I know whom I believe (Part 2)

“Adulterers and adulteresses! 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”?” James 4:4-5 NKJV

Dear Heavenly Father – Thank you Lord for your grace which you have continually wrapped me in. Thank for your faithfulness and love. Please open our eyes to see your works and our ears to hear from you. Wake us up, and please open our understanding. Help us understand your plans for us! In the name of Jesus – Amen

As much as there have been troubles this past week – I have stood firm on who God says I am as all of my studies affirming who I am to God were being posted and encouraging me. God’s steadiness in my life through this is worth repeating. He is so good.  He has spoken loudly and clearly to me, guiding me through this week.

Last weekend I was praying for direct and clear direction in a certain matter pertaining to a relationship in my life. God is very concerned with our relationships and how we interact with people. Forgiveness and showing love are two of His greatest commandments. I strive to forgive. I purpose to show godly love – longsuffering (and suffer for some people, I have definitely done), kind, without envy, not parading myself or puffed up, not rude, selfish, provoked or thinking evil. I don’t rejoice in sin but in truth (praying for the light of truth to shine and be revealed). I try to bear all things (often love must bear through things), believe all things, hope (how I hope) all things and endure all things (I have endured). Most of all Love doesn’t fail and I have kept it even to this day. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
I have struggled to show godly love and succeeded the majority of the time – even turning the other cheek (Matthew 5:38-40).  Our testimony often depends on it. People need an unfailing love that comes through us from an unfailing God.

I have a dear friend who was at a point of either obeying God (or not) on a rather serious matter in their life. Although God gives us all an abundance of grace, I have learned that there are also moment of decision where the Lord says now – or certain things will change and when (and if) you repent, those changes may mean you have missed certain blessings and/or opportunities. God has also made it clear in scriptures that we cannot be close friends with the world – and my love for my friend made this a complicated situation as my friend chooses disobedience to God and the ways of this world.  I could not know my friend’s true heart – only God can.  But I continually checked in with God and my accountability partner to ensure I stayed on the path and admittedly, it was a struggle. It was in this struggle, and not wanting to fail at showing Godly love (and longsuffering), that I cried out to God – as I did many times before. The disrespect was painful – and I cried out to God in pain. Each time in the past year, there was a word from God that clearly answered the prayer with the directions to continue to show God’s love.  To my surprise, the next morning after I prayed, the answer came and said ‘it was time to put aside that relationship with the person God is saying you need to part with’.  Wow, could God be clearer?  And the verse that was stated in association to that statement was:

“Adulterers and adulteresses! 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”?” James 4:4-5 NKJV

Obviously something changed inside my friend and God now considered him to be of the world.  I can guess what it was that changed and what choices were made – but it doesn’t matter. It was time for me to part ways. Situationally, it wouldn’t be hard because He picked a fight with me and that is a gentle catalyst for separation.  Would my friend understand that God doesn’t want me to continue in an association that causes pain and is unnecessarily longsuffering? This is a necessary longsuffering of love – there is also disrespectfully and blatantly taking advantage of an unfailing love and a child of God.  To which God must respond to protect His child (because it is written that He will protect His children). 
Be careful not to let grace abound and provoke hard disciple or the wrath of God. Although, disciple may very well be what is needed to soften his heart again?  Thankfully God knows best and scriptures must be fulfilled.

On one hand, because of my feelings, because I chose to love and then felt love, it was a hard thing to accept. On the other hand my spirit accepted it immediately with a joyful release from the pain that continued to plague me in that association. I am free of the burdens that came with it.

As I have written before – God is able to answer, clearly and directly – and He is usually is very clear when He says “no.”  I recall another time, while readying about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel chapter three, where the three boys said that God was able to save them –  and in verse 18:
“But even if He does not..”
And at that time I was praying and believing God for something – and God said NO. And I was challenged, if God says no – will I still serve Him like these three boys were committed to do?  God is not a genie in a bottle answering all our prayers with YES. Sometimes No is better for us in the long run. And like those three boys going through the literal fire, Jesus is with us in the fire, through the fire and forever.  I thank the Lord for how clear He always is with His “no”s – especially on bigger matters.

I praise Him and thank Him.

Sometimes we must seek Him diligently for our “yes”s as he teaches us to follow the Holy Spirit and that path sometimes isn’t as clear because we must learn how to hear the quiet voice of the Spirit. But when it is a “no” he is direct and clear. Hallelujah.

And since answers of “NO” bring me back to Daniel – let’s look again at the Prophet at the time: Jeremiah and see what God says through him:
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.” Jeremiah 29:11-14 NKJV

God knows the plans and it is up to us to trust Him. If He says No to one of our prayers – if He removes people from our lives either for a season or forever. His will is what is best. Our job is to seek Him and His will in our lives.  We should commit our lives to Him – this is the covenant that He is committed to us with these promises and we in turn commit ourselves to Him – the covenant marked in blood at the cross.

“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV

I know in whom I believe. I Know He is able. He is able to keep me. He is able to keep what I have committed to Him – my house, my son, my life, my job, my protection, my pets, everything!!!! And I trust Him no matter who He removes from my life. Cause I have committed it all over to Him! This is our relationship – I am His and He is mine.  His goodness is worth everything.  (Ironically, as I am loosely proofreading these, uploading them to this site and scheduling – I get a tornado watch alert. It is time again to put my faith into action and trust my Father God and His plans. He is able and His grace is sufficient.)   
Update – no tornadoes touched down in my city. According to reports online, they hit the town to the west and a city just north. I also see reports of hail and tornadoes all around the area. Once again – God has kept me. God has also protected my friends, family and my church.

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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