As I lay under this magnificent tree, with a slight gentle breeze touching my face and fall leaves falling over my arms. I look up toward her and witness this magnificent tree as a pillar of strength; with the God given ability to withstand the many seasons of change. I feel her roots firmly planted in the earth's surface. I see her capacity to offer shade and quiet to all those who care to take in her beauty. I see an enduring emblem of survival and stamina. I see her as consistent, brave, and sure. She is the magnificently beautiful Oak Tree.
No one wants to be hurt! No one wants to be the target of someone's evil plan! No one wants to be aggravated, uninvited, excluded, or mistreated...no one!
Yet, at times we may find ourselves walking and living in all of this exclusion, evil, negativity and hatefulness!
What must we do? What can we do? When you know you have been the victim of another's planning & plotting of your very demise; it is not easy to understand or accept.
FORGIVENESS such an unused and fearful word to the majority of us. What is FORGIVENESS?
"the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven."
Webster gives this definition: "To stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong); to stop blaming (someone); to stop feeling anger about (something); to forgive someone for (something wrong)."
How do you STOP feeling some kind of way toward someone, whom you know deliberately planned and plotted to do EVIL and HARM toward you and those you love?
As a genuine christian FORGIVENESS has always been something I've experienced from God. He forgives me on a daily basis, as I repent. My thankfulness for HIS forgiveness has not halted me in forgiving others; regardless of their motive toward me or others.
However this most recent maliciousness toward my family and those I love, has been a challenge. This challenge is one that I am prayerfully & convicted toward learning from.
Matthew 6:14-15 ESV
"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
I need FORGIVENESS! I choose NOT to withhold it from others!
FORGIVENESS from GOD is conditional on whether or not I choose to forgive others. I know that I need forgiveness...ALWAYS. Who would I be to withhold forgiveness from another and thus lose my soul?
My faith was tested in most recent months.
I can truly say, as I look over all that has happened, I have been tested beyond anything I could have ever thought possible, because of the intentional and calculated motive of another.
The inflicted pain and sorrow deposited upon the lives of me and my family have been the hardest of pills to swallow; because it was inflicted by the very ones who call themselves christians.
My futile and declining ability to wrap my brain around the purposeful evil of people has rendered me speechless. I am reminded, that these individuals have been taught & obeyed the same truth; yet continue to walk toward the evil that plagues their very life.
To say it breaks my heart is an understatement. As I write this, I still find it very hard to grasp the profoundly pernicious and vile behavior of those who claim to love Jesus!
Then, I look at myself, and all of the times I have sinned & fallen short. Amidst all of these thoughts, I personally have NOT sought to consciously and intentionally hurt my spiritual family, through calculated plotting and maneuvering.
You see, when you truly LOVE God, you don't set out to hurt or damage another, because of your own selfish ungodliness. You seek to teach through example of the LOVE you are experiencing through Jesus!
My efforts are never to DIVIDE, but to REUNITE
souls toward GOD! I am NOT perfect, but I would not set out to presumptuously hinder the soul of another.
"Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?"
God's TRUTH saves and RECONCILES man back to GOD! It's not ME, but GOD speaking through me! This is LOVE not HATE!
It is God's TRUTH that moves to CONFRONT, so one's soul is NOT lost for eternity.
When we boldly decide to practice sin on the continuum, we HINDER our INFLUENCE and CRUCIFY Jesus all over again.
"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we (christians) who died to sin still live in it? Do you know not that all of us "who have been baptized into His death? we were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."
As a "new christian" we are to walk toward a new life in Christ, not grieving the Holy Spirit through deliberate disobedience. This means we are no longer allowed to do, or say whatever we want. All that I do must meet God's approval & if it does NOT, I must still choose HIS way and NOT my own.
2 Corinthians 3:2
"You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts to be known and read by all."
People rather see a life lived in fellowship with God, than lifeless words spoken.
"So then as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith."
This passage let's me know that I am to do good to all men, but most specifically to my church family first. This means correction for when one has fallen away from God.
"I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who wasn't sorry, and accept an apology I never received."
- Many will do wrong to you and never acknowledge their wrongdoing.
- Many will speak to you with a handshake and smile while never offering an apology.
