Pushed Too Far
I was chatting with a friend recently about my latest storm and as we swapped stories on our struggles, she told me there was yet another lesson in there somewhere (see my last two posts for the others). It wasn’t until hours later that this most recent lesson hit me right in the face. At many points in our lives we’d both been pushed too far in too many ways. We both knew it was nothing but God that kept us from saying…for me in most instances…something that would’ve absolutely not been of the Lord. I had to laugh out loud several times during our conversation because just before we met up I had to refrain from sending an extremely passive aggressive email – and I knew it was nothing but God and the word that had been poured into me earlier that stopped me.
When I think back on Job in the Old Testament and Jesus being tested in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11) I am reminded that Satan tries on a regular basis to push us too far and entice us to renounce what we know to be the goodness of God and His word. Now let me be clear, I am not at all saying that I have suffered like Job and most certainly not saying that I am Jesus; but, I can say that I have been and lived through my fair share of moments where I have gone over the edge. I have slandered, gossiped, cursed and been down right ugly to my perceived enemies because I felt that they had in some way invaded my mental, physical, emotional and/or spiritual space. For a few moments, days even, I felt justified in my actions. After all, God didn’t give us a spirit of fear (FYI – that’s not what that means…at all). But after I come down from my cloud of foolishness, I’m often ashamed, embarrassed and most definitely repentant by and for my reaction – especially because I openly profess my faith and belief in Jesus Christ to so many people.
I say all of that to say this – being a Christian is not easy. Yes, we have the Bible as our instruction manual but many of us, or maybe it’s just me, use it like we do the instructions that come with products we buy – we try to put it together ourselves and only get the manual out when the pieces don’t fit. Dying to yourself daily, and holding on to and conjuring up the Holy Spirit when someone or something is pushing us can be difficult. But the more of Him and his word that we pour into ourselves and allow others to pour into us, the easier it gets.
Until next time…