It’s so easy to get caught up in the culture of a community, a family, a social circle, a work team, etc. and forget that your ability to relate to other group members is temporary. While you’ll never forget where you come from, remembering where you’re going and behaving, communicating, and emoting accordingly is critical if you ever want to reach your next destination. Avoid getting caught up in petty patterns of using gossipy, woe is me statements to convey your frustration for your current circumstance. Venting is one thing, but sharing your observations and opinions as if where you’re at is where you’ll always be only further associates you with the place, making deliverance a more involved process because God doesn’t just have to move you, He has to purify AND move you. From here forward, live on the brink of your breakthrough by first recognizing that you’ve been anointed for ‘next’ even though you have yet to be appointed there. Secondly, walk in ‘next’ before it’s your reality, using your actions, attitude, and speech to force it into manifestation. Third, instead of being a member of the disgruntled group, be an inspiration, constantly reminding others that they too are just passing through, but how long they stay depends on how long they dwell.
Today, let’s look at three gladness-inducing Scriptures that reveal the “rachamim” (compassion) God has toward us!
1, 2. Psalm 103:10; 14 “He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor does he punish us according to our iniquities…For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.”
3. Micah 7:18 “He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.”
Rachamim, a Hebrew word, translates as “bowels, tender love, and pity.” It focuses on God’s intense, emotional love for us and announces His desire to “womb” (protect, fence, and rescue) – us.
It should overjoy you to know that Someone with so much power is willing to employ it all just to stop the consequences of your own human fault from overpowering you!! Oh how elating it is to know that as a Child of God instead of reaping what my sins have earned me, I am being showered with what His grace gifts me! What a delight – to be covered!
You aren’t a bad person; you are a person who happens to have the life those who call you a bad person desire, but instead of looking to you as a vision of hope and viewing all you have accomplished as inspiration, they have perverted your existence, blaming you for their failures and internal dissatisfaction. There is no cure for their misplaced criticism (no way they will ever welcome you) other than for them to either become honest with themselves about what life choices led them to where they are today or for you to abandon all you’ve prayed, sacrificed, and worked (mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally) for, becoming as miserable as they are.
Stand strong in the knowledge of your own character & personality, refusing to allow their emotional manipulation to lead you to ruminate whether or not you’re “good.”
You ARE good! – your presence just happens to be a reminder that they aren’t who or where God called them to be, and because they can’t handle that truth, they substitute the conviction they feel inside for rage toward you. Respond with too much sympathy and you will become moved to meet needs for them that God has not called you to meet, causing you to become trapped in their cycle of drama and distracted from your own peace & stability. Respond with complete rejection and you will also be rejecting God’s attempts to use you as a change agent. Balance is key! – respond with prayer, a willingness to (with boundaries) help them in times of duress, and a commitment to continue building a life worth desiring, recognizing that when God chooses to use you to inspire others, the devil will choose to use others to envy you.
“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:14)
Matthew 27:50-51 documents the yielding up of Jesus’ spirit at the completion of the Crucifixion and the subsequent tearing of the temple veil. Before it was torn, the veil served as an entity to separate the Holy of Holies (the earthly dwelling place of God’s presence) from the rest of the temple where men dwelt (Hebrews 9:1-9). Until Christ’s death, men were separated from God by sin (Isaiah 59:1-2) and only the high priest was permitted to pass beyond the veil once each year (Exodus 30:10; Hebrews 9:7) to enter God’s presence for all of Israel and make atonement for the people. The tearing of this partition at the moment of Jesus’ death proved that His blood was a sufficient sacrifice to cover the cost of sin forevermore and signified that the Holy of Holies was open for all people, for all time.
Thousands of years after Jesus’ death, many of us still carry on the tradition of the veil as we allow fear and misinformation to separate us from God. One way in particular that we fail to take advantage of the relationship with Him that Christ’s sacrifice afforded us is by being afraid to communicate our deepest desires to Him. We hold back, certain that Someone so great could care less about our trivial requests. This couldn’t be further from the truth! God delights in our unrestricted communion with Him and wishes we would have the courage to approach Him, with everything, without intimidation.
Today, let’s aim to become bolder communicators who don’t leave anything to fate, rather address EVERYTHING in prayer. We serve a God who we can ask for ANYTHING – Someone who has so much consideration for us that He will respond to even our most audacious requests with a “yes.”
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” -2 Corinthians 1:20
Imagine a lifetime of being told “no” everywhere you went, only to become in sync with Someone whose response to you is always “yes.” Unbelievable, right?
Today’s Scripture reminds us that when we surrender to God, our desires transform into wants He could never reject because they align with His purpose for us!
“When the devil speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” -John 8:44
Satan finds pleasure in our derision. He enjoys arousing panic in us by making us think he knows something about our future that we don’t. He loves to observe us read the Word, attend church, and feed our Spirits through self-help books, podcasts, and conversations with like-minded Believers, and then taunt us by filling our hearts and minds with doubt strong enough to snatch all we’ve learned away. Because he can’t stop our futures, he tempts us to fear them. Because he’s jealous of our potential, he specializes in making us question it.
Oh, but there’s a silver lining! – today’s Scripture reminds us that EVERYTHING the devil says is just as invalid as he is! It also reveals to us that he doesn’t possess the insider knowledge he manipulates us into believing he does. Not only do his lies derive in his kingdom, they can only exist there! It makes me happy to know that where I live – in Christ – Satan has no jurisdiction!
At any given time, there is usually at least one subject threatening to plague or actually plaguing each of our minds. Whether it’s regarding the safety of loved ones, our lack of resources, our health or the health of a family member or friend, how to navigate a challenging relationship, other people’s opinions of us, our capacity, our future, etc., thoughts of “it” become intrusive, overwhelming, and eventually paralytic. And because it’s all we can think about, it becomes all we discuss. Our relationships become dominated by conversation revolving around “it.” We drain ourselves and our confidants and are exposed to a number of health conditions: anxiety, headaches, depression, and the list goes on. During those times, it’s as if we forget that we can opt out of it all. That’s right – the ruminating, the stress, the sleeplessness, it all revolves around the act of CHOOSING. And anytime choosing is involved, we must remember: there are other choices.
Today, let’s commit to laying aside these weights…burying them and refusing the temptation to dig them up. Today, let’s get back to peace.