Photos from Stock.Xchng
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking. (Isaiah 58:9 Amplified)
For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3 Amplified)
For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; (Ephesians 2:8 Amplified)
I have had some real experiences with the Lord relating to forgiveness & grace as they relate to healing and blessing…this article comes from the lessons of my own heart. Sometimes the truth of who we really are in Christ does not does not match with our actions. This does not change who we are in Him…but it does change who we are to our self and others. Knowing who we are will cause us to be who we are.
Therefore, spending time with the one who loves us unconditionally without condemnation will accelerate our hearts in the right direction…causing our hearts and lives to come into alignment with His truth…cause us to be captivated by His ravished heart of love for our selves and others.However, we must deal with all our ungodly actions toward God, ourselves and others, or we create walls of lies and deceptions which keep up from experiencing or giving grace. I want to be a totally captivated receiver and giver of grace. How about you?
Have you ever been like me and prayed for something…prayed for the very thing you have held against someone else. For example: praying for finances and all the while speaking against how someone else has handled theirs…prayed for healing and spoke about how someone else didn’t have enough faith or has sin in their life…prayed for your children to be strong in the Lord all the while speaking about how others haven’t raised their children right…the list can go on and on. So goes the story of the plank in your eye found in Mark 7:5.
Confess your sins to God…or in other words, come into agreement with Him in reference to what\t you do and say…come into agreement with Him about who you are in Christ and who your fellow believers are as well…come into agreement and participate with Him. Live for yourself and others in the wake of His goodness and mercy…live in grace.
Receive the following offering as a confession of my heart andÂ as an invitation by the heart of a grace filled, good, loving and merciful God who sees you as perfect in Christ, to decrease in critical or judgmental ways…to grow in grace. Repent, renounce and let go…then, receive what is already yours…clothe yourselves in grace. It’s already yours.
We so want God to answer when we callâ€¦when we cry out to Him; but, sometimes we (me included) are too busy looking at or speaking about the imperfections of another. As a result, we do not hear the â€śHear I Am.â€ť We move out of grace toward our self and then toward others.
We look at others and wonder why they canâ€™t seem to overcome areas of struggle in their lives while at the same time we are fraught with our own inability to achieve victory in our own areas of weakness. We wonder why others canâ€™t seem to see what we see or be as righteous as we are and yet we need glasses of our own. To put it in a nutshell, we forsake grace and set ourselves up as a judge who has the ability to somehow discern and evaluate the motives of another manâ€™s heart which only the Lord can truly see. Sure we can see outward manifestations or what we call symptoms; but, are they the full indicator? Not necessarily. I know the Word says we shall know them by their fruit. Notice the word is know them, not judge or speak evil of them. Knowing should lead to prayer and intercession, not judgment least we be judged.
If you are sick and exhibit all the symptoms of the flu, can the true nature of the particular strain of virus be seen by the naked eye? No! We know there is a virus but we canâ€™t see exactly what kind it is without some lab test. We need a professionalâ€¦an expert to make the real determination. It is the same with those at whom we desire point the finger . We need to take them in graceâ€¦in faith to the Lord like we would take our child to the doctor. We need to come boldly before the throne of grace to receive mercy on their behalf in regards to their needâ€¦in regards to their weakness and not act in judgmental, self-righteous ways. To point the finger in self-righteous judgment is pride and we all know where such actions lead. God gives grace to the humble and opposes the proud.
It is our job to help lift the yoke of oppression, not to point it. To point at others can develop a Pharisee type heart in us. The pointing of the finger is most often followed by unjust, harsh, false and wicked speaking. In Philippians 4:8, we are instructed to think on whatever is pure lovely and upright. In Ephesians 4:29, we are instructed to let no foul or polluting language come out of our mouth and to speak only that which edifies the hearer.
