Saturday, April 24, 2010
I had an encounter with God the other day. I got out of bed just a little earlier than usual for work, and decided to make use of the time I had before running out to take the kids to school. There were a number of things I could of done, but this morning instead of catching up on email, Facebook, or anything else web related, I decided to slow things down a bit. I picked up my Bible and Walking With God, by John Eldredge, and went to my back porch for some spiritual reading--I was not prepared for what came next.
The reading was on dreams, which had nothing really to do with me, but what did hit home were some agreements he talked about. Agreements I realized I had made that were literally eating me alive. One particular agreement came through the relationship of a friend. I had been carrying with me some anger and resentment towards this guy over a recent disappointment in my life. Whether or not he was the one to blame was irrelevant. What the Holy Spirit pointed out to me was the wound I had received drove me to focus all of my anger on one person. He became my target. The enemy was in my ear counting back through situations and circumstances and said, "He's the one to blame." "Look! Look! See what he did?" "It's all his fault!" I gave in and made the agreement. "You're right," I thought. How could I have missed that?"
You see, this is how our enemy works, and it is usually in subtle ways. He doesn't want to give himself away. The more aware you are of him and his work, the more subtle Satan has to work to sneak up on you. By the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, I renounced the agreement and repented of the vow I had made. What was my vow? "I'm gonna keep this guy at distance. I'm not going to get close to him. I'm going to be critical of his work even though I'll keep my criticisms to myself. Just choke the life out of this relationship." Even as I'm writing this, I'm getting nauseated.
I thought I'd be able to handle this disappointment. Manage it somehow until it finally goes away. This never works. All it does is just eat away at you until you can't stand it anymore. In the world of the Trinity, that's how it works. Otherwise, we'd never get to the point where we need to turn to Him so He can save us from ourselves.
I surrendered. I confessed that I can't just manage this stuff on my own and I asked Jesus to genuinely heal me. Then, I brought the fullness of His work between me and the warfare surrounding the situation, namely resentment. Immediately the weight was lifted, my attitude had changed, and I began to work towards reconciliation with my friend. I emailed him as a part of my healing journey from this disappointment to apologize for my thoughts and attitude.
You might ask why that was necessary since he knew nothing of my thoughts. It isn't always necessary, but I knew what I had to do for reconciliation on my part. The result was renewed trust, a new sense of shared mission, and new life to a relationship that was dying by my own hands.