Category Archives: Going God’s way

Psalm 16:6-8 

” The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.  I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

God’s word has marked out my boundary lines. God has shown me  what is acceptable and what is not. 
I am a wife who is understanding how to forgive.  Obedience brings peace and contentment. It’s a shame we don’t recognise it as the best way and fight before we submit. After submitting, all I can say is: “Thank you Lord for enabling me to forgive, because you have forgiven me first.”


I consider myself blessed. So many lessons learned and my sin has been revealed in all its ugliness. There is so much I am learning through his word.

Today I am just thankful. Thankful that he has used adversity to change me, shape and mould me. Adversity has made me appreciate  his grace more than I ever did before. What a saviour. 

Advertisements

Since my last blog I am feeling in a better place. God is teaching me that it’s ok when everything is stripped back and laid bare. Submitting to his will, however impossible it seems,  is the only way for true contentment in him. I am slowly grasping this and asking God that I won’t fight against it any more.

Before I opened my eyes this morning I was praying a hymn by a lady called Frances Havergal. I pray that I will be able to make the words of this hymn my own with God’s grace;

1. Take my life and let it be

Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

Take my moments and my days,

Let them flow in endless praise.

2. Take my hands and let them move

At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet and let them be

Swift and beautiful for Thee.

3. Take my voice and let me sing,

Always, only for my King.

 Take my lips and let them be

Filled with messages from Thee.

4. Take my silver and my gold,

Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my intellect and use

Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

5. Take my will and make it Thine,

It shall be no longer mine.

Take my heart, it is Thine own,

It shall be Thy royal throne.

6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour

At Thy feet its treasure store.

Take myself and I will be

Ever, only, all for Thee.

When darkness veils His lovely face,

I rest on His unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale

My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.

Submitting to God is the only way, and I pray that as we walk with Christ at the centre of our lives we will bring him glory. Then we will be at our happiest and most fulfilled. 

I met with my best friends yesterday. I have been unwilling to let go of resentment. As a result I have suffered spiritually. The wonderful thing about close Christian friends is that they can admonish with love. I needed that yesterday, and as they quietly challenged me about something unwise, I felt convicted. We meet in a coffee shop and then go and pray in the car. This is our pattern. As we walked to the car we were reflecting on psalm 23. Our shepherd King makes us lie down in green pastures and even uses his rod to enable us to do it. For me, this picture is so wonderful. God disciplines us. We see hurt and cruelty in it, and yet if we saw it from God’s perspective he is driving us from brown parched land, to lush green pastures, where the quiet waters are.


So as we got in the car, we all prayed that we would love those we don’t want to love, and that they would be made to lie down in green pastures. Since this prayer, my whole mindset has changed. Joy has returned to my soul. God is leading us beside the still waters and yet  for God to do it, it often causes us pain because just like stupid sheep, we don’t understand what’s good for us. 

We have such an amazing Saviour. Such a great God. The discipline we receive enables us to lie down in green pastures. I pray that when God disciplines us in the future we will have the green pastures in view, and thank God for the discipline and not rebel against it. 

There are many lenses I have viewed my husband through over the last eight months. The lens of anger and hurt, of bitterness and displacement. Even though the world would say that I have a right to all of these reactions, I am learning that we have to be very cautious about which lens we choose to view our life through. Viewing our life through a wrong lens distorts our understanding of the gospel and brings disaster into our lives. 

After many hard knocks I have come to understand that it’s only the lens of God’s word that should influence our lives. It’s the only way for true contentment and fulfilment with the one who knows us best.

When we are looking through a wrong lens, sin is crouching at our door.
 

Proverbs 17:9 says:

Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends. 

God forgets our mistakes, he hurls our iniquities into the depths of the sea. If we are loving God before ourselves, then we do the same when people hurt and offend us. 

James 1:25 says:

 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it, not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it, they will be blessed in what they do.

When we experience betrayal and hurt our instinctive reaction often turns to bitterness and distance, anger and unforgiveness. Looking through the lens of God’s  word  enables us to see that God reacts to us very differently. God  reacts with kindness and forgiveness, with tenacious love and with no thought to his own feelings when we have hurt and offended him. When we are looking through the right lens we begin to view those who have offended us as loved and precious to God. When we break it down, we begin to view ourselves as no better than those who have hurt us. We are all sinners that don’t deserve the outrageous kindness of our Heavenly Father. So, if  God reacts with love, grace and forgiveness when he is hurt and offended, so must we. 

I have experienced over the last 8 months that bitterness hurts us.

Like all the lies of the devil, he tells us that we have every right to be angry and bitter, and that its the best route to take. How can we possibly forgive after such catastrophic sins have been committed against us. This is the world’s view also, so when we are sinned against, our default position is anger and bitterness, resentment and self pity. 

For all of us who have felt the full force of harbouring resentment, we know that after a while, nothing good comes from it and we lose our joy in the Lord. There is a huge spiritual dimension to this, but also a physical one too. Below is an extract from an article I’ve been reading lately:

“Brain Affected by Thoughts?”