In light of these instructions, what would happen if we took our thoughts captive before they made their way to our pointing fingers and out our lips? We would be better positioned to hear â€śHear I Am.â€ť
What would happen if we chose to come along side others with an attitude of humility and grace because we know people in glass houses shouldnâ€™t throw stones? We would be better able to hear â€śHear I Am.â€ť
What would happen if we discarded our personal yokes of oppression found in the midst of our own thinking and concentrated on renewing our own minds? We would be better able to hear â€śHear I Am.â€ť
What would happen if we began to require the same high standards of our own self as we do of others? We would come to realize that no one can fulfill the whole law and be perfect in themselves.. We would come to the revelation that the only way to perfection has already been given to all in Christ, for we are all recipients of great grace. We have been made complete in Him.
This truth of our perfection in Christ would in turn saturate and infuse us with the knowledge and revelation of our great worth in spite of all our failings. Armed with such a great truth and a humble heart, we would become advocates of all the oppressed, all the downtrodden, and all those held captive by their own sin. There would be no need to justify oneâ€™s self by pointing at another. There would be no need to appear religious and upright by speaking ill of another. Why? Because we understand and know in our own heart that it was by grace through faith by which we were saved and not according to any works we might have doneâ€¦not according to any self-achieved righteousness.
The way to remove the pointing of the finger and the speaking of evil or harsh words from your midst is to realize all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, including you. The best way to eradicate a judging heart is to realize you were in need of judgment but, through salvation, have been forgiven and hidden in Christ. You are perfect as He is perfect and so are all your brothers and sisters who are in Christ.
Are all of your brothers and sisters in Christ as far along the Way as you? Maybe not. When it comes to the walking out of their faith they may not have progressed as far as you or me but, in their spirit, they are just like us, perfect in Christ.
The question to ask then is this: are you as far along the way as some other believers when it comes to the walking out of your faith? No. There is and always will be someone behind you and in front of you as you travel the Way. This provides opportunity to be mentored and to mentorâ€¦opportunity to be discipled and to disciple. Everyone has their own process and walk. Therefore, we must remember not to judge for the Lord looks on the motive of the heart and its position in Him.
When it comes to the pointed finger and the pointed tongue being loosed instead of grace, no one ever wins. Both, the one who points and the one who receives, loose out. There are no winners. However, when grace is given a path is madeâ€¦a way is made for truth in love to be spoken. Necessary words may or may not be spoken by you in a given situation you are facing or living in; but, your grace can pave the way. Your grace can make a hard heart more open to receive when the time comes or plant seeds in a pre-Christian for future harvest.
To Sum It All Up
How can we sum all this up? How can we forever remove the pointed finger and tongue of oppression from our midst?
By making a choice to allow the Lord to change our mind-set of intolerance and show us just exactly who we and others are in Him.
By knowing we have been saved by grace and not works lest any man boast…and so has everyone else who He calls His own.
By knowing who we are in Him, in spite of our failings.
By having an open heart to receive the revelation of being hidden in Christ and have been made perfect in Him…and so are others who are in Him.
By knowing we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God at one time or another.
As a result, we will accept our great worth in Christ knowing it isnâ€™t determined by whether we are good, bad or indifferent, but is instead, a free gift. Not only will we accept our own great worth but, we will acknowledge the worth of others with grace. We will become treasure hunters and not grave-diggers, for to oppress another through judgment digs a grave of insufficiency and buries their self-worthâ€¦buries their intrinsic value, thereby causing a more defensive and hardened heart. The old saying about getting more with sugar than vinegar is true and can be applied here. Using sugar does not mean one excuses sin, but it does mean, one should not judge or be harsh and unkind.
The greatest benefit to walking in grace on a personal level is this: our ears will hear the sweetest words known to any Believer; Here I Am. When we here this, we may ask what we will.
And best of all, we will participate in removing the yoke of oppression. We will see ourselves and the captive set free from all things that keep us from participating in the fullness of all we have already been given.
All will be done as rivers of living water flow with grace from our heartâ€¦a heart that knows its worth in Christ and Christ alone.
Brenda Craig Copyright Â© 2009 All Rights Reserved