Monday, June 11, 2012

I’ve Been There

So here’s the deal.  In the last two posts I shared some very grievous things that I see in the ‘Church’.  Some felt judged and criticized.  Others encouraged me strongly and thanked me for voicing their concern.

Why is it that when one proclaims the Truth and cries, ‘repent for the kingdom of God is at hand’, in essence, do many assume you to be heartless, cold and judging?

I suppose it never crossed the mind of some that it is from a heart of compassion that my heart cries out.  You see, I have been there.  I have been in that pit and I know the way out. 

I was the young girl wearing the mini-skirt and tank top, eyes all painted and heart looking to be loved.

I was the girl who filled her mind with evil only to have it come back to haunt and wreak havoc years later.

I was the girl, clueless to the holiness of the God I ‘claimed’ to love.

I was the girl who thought I had it all figured out and how dare YOU tell me what to do, what to wear and what to watch.

You see, it’s been a long, long road to wholeness, one I have not finished yet.  If you have read any of my posts you know that I believe in mercy and grace and love and have known each of these on a deep level.  That I am a woman who has been forgiven much, because there was MUCH to be forgiven.

Sometimes we need a gentle arm around us whispering the Truth.  Sometimes we just need a good old fashioned ‘spanking’.  I am pleading with you to examine your heart. Examine your life.  You judge your life and choices with the Word of God.  Don’t wait for HIM to do it, you judge it now.

. . .  Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you  (James 4:4-10) (better to read the whole context, but for space I shrunk it down)

Humble yourself under His mighty hand.  Don’t bristle against correction and stiffen your neck.  He resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.  You see, He loves you with a crazy kind of love.  He forgives and restores.  Humble yourself before Him and ask Him if there is any area in need of His correcting and healing.  He is faithful.  Do it with an open heart and walk away changed and new and looking just a wee bit more like Him.  Trust me on this one. Winking smile

My sons shared this story with me this past week as we have discussed these posts and the topic at hand.  The last line is my heart. 

"This guy's walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out.
"A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, 'Hey you. Can you help me out?' The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
"Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, 'Father, I'm down in this hole can you help me out?' The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on
"Then a friend walks by, 'Hey, Joe, it's me can you help me out?' And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, 'Are you stupid? Now we're both down here.' The friend says, 'Yeah, but I've been down here before and I know the way out.'"


Linda said...

Good one Michelle. I shared this post on facebook today!

Anonymous said...

Great job! Repentance is not popular today. Remember, God does not overlook sin -- he forgives sin. Big difference. Repentance goes hand in hand with forgiveness. It is a basic Bible principle.

cooperkelly4 said...

been there done that too. =0) I too was that girl, forgiven much and STILL being forgiven.

Shirlene said...

God BLESS you for speaking the truth.

Gloria said...

I'm only on blog world once in a while so I just caught wind of this topic but I must say, YOU GO GIRL!! I am behind you 100%!
Some Christians have given in to our society and lowered standards so now they don't look any different from an unbeliever. A call for Godliness is sorely needed. Thanks for being brave and speaking the truth!
Love you bunches, when can we have tea together? I want to schedule a date.... :)

Anonymous said...

1 Samuel 16:7 says, "But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

The heart is what God sees. Yes, be respectful in the way you dress (for example) but also respect those who may not be convicted the same way you are. Don't just assume what someones heart is like based on their appearance.

I know what you are trying to say in your posts, but the line that you said in your first post about this commment saying, "if Jesus walked into any one of the many churches, even in my own city, His first thought might actually be, ‘wow, they are doing so awesome, look at all the hookers and prostitutes here.'" I cringed at this statement. First of all because it is wrong to even say what you THINK Jesus would say, secondly because going off of the verse above (1 Samuel 16:7) God looks at the heart not the outward appearance and thirdly because Jesus LOVED the prostitutes! He did not love their sin, but he LOVED them.

So just think about that. If our God looks at the heart and not the outward appearance, shouldn't we do the same?