Aug 15, 2012

Wednesday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Acts 21

Happy Worship Wednesday, SHINE girls! Turn up the praise music and sing to Your Man...Jesus! Let Him know how much you adore Him by praising Him all day today! In the car, at home, at work, on the treadmill, on your lunch break...wherever you are! Praise Him!

Lisa's post from yesterday was like a big ol' thud to my little blond head.

Forgiveness. It's such a pretty word. Not such an easy thing to do though.

It is hard. So hard to forgive someone that has knocked you down flat on your bottom, wind knocked out of you and everything. Sometimes, they may not even realize they wiped you off your feet. Oh, but sometimes they do. And that hurts. Really bad.

If there was one thing that I could tell you that Satan uses the MOST to interfere with our relationship with the Lord it would be....holding onto bitterness and hurt. Lacking forgiveness.

What happens when we hold on to that hurt and bitterness?

Oh, I know it and I know it well. We rot from the inside out. Big time.

You think no one can see it. However, it starts festering. It starts oozing out of your heart. Soon, it oozes out of even the tiniest pores of your pretty little skin. It stinks. Badly.

Slowly, that sweet supple skin of yours becomes hard like leather. Nothing can penetrate through. The skin is protecting that little heart of yours from future hurt.

This is not a good thing.

When our hearts are protected by bitterness, pride, and hurt, we lose our Christ-like image. We lose our sensitivity to His Spirit. We lose our sensitivity to others.

Not good. Not good at all.

With tears in my eyes, I can tell you that I have been in a place that was cold and lacking warmth. I have held my heart hostage more times than I ever want to count due to bitterness, pride and lack of forgiveness.

It's such an ugly place, girls. There is no warmth there. No love. No nothing. Cold, damp, dark and empty.

Oh, how the Father must grieve when our hearts are over-grown with the weeds of bitterness and hurt. I can only imagine how He desperately wants to heal us from the hurt. But, we just won't let Him.

Girls, let's let it go.

Who's hurt you? Who's still hurting you?

Let it go.

God cannot use you like He wants to use you unless you can set your heart free from the bondage of this hurt.

How do we let it go, you ask?

Pray for the person who has hurt you. Today. Right now.

It will feel foreign. It will feel wrong. It will be the hardest thing you ever have to do.

Do it anyway.

Pray for them.

Speak their name to the Father, and release the hurt from that pretty little heart of yours. Speak blessings over them.

I can feel you cringing. That's okay, cringe away.

I love you. I want the best for you. Not just the best, but God's best for you.

This is not a one time deal. You must continue praying. Pray until those chains fall off of your heart. Pray until you can picture this person's face in your head and actually not feel that knot in the pit of your stomach.

Pray until the peace comes. Oh, and it will come, sweet girl. You just wait.

Father,

This is where the rubber meets the road. This is the part of our faith journey that is hard. So hard. We desperately want to be conformed to Your image, Father.

In doing this, our hearts must be free. Free from the hurt, the bitterness, and the hardness.

We confess our sins to you. Our sin of not loving others as you have commanded us to love. No matter the circumstance, You have commanded us to forgive. And to love.

Our flesh is in pain, Father, as we release this person that has hurt us. It feels wrong. Even though, we know it is what we have to do in order to truly live for You.

Thank you for forgiving us, Lord.

In Jesus name,

Amen.


27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 
29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them."
Luke 6:27-32