♕ Today's Promise: “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, and of the son of man who is made like grass…" Isaiah 51:12
Last week I promised to share a second example of the unnecessary pain and suffering brought on by not simply going to our Heavenly Father to confess our sins and be embraced by His forgiveness and love.
This time it was a dear friend who I met for the first time face-to-face in South Africa. We had known each other for many years and worked together in RMI so I was extremely excited to meet her. Since I arrived on an early flight, she suggested we have a South African breakfast at the posh airport hotel. I just couldn’t believe I was there in ZA and the maitre'd didn’t help me remain calm because he was decked out in a tribal headdress and authentic robes. 🙂
Yet as excited as I was, I could sense some foreboding feelings hovering over our table. Like all of us often do, rather than realizing that often it’s not about “us”, I thought perhaps she was disappointed in meeting me or maybe she really hadn’t wanted me to come.
Thankfully she decided to “fess up” while I was enjoying the scenery as we drove to her home. Suddenly, she turned to me and almost yelled, “You know, don’t you!?!? I could tell you knew and it’s been killing me!!!”
The funny thing is, I had no idea what she thought I “knew”, and at this moment I still can’t remember what she finally “fessed up” to. What I can tell you is that whatever she said she did, didn’t need to be confessed because what she was confessing to wasn’t wrong at all. That’s right, what she had been carrying around, afraid that I would dismiss her if I knew, was nothing at all. Just now I believe I remember it being something about her divorce. That it wasn’t her husband who filed, but she had done the filing because he told her to. But if what she did was wrong, would I have care either way because who of us hasn’t done something wrong? We all have “fallen short of the glory of God” and it’s why we all need a Savior.
Soon after I explained this to her, she was elated, giddy almost, like she could walk on air. I found out that the enemy had been taunting and tormenting her from the moment I told her I was coming to South Africa to visit— lying to her that I would find out and that would be the end of our friendship and I’d kick her out of the ministry.
Thankfully she didn’t wait for me to “find out” and blurted it out herself, as I said, almost yelling, and my reaction, I believed, was that I laughed, which diffused the charged atmosphere immediately. Had she not “fessed up”—can you imagine how my time with her would have been? Exactly, strained, uncomfortable and far from enjoyable. Yet by refusing to continue feeling "guilty" for it, which led to feeling condemned and accused, which led to her shame, which led to her hiding it from me—she and I were set free to enjoy the weeks I had visiting her and exploring ZA.
Just recently there was another minister who confessed in a praise report when she said, “I recently had to repent to the Lord because He was not first in my tithing. I have since understood to pay Him first before I pay any of my bills. I also did not realize that the Lord was trying to show me this sin and I have been very moody, irritated, and have been very short and mean to others because I was in sin.” This confirmed that this is an epidemic. This is what is ailing many of you and it is a very real issue that must be uncovered.
Let me continue along this same topic, to share something interesting that also occurred recently. Soon after the Lord led us to ask all of our Ministers and Ministers in Training to finish and submit missing lessons, we noticed some calmly moved forward, no doubt after talking to the Lord about it, which is why they were calm. While others rushed to finish, some began to panic. This, again, is something that should be discussed and taken to our HF because He’s never in a hurry. Though most of us would like to fly to our destination, completing our Restoration Journey asap, to get to our destination sooner, He has other plans for our journey.
Knowing Him as I do, I prefer to do things more slowly so I can enjoy the journey with Him! While traveling all over the world, I know now He prefers to have me travel the slower speed of a train, rather than a plane, so we have time to look out the window, sit back and enjoy the scenery. Yes, I am using this figuratively or metaphorically but also literally.
Interestingly, what surfaced for one minister who was asked to complete missing lessons, was anger— when she had the feeling like she was called a “liar” and panic ensued.
Most of us have some sort of trigger, something that sets us off. Which will be our next Living Lesson. In the meantime, be sure to stop and Selah, in other words, meditate on what you’ve learned. AND be sure that you just don’t think about what you’ve learned, but you set up a time to spend with your Heavenly Father to be alone with Him and ask Him to share with you how this message applies to you. 🙂