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Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Yesterday could have been rough for you, but today does not have to be your yesterday, especially if you trust and rely on God to help you see your way through. In my last message, which focused on Job 9, I said we should smile when faced with heartache, grief, turmoil, pain, setbacks, and disappointments. Because those may be facts but they aren’t your truth. We should rejoice in the Lord for the triumph we know is coming. We should smile for being blessed with yet another day to demonstrate His goodness, grace, and mercy.
Sometimes we have to make difficult decisions to stay within the status quo of man or to follow God. Sometimes we grow content with accepting the ongoing pain of living in the flesh that we don’t even consider the pleasure we receive from living in God’s Light. We must learn to love God above all else, including ourselves. We don’t want the pain and friction caused by God molding us, but we don’t realize that we are causing that pain and friction because we simply won’t let go and give up ourselves to Him.
So yes, when we resist, the molding process is more difficult. But ironically we have less of a problem enduring the pain received in personal and professional relationships—in those instances we can quickly make excuses and try to find ways to compromise or totally acquiesce. We are double-minded and not fully loyal to our Heavenly Father. We must choose which life we want to lead. We must choose whom we will follow, trust and obey. If we don’t surrender to God the molding process only becomes more intense.
Everyone wants to be like the disciples who had an easy escape exit, but who wants the responsibility of truly carrying the cross like Jesus? Who wants to walk as Jesus did? I’m not talking about having hangers-on and followers who blindly cheerlead and applaud all that you do. That is not and was not Jesus’s path and demonstration.
Remember there were more than 100 disciples and he selected 12 (with double-mindedness even in some of them) to be responsible for carrying on his work. The 12 also symbolized the 12 tribes of Israel. We read about their time spent with Jesus, but consider all of the time he spent alone talking to God, meditating on his calling, contemplating things—we don’t have written records of that. We have no clue what Jesus really had to endure, the fears he had to overcome, the tears that poured out of him as he wondered why he was chosen to make such a huge sacrifice for people who would probably backslide once he left (which most did). We don’t know the doubt and frustration that would creep up inside of him.
I can say that I only wish I had the faith he had (to stand in support of God’s plan and walk with Him), courage (to do what hadn’t been done), discipline (to not be distracted), and discernment (to navigate through the smoke and mirrors of this world).
Can you imagine surrendering and giving yourself to God knowing that tomorrow you will not be here with your loved ones? Just like Moses knowing that he would never enter the Promised Land; his mission was to get the children of Israel to a certain point and then Joshua would lead them the rest of the way.
To know when your last day on earth will be must be frightening at the same time it makes you appreciate more of life’s experiences and your mission and purpose along the way. That is why many people say, “Live your life each day as though it is your last”. With that I send my love to each of you and pray for your peace and protection, and hope that you also pray for mine.
Father, I pray to release my burdens, fears and doubt to You. I know You’re trying to mold me, and I keep trying to dictate the process. I know You’re trying to direct my path, and I keep resisting and following man and not You. I want to let go. Father, free me from my shackles of double-mindedness and over-analysis. I pray for the discernment to know Your voice from any other and the belief and knowledge that Your answer is always the right one. In Your Name, I humbly pray. Amen.
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