The material and gathering of scripture for this post took many years, other people (both good and bad ones) and a lot of spiritual growing pains, trial and annoyances. i’m glad i finally got it together and wrote this post. Just when i thought i had it all together more annoyance but also blessing as well as lessons keep coming to me.
My daughter Kyri showed me this
picture. It goes perfect with the way i have felt at times in my life .
Also, A friend gave me some words of advice that taught me a thing or two about acceptance. This goes well with that post as well.
In an attempt to keep this short i am going to just plant some seeds here and leave it up to all of you reading to dig as much, as little or not at all.
I encourage you to Jump around as you read….
I look at what the apostle Paul wrote in
2 Co. 12:1-21 (a thorn in his flesh, a messenger of satan, to torment him).
I look at Acts 9:5 where Paul is kicked off his high horse and hears Jesus say, “You are persecuting me, kicking against the goads or pricks. (May see clearer in N.K.J.V.)
I look at Acts 26:14 where Paul describes his encounter and words he heard directly from the risen and already ascended Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He called Paul by name (at the time his name was Saul), “It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
Goads or pricks, whatever word you want to use that describes someone who is opposing you or going against your grain, a thorn in your side, a hard pill to swallow, a real… something or someone that you find your self butting heads with. Maybe they are butting heads with you.
Let us not take this out of context, let’s really get a grip on this.
HERE in the scripture those people, ‘the pricks’, to Saul were those people called “Christian” or refered to as people who are part of, “The Way.”
He was against them and wanted to kill them because they took a bold stand for the Messiah and Saul didn’t believe the Messiah was the man Jesus Christ.
Those people, followers of Jesus, were blasphemous, not living like Saul thought they should be living.
Am i hitting home yet, more importantly is this Scripture sinking in, the real meaning here and what really happen, what God is really saying and talking about…is it sinking in?
So Saul was kicking against religious people he thought were not living like he thought they should be living and Jesus said,
STOP, get off your high horse.
as a matter of fact; here, let me help you! And with a bright bash of light He made Saul literally blind and yet helped him see more clearly than ever before in his life.
This is where that acceptance comes in and we have to realize there is a plank in our own eye, not just a thorn in our side.
Jesus will take that plank out but he is more than likely going to keep the thorn there and not remove it (read on, below the next picture, jump straight there if you want).
We are told we should first take the plank out of our own eye and then we can help those with splinters in theirs but ‘helping others with their splinter sometimes turns into us playing the judge or fruit inspector and thinking we have the right to say what is wrong and right for others.
Let’s keeping in mind, HE (CHRIST) is the judge and we have to wait for that day when He will take care of everything. HE will separate the sheep from the goat. HE will separate the wheat from the weeds. HE will know what fish are fresh and which are rotten; and HE will pick the good fruit and remove the dead branches.
“So don’t get ahead of the Master and jump to conclusions with your judgments before all the evidence is in. When he comes, he will bring out in the open and place in evidence all kinds of things we never even dreamed of – inner motives and purposes and prayers. Only then will any one of us get to hear the “Well done!” of God.” 1st Co. 4:5 (The Message Translation)
“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” 1st Co 4:5 (NIV)
read whatever translation you want Christ says the same thing.
Christians, if you’re going to
grow you gotta let go.
Let Christ bust you out, free you from this institutional way of life.
Stop playing the corporate game.
Stop legalistic ritualism.
You don’t go to church you be the church, inside and out.
God can weed your garden, he can remove the rocks, he can soften your soil but we got to let HIM (Mt. 13 ‘read all about it’ or check out the portrayal below -but don’t wait for the movie, read the book, it is so much better).
He is not going to weed the Church (people who you see on Sunday morning). He is not going to separate the weeds from the wheat yet. (He tells us this, look again at Matt. 13 ‘read all about it’).
He will remove the plank from your eye but may leave the thorn in your side for a reason. You are personally going to have to seek HIM for answers as to why and regardless of why just come to acceptance.
Many people have asked me, “Why are there so many hypocrites in Church?” Isn’t the answer obvious? They couldn’t stand against something with their actions if they weren’t standing up in Church singing the opposite of their actions.
Some have told me in my 20 some years in the ministry in one way or another, “I don’t go to Church because too many people there are just unpleasant to be around.” Church meetings can breed bitterness and heretics but they can also feed your soul the bread of life. If the pastor himself doesn’t do it someone else there probably will and if it seems like no one around you is feeding on the word, crack open your Bible and start eating. Feeding yourself or better yet, let God provide and you just do your part, open your mouth/mind/heart.
It is time to show unbelievers, as well as believers who left the gather why you are going to a place they can’t stand, Church, show them why you go to His house, why you meet up with others who believe. Share what you are eating. Feed the sheep, it is not just the pastor’s job. Show them you are not like some of His disobedient children that have driven them away. You are a member of that family but you’re not like all the other kids. You’re attendance could be God’s way of leading someone in a closer walk with Him, even if others in that Church don’t seem to get it.
Stand out like a healed finger even while the thumb may be sore.
Don’t stand out like a sore thumb, get healed if you’re bitter. Don’t spread that bitterness that builds up over the little things. Sure the thumb may be sore but there are four other fingers that are not and those fingers are on a hand that is still working. You may feel some of the pain from the thumb that is black and blue but the other fingers don’t become black and blue also. Sure we all know “one rotten apple spoils the whole
bunch church but only if the other apples spend all their time next to that rotten one. If you’ve tried and ya just can’t take it anymore then step back, put on the brakes brakes, Lie down. Come apart before you fall apart. Separate yourself is what Jesus says.
