Every spring on the ranch, before we turn the cows out onto the upper pastures, the fence line must be walked to check for breaks and damage. We have seen mountain lions, bears and coyotes here on our property. So whenever we do this task, we always carry protection. I have a 45 caliber, single action Vaquero pistol that I strap on. It is a very reliable gun, one that I can count on, if I need it to save my life. It does not have a hair trigger, one that goes off at the slightest thing. Good thing too. So if I am sawing through a log that fell on the fence, it does not discharge and I get shot in the foot. Because it is a long walk back to the ranch house, which is hard to do comfortably with a 45 slug in your bleeding foot.
Which leads me to admit my faults to you and ask that your pray for me, as directed in James 5:16. Because I’ve got to confess to you that sometimes I have a hair trigger. Emotionally and spiritually I have gone off at the slightest slight, whether real or perceived. I tend to get defensive and try to find excuses. With God’s help. I’m getting better, but some days I still blow it. A safety is a mechanism used to help prevent the accidental discharge of a firearm. The Holy Spirit is my safety switch. He prevents me from accidentally discharging my mouth.
But guess what? Yup, you guessed it, (good job) our God is so wonderful! Recently, I clearly got this message, Don’t speak. Trust Me! I asked God to tell me what He meant by that, and this is what I found through prayer and Bible study. Because, “My child, when the Lord speaks to you, never take His words lightly…” (Prov. 3:11a [TPT])
When Jesus was verbally abused, he suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. (1 Pet. 2:2) I’ll find God’s favor by deciding to please Him even when I endure hardship because of unjust suffering. (1 Pet. 2:19) I should never have a hair trigger and retaliate when someone treats me wrongly…but respond by speaking a blessing over them. (1 Pet 3:9) A person who seeks to draw people in is often misunderstood and even hated by those who seek to shut them out.
Those who would slander me for living a pure life in Christ will have to lie about me and eventually will be ashamed when they accused me. (1 Pet. 3:16) For it is better to suffer for doing good, if it is God’s plan. (1 Pet. 3:17)
How do I go about doing this? I need to be intentional, purposeful, and self-controlled. (1 Pet. 4:7) Because if I suffer for being a Christian, I should consider it a privilege. I need to enfold my life into the Creator, who will never fail me, because He supplies me with grace and glory in all that I face. (1 Pet. 4:16, 19)
I need to realize that the other person has the freedom of choosing what they sow, and they will reap the consequences of their own actions. Some people are just aggressively antagonistic. We have parades in my hometown. Some of the people on the floats throw handfuls of candy to the kids in the crowds lining the street. Those folks who are aggressive with their words throw them by the handfuls. I choose not to pick that “candy” up. It is not my burden to bear, as I choose to sow different seeds. I must and need to be obedient and disciplined in this. Don’t speak. Trust God! Now this was very freeing—I do not need to figure the behavior of others. I don’t have to try and wrap my head around what they are doing and why. I just need to not speak and trust God. I can rest fully in His wisdom and live content in being clueless!
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Gal. 5:1 [NIV]) Let them carry their own burdens and trust God to set things right. It is not my problem to solve and I need to stop thinking it is. Like I said, freeing!
I need to move from dwell to dwindle. Not to dwell in the negative of others. Not to reside it it, nor live in my own constant self-talk regarding it. I need to make the negative dwindle, until it diminishes and shrinks and I am freed from thinking I have to correct them or have to carry their burden. Don’t speak. Trust God.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Prov. 3:5-6 [NLT])
“Don’t think for a moment that you know it all, for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion and avoid everything that’s wrong. Then you will find the healing refreshment your body and spirit long for.” (Prov. 3:7-8 [TPT]) Because I know I don’t know it all and I must trust and rely on God constantly! To quote the slogan from the GI Joe cartoon, “Knowing is half the battle.”
“The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” (Prov. 20:24 [NLT])
I need to have a profound trust that God’s purpose in my life is perfect and I am right where I need to be. What others mean for harm, God is using for good, and His purpose.
“Childlike worship will silence the madness of those who oppose you.” (Ps. 8:2 [TPT]) Ooooo, I like that one, don’t you?
“And you [God] will slap them in the face, breaking the power of their words to harm me.” (Ps. 3:7b [TPT])
I don’t need to worry and figure out the behavior of someone else. Like dealing with my hair trigger is not a full time job in itself.
“Make up your mind not to worry beforehand how to defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.” (Luke 21:14 [NIV])
So I pray that God will continually revitalize me, implanting within me the passion to do what pleases Him. (Phil. 2:13 [TPT]) This says continually. I must be disciplined every moment in trusting Him. As a child of God, I have a responsibility to respond in a godly manner. When I step in and react, I catch myself, because that means I’m not trusting God, I’m trusting me. And we all know how well that has worked out in the past, for each one of us.
So in order to trust God, I need to stop defending myself, by not speaking, by being content to be clueless and to stop shooting myself in the foot. Because just like my walking the fence in the spring to make sure the boundaries are safe for ours cows, I need to make sure my boundaries are safe and in good repair, so I don’t allow in things that will destroy me. I need to behave like Jesus did, and be content to let God set every thing right. Because I trust that He will!
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