When I woke up this morning several things came across my mind from various phases in my life from childhood til now, and then this song written by the late C.P. Jones came to mind:
I will make the darkness light before thee,
What is wrong I’ll make it right before thee,
All thy battles I will fight before thee,
And the high place I’ll bring down.
This has been a busy week. The past few days have been full of activity and the week is not even half over. It is a season where Christians need to be focused and intentional about our identity in God. Some things that I have suspected have become clear. A lot has taken place, both in the spiritual and in the natural. In the midst of it all, I had to come to terms with the fact that some people that I considered friends have shown themselves to be disappointing as friends, and as Christians. Honesty, loyalty, integrity - these are characteristics that one must have, not for the sake of others, but for the sake of representing one's own character.
This is disappointing because when you are trying to stay focused on doing what was right, you have to distance yourself from people who don't want the same things in God that you are trying to seek after. Only my best friend knows what this struggle has entailed for me and how it has been a true challenge to focus on choosing to do what was right instead of what I wanted. As I was giving her an update on all that has been going this week, she just kept saying, 'this is too much'. I hate it when she is right, but I totally had to agree with her. It has taken a lot of prayer and has caused me to see the importance of choosing whether I want what I can do for myself or choosing to wait for what God can do in my life. In that way being able to trust God regardless of how God deals with the matter, because the Lord knows what is best and I trust that for what I get and what I may never get. So, yeah to realize that I have friends that are behaving with less integrity than those who don't claim Christ is disappointing.
The outspoken me wants to say something, but I thank God for being raised around some saints of the church who taught me some very important pieces of wisdom. One of my dearest friend's mother when she saw things going on that were not right would say, 'they think they are getting way with something but the Lord is just winking at them." Now growing up in the Church of God in Christ, one thing you must know is that when a church mother says something there is some scripture for it. So I went on a search to see what the Word of God said. Sure enough in Acts 17:30-31, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead"
So with these individuals being Christians, they are accountable to much more than my feelings. If answering to God doesn't concern them, then the breech of my trust is nothing. Translation, I just cant worry my pretty little head about such foolishness. I pray that the Lord deal with everyone involved, and ask the Lord to help me stay focused on doing what is right.
No, I dont claim to be perfect, I have my flaws and shortcomings just like anyone else. But I try to remember that I am accountable to God, and for that reason I want to do the best that I can to make the right decisions. And that is not always easy, but most necessary. James 4: 7-10, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."
There are plenty of scriptures that let us know that one of the challenges of living right is about our sinful nature being in a tug of war with the Will of God. The flesh is very much a distraction to spiritual things. The point is that what you want in the natural can keep you from getting what God has for you in the spiritual, and what God has for you spiritually comes with both spiritual and natural benefits and blessings. You cant give yourself anything that will compare to what God will give you in HIM. This is not pie in the sky, nor is it prosperity gospel---- this is Abundant Life: It reaches to every aspect of your being and life. It is not limited because God is, was and is to come. On all sides of time and on all sides of every situation, God is non-negotiable in power and authority.
One of the things that most anyone who knows me knows is that I love water. I love to swim in the pool or the ocean, the lake. Yes, I am a country girl, and when I was young I spent some time swimming in the lake. Now, I prefer the pool or the ocean. Swimming in the ocean takes real understanding of the currents and physical strength. One of the things that any swimmer will tell you is that it is easy to swim away from shore, but is seems much harder to swim back. Not only because of the currents in the water underneath the surface, but also because by the time you realize that you need to be headed back to safety you have less energy left. Many times the currents have caused you to be further from shore than you really intended to be. You can be so busy enjoying the water that you dont realize that you are moving away from safety and solid ground.
Boats use an anchor to help them stay in a location. And anchor is a heavy metal piece that is put down in the water to keep the ship from moving due to weather conditions, such as wind or storm, and also to keep the current from moving it too far from the intended location. This is because even in what seems to be still and calm waters the boat can actually be moving, but it doesn't seem like anything is changing. The environment of being surrounded by water can give the illusion of stagnancy , but in actuality you can move for miles and not even realize it. Thus the reason for the anchor to hold the boat in place.
Once again I must refer to the church mother, who would say, "be sure your anchor holds." Isaiah 48:2 does not use the word anchor, but the intent of the words in modern English would give the same intent when it says, "For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is his name." And then we have Hebrews chapter 6 which is a call to spiritual maturity, and does actually use the work anchor.
The wisdom of the church mothers was to let us know that there obvious dangers, but there would also be times when life would bring situations that would seem harmless but would have the potential to slowly pull you away from the safety of the things of GOD. The Christian community contains all kinds of personalities, but the tenets of the faith apply to us all. The situation of the southern and northern kingdoms of Israel show us the importance of this in Psalm 80, a prayer for revival. We need consecration.