A good friend of mine (one of my best friends) has been facing extreme resistance to her authority in the workplace, even to the point of outright disrespect. Being a minority, young, and female is challenging enough in the corporate world yet sadly she is facing this in ministry, so her opposition is coming from fellow believers. I agreed with my friend in prayer for the person who was in rebellion against her authority. As I prayed, I felt led to ask that God would “expose and remove those things that are inside this person which are hindering the advancement of His kingdom”. No sooner did I get those words out of my mouth that I had to adjust the prayer. “Lord, please expose and remove those things within US that are hindering the advancement of Your kingdom”. Because I myself am guilty of a host of sins that are even more damaging than this person’s. And as I have operated in these sins, it has not been my intent to hinder God’s gospel, as I don’t believe it is this person’s either. It is just the STUFF that is within us that we have no idea is there.
I believe God in His grace and mercy tailor makes our journey with Him to make us like Him. All of the people that come into our path, the various life circumstances that occur, are all opportunities for us to grow and learn to be like Him. But the key component to this growth is HUMILITY. God can expose the sin, but we have to be led to repentance for it to be removed. It is truly His goodness that leads us to this repentance.
Romans 2 (NIV)
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
Pride is truly an enemy of the cross. God, the Alpha & Omega (Beginning & End) humbled Himself and became a servant for ALL. He took unspeakable abuse and punishment at the hands of those He created, just to demonstrate His love for the world, including His enemies. Pride keeps us from changing and growing into His image and likeness. It causes us to act out in various ways and deceives us into believing that we are right and that our behavior is justified. A word God gave me some time ago when I tried to justify my sin against a brother “Sin is NEVER justified Nicole. (Especially when we feel we are right!)
In my own personal life God has been exposing “control” and “anger” which are tied into pride (I want to control because I think my way is best. I get angry when my way is not followed). I believe both anger and control were passed down through my familial bloodline. God showed me not too long ago that “control” operated very strongly in my paternal grandmother and early in my walk with Him He showed me how “anger” operated very strongly in my maternal grandfather. It was truly God’s revelation because I did not know either grandparent very well, if at all. He showed me these things so I can be aware, partner with Him and cut them off. After 10 years of walking with Him I still struggle in these areas, but I have gained more wisdom in how to respond to those feelings, and discernment to know when they are trying to operate in my behavior. He is gracious and patient to walk out our areas of weakness with us. In fact, where we are weak He is so strong.
I’m grateful to be surrounded by a great community of men and women who hear from God and speak His truth in love. So often we are unable to see ourselves. Even if Holy Spirit speaks to us about some area of sin or flaw in our character, we may easily brush it off thinking it is not God. But when those who are walking close with us speak these things verbally, it is not so easy to brush off. When this happens we have a choice to make. 1. Humble ourselves, receive the word of correction and repent. 2. Ignore the word, justify our actions, and resist God’s sanctification process.
I pray God’s body chooses the former! Humility is so valuable in His kingdom. So much so that He Himself demonstrated it.
I remember my very first experience of pride being exposed in my life. The same friend who I referenced earlier in this blog said quite frankly “you have pride”. Well, we were babes in Christ and usually as a babe you just do not see yourself. I was very taken aback at her statement and couldn’t really believe it. Even though pride had blinded me from really receiving her word, one good thing I did do, was to go to God about it. I prayed and asked Him to expose any pride in me, because I simply did not see it there. Well He took me up on my prayer!! And I’m grateful for her frankness.
So, what areas has God exposed in you or used others to expose in you that He wants to change? How did you respond once the area was exposed?
If you believe the area of sin is a generational curse, you can say a simple prayer to walk in freedom. “Father, I confess this sin, and I receive Your forgiveness for it. Through the blood of Yeshua I cut this sin off of my bloodline and I break this generational curse. Amen”.
Walk in faith that you are free. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. SHALOM.
2 Cor 5: 6-10
BTW these are scriptures God has used and is using for my sanctification process. Please feel free to share more!!