I just finished teaching English and realized it’s early Wednesday morning! (12:50 AM) Christmas and the erratic schedule threw me off a little bit on what day it was. I won’t have much free time tomorrow, so I decided to do my blog post now and share what the Holy Spirit did one week ago.
A Rocky Relationship
Last week I wasn’t feeling very good. I felt quite wounded and upset by the behavior of somebody close to me. It seemed so difficult to see from God’s perspective of love and have compassion, knowing that wounded people wound people. I know that when I’m living for the Lord, only what His love has spoken should have the power to move my heart, and not what anybody else says. I know that when Jesus died on the cross, he wasn’t wallowing in self-pity. He was giving His life for the very people who were killing him! Jesus didn’t say “Father, look at what they’re doing to me! Listen to what they’re saying about me!” He said “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” As Dan Mohler says, Jesus hurt for people, not because of them.
1 John 2:5-6, 9-11 (NRSV) By this we may be sure that we are in him: whoever says, “I abide in him,” ought to walk just as he walked. Whoever says, “I am in the light,” while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.
I know that walking in the light means walking in God’s love and forgiveness. I know it means loving our enemies and overcoming evil with good. But it felt so hard. Angry thoughts were brewing in my mind, and although I tried not to dwell on them, I wasn’t doing a very good job of it!
When You Feel Like You’re Not In The Place To Minister…
Some friends asked me to go lay hands on a young guy. They thought he had cancer but they weren’t sure. The doctors weren’t sure what it was either. He had a lot of pain around his stomach and kidneys. He had been bedridden and barely eating for a while. He gave his life to the Lord the day before when my friends visited him, and he’d improved since then. He’d gotten up and eaten. However, he was still in pain.
I didn’t feel like I was in the right place spiritually. It felt like I was fighting all these negative, angry thoughts. I didn’t feel like I could forgive.
I write about experiencing and manifesting heaven now. It’s not that I’m just writing a theory. But sometimes I’m challenged to keep walking in what I know is truth. Last week I didn’t feel like I was in heaven. But I’ve learned that knowing truth brings us into the experience.
Feelings can lie, but truth remains. An airplane pilot flying in poor conditions sometimes can’t tell which way is up and which is down. Feelings can be deceptive. Yet pilots are trained to trust the instruments instead of their feelings. I’m learning to stand fast in the truth that Christ lives in me and he is able to manifest his nature through me, even if I feel like it’s impossible. Jesus in me can love people when I can’t. I stand fast in the truth that God loves me and has made me righteous, because no matter what I feel, God has spoken through his Son, and that is truth!
I’ve listened to Dan Mohler’s message “Love And Forgiveness” several times, and it always moves me to tears. Even though I know I’ve fallen short so many times, oh how I long to love like Jesus does and to forgive with His forgiveness when I hear that message! One of the things that I often encourage my readers to do (as in last week’s blog post) is to focus on the work of the Holy Spirit in your life instead of focusing on your shortcomings. Even when I feel like I’m not strong enough to love like Jesus does or able to silence the angry thoughts, I focus on the fact that Dan’s message on love and forgiveness moves my heart because of the work the Holy Spirit has done in me. And so I ask God to help me to do what I can’t on my own.
What do you do if you blew it? What do you do if you just spouted off angry words at somebody? The fact that it grieves your heart reveals the work the work of righteousness that God has done in you! What if you feel like you can’t help but messing up again? We need the Holy Spirit to manifest Christ’s character, and He has given us the Holy Spirit. (If we’ve been born again.) Feelings lie, but the truth is that the Holy Spirit is able to manifest Jesus’ character through your life. No matter how helpless you feel, ask the Holy Spirit to help you and invite His work in your life.
I told my friends I would pray for the guy. I didn’t back out because I felt like I had a dark cloud hanging over my head. I didn’t say “no” because I felt like I wasn’t in the right place spiritually, and also really low on sleep! I didn’t want to miss this opportunity! I chose to recognize the Holy Spirit’s work in my heart and act righteous even though I didn’t feel very “right.”
When I got to that house, it was indescribable! God’s love for the family overwhelmed me, and I knew I was in heaven! Every face was so beautiful! Within a few minutes, the young man was completely free from pain!
I asked who else needed to be healed. Several other family members had serious pain issues, some of them unexplainable. Each one I laid my hand on was totally pain-free within a few minutes. Then I shared a simple vision with the mother to encourage her.
The first guy had just given his life to Christ before I visited. Some other family members had been born-again, and some hadn’t. One of the other guys who was healed said he’d turned to Christ but been “away” for 10 years. I got to talk about freedom from guilt and condemnation, walking in righteousness, and walking in Christ just as we received Him. I talked about seeing God through Jesus and not through anything else, and forgiving the church for when they’ve misrepresented Jesus to us.
I started laughing as I spoke the truth and shared the good news. I love sharing with people in their houses and seeing God heal them!
My heart was so melted with God’s love that I could no longer harbor bitterness against the person who had wronged me. My heart was overflowing with God’s glory, tender with love, but whole, broken for others but no longer wounded.
Maybe we need to stop trying to hard to love and just let the river of God’s love flow. Maybe if it feels like it’s hard to let God’s love flow through you in one area, the best thing to do is stop struggling and find another way to let it out!
I hope this encourages you if you’ve struggled with guilt and condemnation, or if you don’t always feel like you’re in the right place spiritually. The fact that you might feel like a piece of crap doesn’t mean God sees you as a piece of crap!
The dark cloud of heaviness is a lie! Let God’s light shine! He loves you, He is for you, and He’s not about to give up on you!
*P.S. By talking about forgiving, loving our enemies, and repaying evil with good, I do not imply that anybody should remain in a physically or sexually abusive situation. I want to clarify this because I’ve known people to stay in a physically abusive situation thinking they were helping an abuser by doing so., but they were actually endangering themselves and children by remaining.
Experiencing God’s power by exercising the gifts of the Spirit has often softened my heart and helped me to walk in the fruit of the Spirit. If you like today’s post, check out my book The Power & Love Sandwich