Get up From the Fall and Still Function

I just realized I haven’t written much of anything this month. Forgive me. I’ve been slacking, for a number of reasons. Never the less, today I have something to share.

This past Sunday my pastor preached on John16:1-15 and the title of his message was “Don’t Let Your Sorrow Block the Holy Spirit.” Some the main verses he focused on were 1, 4,7, 12-15. Part of his message was also about us allowing God to fill us with the Holy Spirit in order to guide us through our spiritual walk .

He also talked about the spirit of “offense.” Sometimes we can become so offended by a person or situation, that we trip ourselves up and we don’t ever get back up, even though God has already warned us that offenses will come. (Verse 1,4). One thing my Pastor said that stuck with me was that we must get up and still function after the trip up. The offense is over, but we’re still down there where we fell and life is moving on without us, while we still stuck on the offense.

When my Pastor said get out of the spirit of offense, I heard God tell me to come out of my pain. I often find myself dwelling on my past pain, and God was telling me to move on and let it go. I mean I’ve been dwelling on pain from 2010; especially with guys. Even the pain and disappointment with my mother and our relationship; ALL OF IT! God was telling me to let it go once and for all and don’t keep holding onto it.

I’ve always wanted to share and write about what I’ve been through, but God told me I have to write about the experience in the right spirit. I’m not there quite yet. If the pain is over, if I’ve made the mistake 2 years ago and God has allowed me to move on, He’s shifted my life to better things; then why am I still upset? Why do my thoughts still dwell on old pain? I mean, these are serious questions I had to ask myself.

I realized that I’m selfish when I’m in my pain. That I like to play the victim, as if I was so “hurt.” Part of me likes running to other people to vent on my pain. But it’s always the same old thing I’ve been stuck on for over 2 years now. I want people to listen to me vent, but I know they have to get tired of hearing me cry about the same old thing. It’s the same old thing that I can’t change because it’s already happened and God has told me to get over it and let it go. Plus what’s the point in venting and getting advice if I was never obedient.

I really had to come to that conclusion and be real with myself. It’s a hard pill to swallow because it sounds like a stupid way of thinking. If you don’t allow God to put your pain and offense in perspective, then you may start to feel like you’re a victim and you have a “right” to feel upset. But what I’ve endured the last 2 years is nothing compared to what God went through. Plus most of the time, I brought the offense upon myself, so who can I really be mad at but me?

And even in that God is telling me to stop being mad at myself; especially considering He forgave me a long time ago. I know that I struggle with being really hard on myself. Even after God has forgiven me, I still find myself upset that I even allowed something to happen because I know better. I get disappointed in myself for making the same dumb mistakes and falling into the same traps.

But a lot of the times, staying in my pain was my way of trying to find reasons to justify why I felt a certain way. I was holding onto the hurt because part of me enjoyed when people felt sorry for me and wanted to comfort me in my pain. But now God is saying you don’t need any more comforting. Especially considering none of the comforting changed anything. Even after comforting most of the time, my behavior was the same. It’s time for some tough love. Get up out of your pain and move on! Plain and simple. God is trying to take me somewhere, but part of me can’t move because I’m still stuck on where I tripped at; 2 years ago.

Even in wanting to share my story, I have to be mindful that in revisiting those moments, I don’t get stuck there again in my mind. Ultimately  it’s not about me and what I went through, but the bigger picture is that God allows us to experience pain with a greater purpose. A lot of the times, I learned a lot about myself through my pain and God pushed me closer to him in my pain. It was through my pain God really showed me who he was.

Admitting that part of you likes pain, isn’t easy. Trust me, I was partly ashamed when I finally realized it. But my actions and my track record surely prove me otherwise. I must like pain to some extent if I’ve been falling in the same traps God has been telling me about over and over again; especially with men. (And anyone who’s been reading my blogs or even just knows me personally, knows men are a big struggle for me..)

The biggest thing I have to remember is that whatever God has told me to let go, he doesn’t need that to make me. Also it’s one thing to want to share my story with other people, but it’s not meant for me to share my story and play like I was a victim either. I can’t allow my offense to block the spirit in which something needs to be received and understood.

By the time my pastor got through preaching, his title really made sense. I understood that part of me dwelling on my pain was hindering me from fully experiencing God in all that he has to give. Healing is one of those things. Although I’ve dealt with the pain in my own way through venting, writing etc, it’s God’s time to heal me his way once and for all.

