Lord, these days are so full of striving.
Even within Your church there is division and tension.
It seems we can no longer find our way to
common ground or even mutual respect.
How do we practice both gentleness and
strength, grace and conviction, mercy and
discernment? How can we be a light to
the world when we fail to live in love?
My child, the world has not really changed. For all of time there has been strife and misunderstanding. It feels like you are engaged in a battle, and indeed you are. But the battle you are seeing is not the one I call you to fight.
The battle I call you to is one that rages every day. It continues in times of apparent peace as well as turmoil. This battle is one you must fight whether you are with enemies, with strangers, with friends, with those dearest to you, or all by yourself.
The most important thing I call you to is the act of surrender. It is the opposite of digging in and pushing forward. The truest battle you face is the battle to bow. Bowing means laying aside yourself. Everything that springs from your natural life is tainted with the stain of self. It shows up as pride, self-seeking, and self-promotion, often in very subtle ways.
The only way for you to conquer self is to give up. Give up your own efforts to become the person you think you should be. Give up the idea that you will accomplish My will by your effort and good works. I redeemed you so that I could live through you while you lay aside yourself and trust Me. Humility, meekness, patience, and total resignation to Me are the qualities that destroy the kingdom of self. They are not practiced by effort, but by giving up and bowing in My presence. While it is not an active action it is the most difficult choice in life to make. Self does not lie down quietly. It screams and fights to have its way. It is a constant battle, but will become easier when you begin to live in the joy of knowing My presence and power as your actual experience.
When you are tempted to fight or confront take the time to choose My presence rather than feed the power of self. Do not assume your stand reflects My will or My Spirit unless you have first fought the battle to bow and let Me, the Lamb of God, fill your heart with My Spirit of humility and gentleness. Obedience and good works will be the natural by-product of letting My Spirit lead every area of your life.
The larger battles, the ones you see, are My business. I know how to bring My will to pass. Your part is to win the battle of bowing to Me. I will do the rest. Trust Me.
Ephesians 4:20-24; Romans 13:14; Colossians 3:8-9, 12-13; Matthew 11:29