Sitting patiently with me as I pour a bit more maple syrup, (because that’s what some of us do, when the sour after taste of sin has us longing for something sweet). And leaning close, he locked eyes with mine as I laid some messy struggles on the sticky, stained tablecloth. It’s hard to come face to face with our fallen nature. Some flaws are so well hidden, (even from our own eyes), it’s not until we begin to feel the weight of weakness – to the point we become exhausted and weary, that we finally seek freedom, even forgiveness.
Sometimes it takes getting to a breaking-point,
in order to really break-free.
Break-free to live each day; unbound, unchained and unaffected by the opinions, actions and comments of others. But how do we do this? How do stand still in a fallen world – full of attitudes, assumptions and at times, accusations? How do we overcome opposition and become unmovable?
Communicating in a way that reaches my heart with courage and conviction, the Engineer quotes from Philippians 4:13: “You can do all things through Christ, who gives you strength.” “You must receive God’s strength, in order to overcome this struggle. When your consumed with the feelings of your flesh, you can’t discern direction and wisdom from the Spirit.”
What feelings? You know, those feelings that drive us to defensiveness, the ones that arise when we feel rubbed the wrong way.
Then he reminds me, how Christ had the strength to stand still and secure, even when the motives which governed him were misconstrued, even when his good works were misunderstood – He remained steadfast and still.
On the other hand, we tend to question, “How could she say that, how could he do that, how could they think that of me?” Sometimes we are too easily moved, when those we expect to treat us with a bit more consideration, miss it with us.
Perhaps, if we leaned a bit closer to see how people missed it (back then and now), with Jesus: His heart, His mission, His compassion and most of all – His love. He was perfect and some still sought to find fault. Then maybe, we’d be less surprised or offended, when others misunderstand us. Truth is – we all often miss it amongst the brethren.
And if everything we’re doing – is all for the glory of God, there really isn’t room to take offense. It’s not to say our emotions are immune to hurt or that we won’t need time to recover from the blow that betrayal, gossip and careless comments cause. However, healing comes quicker, the faster we let go and stand still before God – knowing He sees all that may seem hidden.
“You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you.” [II Chron. 20:17]
We’re not called to fight carnality with our flesh. We win when we’re wearing the right armor; the one labeled – breast plate of righteousness! Because the real battle is for our peace…
“The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
Hold your peace! As in; keep it, guard it, don’t give it away for your desire to defend or show yourself right. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. [Prov. 17:28]
We hold our peace – by letting go of our pride.
It’s how we stand still; as we sincerely let go and refrain from responding defensively. Remember: be still can be translated; to let go, to let drop, to refrain.
“The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger,
and his glory is to overlook a transgression.” [Prov.19:11]
Is that awesome encouragement or what?! We don’t read many verses attributing glory to man. Yet here we read; it’s to a man’s glory to overlook an offense!
From the small to significant, offenses come with the potential to refine our character. Yes! God can even use the weaknesses of others, to strengthen ours! Amen! How many times I’m sure my family and friends have learned a lesson or two in mercy and patience, from the short-comings and flaws in me. Yet, through these experiences, He uniquely and carefully, carves out our own prideful tendencies and remodels our hearts with the humility of Christ.
Because the reality is, unless we live far away from people, we will face different degrees of offensive matters weekly, maybe even daily. But every time we resist the urge to respond; we build resistance to the flesh, which builds strength in our spirit – the meek and quiet, kind of strength.
You see, meekness is not weakness. According to Merriam-webster.com; meekness is “Enduring injury with patience and without resentment.”
It’s a daily choice of response and I’m standing still with you sisters, as we continue to make this exchange: our flesh and pride, for His peace and freedom!
Jesus stood still, even in the face of slander, because His confidence, stood strong and solid in scripture. Let this parting verse make it’s way deep into your soul….