This morning as I was working with the term “self-immolation”, the thought came to me of all self-pity, justification, righteousness, absorption and on and on. To self-immolate means to kill off pity, self-righteousness, absorption, etc. Then as I researched more about the word “immolate”, I saw it also means sacrifice and/or blessing. This was so interesting to me because when I truly listen to God, I remove all sense of “self” and the blessing appears.
Philippians 4:4-6 states “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” I can only hear God when I am mentally on bended knee with no sense of self and this occurs by putting God first.
One definition of the word “repent” is “regret” as of a past deed. To me that indicates being “stuck” while ruminating about the past which actually doesn’t improve anything.
Eventually something has to change in our thinking for us to progress. This means to release “self-pity” and “self-condemnation” and replace it with Love and forgiveness which is always the answer.
Hebrews 4:16 states, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” This can only come after we learn to be gentler with ourselves.
Briefly, yesterday I gave into self-pity, which is a bottomless pit! Attempting to become adjusted to newness all around after bringing my husband home from the hospital , error or evil wanted to frighten me with “what-ifs”, limitation of normalcy, dread, etc. Then, I was awakened to the Love expressed all around us. Friends and neighbors are praying, bringing food and well wishes. Have to keep my focus on God!
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:2-3
The slimy pit is only “self-pity” which I do not have to entertain at all. Gratitude and humility fill my heart today.
Yesterday, the Fourth of July was celebrated in honor of those who fought for our freedom. This morning as I prayed, I recognized another freedom and that is from self-pity, self-righteousness, self-justification and self-condemnation and God’s Love does that.
In the third chapter of Lamentations, we read “The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning…The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him.”
My security comes not from a predictable life, but one never separated from the Love of God.
Today has been a very difficult day with my feelings being crushed by a relative. After allowing myself some self-pity, I began praying and asking God for direction and guidance and opened the Bible to Psalm 18:30 where it reads, “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.”
That was my answer as I realize God is working his plan out and all I have to do is to trust Him completely and I do.
As I think on the word, “Sacrifice”, immolation comes to mind. We are never asked to sacrifice anything that is Good for our Spiritual growth, but we are expected to sacrifice self-pity, which leads immediately to self-condemnation, self-justification and self-righteousness. One can never experience joy while “wallowing” in any of those. Freedom from mental bondage comes from the release of those and focusing on God. Once I heard an expression which I love, “God is, error isn’t and that’s that!”
For years when I read “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”, I thought it meant I should not have ambition or want anything. Now, as I read it, I know it to mean I shall not want for Good because it is always here. There is no lack of Good in my Life. Realizing God never makes mistakes and then corrects them, I must be and am in my perfect place! When all “self-pity, self-righteousness, self-condemnation, self-justification” is seen through as the nothingness it is, I can experience nothing but joy, peace and Love.