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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Courage through the fire

The one the Lord loves is the one He chastises. We are all so familiar with this piece of Scripture, but truthfully when we are on the threshing floor it is sometimes pretty hard to see the love of God in our situations.  I had found myself in a threshing floor situation over the past couple of weeks. The Lord just would not let me be about something in my life that He was clearly not pleased with. It seemed a small enough thing. It really did! It was small enough and had taken root so many years ago that I had become largely neutral to it in the first place. It was just the way things were and had been for over thirty years. I couldn’t then quite figure why it suddenly permeated my consciousness with such intensity. I would wake up several times a night with this one thing weighing so heavily on my mind. Situations around me played up and around this issue. God was clearly speaking and His message was loud and clear - ‘Deal with this NOW!’

The Holy Spirit spoke through my conscience, reminding me that a falsehood, no matter how much time had elapsed, was still a falsehood. Or lets be more specific…a lie is a lie! That’s more like it. Let’s call it as it is, sis. You see I had inherited a lie in my life as a child, and had gotten so used to it over the years that it had become part of my ‘reality’. God reminded me that I was now more than old enough to deal with it and set things straight. He reminded me that He had been more than merciful in not having taken my life before this time, but that with each passing day that I allowed it to be, I was playing closer still to fire. ‘Wow, Lord!’ I thought ‘On this little thing?’ His answer was a resounding YES. He reminded me that His Word says that liars will have their place in the lake of fire, and that as long as I was not willing to deny this inherited falsehood, I was staring hell in the face. I tell you what sis, that was a pretty scary night! I tried to imagine how terrible it would be to end up in hell for the sake of this ‘little’ thing. You see sis, in the eyes of God, there is no small lie or big lie, no white lie or black lie. For the Lord to Himself play up on something in my life that He knew I had become immune to such that I didn’t see the stumbling block it was in my life, no one needed to tell me that I needed to make restitution. The urgency with which the Lord also laid this on my heart was not something I could ignore. To be honest sis, I began to wonder at some point if perhaps my death was near and the Lord in His infinite mercy was trying to be sure nothing was standing in the way of me being with Him in the end. Morbid thinking you say? Perhaps! But this was as real and as intense an experience for me as I have ever had. Obedience was not in question, regardless of how painful the process might be. Obedience was a must!

I went down on my knees and asked the Lord to forgive me. Regardless of the fact that I didn’t create this challenge, regardless of it having been foisted on me as a child by others who thought they had my best interests at heart; I had to be honest enough to myself to agree with God that I have been old enough for more than enough years to have dealt with this issue decades ago. I had to be honest with myself enough to admit that I had put myself into a ‘willful captive’ situation for too many years without even realizing it. Yes, sis. I was and am so grateful to God that I am still alive and able to retrace all this. As I prayed, I asked Him to give me courage for there was and clearly still will be some level of embarrassment and ridicule that will go along with my making this restitution. Thankfully, I know, because I know God, that there will also be a lot of love and understanding and support that will come first from God Himself, and then from others around me who will admit (even if to themselves) that they have no moral right to judge me because they know that we are all works-in-progress, trying to overcome the world and live daily more and more in conformity to our Father’s image. There are those who - based on having a firsthand experience in my restitution process, hearing my testimony or by reading this blog, will themselves be ministered to enough to begin to shine the light on those silent dark areas in their own lives, finding similar courage to allow the Holy Spirit do a purifying work in them also.

The enemy tried to deter me. He tried to convince me of the difficulty of some of the things I needed to change through this process, trying to play them up as impossible situations. He tried to bring pride into it: what would people think? People? What would 'they' think??? Ah, but he got it wrong there, sis. I don't care what people think. I care only what my Lord and Father thinks! So, I refused to back down. I made the choice to lay aside this one weight. I went into in prayer and asked God to help me, and He did. I was led to a Scripture in 1st Peter 4 v 14 where the Lord said categorically that it is better to face the abuse and ridicule of man than to displease and openly disobey God. I chose and still choose to look up, sis. I chose once again to set my eyes on the hill. I chose to keep heaven in view because my deepest desire is to one day be there with my Lord. I chose to stay focused on the fact that my Lord has loved me enough to chastise me. I chose and have yielded fully to His refining process. I know that in the end I will come out of the fire purer than before. I serve the Potter, and He does not through away clay. Rather He remolds it into something more beautiful. If the Lord can willingly and lovingly forgive great failings in our lives and I know this to be truth, how could the enemy think he could convince me that the Lord wouldn’t come through for me in this one little thing?

