March 4, 2012

Breaking the Silence

I cannot believe that I am actually awake this morning. I am normally at work at this time, 7:00 a.m., and most days I struggle to get out of bed. Today is Sunday, a day when I can sleep in to at least 8:00. Nope, I woke up at 6:15 a.m., very bright eyed and bushy tailed -- ready to take on the world. My boys were up, of course, but they were being "nice" to me. Not really too annoying, some crying, some getting at the window blind. I could have stayed in bed, but I was awake, so I just got up.

Now I am sitting here blogging, listening to the racket out on the green. My neighbor has two little dogs that are very poorly behaved. He refuses to keep them on leash, and they run all over the green, barking and charging at the other dogs. It is 7:00 on a Sunday morning, for goodness sake! Then he yells at them to heel, to listen, to stop. Hasn't this man watched "The Dog Whisperer?" Rules, boundaries and limitations is my motto -- and I agree with Cesar Milan that dogs need a pack leader. Cats, all animals need a pack leader. And, strangely enough, people need a pack leader too.

God is my Pack Leader. He is the one who exercises rules, boundaries and limitations on my life. Most people don't like that idea, they don't want anyone to tell them what to do (or not to do). The problem is that most people will not impose rules, boundaries and limitations on themselves, so without any order -- they live in chaos. This chaos then spills out into the community, starting first with their family, then to extended family, friends, and finally into the local public. It is simple really -- either police yourself, or have someone else do it for you.

In a civilized society, we have laws and people who do that, but the ownership is jointly held. Personal policing is the individual's responsibility. Corporate policing belongs to the public officials who look out for the good of the larger collective.

Why people do not police themselves is a mystery to most folks; but the Bible clearly points the finger at sin. Sin is the root cause of the reason why human beings are unable to police themselves. There is no law that regulates them internally because Man chose to separate himself from the LAWGIVER. The Lord functions as our Chief Officer, and provides a way for us to learn how to live within the boundaries of His Law through the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Without the internal guidings of the Holy Spirit, we are unable to live in control, to live in such a way as we are no longer in chaos.

Of course, all of this comes through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the SON OF GOD, and in whose blood we are cleansed of all our sins (past, present and future). Through Jesus, we are able to be reconciled to the LAWGIVER, and we find the peace that provides that sense of internal control we so desparately desire.

I know that I was once in chaos. My life, internally speaking, was out of control. I was POWN'd as my son likes to say ("Player Owned" as in game-speak) by my emotions. I lived from one emotional wave to the next. I was a mess, never feeling like I could face any trial or hurdle, and always suffering from stress disorders, mental breaks, and overwhelming feelings of insecurities. I was unable to function -- often lashing out when pushed, often breaking down when confronted by others. I ran from conflict, and I hid from matters that required a strong and steady hand to resolve them.

My life and my emotions drove my choices, and I am living now as a result of those choices. I have no one to blame anymore. I am the one who chose to do certain things, and I am the one who made decisions that took me certain directions. I am where I am today because I either made the choice to go this way, or I ran that way.

Yes, most certainly, I share the blame in some situations; but generally speaking, it all filters down to the one who said "yes or no," and I am that "one."

In hindsight, I see all the errors. I see all the missed opportunities, and I see all the sorrow I caused myself and others through my failure to act or take action. I also see the reasons why I did what I did. I see the choices, and I see the impetus for making the decision to choose a way. Had I referred all those decisions and choices to the ONE who was able to direct me to the BEST way, I would have enjoyed a far different outcome.

It makes no matter now, for I am where I am this day because of my past. The good news is that I no longer am living under that rule of chaos, and instead, I am enjoying the freedom of living within the LAWGIVERS blessed rules, boundaries and limitations. I am free now to be in peace, and to move in ways that are always pleasing to Him. As I do the things that please Him, I receive confirmaion through His Blessings upon my life. My path, so to speak, is blessed. I live and breathe and move in His Peace. This Peace is a gift of Grace, and it surrounds and imbues my life so that I am no longer living with the anxst of an emotional roller coaster ride.

Now that I am settled, and I am content in His Way, I can know that my path from this point forward will be blessed so long as I continue to follow after Him. My way is His Way, and in following Him, I no longer need to exercise self-control because the Holy Spirit does that for me. He graces me with the fruit He produces in my life, and among these is SELF-CONTROL. In fact, Galations 5:22 NLT says it this way:

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!"

Yes, these are the blessed earmarks of a life lived in submission to the LAWGIVER who exercises His Gracious control over our lives. We develop these specific characteristics which not only grace our own lives, but spill over into the lives of others. We, therefore, generate

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control
Internally, and then through time, we express these same characteristics externally -- for the blessing and benefit of others. It is a win-win scenario where we receive and we give through the Grace of God's precious Holy Spirit.

As I think upon this today, I am reminded of just how much my life has changed over the last two-five years. Personally, and corporately, I am a different person. Yes, my life has taken a corporate turn that has produced singleness instead of marital blessing. Internally, though, I am living with all of the above, most certainly with great JOY and with the knowledge of God's GOODNESS.

I give testimony to God for His Grace and Mercy as He rescued me from the pit of bondage and despair. I am now able to live freely to serve Him, and freely to go where He sends me. I am willing and I am agreeable to be used by Him for His Work and for His Plans. I am in covenant with the ONE who makes and keeps His Covenants -- I know that He is both FAITHFUL and TRUE. I know this in my innermost being, and I believe in His Name and the power of His Name. I am resting in His Grace, and I live in His Peace. It is a blessed place to be, and a wonderful thing to experience.

Today, I give Him Praise, and I Honor His Mighty Name. My God be Praised forever more, Amen, so be it, Thy will be done! Selah! 

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