Sunday, July 5, 2015

I Confess.

As I am reading this book God is opening my eyes to what probably is my greatest failing as a believer. It isn't that I do not evangelize enough, or do not read my scriptures enough, or pray enough... which admittedly I believe we most all could do these things more as a body. No, that is not my greatest failure.

It is becoming increasingly apparent to me that my biggest failure is that when the Savior calls to me in life situations and said "Come deny yourself and follow me, crucify your flesh" in actions I often reply, " I will not yield"
Now this is not something that I could see outright as the flesh of a man has it's own sense of self preservation. Pride will disguise itself as a sense of righteousness, and justification. Wrongs inflicted and injustices will cause men to slander demons and Satan and ego will elevate a man higher in his own eyes to wage wars against them by his own strength. I've been that man a time or two. This is a public confession. I do not embrace pain and crucifixion the way that my Savior did. I do not bear the weight of mockery with the grace that He does. In many of those moments my flesh gets the better of me and I lose the battle before I recognize how to fight.  God has been working on this issue for many years with me, and there has been much progress and much left to be done. There are times, To His Glory more frequently, where the self-defense and heated exchange of insults is mitigated by God having fixed my eyes on compassion for the one I am in the exchange with. I do not want to make them hurt the way they hurt me, I do not want to make them suffer so that they understand not to mess with me, and that I am clever and that I am tactical. I want them to know that I love them because God is changing my heart and when I was one way, it was pain and pride. Giving pride for pride does not heal. It does not love. It does not cure.
It is not the way of self-denial. It is not sacrifice of the Savior.  It is not carrying the Cross.

I am reading this book about healing. In it explains that crucifixion comes from God with a purpose. All those people that you're mad at are just the delivery system for something which God has prescribed.
"Pick up your cross and follow me"
We see the message in churches now days that the thrust of the Christian walk, the apex of the gospels is happiness.
I am not seeing that from the text that says

Matthew 10

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; 18 and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. 20 For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

23 “But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.

OOOOoooooooh-y does the sound of that tickle you and make you smile ear to ear! Probably not. Do you get overwhelmed with happiness that following the Savior is going to result in being hated, betrayed, beaten, killed, and cause you to flee your homes!!! I doubt it.
I don't really seeing that one making it on the Osteen sermon rolodex.
" Deliverance from a crucifixion is an escape from pain. It is also a deliverance from change... change which God desires. "
-Gene Edwards, Crucified by Christians 
I don't do well with change. I resist it. I often times fight it.  That is one of the revelations that God has allowed me to see. God has authorized difficult situations in my life to 1) get me to focus on him
2) help change something wrong in my behavior or thinking 3) MAKE ME A BETTER PERSON BECAUSE HE LOVES ME

When I think about the goodness of the Savior, and how I want to be like Him, I usually think about His peace and the way He is the epitome of pleasing to the Father. I do not think about His suffering.

When most believers say "God make me more like you" or "Jesus help me follow in your ways" or "God I want your will in my life" they are usually not aware that they have asked God to bring about circumstances that are so very unpleasing to the flesh, in order to help destroy its control.

More excerpts from this book:
" If you embrace a crucifixion? You will lose a great number of enemies and a large number of bitter memories. You will also see the death of a portion of your dark side"- Gene Edwards, Crucified by Christians

Embracing the Crucifixion? In my May post I wrote about an experience that I have had, and certain things to caution people in churches everywhere to be aware of in regards to spiritual abuses. In many of the aspects that I detailed there, it was some of the most painful business of my entire life. In the moments that I was going through them I  wanted to plead my case, but it often didn't get anywhere. The parts that were wrong, I wanted people to understand and the parts where I felt that I was justified, were and honestly in some aspects still feel justified in.... are at their CORE, irrelevant.

"It is not God's intention to allow a crucifixion to become a platform for self defense. A crucifixion has one purpose, to destroy elements in you that need to be crucified"
- Gene Edwards, Crucified by Christians

That is something that brought me to the point of tears....
That one of the most painstaking aspects that I have ever gone through, that brought me to the point where I almost gave up EVERYTHING...
... was now not defined by me, my suffering, my justification.... but INSTEAD it was defined by HIS GLORY AND HIS BEAUTY!!!

God allowed me great suffering because HE loved me enough to GRANT ME PERMISSION to conform my CHARACTER closer to HIS.

Anyone who follows the Messiah is called to Crucifixion, but not all allow the resurrection of a better self from the ashes... more of Christ living in you.

"A crucifixion, properly embraced, will ultimately make you far more than what you were. Improperly embraced, it leaves you less than you were. It is your choice. You will either be spiritually destroyed or you will grow in Christ beyond previous boundaries!"- Gene Edwards, Crucified by Christians

I'm pretty awful at dying, much to my shame. I have a better awareness of an issue here and by God's Holy Spirit I decrease as He increases.

I confess my weakness and that often my ways are not His ways. Forgive me.

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