Allow Him to Heal Us
Psalm 139: 1-14, 23-24 (TPT):
“Lord, You know everything there is to know about me.
You perceive every movement of my heart and soul,
and You understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.
You read my heart like an open book
and You know all the words I’m about to speak
before I even start a sentence!
You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.
You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way,
and in kindness You follow behind me
to spare me from the harm of my past.
You have laid Your hand on me!
This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible!
Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.
Where could I go from Your Spirit?
Where could I run and hide from Your face?
If I go up to heaven, You’re there!
If I go down to the realm of the dead, You’re there too!
If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, You’re there!
If I fly into the radiant sunset, You’re there waiting!
Wherever I go, Your hand will guide me;
Your strength will empower me.
It’s impossible to disappear from You
or to ask the darkness to hide me,
for Your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night.
There is no such thing as darkness with You.
The night, to You, is as bright as the day;
there’s no difference between the two.
You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside
and my intricate outside,
and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.
I thank You, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!
Everything You do is marvelously breathtaking.
It simply amazes me to think about it!
How thoroughly You know me, Lord!
God, I invite Your searching gaze into my heart.
Examine me through and through;
find out everything that may be hidden within me.
Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.
See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on,
and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting way—
the path that brings me back to You.”
I was challenged recently to search my heart and see if I had a critical spirit toward another movement in the body of Christ, inappropriately judging their actions, teachings, and motives. Yesterday’s post dealt with the need for all of us to do so. It can be difficult at times to point out what we deem to be harmful beliefs, doctrines, and actions without crossing into inappropriate criticism. And frankly, some errors are propagated with pure motives, while others are to further ambitions and personal kingdom building. There is an appropriate time, place, and biblical protocol for confronting these self-serving activities.
Appropriately challenging wrong beliefs and actions is not my purpose. My intent is to again challenge each of us to allow Holy Spirit’s exposure of any inappropriate criticism of fellow believers, especially other leaders. In this 139th Psalm, Holy Spirit clearly states that none of us fully know what is in our own hearts; only God knows what is truly there. We must all willingly allow Him to expose what is motivating us, then confront what He reveals as inappropriate. I have accepted this challenge. How can I encourage others to do what I am unwilling to do?
The point of today’s post, however, is not to share what is being revealed to me, for I am not yet through that process. I don’t believe it typically happens in a day or two. Sometimes it takes a while for Holy Spirit to peel back the layers of our hearts and minds to show us what is really there. My purpose, again, is to encourage all of us to allow this process to occur.
“According to the Associated Press, on a windy day in March 1997, a father and his son came to Valley Forge National Historical Park, where George Washington stationed the Revolutionary Army during the difficult winter of 1777-1778. The father and son had something much less historic in mind: they wanted to launch a model rocket. At first, they tried using electric ignition wires to light the fuse, but to no avail. So they tried lighting the fuse with a common sparkler, the kind seen on the Fourth of July.
“That’s when the trouble began. Sparks ignited a grass fire, and the winds quickly spread the blaze, burning one field where Revolutionary War soldiers had trained, and coming within a half-mile of George Washington’s headquarters. Thirty units from twelve fire departments fought the blaze for an hour before bringing it under control. In the end, over thirty acres were charred. The man with the sparkler was charged with the destruction of government property and use of fireworks.”(1)
Like the sparkler, a critical spirit never seems as dangerous as it really is.
We are moving into an incredible season. The future will record of this season that it was one of the most significant in history. Our hearts - not just our gifts - will determine much of the role we play in it:
Were our wineskins flexible enough to adapt to new ideas, ways and methods?
Were we able to accept new scriptural interpretations/theological beliefs, or have we decided - consciously or unconsciously - that all of our beliefs and opinions are completely right?
Did traditions outweigh truth?
Were we humble enough to lay our “need to be right” on the altar?
Did our theological beliefs trump the importance of love and unity?
Did we drift too far in either direction from the fine line of judging content (prophecies, messages, doctrines, etc) and judging others’ hearts?
Did we break free from our ambition, comfort, and personal desires adequately enough to selflessly strive for the cause of Christ and His kingdom?
Were we passionate history “makers” or dispassionate observers?
Were we bold in the face of tremendous opposition or fearful passivists?
There are more questions to be answered, of course, but I believe the point is made. This is a season to allow Holy Spirit to probe a little deeper, showing us areas He wants to work on. If we allow Him, He will do so - not with a condemning voice - but with a surgeon’s scalpel. His desire is never to hurt us, but to help and heal us. When He points out a weakness, His heart is to shape us for destiny, not sentence us to destruction.
Let Him have a look.
Pray with me:
Thank You, Father, for Your grace toward us. Thank You for not casting us aside when we make mistakes or errors. Thank You for demonstrating a merciful heart toward us, not a critical spirit. In Your perfection, You could easily belittle others, yet You are patient and gracious - good all the time.
We ask for Your heart to be released to the church in this hour. May we find ourselves falling in love more and more with our brothers and sisters. Even those we disagree with. May we err on the side of love, not criticism. Give us hearts to always be looking for ways to bless, not curse. Make us more like You.
We choose this day to align ourselves with the Redeemer of the brethren, not with “the accuser of the brethren.” We will live in Psalm 133, where the brothers dwell together in unity. We take the keys of the kingdom and bind the influence of the accuser off of us, in Jesus’ name! Amen.
We decree that the Ekklesia, the bride of Christ, is coming together in the unity of the faith.
Craig Brian Larson, Choice Contemporary Stories and Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers, and Writers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998), p. 104.
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