Friday, July 26, 2013

Judging Ourselves - Part 2

In looking at my life and pondering the question of whether I have learned anything of value at all, in my walk with Christ, I have had to ask myself a lot of questions. Most of those questions were birthed by God but delivered through the loving words of friends and family. Many questions have been initiated through the daily circumstances of my life; blogs I read, conversations I have with people, verses I read in Scripture, business decisions, etc. In all of that pondering and questioning I'm not always sure I have gained the insights God has intended for me and changed accordingly. I feel like I must again look at where God has me and judge myself in the reality of where He has me.

Through a long period of my life I felt like I was angry with God. I'm not even sure how I could have thought those thoughts but I carried a chip on my shoulders for a very long time. Even though I knew God, received His love and forgiveness, experienced His touch and walked after Him for many years, I came to this place of denial. Circumstances in my life were bleak, with regard to my marriage, children, the church and my relationships with people. I was not a nice person to be around.

This article with the words of David Wilkerson pretty well sums up where I have been at:
Isaiah faithfully prophesied to Israel that the "ears of them that hear"would one day be opened. But, sadly, his listeners had shut their ears to God's voice. They wanted to hold on to their sins!

"When I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed. Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit" (Isaiah 65:12-14).

How tragic it is to refuse to hear the loving warnings of the Holy Spirit. Whenever we shut our ears to God's command to mortify the sins of our flesh, we are doomed to experience every kind of sorrow and pain.

Please understand, I'm not talking about a servant of God who is overtaken by a sin he hates. Nor am I referring to the believer who won't allow himself any rest until the Holy Ghost sets him free. Rather, I'm talking about the believer who has learned to love his sin, who has laid his head in the lap of a Delilah. Such a person has a calloused conscience.

The servant who continues his sinful ways will hear voices but none of them will be God's. Instead, that person will be given over to delusion: "I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes,and chose that in which I delighted not" (Isaiah 66:4).

What an awful thing it is when God no longer speaks! But how encouraging to know that the Holy Spirit will lovingly caution us and keep us from sin.

This picture was the picture of my life. Knowing but not doing otherwise. Continuing in my sin and calling it something other than sin. Imagining myself as righteous in my mind but destitute of the truth, carrying around a sour and troublesome attitude that wanted to satisfy my own desires.

Some time ago I realized that I was indeed off center with God and wanted to be in His heart. I hated the way I felt and didn't know how to get out of it. Being reminded of how I first came to salvation I had to repent of my sin. Sin was what it was and I had to call it what it was and deal with it the way that sin has to be dealt with.

You see, I didn't acknowledge that my behavior was sin. The Scriptures called it sin but I didn't. God declared it sin but I declared it justified anger and grumpiness on the fact that so many people and things around me caused me to feel that way. I forgot that I had a choice. I was choosing to hold on to my sin and lay my head in the lap of Delilah.

Recently, I started to slip back into that state again. Justifying my thoughts about people and circumstances which caused me to take a sour and mean attitude. My vision of where God was leading me was fading and I couldn't see clearly. Sin was clouding my vision. God was speaking but my ears were stopped up and all I heard was a muffled sound that I couldn't understand correctly. My vision of the Church and people's behavior started to overwhelm me and all I could see was how badly it all looked. It was not the beautiful Bride that the Scriptures spoke of but a sullied and misbehaved child that needed a spanking; and I was the one who needed to spank her! I couldn't understand why He would let His Bride behave the way she was behaving. Couldn't He possibly be mistaken about the reality of His Church? Was I the only one who really saw the truth about her?

What I didn't realize is that the picture I was looking at was shaded and darkened by the sin I was trying to look at it through. The church was not the problem. I was the problem. I couldn't hear what God was saying nor could I see what He was seeing. God was perfectly capable of handling His church and He didn't need me in the midst of it stirring things up. He needed me to repent, receive forgiveness and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Once I did that, I could see again. I could hear what my Father was saying. I could see what He was seeing. I could behave as His child and not like the misbehaving child I thought I saw in the behavior of the church. What God was trying to show me was how awful I was behaving. Where was the mercy, the kindness, the love He had for his Bride? I was not looking at the Father, nor the things which were in His heart. I couldn't see how the beautiful His Bride was too Him.

I can tell you a lot of things that I saw and experienced that may actually be true about the Church, things that are not righteous or fruitful, but then I would be back to the same place I had to leave and repent of. It was not, nor is not, my place to stand in judgment of the Church. That is the right and duty of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am not Jesus Christ. I am hopefully His friend and disciple. My actions will tell the truth about that. He alone has the authority to judge and then to forgive. Not me.

So now I see. I see how much I miss when I am blinded and deafened by my sin. My thoughts betray me and my actions play out my thoughts every day. When I judged myself, I found myself as guilty. I needed salvation from my sin. I do every day. I need to continue to walk with God and do the things He is doing, see the things He is seeing and say the things that He is saying. That is what Jesus did and that is what a disciple of His should be about doing as well.

I leave you with the question of whether or not you are in the condition I was? If so there is a judgment that has fallen upon you and there is only one way out. Repent, turn from your evil thoughts and mind. Repent and receive the forgiveness that God has to offer you and be saved. Be filled with the power of His grace through the Holy Spirit. Walk with Him and look at what He is looking at. Hear what He is saying. Then do likewise.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Judging Ourselves

Often I find comfort and wisdom in other peoples blogs that I follow and this is one of them. This answers a lot of those questions about why things are the way they are with people who seemed to have no restraint and why I act the way I do sometimes. It isn't that I think Christ's disciples are trying to disobey God, (if they are truly Christ's disciples) it is that they forget, or haven't learned or been taught. If they are honest about following Jesus and obeying him they will cry out to Him and find grace to provide a way out of sin.

So, in this re-post of AOP's homeschooling blog I was made more keenly aware of the importance of judging ourselves. I believe you will be too.
You Be The Judge:
Let's face it. When you live together 24/7, a homeschooling family is bound to have disagreements and disputes. Our family was no exception. Daily, I found myself settling conflicts between my children over insignificant issues. While they were young, I realized my direct involvement was necessary in helping my children talk out their differences. However, as they grew older, I encouraged my children to resolve more and more of their own conflicts. Instead of me listening to their complaints and acting as a judge and jury, they learned to take responsibility for their actions and resolve their hurts and disagreements in Christ-like love. As my role became less, my children learned a valuable lesson — judging their actions honestly before God usually eliminated others from having to do so.
As Christians, the Bible also commands us to judge ourselves. To judge ourselves rightly, we must lose the total self-life that seeks only to please itself. Judging our actions and thoughts in the light of God's Word, we become Christ-conscious, not self-conscious. Just as importantly, we become Christ-controlled rather than self-controlled. All that is selfish is laid at the feet of Jesus as we recognize that in our self "dwelleth no good thing" (Romans 7:18). Judging ourselves also involves valuing others as better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3) and becoming selfless instead of practicing self-esteem.

What about you? Do you have trouble with your fleshly nature that cries out to please itself? Homeschooling can bring out the worst in our character as we face the daily pressures of raising a family and teaching them at home. If you find yourself demanding that everything go according to your plans in order to make your own life easier, you may want to follow some good advice: "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged" (1 Corinthians 11:31).

Lord, examine my selfish heart and reveal those things that fail to honor You. Please, forgive me when I fail to act like Your servant and show me again how I can consider the members of my own family as more important than me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

To find more daily devotions and posts of inspiration go to: