A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9
“Don’t tell me what to do”… “Don’t preach at me”… “I am not your child”
How many of us have loved ones say these phrases to us when we are sharing God’s word with those who we love are hurting? They don’t think they are hurting. They don’t want anyone helping them.
They may even come to you, but just want to unload and “get stuff off their chest” and “just listen” they ask. Yes, we need to listen because God is an incredible listener and since we have been grafted into His body in Christ, we have that gift to listen too, but we also are called to encourage and help others up.
When the venting is over, what does God do with you? Some of us may think He just sits there quietly, smiling blankly without any wisdom and we “leave the room” the same way we came in.
Letting our frustrations and anger and sorrow out to God is good as long as we don’t leave His presence the same way we came into it. I’ve heard Pastor Bill Johnson say something like, if you leave God’s presence the same way you entered, then all you’ve done is whine and complain, but if you allowed God’s Spirit to transform you so that when you are done you leave in a better state of heart and mind.
I love that! Such a great perspective for not only our time with God alone, but also in our times with those God placed in our lives to be His vessel of wisdom. When someone you love, respect, and honor listens and then shares what’s on their hearts in encouragement and truth- why would we respond with phrases like “Don’t tell me what to do”, “Don’t preach at me”, or “I’m not your kid (unless you are their kid-haha!)”.
Blinded by pride… self wisdom… worldly culture… lack of honor… See, God tells us in the Bible, that we are all slaves/servants to something or someone. We all have the choice to serve God and ultimately be free… or to serve the devil through serving ourselves and ultimately be in chains.
The culture of the world- what we feel and see- is opposite than the culture of God and His kingdom. Here, we think we are free when we think, say, and do anything we want to, but we aren’t… we can be fooled into thinking we can demonstrate that we are believers and that we do the things we do out of love, but if those things don’t mirror God, than what are we demonstrating? What are we tied to? We are chained to the things we think, say, and do…So the question is what is at the end of that chain?
As believers, we are slaves or servants to God. We sacrifice our flesh in what our flesh wants to think, say, or do to the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus lived by this example. He only said and did what the Father said to say and do. When Jesus battled thoughts, he sacrificed himself to God’s word and prayer to “come out” transformed and better than He had came in.
Our flesh doesn’t like admitting we need help. Our flesh likes bitterness and anger and justification in being hurt. Our flesh likes slandering others and raising our thoughts over others. Our flesh doesn’t like someone using divine authority trying to help us. Our flesh doesn’t like being transformed, why? Because of what’s at the end of those chains. The enemy wants to be your anchor because that’s how he has power.
But God wants to be your anchor because that’s how He gives YOU HIS POWER.
Whatever you are going through, let God “tell you what to do” and “preach at you” because you are His kid! He identifies you as HIS OWN CHILD – the one He loves.
He wants to see you transformed so that you can transform the world!
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling for you have been called by God.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church.
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you”. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4: 1-4,15, 26, 29, 31-32
Sending my love, Sara