His Banner of Grace
I was turning a corner while driving when a strong thought came to me, “I hate myself for my choices.” The choice in particular that punched me was that I could have had a full-time job but I took the risk of thinking my part-time job would turn full-time. It didn't. In fact I was laid off. What a blow.
At my church, the pastor has been teaching on the subject “Greater.” It is about not settling for less. Yes, I know this subject well in the area of relationships. I don’t regret missing those opportunities. Others may look at me and feel bad for me but I know I would have been miserable. But it seems like such a wrong time to be teaching about “Greater.” My pastor keeps saying, “Don’t just try to get by. Don’t just settle for good or great. Go for greater.”
Have you ever wanted to stand up in the middle of a sermon and yell at your pastor and say, “Screw you! As if you have tried any of this. Preach on Mr. Try-to-Pump-Me-Up.” That’s really mean because he has overcome financial difficulties.
But as I was turning the corner and thoughts of self hate flooded my mind and they sank deep, deeper and deep.... At that moment I knew that I was doomed; I would never feel good about myself again. I will never get out of that pit. And yet, it was then that the hand of God came and swooped it all away. He had just shooed Satan away like the fly that he is. It was PURE GRACE because I was too overwhelmed to fight. I had just personally witnessed the scripture: When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight. My banner said “Grace.”
I’m still not tracking with those newbie zealous Christians. They are all fired up for God and what is that infatuation? Am I cruel or what? I really don’t want to judge people in their walk. Some are actually doing the best they can, and others, who knows. They’re looking at me and wondering why I not jumping up and down. I certainly must not love the Lord or else I would show much more enthusiasm.
But love is a little bit more than getting excited. Love is staying committed in the hard times. Love is obeying when you don’t feel like it; when it would be easier not to. Love is trusting that God will get you through. Love is praising when there are now signs of relief.
And Love is also refraining from slapping those experimental Christians when they give you what they think is a word from the Lord and it is really a blow from Satan. But I am dead. I am dead now to what they say to me. I have the mind of Christ and I will be able to discern the truth. Maybe not in the heat of the moment when things are raw; maybe not for three days, but I will get my answer and I don’t need to let anybody in on it.
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