Monday, April 22, 2024

That Ye May Be Healed

I've been pondering on the loved ones in my life who no longer believe in Jesus being the Son of God. Some no longer believe in God at all. Some say there is a 'higher power' out there - but thats about it. To say that when I hear that my heart feels torn to pieces is an understatement. I found myself pleading with the Lord in the middle of the night to please take the ache that comes from watching those I love reject Him. It is too much for a mortal heart to carry unless He greatly increases my ability to abide in sorrow and not be consumed by it.

One thing I have noticed - in of those people I love where the person has stopped believing in Jesus or the Lord - they have two solid commonalities (more on that in a minute).

In science we pay attention to commonalities in order to determine if a hypothesis seems to correspond with the real world based on observations and subjective judgment (thanks Google). For me when I see a commonality, I pay attention. If I'm interested in losing weight and the commonality of everyone who has had success in losing weight is that they counted calories and restricted them, I'm going to say that there seems to be a consistent pattern I ought to follow in order to obtain similar results.

And so it is with those who reject the Lord. The commonalities are:
1. They have a strained relationship with one or both of their parents.

2. They never really heard an answer from the Lord on anything. He didn't show up for them. He didn't come through for them. He didn't speak to them.
I can hear the naysayers now - "Oh, so entrez-vous Freud, right?"

Not exactly.

Here's all I can say, and I've said it before more thoroughly here. If you have felt God doesn't speak to you or answer you I have to ask you - how can He? If you have resentment in your heart, how can He reach you? If you've spiritually blockaded your soul but yet you ask Him to come through for you, you've put Him in a bind.

In order to know that God is real and that He hears you - you must forgive.

In order to live a life of Truth - you must forgive.

Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Matthew 18: 21-22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Luke 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Psalms 103:10-14 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

The Dilemma of Parenting

by Henry T. Close

"There is no question but that our parents failed us as parents. All parents fail their children, and ours were no exception. No parent is ever adequate enough for the job of being a parent, and there is no way not to fail at it. No parent ever has enough love, or wisdom, or maturity, or patience. No parent ever succeeds completely. As kids we needed more mothering than our mothers could give us - more fathering than our fathers had to offer - more brothering and sistering than we got from our siblings.

"Part of our task in growing up thus becomes finding our own sources of parenting - to add to what our mothers and fathers were not able to give us. We cannot wait for our parents' permission to grow up. We need to decide on our own to give to ourselves what our parents couldn't. To grow up isn't easy, but in order to do that we must forgive our parents. We must forgive them for our sake, not theirs. When we do not forgive them we are still expecting all of our parenting from them. We are clinging to them in the hope that tif we wait long enough - or do enough of the "right things" or make them feel guilty enough - the will finally come through with enough parenting for us. But this is impossible. And in order for us to be really free to find other sources of parenting, we must forgive..." 
If you are struggling to hear the Lord right now or feel like He hasn't come through for you - pause and take an inventory. Is there someone (or multiple people) in your life that you have not forgiven? 

And I can hear some of you say, "I'm not an angry person. I'm not mad at anyone. Not mad at my parents. There is no one I need to forgive."

That is called: Self Deception

There is always someone to forgive. Hello - the government and worldwide corruption for starters! Every day, for the rest of your life , no matter how 'chill' of a person you may believe yourself to be - you will have need to forgive. There will always be little (or big) wounds or inflictions that come almost imperceptibly unless we pause and ask the Lord to help us remember. Some of us are really good at stuffing our feelings. Pray for that to be uncovered too.

Getting Started:

Get a quiet place and time where you can have time alone. Get a notebook and begin with a prayer. Invite Jesus into this experience because this is a big moment for you and if you don't invite Him to sit with you and to interpret things for you, it can be an unholy experience.

Once you pray and specifically invite Him into this, then get your notebook and:

1. In the space below list all the things that I am angry at and have never forgiven myself for. (This should take a while...)

2. List all the people I am angry at, and what they did, that I have never forgiven them for. (This should take a while...)

3. Write and pray aloud if you can: "I forgive or release or accept (write their name) for (what they did).

4. Then write and pray aloud if you can: "I am grateful to (the person) for (what you learned or what came from it)."

Why gratitude?

When you take a hurtful situation and ask the Lord to help us look for gratitude we are persuaded to reevaluate our perspective and potentially change our grievance story. You may discover things you learned and ways in which you grew as a person due to someone else's hurtful behavior. When you do this with Jesus, you can begin to see yourself as more than a victim. You can also begin to see the other person as a "human being" rather than a villain.

I recognize that abuse situations may have happened to you. I am saying this for general forgiveness situations and where abuse has happened, being grateful would be very difficult and should not be attempted unless the Lord is walking you through it specifically.

my prayer:

Lord, Jesus, meet me here. My heart is broken today and I need the ointment of the Angels on High to cover me with Your Righteousness. Please let Your River of Life flow through me, surround me, consume me. Please send more Laborers into the vineyard. Please come to Your children. Visit them with affliction and pestilence and pain until they remember You, their Lord and their God. Let them know who formed them that they may rejoice in You and Your Goodness and Your Mercy. Please Jesus, none of us are lost that the Father gave You - but it feels like we are losing more every day. Help me to trust You. To believe in Your Promises. To rejoice that we are not cast off forever if we will but believe in You. You died for me. For us. You were beaten and tortured beyond recognition. Bruised for our iniquities. Torn to pieces and still you cried out, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Help me, Lord. Help me to do the same. Help us to do the same. To forgive! Please Father, bless us with Eyes to SEE and Ears to HEAR the person for whom we harbor hate, we despise, we reject. Help us to see their hearts, their story, their life. Grant us an understanding heart so that we may rejoice in Your Merciful Plan!! You are Holy. HOLY is Your Name. ENDLESS is Your Name. SALVATION is Your Name. There is none like You. None beside You. None to rescue, to succor, to uplift but YOU. You are Good. You are God. Bless your Children to SEE YOU. Bless us. Bless us Jesus. Bless us God Almighty, King of the Universe. I need you today. I need what only You have to offer and to pour out shaken and filled to the top and pressed down. The abundance of Cana - pour out on me. Pour out on us. The majesty and wonder of the 5,000 - bring forth to us now. There are many seeking You and walking in Truth. Raise them up Lord. Raise up laborers in Your vineyard!! There are many now who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of demons. Cause them a great famine. Let them hunger - to feast - to eat glutinously and cause their belly's to ache for starvation of Truth. Let there arise a famine in the Land for Truth. Cause your children to enter into hunger for You. You are the Way, the Truth and the Life. In Jesus name, Amen, Amen and Amen. 

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Matthew West

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