While studying the Bible Lesson yesterday about the rich young ruler, it occurred to me that Jesus was telling him to give up his old false cherished beliefs and listen for God’s message. When sharing this with a friend, he remarked that he thought not because he thought it was about not obeying God. After our conversation, I realized there is no right or wrong answer when we humbly ask God for inspiration. Next time I read it, something totally different may be revealed to me. Genesis 3:8-9 states “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they his from the Lord God among the trees of the garden, but the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’.”
Then a light came on in my thinking that I am fine wherever I am. God is right here!
It had been five years since we had had the large trees in our yard trimmed so this week we had all the old, dead limbs cut off and carried away. Not only do our trees look healthy and beautiful, our yard is more opened and the view clearer. As I was pondering this sitting at my desk, praying while looking out my window, it occurred to me I might need to do this trimming and casting away old, dead beliefs in my thinking and I surely needn’t wait five years to do this. As I practiced this, I saw how my vision improved when the temptation arose of seeing a past incident. Viewing this through God’s eyes, it put a whole different slant on things. God was with me right then as well as right now so I needed to cast off imagined hurt feelings and replace them with the Truth that I have never been separated from God for an instant.
Romans 8:38-39 states “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” By staying with these verses, the old beliefs have been obliterated that say I was ever separated from my Good, God!
Last night I received a call from someone needing prayerful support while working through a challenge and seemed extremely aggressive. After hanging up the telephone, it took me some time since I knew I shouldn’t sympathize with the error but have compassion for the person working through it. Aggression wasn’t part of her true spiritual identity and I had to see her as God’s child reaching out. I noticed it took me time to rid my thoughts of judgment, but eventually Love dissolved that negative thought for me and I was able to pray successfully.
Luke 6:37 states “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” That doesn’t mean from time to time, but all of the time. Help me, Father, to do that.
Not so long ago someone came to me about reacting to someone who had been unkind to her. First, we discussed that we always needed to respond rather than react. After praying about the situation, I was reminded we must always go to God first. My mother’s favorite saying was “two wrongs don’t make a right”. Then I remembered how I was thinking about turning the other cheek once when it occurred to me that when that is done, we are looking at a situation from a different angle which may reveal something to us about the other person that we hadn’t seen before. Almost all of the time, it has nothing to do with us.
Matthew 5:39 states “But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Never have I been pleased with myself when I react angrily.
Recently, I was coming home from an errand on the back roads and driving along 45mph, which was the speed limit. A car came right out in front of me from a side road and I had to throw on my brakes and then it slowed to 20mph. Would not even share here what was going on in my thoughts, but they were not pleasant. For about ten minutes, I drove in such misery until I noticed what I was doing! The car in front of me was just “puttering” along while I was stewing!
Proverbs 3:5 came to thought which reads, “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.” So, I just released it and claimed my joy again.
Self-sufficiency is destroyed as I realize my dependence upon God more and more daily. Then, I know my security lies in God. 2 Corinthians 12:9 states, “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
This verse was reassuring during a severe hail storm last night. This morning I express gratitude for our protection including home and cars.
Any time I have a thought of Love, compassion, inspiration, I know it comes from God. That is the still, small voice that is within. When I cannot hear it, it is because of negative emotions such as self-righteousness, self-justification, anger, unforgiveness, disappointments, hurt feelings, etc. So, it is up to me to recognize those emotions and replace them with Love and compassion. This, of course, is not something I can do humanly, but by turning to God and asking for His help, I can rest assured I can see what He sees! John 13:27 states, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
A reflection of trees in the water.