If all else fails and you are dieing and your spiritual growth is being stunted you may need to go to another gathering of believers, a different congregation. Another church. However, don’t keep attending out of some superstitious loyalty or religious obligation, please. Then you just become part of the bitter problem. Either get healed and see things clearly, change or leave because the Holy Spirit lets you know, it’s okay (jump down the page and read what’s near the next picture)
go ahead if you like, no one is grading you on this
you don’t have to read this in any order.
Let’s help each other and help those who have somehow in some way been shot with “friendly fire”; those who have been strangled or even choked out by a weed.
We’ve all been shot before.
We still need to carry on in Christ and in the battle. Reach out to someone, maybe even another prick and pray with them. The Lord don’t need to remove them from your life. HIS grace is sufficient. You may find it necessary to remove yourself from certain situations, people, places things but nothing can separate you from Christ but YOU, your stubbornness, you’re bitterness, your pain that you feel someone else planted in you or laid on you, that thorn in your side.
You can leave HIM, but HE will never leave you and don’t confuse you leaving the gathering of HIS body (Church) with leaving Him. Get with some believers, real believers, you may find them in church, you might, and if so find them and don’t forsake gather with them and being part of HIS body in some way. It may not look like a Church to some people but gather with some true, real Christian (believers) over a bond fire, at a coffee shop, in a library, at the beach, in a warehouse or storeroom is what Jesus wants. It is really all about us sticking together rather than getting off by ourselves like a lost sheep where a wolf would just love to single us out and pick us off.
Don’t just go to church BE the church, whatever Christ wants that to be like for you. Be salt, out of the shaker as a friend of mine said. Be light in the alleys of darkness. Be a participating part of His body, no longer paralyzed or sick with gangrene. No longer like a bump on a log but a living branch that is connected to the vine.
So in the mean time your going to have to
kick against the pricks. As long as you are in this world it is much like living in a jungle. Every Church, congregation, you get involved with is going to have some of those dead branches, angry mongers and monsters. We are going to have to deal with wolves in sheep clothing. We must learn to love the goats that are mixed in with the sheep.
Every congregation, every denomination, every ‘church’ yes, everyone of them. None of them are exempt because they are people too, they are human, they have faults. They have weaknesses. We all do.
(want to jump down and read what’s next to the picture again, go ahead)
How do we tolerate those who bear no fruit at all, or worse bear fruit that is bitter and leaves a nasty taste in our mouths? HOW?!
- Get to know Him
- Let Him in
- Let Him change our nature
- Keep our eyes on HIM;not our pastor, ourselves, some group leader
While we were still sinners, in our darkest most unfaithful and ugly
position, Christ loved and died for us. All humans. HE forgave so also we pray, “Father forgive us as we forgive those who sin against us. For me it is sometimes easier to love the dirty sinner on the street corner or in some political office who is not yet a believer and not bearing the name of Christ but oh how hard it is to love a church member who just gets under my skin so much i want to scream. You may know some who are actually working against everything Christ stands for; but ya know what, with Christ’s help and the renewed nature the Holy Spirit gives me i can and will and look forward to that day or harvest.
Let Him slay the giant (1 stone, 1 throw, 1 dead giant).
Let Him deal with the several headed dragon. I am going to stop throwing stones at people who are in my army. The lil’ boy David didn’t agree with those in the same Army he was in but didn’t use his sling shot against them. He only hurled that stone toward the real enemy. Remember who the real enemy is and bring to heart the battle is the Lord’s, not ours.
May i be faithful, even so Lord Jesus in Your name and for Your sake. AMEN
ROLL CREDIT MUSIC:
God…………………………………………………………………………………The author of life
Jesus Christ………………………………………………………………………..Lord and Savior
Cadet Gavin Yeatts ………………………”Acceptance”, Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 417.
Steve Simms Blog………………………………………………………………..Reference below
Pastor’s ponderings Blog……………………………………………..Reference in comments
Skillet…………………………………………………………….”Rise” Album art work (Jenny)
Picture at the very top………………………………media.tumblr.com
Kyri Bailey…………………………………………Climbing inside the car to get that photo
Alexx Bailey…………………………………………………………………Photo outside the car
See comment section below for more depth
I wrote this the way i read…i read a little and skim down the page and when i see a picture i read what is next to that pic. and sometimes i just read the bold words or the little red words (red letters) and just the quotes catch my eye.
i hope you enjoyed it and The Holy Spirit speaks to you through His words…more importantly i pray, “May the words of my mouth and those i type and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in GOD’S sight. In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, Amen
Accepting a person who you see as a Barabbas type character (a faith killer) could make all the difference in your faith as well as in the faith of others. Go to: SERMON JAM -SEE TRUE ACCEPTANCE to be reminded of how Jesus accepted Barabbas.
It is easier to do something when you see it done. If you can see Jesus doing it and ask His Spirit to live in you, you can do it too.
Move on, go on in your faith.
Next directly related blog: HOW TO STOP KICKING AGAINST THE PRICKS
Go to: is it okay to be a Fruit Inspector ?