I prayed and continue to pray:  Lord, purify me! Lord, purge everything in me that does not glorify you! Lord, show me those quiet foxes in my life, those ones I have even become totally at peace with. Show me those things budding or which have taken root in my life, but which You didn’t plant. Root them up completely Lord, in Jesus name! Lord, I choose to keep my eyes on You! Lord, I choose to live for You alone. Father, please give me the courage to deal with everything in my life that is unprofitable to life and godliness, anything that will keep me from making heaven. Lord, as I go through Your refining fire, help me to remember that it is because You are evolving me into a more glorious me. Regardless of how intense the flames may look Lord, give me strength to go through. Lord, as you chastise me, help me to remember that it is out of Your unfailingly love for me. Father, I yield everything in my life that does not glorify You. I lay them at Your feet oh Lord. Wash me! Cleanse me! Create a new heart and a new spirit within me, Lord. I repent of this one thing...this thing that was so small in my eyes, but which You have loved me enough to prune me of. Lord. I receive Your forgiveness, grace and mercy, Lord. I’m grateful Father. Thank You Father. I love You Lord. Blessed be Your holy name, Lord. In Jesus mighty name I pray, Amen.

Sis, this post is not meant for you to sit back and begin to ask 'I wonder what she did?'. please dont get it wrong, dont let the enemy distract you from the message to you today. this is call that you please pray and ask God to show you anything in your life that needs to go through the Refiner’s fire. Don’t be so focused on those ‘big sins’ in your life that you miss seeing those little ones that could so easily hold you back from eternity with the Father. I'm so looking forward to heaven sis, and I believe you are too. Please look deep within and see if there is anything you have gotten to be at ease with over time, but which you know of a truth does not glorify God. Don’t worry about what men will think or say sis, for we are all at best fallible. Only God is perfect. We are on a journey to reflect that perfection, but along the way there is purging, there is pruning, there is refining. What are those areas of your own life that need to pass through the fire, sis? The Holy Spirit will reveal them to you as you ask. Know this for certain, God will help us as we call unto Him. So call on to Him sis. He is helping me through this. And He will surely help you.


Be blessed sis….for you surely are!

4 comments:

  1. My dear sister, i cannot tell you how much your posts bless me. As i read this one, just one word came to mind - 'courage'. I think it's incredibly courageous to step out like this and obey God in this. We get so caught up in how we appear to others, that it can be nearly impossible for God to get us to move. He is your Defender and the lifter up of your head and this act of obedience will draw you even closer to Him.

    Be blessed

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  2. I always tell myself, as I deal with one 'impurity' after another that though God loves me, he is holy through and through. He will not, for the love he has for me, 'contaminate' heaven. If there is but one speck of impurity in me, he will shut the door in my face, albeit with tears coursing down his face.....why would I let that happen? Why would you?

    Thanks for this Audrey. My prayer that this post goes far....that it touches hearts and brings about true repentance in all areas, little and big. For the truth is, with God' there is not degree of sin'

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  3. Hmmm....right now I feel like God is following me around, this blog is the 2nd reason I have wept this evening. I hv sort of 'been telling the Lord to look away' the more I say it the closer he comes to me and now this blog.I love you Lord .I thank you for this daughter that had the coruage to share this and the sacrifice to see it transform others.shalom.

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  4. Thank God for your life. It takes grace(courage) to share such a piece. I clearly identify with you on 1st Peter 4:14.This verse comes to mind each time I'm faced with certain choices. One thing is sure, the end will surely come someday no matter how long it tarrys....then what? The Lord is your strength, the Lord is our strength. God bless you. Amina

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Thank you for taking the time to share you thoughts. You are loved and appreciated.

About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God

JEREMIAH 2:

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:

25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.