Witness Him Now
A few weeks ago on a Wednesday night service, Garrett Hagar was sharing some scriptures that God had given him. Each scripture pierced my soul. I knew each scripture very intimately...by heart. My knees were shaking. My stomach was turning. Finally, I raised my hand high in the air and said, "I have a story that can illustrate what you are saying. Can I tell it?" He gave me a 'half-hearted" OK, so I told the "Parable of the Raccoon".
Later that week, Pepper (my pastor), called me into his office and said that I had offended a lot of people. He asked me if I would apologize. I said, "Yes. I certainly didn't mean to offend. That was not my intention." Then he said that I was wrong, that I was out of order. I said, "Pepper, my heart is not telling me that I did anything wrong, but I will apologize because I am sorry that I offended anyone." The next Wednesday I got up in front of the church and apologized, then I sat down. Then Pepper got up and began to teach on what the church needs to do when a brother or sister gets it wrong.
I sat in my chair, crying, listening to him teach, and I asked God, "What is going on here?" He said, "As much as it is in your power, live at peace with all men." I'm like..."It is in my power, I can live at peace here." Then He said, "If you can't do this here, among people you love and who love you, how can you do it out there." Then He said something that went to my bones. He said, "I give grace to the humble." Wow! I just sat there and meditated on what God had just said to me..."I give grace (My unmerited favor) to the humble."
Later that weekend I realized that that was the first time I had ever humbled myself. Now for the last two years I have been humbling myself and accepting my guilt and confessing my sin. And I humble myself and pray, but this was different. For the first time in my life, I didn't have to be right. I didn't have to be "on top". This was revelation to me.
Then this past Monday, while driving home from El Paso, I was reading in James where it said, "But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don't cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind." Then God spoke to me and said, "You had selfish ambition in your heart." What? Then He said, "I took most of it out the Wednesday night you humbled yourself and sat down." Oh my goodness. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I had no idea selfish ambition was in there. Then to think that "disorder and evil of every kind" come along with selfish ambition. Oh my. Then I began to meditate on the kindness and patience of our God, who has so carefully - layer by layer - stripped me down to where I could lay even the depths of my heart at His feet. Oh how high and wide and deep and long is the Father's love for His children. What patience He has with all of us. I am in "awe" at His goodness to me. The LORD truly has done great things for us, and we (I) am filled with joy!
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."