Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How Will I Respond?

Do you ever have an immediate reaction to something, instead of a calm response? Are you like me and does that typically not make you proud? I mean, the other person is probably asking for it, but doing it really doesn't do anybody any good and it still doesn't make it right. It also doesn't change the facts or circumstances. It just makes the already failed relationship worse.

I know for me that a build up of frustration, stress, anger and resentment can cause a reaction that I would rather have not had. Instead, I wish that I would have stopped, prayed for strength (because I sure as heck needed it), and then remembered my favorite Bible verse (and maybe said it over and over and over and over) … "God will fight for you. You need only to be still." ~ Exodus 14:14. Be still, Nicole … Be still!!!

If you are reading this, and if you are the praying kind, would you so kindly be praying for me over the next three weeks? They are going to be stressful ones for me. I want to respond to the negatives in a way that will be honoring to God and my family. I need God to intervene and remind me how He is fighting my wars for me, that I don't need to take matters into my own hands. I need Him to continually remind me that even if I am, or someone I love, is getting treated badly that He expects me to respond in His loving way. I need Him to remind me that I do not need to react with negativity, because I have the truth on my side. Really, I just need Him and I need to remember, constantly, that He is here with me and for me. And I need to be still, allow Him to speak to me, and for me to feel His presence.

I am reading a book, for the second time, called What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst. (I highly recommend this book!) My reading this week reminded me that Satan uses the same three tactics today that he used with Eve in the Garden of Eden and with Jesus in the Desert. He has no new stuff. He does the same thing over and over and over.  My situation has Satan using the same circumstances and person over and over in an attempt to make me bitter, angry, and to act out against what God would want me to do. And He has been winning. But I do not want him to win! Darn it! Do I want to respond like Eve responded to Satan or like Jesus did? Of course I want to respond like Jesus did. But what if I have already responded like Eve?

In our youth service I am teaching the kids a sign language routine to "I Can Only Imagine" by Casting Crowns. That song never ceases to affect me. I got to thinking of how grateful I am for God's grace and constant forgiveness. I am a sinner … daily. No matter how hard I try, I sin. No matter how hard I say I am not going to do "that thing" again, I do it. And God loves me anyway. I am a sinner saved only by His Grace, not by my feeble attempts at good responses. He forgives me and gives me another chance and another and another and another …

I have the complete inability to extend that same grace to someone else apart from God doing it through me. And in order for God to do it through me, I have to spend loads of time with Him, in prayer. And I have to stop and allow Him to work through me through my situations so that my responses are His responses, and not my own reactions.

My friend Jodi spoke words of life into me this week about self-control. They were words straight from God, no doubt about it. And then my friend Linda reminded me that as long as I have my family, my health, and the power of prayer, that I need nothing else. She, too, is completely right.

It is hard. No matter how hard I try, I fail at what He calls me to do. But, nevertheless, I will continue to try.

I pray that before I react next time that I will ask myself, "Eve or Jesus?" And then have the self-control and obedience to allow God to help me make the right choice.

1 comment:

  1. PRAYING! I know exactly what you are talking about, because I am notorious for speaking before thinking OR praying and it's immediately followed by remorse. Hang in there.


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