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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
Carol Connelly: OK, we all have these terrible stories to get over, and you-...
Melvin Udall: It's not true. Some of us have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that's their story. Good times, noodle salad.
1999 movie, As Good As It Gets
The message on forgiveness has been revised due to the fact that last year life as I knew it fell spectaculary apart. Fortunately, God has a way of gathering up the fragments so nothing is wasted. I'm grateful to be back. Heart intact. A little worse for wear.
Look for the new message to post near the end of February. And thanks, by the way, for your patience.
Perhaps you're not filled with warm intrigue, but rather, thinking I'm sorry life as you knew it fell apart, glad to hear God gathered the fragments, but how can improved you help me improve? What's in it for me? Why should I check back at a later date?
Here's how and why: My original message, in a nut shell, is that there are five instinctual desires that arise from harm and betrayal.
- The desire to kill: Genesis 27. Esau consoles himself with the thought of killing his brother, Jacob.
- The desire to flee: Genesis 16. Hagar flees due to Sarai's mistreatment.
- The desire for revenge: Psalm 55. King David asked God to send his enemies alive down into hell. (Who knew the angry retort, "Go to hell!" originated in the Bible.)
- The deisre to deny: Jonah 1. The prophet Jonah falls into a deep sleep in the midst of a life threatening storm.
- The desire to die. Jonah 3 & 4: Same prophet--different day. Jonah tells God he'd be better off dead than to see his enemies get away with their evil conduct.
Seriously, this is why you should read your Bible. If you don't have a Bible, buy one. If you can't buy one, borrow one. If you can't borrow one, steal one, and then ask God to forgive you.
I previously believed these desires, though instinctual, arose from the flesh--which is bad. And that through identification and confession, God frees us from the destruction they are sure to bring--which is good. It would've made a great ten-week Bible study for those who have yet to forgive others their trespasses in a single prayer filled bound.
But that was before the crumbling of my marriage, and subsequently, the rocking of my theology. So, God transformed my message. And it happened first in my own heart.
Aside from the validation you likely received from this list alone, I will show--not tell, how God--not the enemy, is the very source of the desires we attempt to pray away. And that divine fulfillment of these desires reveals the bridge to forgiving what you'll never forget.
God sent His Son to fulfill the law and our heart's desires. But what pray tell does this look like in my life today? In your life today?
Stay tuned, my friend.
Published on Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 10:16 AM CDT