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Reflecting on HIS love

Last night at Bible study my Pastor spoke about the true depth of all that God has to offer through his love. As many times as I’ve heard the phrase “God is love”, last night I truly understood what a mouthful this say can be. God doesn’t just have the ability to love us despite our wrong doing, but God is love, meaning he’s the definition of love in its purest form.

He hit a lot of key points, and the word was so full. What I’m going to do is share some of the notes that I took and in doing so, last night while hearing the word, God told me I need to reflect on where he’s brought me from and just be thankful for the mercy and the love he’s shown me over and over again in everything I’ve been through.

I need to take time to reflect on past situations and remember what I took away from it and how that  situation helped pushed me closer to God. So after this post, I will be doing a mini series of post reflecting on some key events that have been turning points in my relationship with God. (I may even revisit some past blog post from a few years ago, 2010 and 2009 even..) Last night a key point my Pastor mentioned was to stop asking God for everything and just praise Him for who He is. That’s what I intend to do through my mini reflections.

Here are my notes…

*Scripture Ephesians4: 4-5 he started off talking about being adopted in Christ and the benefits we receive through the adoption. The devil will make us think because our past, that we don’t have a “right” to accept all that God is offering us.

*John 13:34 Although God tells us to love our neighbors, it’s in relation to how he has loved us. So we can’t love people based on how we”feel”, but on something deeper because God has put it in us to love others. Without understanding God’s love for us, then we’re not able to love other’s correctly, because God has to teach us how to love in the first place.

*How we treat people reflects how we treat our relationship with God. If we love God then we’re able to love others, but if we are not on one accord with God then we can’t treat other people right.

*We should fall in love with Christ first before falling in love with people. God is the source of love. God himself is the definition of love.

*God’s love is unselfish, full of endless mercy and grace despite everything wrong we have done.

*We should do stuff for God because he loves us. Being unselfish, talking to God and not expecting an answer but simply being thankful that he’s listening and he hears you speaking. Not always doing something for God with an expectation that he has to bless you in return, or open a door in return. Because even if he doesn’t he’s still faithful and has your best interest at heart.

* Sometimes we confuse serving God out of love and serving him out of our lust. Out of lust we serve him constantly wanting a blessing, but not being as thankful for the relationship itself and who God is outside of what he can do for us.

*We should position ourselves in God’s love and take on a new freedom in God’s love. When we understand God’s love then it’s hard to stay bound in any past sin or guilt. God doesn’t see us and see our mistakes, but he sees us and sees the love he has bestowed on us. (Without even having to earn it.)

*We don’t have to earn God’s love, we can’t earn God’s love. Unlike love from man, it has limits and we must earn it, but not with God.

*It’s hard to love hurt people because hurt people reject good love. They can’t see the love past their pain.*

*When God tells us “no,” it shouldn’t always send us into depression. Sometimes the no is God keeping you safe from the troubles he can see but you can’t. It’s a difference between God telling you no to protect you vs. man telling you no out of spite or because they don’t want to.

*There’s so much liberty found in God’s love that it’s an insult to stay bound. He talked about the woman who was caught in the act of adultery. How when all was said and done she had no accusers. God basically caused all of them to throw their stones down and walk away and the woman was forgiven. If she had stayed bound thinking on what others had said, then it would’ve defeated God freeing her. This is what the devil tries to do. Even when God has forgiven us, he’ll still beat us up over our past and make us forget God already forgave us.

*Real love can’t start until you start loving God first!*

*God’s love helps to mature us. IJohn4:15-17. Perfects us, having no fear. No fear of meeting God in heaven, facing his judgement knowing his love has helped to keep you in the will all alone*

*stop thinking that people are their offenses. True forgiveness is when you can separate the person from what they’ve done. When you fully understand how it’s possible to do something bad, but not be a bad person. Can’t se people as what they do, but this is what happens when we view people out of our hurt or pain vs seeing people through God’s love.*

*Real love is when it looks like you’re suffering and nothing is happening, but in the spiritual God is really keeping you through the suffering to build you up for what’s to come*

I hope this message touched you as much as did me. Afterwards I really began asking myself do I love God enough? And I also asked myself why do I love God? I challenge you to ask yourself these questions within your own walk with God and see where it takes you.