You are also in my mind and heart, Your Spirit and my spirit abiding in unity – in You! (so that I also walk the talk, consistently, always, TO YOUR GLORY, not mine!]

[Because, Papa, I wouldn’t be surprised if the “others” are probably seeing me as talking but not really walking… as misinterpreting Your word… as thinking about MY wishes instead of YOURS…]

[But, Papa, what if they are right and I am wrong? They seem so earnestly to believe they are right… And me, I am now doubting myself (hmmm… might be a good thing!), doubting my own memories of the past… I am even becoming afraid to actually look at those records in case “I” am wrong!!.... Papa??? (Please help me! Please teach me! And please forgive me and help me to tell always and only 100% truth… and to not say anything at all until I have brought it first to You and let it be laid out in the full Light of You… and even then, if I think You are telling me to speak, not to do it unless I can 100% verify it … in the light of Your word and Your Spirit, and, if applicable, in the light of reliable “primary sources” instead of “secondary sources” and rumor and innuendo, and even my own very fallible memories, loaded with my own experiences and perspectives and “self” issues and desires…]

{oh, Papa, we so, so, so need Your wisdom and understanding. Please grant it to us, here and now! Please! Thank You!) (Keep me praying this, too, Papa… perseveringly!!! Practicing Your Presence always!!! Thank You!!!)

Jeremiah 12: 10 Many shepherds have ruined My vineyard, they have trampled down My field; they have made My pleasant field a desolate wilderness. 11. It has been made a desolation. Desolate, it mourns before Me; the whole land has been made desolate, because no man lays it to heart. 12… There is no peace for anyone. 13… But be ashamed of your harvest because of the fierce anger of the LORD.

[Oh Papa, is this a picture of us??? If it is, dear God, please help us REPENT!! Please help ME repent…. I truly am sorry, Father… thank You for revealing this to me…. about ME… I’ve been so arrogant… Papa, even if I am “right,” if my attitudes and desires are selfish and arrogant, all the “rightness” – not true righteousness! – that I have is then as “filthy rags” isn’t it? Clean us, please, dear Father. Clean ME, I beg You… Oh, Papa… please help! Please change me, change us! And then renew Your field, Your kingdom, Your vineyard… Bring Your peace, I pray… Bring a true harvest of righteousness, rather than a shameful harvest of self-righteousness… Bring us back into Your garden, where You have, through Jesus’ sacrifice, prepared the Way so that we can once again walk with You in Your Presence in the garden in the cool of the day, as we, with You fulfill Your original purpose to cultivate and keep it. (Gen 2,3).]

And oh, Papa! Then these things we are struggling with are NOT hopeless! Wow! You are doing it again – answering my cry from Your word – by Your Spirit – “just happening” to line up the words from You that I need to hear from You exactly at this moment! I’ve missed a few days (because of company and such) of the “read-through-the-Bible” plan You led me to this time around – and now, today, I started up again, picking up where I left off some days ago – and every chapter in this “plan” created by someone else years and years ago, is YOU speaking YOUR word to the cry of my heart right here, right now, this very day and hour! Over and over You do this! Wow! You are so awesome! Your purposes DO prevail!!!!

And, as I said, all this “trouble” we are having (that seems to have gone on for years and years, and just doesn’t ever seem to end, at least from our very limited viewpoint here in the middle of it), - well, in YOU we do have hope:

Hosea 6:1 Come, let us return to the LORD, for He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. 2. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up the third day, that we may live before Him. 3. So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth… 6. For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

(But if we do not truly return to the Lord our God, nor truly seek Him [Hos 7:10], then…)

Hosea 7:13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from Me! Destruction is theirs, for they have rebelled against Me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against Me, 14. And they do not cry to me from their heart when they wail on their beds….

[Oh! Papa! We MUST stick totally to You alone… and we – I! – must know and speak only 100% truth!]


By the way, there have been a lot of questions re retaining the “church building” and other potentially costly issues…

Luke 14:11 [Jesus said:] For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted… 13. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14. and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

[hmmm… what if the building were “kept” in order to reach out to the poor… and Papa was trusted to provide… “the church” might have to set aside dreams of fancy sound equipment and expensive traditional “programs” and traditional “Sunday services” … and maybe even concerns about “our safety” … but I wonder what Jesus would do???...

Well, I know He would turn to His Abba (Papa), and listen to Him, and obey Him, and speak only His words (just as he always, always did when he was here on earth)… even if Father’s directions and words got Him in trouble (which they did), and made Him unpopular (which they did), and took away His safety (which they did), and people disdained Him (and killed Him!)… well, those words above (Luke 14:11-14) were Jesus’ words that He got from Father … Well, it sounds to me like the church, Jesus followers, are called to a life and walk that is not one of comfort and acceptance… with nice buildings and programs for us… and maybe on the side some bag lunches or coffee to be handed out on the streets to “them” … Hmm… What if we tossed out all our “proper religious traditions” and welcomed in the poor with open arms, even if they have nothing to contribute to our coffers (oh dear…), and even if they don’t do things the way “we do”… Of course maybe on the other hand it might be better to (if we can afford it after paying our own bills) maybe try to help support a little storefront mission where “they’d be more at home” (and, hmmm, thereby keep ourselves “more at home” in our nice facility, our – oh my! – “sanctuary!”), right?

Ummm… and Jesus said….

Luke 14:21… Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, “Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here [to the fancy banquet hall, already all set up for the high class, respectable, invited guests… who declined the invitation!] the poor and crippled and blind and lame… 23… Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.

Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate [by comparison of his love for Me] his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yea, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?

And then of course, Jesus, You pull it all together for me – for us! You, in Your love, are preparing for Yourself “the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless… Christ [nourishes and cherishes] the church, because we are members of His body.” (Eph 5:27, 29-30)


And what does all this mean in our own lives?... The apostle Paul tells us:

Ephesians 4:1 Therefore I [Paul], the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2. with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3. being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5. one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6. one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

7.But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift… 11. And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors (literally: shepherds) and teachers, 12. for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13. until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature, which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

14. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15. but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the Head, even Christ, 16. from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love...

22. … lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23. and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24. and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

25. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27. and do not give the devil an opportunity… 28. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

30. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ has also forgiven you. 5:1 Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2. and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma….

15. Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16. making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the LORD is.

18. And do not be drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19. speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20. always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21. and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ…

6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm…

23. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

And words especially for me…

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves… 12.. work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. 14. Do all things without grumbling or disputing… 16. holding fast the word of life… 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

And for all of us:

4:1 Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. 2. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. 3. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5. Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you…

11. … I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

14. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with my in my affliction… 16. for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. 17. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit when increases to your account. 18. But I have received everything in full and having an abundance… what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

20. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen…. 23. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.


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