Mountain or Stepping Stone?

There are some processes that you can’t pray away! Some seasons you can’t fast your way through. There is no bypassing it.   The struggle will not end nor will the fire cease until you go through it.  Some seasons of difficulties are not meant to be looked at as mountains to be prayed away but more as stepping stones to fulfill our God given purpose.

Jesus’ primary mission when He came to earth was to reconcile mankind back to God.  He came to make a way for us to be in right relationship with the father (2 Corinthians 5:21).  The crucifixion and the shedding of Jesus’ blood is what made reconciliation possible (Hebrews 9:22).  Jesus’ crucifixion was not a mountain to be prayed away, it was a stepping stone, it was a necessary process for Him to fulfill His purpose.  He had to go through it!

We can learn a lot from Jesus’ approach in the Garden of Gethsemane right before He was to be crucified in Mathew 26:39-46.  Jesus was feeling the burden of what was to come.  He was in agony. What does Jesus do? He goes to His father in prayer, not once but three times.  He is honest with the father, and He asks Him if there is any way He could bypass what was awaiting Him…the cup, the judgement for sin.    Jesus however, does not stay stuck on how He feels. Despite His feelings, Jesus submits to the will of God and concludes, “not my will but your will be done!”   

This lets me know that it is through constant prayer that a submitted will is formed and maintained.  I don’t have to feel bad about praying the same prayer more than once. Prayer gives me the strength and obedience to do the HARD THING!  If you find yourself in a place of difficulty, don’t be quick to assume it’s a mountain to be prayed away, it could very well be a stepping stone to fulfill your God given purpose!

Leprosy of the heart

 

The story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5 is one of my favorite bible stories. It reminds me of God’s ability to heal and the dangers of walking in pride! The passage opens by telling us that Naaman was favored by the King of Syria. He had a great position and great victories BUT he was a leper.

As the story of Naaman unfolds, we see that he not only had leprosy of the skin but leprosy of the heart. What on earth am I talking about? Naaman was angry when the Prophet Elisha didn’t come out to see him and by way of his servant, told him to go dip seven times in the Jordan River. Naaman was furious because being a man with such authority, he was expecting a more honorable greeting followed by special instructions for His healing. He received neither!

Given the severity of his situation, I would think that Naaman would have immediately obeyed instead of protesting. After all, leprosy was fatal! However, the pride in His heart made Him forget about his desperate situation. Pride has a way of blinding us from what we really need. Pride can be a deliverance snatcher! Thankfully Naaman had a wise officer who encouraged him to take heed to the instruction given by the man of God and he was healed.

What is the BUT in your life, that exception, that thorn? In other words, what is the thing that is hanging over your head that seems to overshadow all the other great things that you have going on in your life? Sometimes God allows the outward “leprosy” in our life to highlight the most fatal leprosy of all…the one in our hearts. God knows how to present scenarios in our life that brings the ugliness in our hearts to the surface so that we can be healed, delivered, and freed from pride. Have you been protesting, or have you yielded to the process so that you can be healed of spiritual leprosy?

What are you wearing?

Thank you all for attending and participating in morning manna yesterday.  I was very blessed by it.  Please continue to meditate on what we discussed.  We don’t want to only be hearers of the word but we also want to be doers. (James 1:22). 

Questions for reflection on Colossians 3:12a

1.       Colossians 3:12 tells us that we are chosen, holy, and loved.   What does it really mean to be chosen, holy and loved by God?

 

2.       What does tenderhearted mercy mean? 

 

3.       The scripture states that we MUST clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy.  Reflect on your treatment of others who may have wronged you and ask yourself if you view showing tenderhearted mercy towards them as optional?  Do you pick and choose when and who you show tenderhearted mercy towards?  

 

4.       Have you been demonstrating tenderhearted mercy toward others or are you always looking for ways for them to get the punishment they deserve? Who have you been holding as a prisoner and refuse to extend mercy to? 

 

5.       What does Mathew 5:17 say?

 

6.       Do you live with a constant awareness of how merciful God has been to you?  Take some time to reflect on the ways God has withheld the judgment you deserved and offer a prayer of thanksgiving to Him for His mercy.

 

Using scripture to form our prayer is a very powerful.  Below is an example of how we can pray using Colossians 3:12a

Dear God, thank you that I am called, chosen and loved by you.  Thank you for the privilege to be holy.  Father show me what this really means and help my actions to match who I am in you.  Today I make the choice, by your grace, to clothe myself with tenderhearted mercy and extend mercy to those who have hurt me. Father, I thank you for the great mercies that you show me each day and help me to remember that you are merciful to those who show mercy.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen!