It seems strange to look at myself through the eyes of God’s truth. I had once made being accommodating such a way of life that it was almost impossible to recognize my who or what. Although I still struggle with this at times, I had to realize that I was of little use to God as an individual that did not stand rooted and grounded in principals that I strongly believed. As I began to grow in Christ, the Holy Spirit had to deal with me on this principal. My life was as a series of compromise. I have often referred to myself as a people pleaser. Somehow I got the idea that this was a good thing, Blessed are the meek, right? Unfortunately, I took it to a whole new level. My husband who such a strong man of faith and values would often cause me ask why he was so unyielding and uncompromising on certain things. With him things were always black and white with no room for shades of gray. As the Holy Spirit continues to lead and guide me into maturity, I came to embrace that scripture clearly warns us that we must, Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58. I cannot as God’s chosen and elect be so easily sway with the whims and wills of those around me for then I am of little use to God. The Word of God refers to those so easily swayed as infants. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Ephesians 4:14 WOW! Here I was believing I was mature in faith but so easily swayed by the will of others. Please don’t misunderstand; yes I stand on the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the Lord with my whole heart, mind, body and soul BUT here is the problem, there are those that would violate the heart of those with a heart to love and care for others. That being, “the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming”. “ Cunning and craftiness” and deceit in the body of Christ?!!! Surely not! But yes, dear ones, this what Paul refers to in Ephesians 4:14, there are those that would use his word to deceive. If that were not so there would be no Jim Jones’ of the world or better yet, no followers of the Jim Jones of the world. There would be no followers of Jeffrey Lundgren executed October 24, 2006, for multiple murders, Warren Jeffs convicted of rape as an accomplice (overturned in 2010)., Wayne Bents, convicted of one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in 2008. (Wiki List of Religious leaders convicted of Crimes). “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. Matthew 7:15
There is a very basic human need for love and affection, the need to belong and to be accepted. This basic need is foundational for American psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of need. Along with physical needs and safety needs are the needs for love and belonging. Basic Stuff. It is unfortunate that there are those that would misuse, exploit and manipulate these very basic needs. My prayer is that we all know that God will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 . We as followers of Christ are protected by his prayer and intercession for his followers: Jesus prayed to his Father, I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. John 17:6-19
It is my prayer that as Jesus prayed for his disciples may it be unto us that believe and trust in the resurrected Savior