Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell
"God removed His hand because they were disobedient."
"They went through that because they walked away from God."
"Children are a direct reflection of their parents."
SCREEEEEEEECH!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLD ON! STOP!
Where did these cliches come from? Definitely not from the Word of God...but I know for me, I have likened these sayings as though I read it straight from, First Liar 1:1 (That was me being facetious). Of course through the hazy glass of deception, I have found that the purpose of that looking glass is to erode our vision of how we see God as this effects whether we receive from Him or not.
In this process, I am continuously learning about opinions...they seem right...and many times are even factual...but it's not ABSOLUTE TRUTH. So when we hear, "God removed His hand because they were disobedient..." this by default says that God is a liar for The Word says differently, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." - Deuteronomy 31. All in all, truth trumps facts...and here's the truth...I remember those times I intentionally and unintentionally removed myself from Who He is and that removal process was due to my own choice of disobedience...yet He still patiently awaited for my return to Him.
I have been guilty of saying and hearing others say, "They went through that because they walked away from God..." In God's lovingkindness, His Spirit has lovingly highlighted that calamities and prosperity fall on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). In finding this, I have learned not to allow the majority of good or bad circumstances be the final say in my life to be the "measuring stick" of how "good" I am in the sight of God. Actually, my heart is being purged to live a life of continual thanksgiving that no matter how good I am, or how good or bad my circumstances are - God's goodness is revealed - it may not always be in my circumstances - but if we really pay attention, His goodness is always active. Even in that knowing, my good works are a must as it reveals I have faith - yet, it still doesn't come close to the goodness of God that He longs to lavish on me and more importantly THROUGH me.
It brings me back to the place of knowing our good works reveal the glory of God, His glory is the person Jesus! Yes, of course there are consequences to our obedience and disobedience - it's called the law of sowing and reaping...the results of living in Him are ULTIMATELY an abundant life of Who He is as revealed in the EVIDENCE OF HIS SPIRIT, motivated by His LOVE which brings forth JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS AND SELF CONTROL. It isn't about mustering every ounce of human will power to produce this - these things are just evidence of Who possesses us when we allow The Holy Spirit to operate through us - not for our glory but for the good of others so they look to the Father in awe!
What about that "age old" saying, "Your children are a direct reflection of your parents"? Although at times this is factual pertaining to earthly parents. I also know wonderful parents who have great kids...then there are those who are wonderful parents who have wayward kids...there are parents who have no business being parents who have kids that seem to have no hope...and then those same kind of parents who have kids that are incredible in spite of their upbringing. With all these takes on different types of parents, ultimately, we have an incredible Father God who has children that once received His Salvation, but walked away...does that mean our God is a bad parent because of those who are wayward? Of course not, the choice of every individual to be obedient or disobedient is up to them - to walk in relationship with God or not. In this I am reminded that just because I live a good life, make great choices in many ways, doesn't mean anything - my choice to obey in the beginning was "fear based" reasoned by the thought, "I don't want God to be disappointed in me." And this kind of thinking is not relational to please God, but it's truly carnal and even selfish because it is on another spectrum of pleasing self. Some please self with sin - while others can please self by being good. I am learning that both stem from pride and God has triumphantly and victoriously reminded me today that without Him I can do nothing that He has destined me to be a part of - it's all about relationship and intimacy with the King by His Spirit Who reveals Jesus Christ the glory of The Father!
Finally, do you want to continuously get out of the paradigm of religious, selfish cliches? It's simple yet it takes relying on His Spirit...we get to be in awe of Who God is - ask Him for the Fire of His Spirit which compels us to study Who He is through His Word which reveals His steadfast character through every story of triumph and tragedy...He is the unchanging God of Majestic Love coupled with Wisdom as He reveals His purpose through ours!