“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:3
That is a go to verse that we all probably have used one more than one occasion.
Some of us, hundreds of occasions.
I have spent much of the day reading posts of other bloggers something I always enjoy and hadn’t really had much time to do lately and I have never ceased to be amazed at the loud ringing true of Jesus’ words from the Book of Revelation, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Which he tells us on seven different occasions as he gives us the list of behaviors and attitudes that can make us or break us.
But Jesus, always merciful and beautiful highlights the strong points and then deals with the problem areas.
Areas that must be corrected otherwise the consequences are also spelled out but with fabulous mercy and grace, we are also assured of the rewards for overcoming these quicksand areas that our flesh causes our souls to sink into.
It seems through reading the work of others whom I respect and love for their passion, their rawness, and their commitment to keeping it real even while revealing their own hurt and humanism.
And I for one, know that it blesses me, not because they are hurt but because there are others who are willing to share their own struggles, doubts and fears to shine light for those who are experiencing the same.
We have all been preached to that if we are sad, get over it and “put a smile on that face”.
We have all heard that if we have prayers seemingly unanswered, then surely there must be sin in our lives or we are just “not praying right” and you know what, none of those teachings or thoughts line up with the Word of God.
We are given encouragement through his word to deal with any and all situations that we find ourselves in on this earth.
And we are given those instructions, and those rays of hope because God knew when he had the book written that we would need every single one of those words.
And it seems we all are in a battle royal with feelings of inadequacy and rejection, the pain of feeling the disapproval of others, in that no matter what we say or what we do, we will never live up to their standard.
I had heard years ago the horrifying numbers of those who daily leave the ministry.
And I am sure most have at one point or other almost been swayed by those same forces to do the same.
But we have to stand, we can get knocked down, distressed, and almost broken by the thoughts and attitudes of others and there are always those who love to kick us when we are down and there are those who, for whatever reason, seem to only validate every wrong view the enemy tries to present to us concerning ourselves and our ministries.
My personal belief on this is that attacks are much more severe than those suffered by the former generations. the closer we get to the end… personal hits on us and the stress of stats and followers and the pressure from the web world that often through sites that offer us a better “reputation rating” IF we buy a subscription.
The pressure to increase and spread the Gospel while under the microscope of a world that does not believe and constantly under the raised heel of the modern pharisees, who can not wait to critique every word, every action, and quickly correct us all that feel they would have worded differently and to every accidental misuse of Old English.
The same “crushing heel” that the disciples were faced with, same old tried and true corrections and restrictions according to their opinions as they just wait to put that heel down on us.
Just like Jesus said to those of his day, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass the sea and land to make one proselyte, and when ye have made is,ye make him twofold (twice) more the child of hell than yourselves“
It is really nothing new, we are just getting hit on a much larger scale and so many changes in the world that many of us entered ministry from backgrounds of brokenness, dysfunctional homes, and failed marriages, myself included, talk about rejection, my first marriage ended because of my refusal to convert to Catholicism.
I have written and pulled posts “dealing with the dealing with of that”, but even once we are saved and all things are made new, we still are “works in progress” and sometimes old wounds hurt, and they will hurt until the root of it is found and destroyed, and with every “root” there is a promise, a word from God, that will take care of that as we experience it.
Isaiah 54:6: “For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and as a wife of youth, when thou wast refused.” was a comfort, and peace, and also a source of relentless tears this first time I read it because it was God’s word, to me, and all who have suffered that kind of rejection that he knows, he knows the pain and he is there to wipe every tear away and give us something so much better.
And so many of us that have gone through the heartache of divorce have also been blessed with a new lease on life with relationships with spouses that are what God intended for our lives.
Sometimes the hardest “enemy” to face is ourselves and when we think of the scripture above and sometimes that “who” that tries to come against us, can even mean us.
I know I have been guilty of it, the need for the approval of others so that I can approve of myself. I can see mistake after mistake in choices I have made.
Choices I would have thought through a little more carefully had I remembered the moment of my salvation and the truth we all experience in that moment, Jesus LOVES us, he loves us simply because he loves us, nothing more nothing less.
It is when we listen to all those outside voices that reaffirm that own little self-doubt in our own head that whispers”You are still not good enough…” that we lose sight of the only approval worth having.
God does not want that, he did not create us to please anyone except him and we are his creation. And we were created for his pleasure, ever think about that?
When he created Adam from the dust and breathed his breath into him and then took the rib, the DNA from Adam to create Eve, how awesome is THAT?
He visited the garden and talked with them, he loved them and even when they messed up so bad and sin entered in and they had to leave the garden, he STILL loved them, he made them clothes, and taught them all they needed to survive their new existence.
And how many times does he want so much more for us, but our need for approval prevents us from throwing “caution to the wind” and following him in a direction that is completely unknown?
I have wrestled this so much lately myself , having been through such a difficult season, and many, many of us are in the same battle.
But just as David told Goliath, the battle is not ours it is the Lords and he promises us in his word that nothing, nothing can separate us from his love.
Not life, nor death, nor demons, and surely not any human, or the approval or especially the disapproval of us by any person.
So we must allow him to remove that false need of approval because we are sealed until the day of redemption, how much more approval do we really need?
Romans 14:4: “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth, Yea, he shall be holden up (made to stand) ; for God is able to make him stand.”
Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith. He began us and He is the only one who can end us.
So rest in the remembrance of the peace and joy you receive upon salvation, because the strife, stress, and constant pressure to be someone that some else thinks we should be does NOT come from him.
It will break your spiritual feet and broken feet cannot stand and sometimes they can be so fractured that the will NEVER stand again and that is what the enemies wants.
So when you feel that you can’t stand, trust Jesus, know that he will enable you to stand and as with any battle royal only the last one standing can win.
Φλογιζω NBJ 2019