Sometimes God’s presence in your life can be hard to see and sometimes, when you’re ready, (when you’ve made your pocket) he hits you over the head.
I said yesterday that I started reading the beatitudes (I’m reading Luke 6), but what I didn’t say was that I could not get past the “Love for Enemies” part. And there was one line specifically that I couldn’t get past “If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.”
I had such a difficult time with this that I couldn’t continue reading and this morning I decided I still wasn’t ready and read 2 Thessalonians instead. I was all ready to move on to 1st Timothy when I got an uncomfortable feeling and a pressure inside me that said I needed to go back to the Luke. I have learned to recognize this as God’s voice, directing me to something important.
Now let me preface this with the knowledge if you are unfamiliar with 2 Thessalonians, that my first reading was filled with verses like “He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”. and “But the Lord is faithful and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” All day yesterday I felt as if something was getting between me and God. I couldn’t feel him like I usually do. Today, God took the time to remind me that he loves me and then he sent me back to Luke to figure out what he meant and face my own spiritual failings – the thing that was coming between us.
“…if someone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” For a year now I have been harboring anger and resentment toward someone who claims to have lost something that had a significant monetary value. Insurance claims have been filed, but still there has been a part of me that wants that person to pay for taking something away that I valued. Today, even though I didn’t want to let that part of me go…God showed me that it is coming between us. It’s hard isn’t it? To forgive people when we feel as if they have violated our rights, when we feel as if our anger is justified.
C.S. Lewis writes that pride is really mankind’s greatest sin. God showed me today, for me in that situation, the truth of that statement. I mean, what was lost was a piece of paper covered in black ink. Is that really more important than a person? More important than showing God’s love to that person and forgiveness? We need to remember, I need to remember that things are only things and that to be a Christian, to live a life in God, means to set aside what we think of as our personal rights , so that we can show people a love that passes all understanding.
So when I say that sometimes God hits you over the head, I mean that I knew exactly what he was saying to me today. That letting go of my pride and treating those who wrong me with kindness and and love is the next part of my journey. It is the next “fruit” that the Spirit wants to give me. Getting a direct message from God makes me feel how much he loves me and cares for me and that he hears me. I prayed yesterday for him to show me what I was doing wrong…today he did.
I started this blog because I wish with all of my heart for you to find that type of relationship with God. For your heart to be as full as mine is today of God’s love and blessing. I pray that God speaks to you as clearly as he has spoken to me.
If you want to read more about God’s “radical” love you can do so here.