Tuesday, July 29, 2014

When Christians Feel Like Outsiders

When Christians Feel Like Outsiders

Photo by photoxpress


Have you ever been amongst Christians who really know the Word, are gifted at speaking about the Word and are on fire about the Word they explode with zeal and passion for the Lord and they get so caught up in a conversation about the Word amongst each other that you as an immature Christian begin to feel like an outsider?

You start to feel like you do not belong amongst this selected called group of Christians. It’s not that you don’t have a heart for the Lord. It’s just that you have not reached their maturity in the Word and you do not possess the gifts that the Lord has blessed them with.

You try to contribute here or there in conversation, but they can be so wrapped up in their conversation and frenzy of passion they pretty much ignore what it is you have to say. They exclude all others and continue to focus on what each other is saying making you feel even more of an outsider. At this point you want to leave. You feel like you do not belong and you are an intruder. And as you start to think and feel you are an outsider, you begin to feel disconnected and alone and the enemy begins to whisper in your ear, fogging up your head with a wall of doubts. Why are you here? You don’t belong in this group. These people live and breathe for God. They know the Word inside and out. You are no wheres even close to being in their league. The enemy continues to plague you with attacks bringing you further down into his world of darkness …down into his dark gloomy pits. You begin to think you are a fruitless tree, a bramble amongst the roses, a goat amongst the sheep, a building stone full of cracks unable to support the foundation, unable to achieve or be one that is like this select group of people. So you leave full of doubt and torn and afflicted with the seeds the enemy has planted within your heart and mind. The enemy did his job well. He used that select called group of people to bring you down. Isolating you and knocking you down. The enemy wants you to turn your back on God. He wants you to give up on praying and seeking God daily. He wants to see an end to anything and everything related to God. The enemy’s greatest joy is bringing us down into the deep dark miry depths of which he resides. But just when you have given up hope and you are sinking like as if you are in quicksand, the Lord pushes his hand through those dark murky depths and pulls you out into the light.

I have felt this way many times and have observed others amongst a group grow quiet and withdrawn. I know I don’t have the head knowledge; I have to write everything down, and don’t really speak unless I am lead by the Holy Spirit to do so. I am a listener and an observer. I show my zeal for the Lord through my writings, prayer and trying to serve Him wherever He leads me. One must never give up hope in our Lord and he would never want us to feel alone, disconnected and outsider. Just as many of us feel like outsiders, isolated and alone, so did Jesus amongst his own people who chanted, “Crucify him.” They scoffed him. The Romans mocked him, spitted at him, and beat him unmercifully. He faced the cross alone … betrayed by one disciple, denied by another disciple while the other disciples fled in fear.

John 18:36 (KJV) “…My kingdom is not of this world: If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” This is not our world either. In this world we will be plagued with trials and struggles to test our faith, we must endure and not turn our backs to God and let the enemy win. We must encourage one another, protect one another, care for one another and be supportive of one another. We should not exclude one another and we need to be ever watchful for the enemy lurking in the shadows ready to pounce on any one of us to bring us down.

So when you are feeling like an outsider, alone and disconnected from other Christians think of the cross and the dear sacrifice that was made on our behalf. God has a specific purpose for each and every one of us and we hold special place within his heart. He loves us so much. He will not allow us to settle in the dark depths of the enemy. He holds our hearts in His hands protected by His warm loving everlasting light. Matthew 28:20 “…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He is with us always and all’s we need to do is seek Him and he will show us the way, protect us and provide us comfort in our greatest need.

Heavenly Father,
Oh Lord you know each and every one of our hearts. You know all the emotions we battle through every day and the struggles we battle through every day. Help us to lean on You and seek You when we are feeling like outsiders amongst Your church. Inspire us, encourage us to connect with sisters and brothers in Christ who are sitting alone, whose hearts are hurting and are feeling isolated and alone. Help us to encourage one another and build each other up and not down and protect us from the enemy’s arrows of doubts, loneliness and disconnection. Where others are on fire for the Word, may their joy and zeal infect each and every one of us and burn a hope and desire within our own hearts, but brings only the glory to You and let it not be used as a weapon by the enemy.
I ask this in Jesus’ name.
Amen.
Love and Blessings to you all!

Carol

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Struggling to Have a Heart like Jesus

Struggling to Have a Heart like Jesus

image by photoxpress.com


You know how God will speak to you through certain passages within the Bible, through a study, or through a devotion, or even through a sermon and usually the message is about something you need to correct within yourself. Well, more than anything in this world I want to have a heart like Jesus. Today, I followed a rabbit trail and discovered something amazing. For the first time, the light clicked on and the Lord revealed an amazing truth to me.

I have always had this emboldened image in my mind as to what a person with a heart like Jesus should be like - a bubbly outgoing sociable person who had an angelic glow and was always giving and serving. I failed in achieving to be like such a person. I thought I will never have a heart like Jesus for I am to shy, I lack the gift of speaking and intelligence, I have health issues, I am at a lost most of the time as to what my gifts are so not sure where I should serve and pretty much dirt poor which makes it hard to give or do anything to help out. I thought how can I do his will and have a heart like his when I failed in all these areas. I thought Lord, I am not perfect and it is way too hard of a struggle to become like this person.

However, the struggles we go through in life is how our Lord shapes and molds us into being just like him and to have a heart just like him. I let the enemy’s tactics that plague this world throw fear, shame, doubt, ignorance, and envy at me to bring me down and interfere with what the number one goal of every Christian should be – to have a heart like Jesus. Why? Because I have been so hung up on the struggle to become like this perfect person and forgot that there is no perfect person. Jesus was the only perfect person that ever walked on this earth. None of us will ever be perfect if we were perfect we would not have to seek God for help, guidance, comfort and wisdom. How important it is for us to remember Philippians 4:13 (KJV), “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

The Lord provides us strength to get us through the struggles in our lives. As we depend on him, and seek him daily through His word and prayer the more we begin to be more like him and to have a heart like his. If we lack the will and diligence and are bound and determined to have our feet in two worlds ( this world and the world in which our Lord resides in), we will never discover what it means to have a heart like Jesus and the enemy of this world will hold us back and will delight in seeing us fall and crumble.

The enemy knows I will never measure up. We all fall short of the glory of God. But to strive to have a heart like Jesus can be shown in many ways; it can be a smile, a hug, a touch, a prayer, an anonymous donation, providing a meal, or a helping hand. It is the little things that touch the heart, heal the heart and show how much we love each other. Sometimes we are limited at what we can do or say because of a disability, but that does not matter to Jesus and it does not mean we do not have a heart like Jesus or can prevent us from having one if we only abide in his commandment as in John 13: 34-35 (KJV), “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

It is important to remember that the enemy doesn’t want us to love one another, to be like Christ and to do God’s will. He wants us to be torn, to be confused and to be inflicting emotional pain upon one another. The enemy’s goal is to keep us from loving like Christ. We need to guard our hearts from the enemy, seek the Lord daily and ask him to put a hedge of protection around all of our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV), “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

We will continue to walk through this world struggling to achieve the great love that our Lord has for each and every one of us, but if we cast our worries upon Him, obey and do His will, He will take care of our hearts.

Father God,
Please give us a heart that overflows with love for each other. A heart that is like yours and one that long’s for your will and not the enemy’s will. Help us to protect our hearts from the enemy’s attacks that would prevent us from having a loving heart like yours. Enshroud us with your love; help us to make you the focus of everything in that we do daily. Guide us, direct us and help us in our time of need.

Amen.
Love to you all and God Bless!
Carol