How does God make all things new… when the “ugly” is all you experience?
I am looking at this perplexing question each and every day, with no exaggeration, unfortunately.
Sharing openly and candidly is never easy. God deals with us and understandably we should listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Christians get it, that is if we are listening to the right spirit. Sigh.
Are we setting ourselves up by listening to the wrong influences. Do I let the “ugly” in the moment go so far as to set me up?
Have you ever found what started as a harmless incident was negatively interpreted and turned into a divisive issue? The lines get blurred between civility and hostile behavior. When “ugly” takes on the mask of neglect and imbalance, all you experience is daily aggression & agitation.
The tongue is the greatest cause of division and destruction in all things under heaven and on earth. That’s what I have been taught, how about you? “It is a fire, a world of iniquity”…it defiles the whole body and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell” (James 3:6) I have family who (prior volunteer fire fighters) have fought wild fires, they have told me it is the closest experience to what it would be like if hell was a place on earth. Iniquity is defined as knowing what sin against God is and doing it anyways. There is no subtle way to say to someone or group that their actions are causing daily aggression and agitation to the point of personal injury (mental and physical). Intentionally or not… if you have to make an excuse for doing something…you should not have been doing it in the first place, right?
The words we speak will travel like wild fires if spoken with iniquity in our thoughts. So, I have to ask myself the hard question: “I didn’t just let the wrong influence set me up?” (as she wipes the dung off the bottom of her shoes)
Unresolved conflicts with neighbors, family, coworkers, the people who daily interact in our life can cause the effect of a unquenchable offense which will devour us if left to its own divisiveness.
Thus, the question…”How does God make all things new?” when no one is cooperating or not of the same understanding and belief? Is this “ugly” now defining a line of self will? Or has it only spiraled into something so out of control that God can only begin anew when the fire of iniquity has run its sinful natural course, leaving only the charred path of destruction behind?
In times where our personal life shows the same evidence or symptoms of duress and imbalance reflective in nature, like wild fires and volcanic eruptions (even more so) stop to ask yourself, are we listening to God’s voice and heeding warning indicators? We do not have to get charred by sinful iniquity if there is a fire extinguisher sitting next to us in the power of the Holy Spirit, right? We do not have to listen to the spirit of shame that tells us…”its too late”, “your hopeless”, “it’s gone on too long”. We do not have to act on or out our aggressions on a person to conform or else be devoured. I believe causing someone such egregious suffering is not only unlawful but will cause God to lift up a standard against such actions. Be careful, this goes for all, for God is no respecter of persons. It is important to have resolve because it is important to God for his people to walk in faith not in fear.
As I write this, I am reminded of a favorite scripture…”As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.” This passage in the bible is found in Deuteronomy 10: 14-15… “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” The Holy Spirit says…his name is Yahweh…his name is Jesus…his name is God Almighty. Selah.
I leave you with no contempt in my heart as I finish this post. I get it. I was once lost in the muck and mire. Then the Holy Spirit opened my eyes when I came to know the Lord…to know His Love can create anew- within my heart. It is a constant and unfailing Love. It is what quenches the fire of iniquity, washes the ashes away and brings hope to begin anew.
May I offer a hand reaching out…and another up to the Lord, with a prayer for us both to be filled first with His Love completely, so that hate, disappointment or disbelief finds no room to make a nest of ashes? Look for the beauty around you…for it is sometimes found renewed from the unquenched and charred paths gone before. Amen