- Many will expect you to be a doormat without ever offering you an explanation for their behavior.
- Many will see their evil plan as merely doing what was necessary to secure their future.
- Many will never ever apologize.
Whenever I am wrestling with something I always go to the Bible for answers. I seek God fervently in prayer. My goal and prayer is to do all that God commands of me and to ultimately go to heaven. Allow me to share a passage that is helping me during this time of trial:
Jesus clearly states how to deal with a brother or sister in the church who is consistently walking in disobedience.
Let's look at Matthew 18:15
"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. (Just the two of you) If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen (continues to live in sin) take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established. By the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them (those two or three) tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector (you withdraw from that person in love, encouraging them to repent as you see them)."
Unfortunately, we had to withdraw ourselves from these individuals because of their refusal to acknowledge their sin and repent. We don't hate them, but because we love their soul, we have chosen to obey God in prayerful hope that repentance will occur.
The Bible has the answer for EVERYTHING, if we will only adhere to it. Obedience must be ABOVE all that we THINK, FEEL, and DESIRE
GOD saw, heard, witnessed, and was saddened by the wicked and sinful choices of HIS children against His own children. VENGEANCE is HIS, not mine. HE does NOT need my help or evil thoughts. HE will repay them for their wrong doing and refusal to repent; in HIS time.
I will choose not to wallow in it; be overtaken by it; tripped by it, or hurt by it.
Romans 12:9-10; 14,16-21 ESV
"Let Love be genuine. Abhor (hate) that which is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Live in harmony with one another. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, NEVER avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of GOD, for it is written, VENGEANCE is MINE, I will REPAY says the LORD. To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry feed him, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink, for by so doing you will heap coals on his head. Do NOT be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
MY PERSONAL LETTER TO SATAN:
- You expected me to be OVERCOME by the EVIL done to me and my family, but your little plan to use God's own people against His own people FAILED to work!
- You thought you would DESTROY my family by this evil, but you FAILED again!
- You thought you could come into my thoughts with hurt and anguish; hoping I would give in and give up, but your planned FAILED once again!
- You thought I would retaliate in anger against those, you used to HURT me, but you FAILED to keep me under your foot!
- You thought I wanted to be accepted by evil people, so you worked in them to neglect and hate me, but your planned FAILED again!
- You thought I would still be harboring anger, bitterness, and wrath, but you FAILED to accept how much I truly LOVE my Father in Heaven. You FAILED again!
- Satan, you see I hate you!! You must've forgotten that! I DON'T hate God's people! I LOVE each of them & want them to REPENT, but you want them lost and they don't see it! You FAILED with me...again!!
- You thought having them neglect to love me as their sister would cause me to GIVE up and be weakened. You failed again!
- You thought persecution would cause me to STUMBLE and FALL. You forgot that God is holding me UP with his mighty HAND! You FAILED again!!
- You thought I TRUSTED in MAN, but you failed to realize that GOD is my Strength my HELP & REFUGE in times of TROUBLE! You FAILED again!
- You wanted me to be QUIET and not CONFRONT wrongdoing. You should've remembered GOD does NOT allow me to be quiet in the midst of SIN! You FAILED again!!
- You forgot I will NOT lose my soul over ANYONE or ANYTHING!! NOTHING is worth my soul!! You FAILED again!!
Satan, you are a WORTHLESS, HOPELESS, MISERABLE, EVIL, LIAR!! Everything God told me about you is TRUE.
The next time you seek to devour me and my family, be ready for us to WIN against your devices, because we serve a GOD in Heaven who is more POWERFUL than any man or evil you could use against us!!
FOR ALL OF US
Be encouraged to STAND against SATAN through practicing FORGIVENESS; even when you feel it may be the HARDEST thing you have ever tried to do. Practice FORGIVENESS even when they never say their sorry! Don't let your HURT be so great that you react and allow satan to win against you.
I Know that satan uses people and creates circumstances to cause us to DRIFT and become agitated. Move yourself AWAY from people who choose to walk with satan. Let us ALL strive daily to WALK with GOD and LIVE like HIM. STRENGTH comes from SATURATING ourselves in HIS word. Take solace in HIS word and there will be NOTHING to stop us!! JESUS went through even MORE than us. HE made it and so CAN we!!!
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