I love that encouraging each other is as simple as sharing what we read today, or recounting what God has said to us that gave us the answer and the strength to keep going. Nothing about our hanging out or community has to be complicated. We could be having a picnic when suddenly God shows up and "adds to our numbers".
I am supposed to be doing a lot of stuff right now, stuff I'll eventually get to. What I love more than anything is conversing about the sweetness of God and His love for us. I think even talking about Him is reverence that brings Him to us.
Today I read from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest. I love to be challenged in my faith in such a limitless, hardcore and truthful way. True to today's date I read June 30th. (Wow, can anyone believe it's June 30th? I can't. Probably because it rained half the month :-) I will quote from His entry titled, "Agree With Your Adversary Quickly": "Have you suddenly reached a certain place in your relationship with someone, only to find that you have anger in your heart? Confess it quickly--make it right before God. Be reconciled to that person--do it now!"
The foundation verses Chambers shares are Matthew 5:25 and John 3:19-21. I went deep into John 3:20-21 in the Amplified Bible which I love because it brings in the meaning and heart of the words used in the Scriptures. "For every wrongdoer hates (loathes, detests) the Light, and will not come out into the Light but shrinks from it, lest His works (his deeds, his activities, his conduct) be exposed and reproved. But he who practices truth (who does what is right) comes out into the Light; so that His works may be plainly shown to be what they are--wrought with God [divinely prompted, done with God's help, in dependence on Him.]
I started thinking about what I read. I think perhaps the reason why it is so hard for us to come into the Light (Jesus) is that we are so afraid He will be like every other authority figure who has ever stepped on us, devastated us, cheated us or "lorded it over us". To be able to forgive those human authority figures and invite Jesus to show us the truth about His way of loving us is a challenge indeed. We are so afraid there will be some sort of horrible "exposure and reproof" that we forget Jesus was completely and totally exposed and reproved for us. There will never be any condemnation coming out of Him towards us when we make a true-hearted confession. Actually, there will never be any condemnation coming out of Him--period. He just isn't like that! Even a half-hearted confession from someone who wants Him is something He can work with! As a good friend of mine once said, let's "get down to the nitty gritty".
I am telling myself today, when I say I want intimate relationships with all you wonderful friends and my family, I am committing myself to confess and come into the Light and make right absolutely anything that I have done that has wronged any of you! That means I would tell you straight out my most shameful sin when such is needed to heal us. (And heal us confession would!) By the same token, I am also promising to tell you when you offend me! I am refusing to play games with you and I am honoring you as someone who can handle working stuff out! If for some reason You just can't work things out quite yet, then I've still done my level best and when I keep my heart soft towards you continually I am in the Light. I am refusing to keep unforgiveness in my heart towards anyone....the cost of intimacy may seem great to us now, but in only a matter of time this undaunted love we must practice will become second nature. It's actually better if we don't do it like a rehearsed dance, we've just got to take our first stumbling steps.
For intimacy's sake, God, I pray today that you would deal with me. Break open my fears and pour your love into those areas in me so that I am unafraid to trust your Light. I forgive those authority figures, friends, relatives, and anyone else who has ever exposed me and reproved me bringing heavy embarrassment and condemnation on me. I release them and bless them, I turn them over to You. Your "yoke is easy". I pray for the truth about who You are to flood me so I can come into Light in every part of my heart. I pray that You will help me press into the relationships you have gifted me so that I will grow in love and freedom from fear. Thank you that You bore exposure and reproof for me and God never, ever deals with me out of a heart desiring to punish me and make me pay. Show me truth, God. Show me You.
In Jesus name, Amen.