“We’ve all heard doctors warn that fits of anger may cause high blood-pressure or even lead to coronary heart disease and heart attacks. 

new research shockingly reveals that unforgiving, resentful, pessimistic or negative thoughts cause the “memory trees” in a brain’s dendrites to become sparse and thorny. They no longer look like healthy, abundant “branches” sometimes referred to as “magic trees” by neurologists and brain researchers. Anger Makes Abscesses in the Brain. Let me put it another way. When we are unloving, angry and unforgiving of others, special photographs of the dendrites in our brains begin to look as if dark abscesses have taken root. Literally. We develop black holes in our brains.”  ( Valorie Mays)

The author goes  on to say that when we begin to forgive the damage is reversed and brings healing and restoration.

This has really turned my thinking around today. Everything in Satan’s  kingdom brings havoc, destruction and damage. He is so subtle and quietly urges us to nurse grudges and bitterness. At the beginning of this process I felt that God was almost cruel in commanding me to forgive and love. I felt I had the right to nurse hate and resentment. But in fact, God gives us every command because he is kind and loving, and wants the very best for us.

We haven’t suddenly got an easy solution, but we have a knowledge that God does everything for our ultimate good. So when we are tempted to hold a grudge and nurse resentment and be full of overwhelming self pity, we can remember that we are in satan’s realm and only damage will come from it.  Praying that we follow God’s wise commands even though it feels costly, because it will bring joy and healing, but most importantly it will bring glory to himself. 


Philippians 4:11-13

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

My life has plateaued, and the adrenalin that was frantically pumping in every direction has finally halted. Being in a constant state of high alert is finally over, and I am faced with my new life which I didn’t choose. I have struggled to find contentment with my life as it is now.

Rick Warren says:

“Contentment means my happiness is not dependent upon circumstances. Most people get caught in “when” thinking — “When I get such and such, then I’ll be happy.” ”

This morning, driving to work I  prayed for contentment. I also acknowledged that I didn’t want to pray this prayer, and I needed God to work In my life to enable me to mean the words that I was saying.  This took energy  and effort  because I was asking God to make me content with something I was discontent with.  Its hard to ask God for true contentment if  we don’t feel proactive about changing our attitudes.

Paul says in Philippians 4:11 that  He had to learn to be content. It wasn’t something that came to him naturally.  I’m sure he didn’t want to be in dire need or in prison or shipwrecked or hungry. Yet paul experienced all these things and through it, learned contentment.

I know my heart is rebellious and I know how wrong I am. I am struggling and grappling and trying to work through finding contentment in this situation I am now in. The key is loving God more and wanting every situation we find ourselves in, good  or bad to please God.

This is my prayer for today:

Lord,
I am discontent about many things in my life.  There is an unwillingness to accept the here and now. I am discontent over all I have lost. Forgive me for my rebellious heart that is so slow and reluctant to ask for contentment with the life I now have.

To know contemtement in every situation pleases you. You know best, and whatever happens in our lives, help me to trust you and understand that you are working out everything for my ultimate good. Help me to know that contentment can only come from you. It has  to be learned and applied as we look to you for help.Thank you for your willingness to forgive again and again. Thank you for Jesus who gladly gave up everything, and yet was content to submit to your will. Help me to do the same.

Amen.

Every blog I have written so far I’ve asked my husband to read.  I wouldn’t want to publish anything unless he sees it first, and he’s been kind and supportive about me expressing myself in this way. He has encouraged me, even when it’s hurtful and upsetting for him to read.

I have observed  that living with guilt is an awful thing. It produces nothing good. It manifested itself in ways that were unkind and hurtful. I felt that the friend I once understood, I understood no longer.

But  God is kind, and orchestrated many things to enable him to step back into the light. God was gracious in putting key people in place to love and support him as he confessed all. 

Confessing is hard because we are in Satan’s territory. Satan blatantly shouts his lies about the consequences of  revealing all, and my husband believed those lies and he became despairing. Satan’s  desire is destruction and separation from God. He wants Christian marriages  to be broken and damaged and delights in disharmony and conflict. Because God is kind,  He always makes a way through for the Christian on the wrong path. 

Whatever the consequences that we face because of sin, stepping into the light is always the best way. Whether it’s saying sorry to someone we have been unkind to, or facing and dealing with situations that heavily impact others -the only way for peace, and restored relationship with God is to get out of Satan’s kingdom by confessing all and coming to the cross.We cannot experience God’s love and joy with a known barrier that we are unwilling to deal with. The consequences may seem overwhelming, but to be outside God’s kingdom and care is even worse.

 I really believe that when we are willing to lose all, in order to do the right thing before God, he is gracious and kind. The worst fear for my husband was that he would lose me. In fact, God has given me a huge heart for him. It’s all grace when we are willing to confess all.

For me, Inconsistency is now replaced with consistency. That consistency is filled with kindness and gentleness. I thank God for the change I now see, for relationships that are mending and healing, and for satan’s lies that although believed, were indeed just lies.