Baby Steps

Hebrews 12:12-15

Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Warning and Encouragement

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

As I read this today, this is what God was speaking to my heart, after the recent months of “discipline”, which occurred after I tried to correct someone (2Tim 3:16) (Though I meant to, and set out to, and prayed for Him to help me, do it in love, it did not come out that way–it ended up coming out as a harsh rebuke). 😦  

Though honestly I feel (still to this day) that I was being obedient in starting the conversation–I also knew mere minutes into that conversation, that I had turned from obedience into defiance.  Because I did not say the things (grace-filled) that I knew I was supposed to speak.  Rather, I said things (smacking the Bible upside their head) that did not help the situation, but only made the conversation turn sour.  I thought my own words would be much better suited–for some reason.

After which, I had a Galatians 6:1 experience, by being tempted into the same things that I was rebuking: 

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.  Galatians 6:1

Well, I didn’t watch myself.  And later on, I was faced with opposition of the enemy on the very thing I was standing against. 

I believe this was my discipline.  My Father allowed me to be buffeted by Satan through his attacks on my past, and temptations to go back to my old way of life (I was given a thorn in the flesh)–all so that I could learn that Jesus is the only One who can save others, and who can redeem them (by letting me see that only HE could deliver and redeem me, again, too.)

And that in the meantime, I just need to TRUST Him to do His work—I can’t go deliver the message He asked me to, and then change it before it comes out of my mouth into something that my flesh thinks they need to hear instead.  He is not going to bless that! 

When I try to take matters into my own hands, thinking that I know better than God on how to handle a situation, I only get in the way of what He has prepared for them, and is teaching them in their own lives.  I never know what testimony will come out of their own lives–that is only for Him to know–and me to be there as a helping hand if and when the need arises.

And, He broke my heart to a place that it hadn’t been in a very long time. He taught me that I needed to quit standing on my soapbox and pointing my finger at other people’s sins, and that I needed to STEP OUT, in FAITH, and SHARE my story of redemption and restoration–my testimony.  

But, I couldn’t do that if my heart was hard. It had to be broken for “my people”. And through the turmoil that I went through, I was severely broken. I was once again back in a place that I could have compassion. Because I remembered the struggle all too well, and in those moments and in those days I had to fully surrender all over again, and press hard into Jesus to deliver me once more.

He has been showing me that i needed to step out there for quite some time now

–and I’m finally being obedient to do it. 

Now, it’s on to the harvest of righteousness and peace part!!!! YIPPEE!!!! 🙂

–at least, that’s where it feels like I am, and I hope I am done with the discipline part!!  That is NO fun…

Hebrews 12:10-11
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

So, here is what was coming to me as I read the above verses today:

Stop hiding from your past failures and sins.  Pick your head up and walk boldly forward, proclaiming what I have done in and through you.

First, make your path clear by confessing your past–telling those in your inner circles what I’ve done for you. (That way, when you start telling your story, people will not be dismayed and end up turning on you.) 

Let those go that do not want to walk this journey or stay by your side, thereby clearing the way for My message to go forward.

You will receive healing, and you will be able to take the next steps more boldly, as you share your testimony with others more and more.

so far, He has been working all of this in me over the past week. Now on to the next steps:

Go in peace and proclaim My work in you.  This was not work that you accomplishedit was for My Glory that you were healed.  Make peace with others, and press forward, making sure to stay close by My side, letting Me guide you in this journey.

Do not turn back to old patterns of thinking and behavior, thereby neglecting the salvation gift that I have bestowed upon you so freely.  I did not grant you this gift so that you could freely take advantage of sinful desires.  In fact, I gave you My Spirit to help you overcome them.

As is stated in Heb 12:14:

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord

I need you to be holy, as I am holy.  I need you to be set apart, as I am set apart.  Because when you blend in with the world, the lost cannot see Me.  Yes, I can send someone else into their path, but I want to bless you by sending you.

If you go back into your old sin patterns, I will have to discipline you, because I need you to be My vessel to those that are far from Me.

Without a visible difference between you and the world–that clear line between the life they are living, and what is good and acceptable and perfect, they will think that they can just add Me to the mix of their lives.  That is just not the case.  Good, acceptable, and perfect can only be attained through My blood that can wash over them, as it has you. 

They need to be wholly broken for Me and the things that break my heart before they can truly accept Me as Lord of their lives. 

Therefore, I need you to stay separate and do not touch any unclean thing (2 Cor 6:17), as you go and proclaim My work within you to others.

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