Pale winter sky stretched above the glittering snow covered field. Sunlight streamed through trees, warming my upturned face as I prayed. Suddenly, I shivered. A cloud had drifted overhead, separating me from the sun. The sun was still there, but now I was subject to the chill around me, instead of warmed in spite of it.
When there is something between us and God, intimacy is hindered and our heart becomes cold. The same is true with all our relationships. Just as my relationship with God affects my relationships with those around me, so too, my relationship with others, how I treat them, react, or respond to them, affects my relationship with God.
God is never the problem; I am. He is still there, but I need to remove, or ask God to remove whatever is blocking His light from my life.
Building relationships requires the investment of time. If I put nothing in, or all I do is withdraw, eventually I will come up empty.
Distraction, busyness, will block my view of Christ if I let them. I must be intentional about setting time with God as priority. It’s easy to get caught up, even in good things, substituting service to God and others in place of spending time with Him. Prayer is talking, waiting on, and listening to God, not just hurling hurried words at Him.
The same principles apply to my relationship with others. I can be physically present but have a deaf ear and an absent heart.
I must not allow the cares and stress of this world to eclipse God’s hand and promise of provision, protection and direction for my life.
Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Psalms 55:22 (NKJV)
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)
Unforgiveness is a dark dwelling, an isolating place. Anger thrashes the heart, and bitterness is a life sucking parasite. I must extend forgiveness if I want to be forgiven, even if the other person is wrong and unrepentant.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NKJV)
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25 (NKJV)
Other people’s actions are no excuse for my wrong reactions, but sometimes it is beyond my natural ability to do as I should, and keep a right heart. But that’s what grace is for. It’s there for the asking.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
Sometimes It’s myself I need to forgive. Sin which is repented of is forgiven, I am saved by grace, but sometimes I hold onto my past which God has chosen to forget. Why do I let condemnation imprison me when Jesus already purchased my pardon? Perhaps it’s because I sometimes mistakenly view God’s ability to forgive through the tainted lens of my sinful human ability, my faulty, reluctant heart. Jesus is willing and able to utterly forgive and save to the uttermost.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1 (NKJV)
God can’t accept sin in his presence, but I can’t hide it from Him either. I can put on a good show for the world, but I can’t fool God; He sees all and He judges actions by the intent of the heart. We all have blind spots which prevent us from seeing ourselves clearly. If I want to be pure and become who God wants me to be, I must be honest and open my heart and mind to the light of God’s Word, and let His spirit expose my my sin and refine my life.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalms 139:23 (NKJV)
Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalms 139:24 (NKJV)
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV)
Pride puts self above others. It separates and eventually severs relationship if it isn’t cast off. Pride is often the sin behind the sins we commit.
One of the reasons I resisted the Gospel when I first heard it was because I didn’t want to call what God called sin, sin. Not agreeing with God, exalting our will above God’s way, is pride. It is what got Satan kicked out of Heaven. I wanted to believe my sin was okay with God. I had my own nice sounding names and excuses for my unrighteous decisions. I feared if I admitted I was wrong, all I would be left with was regret and failure. But when I lay down my sin, my way, my pride, and and followed Christ, I found freedom; I found grace. I found Love. He made me new again when I became Born Again.
Humility is a bridge to grace and restored relationship. It is an attribute of Jesus, the King of kings.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 (NKJV)
And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 (NKJV)
Even in a winter season, you can have springtime and summer in your soul, if Jesus has access to your heart. He is my first love, my enabler. He is life giving warmth and light in a cold, dark world.
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)
© 2017 Rachael M Colby Tattoo It On Your Heart