One of the biggest things I have been learning the last couple of years is that God knows us completely. He knows all of our heart aches (past, present and future). When God starts stripping us down and refining us to be holy (set apart), he uncovers a lot of skeletons in our closet. He just doesn't bury them again he cleans them out.
LONELINESSThe first thing he had me deal with was coming back to the same location (physically) where I was really depressed. Where I felt the most alone. I was scared to come back, scared that I would again go through a period of depression and loneliness.
Loneliness and depression is another of those things that draws you either close to God or away. God will be first in your life as a Christian and he may use your loneliness to drive you to him. Every time I get a really close girlfriend, it's as if I feel the rug drug out from under me, they move (I move). I get the woe is me feeling.
What does the bible say about this time of your life?If you look closely most of the prophets and Christians had long periods of being alone with no one but God to turn too. God will be your best friend if you let him be.
1 Kings 19: 3-18 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day's journey into the desert.Did you notice God's response to Elijah, you are not alone there are others who are doing God's work. Just because you feel alone in your ministry doesn't mean you are. There are others doing God's work. Do your Work for God and pray for others doing theirs.
He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors."
Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat." He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you."
So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He replied,
"I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too."
The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword.
I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." The LORD said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel--all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him."
You will still feel loneliness but don't let it take you away from God, let it draw you into his lap. Discipline yourself to read God's word, pray and fast.
EFFECTS OF PAST SINFor the last two years, I have been trying to contact the people who I call “God's stepping stones” know how much I appreciate them for pointing me to Christ. On my journey though it has brought me to terms with how much my sin affected others. It has also allowed me to repent of those sins afresh and and apologize to people who I hurt with my sin.
God started me apologizing to my mom and sister for the way I treated them when I was growing up. How I chose to alienate them, talk bad about them and just generally hurt them. It opened my eyes to see how things were when I was growing up. How I chose the easy way to hurt instead of love.
Next, he brought one of my ex-boyfriends into my life. One I had hoped had chosen Christ. Instead he chose his own desires and chose to be an atheist. I would like to say I had no part of this but I would be excusing myself instead of facing what I had done. It had me look at the example I wasn't of Christ. Sure he would say I was nice and loving toward him, but the most loving thing I could have done is not to have sex with him. I already told you about the effects of sex before marriage in my life but I had not thought of the consequences for him. I pray everyday for his salvation.
He brought me in to touch with one of my Bible teachers. I thanked them for there part of being a stepping stone. Then, I remembered one day I had hurt them because of my old unwise decision of thinking abortion was, ok. It was a heated argument where I was trying to say in some way abortions were ok because it would be better to die then to have to live a life in a family who abused you. Those of you from abused families, I'm totally sorry. I was very wrong. I can see where God can grow people, even seriously hurt people, into Godly men and women who can help others. All our past hurts are there to be a way to help others obey God and to show empathy.
If an ex-boyfriend wasn't enough, God gave me an opportunity to make peace with a part of my life that I gave up for him. I was young, in love and totally seeking my own desires. I was engaged to be married. I was depending solely on this man who I saw as a Christian. He got me to reading the bible, encouraged me to go to a bible college. However, our relationship was tainted. We were not obeying God's rules. Rules that were for our protection and for our future. I wanted temporary pleasure instead of waiting for God's timing. Trust became an issue in our relationship. We hurt each other.
I was so hurt that I thought about killing myself. It was then I realized that I couldn't live my life dependent on man and myself and by fulfilling my own desires. Man will always disappoint you eventually. God will never disappoint you. He doesn't change, he will always love you.
Don't believe me, watch him cry out as he has to punish Israel for their sins, watch him as he allows his son to suffer on the cross. You can see and feel his grief as you read those words. It is just like the grief he will feel when he has to punish those who do not choose to be his people, people who did not choose to be holy and set apart. A lot of people think that just being a good person will get you to heaven. The bible doesn't say that.
God has helped me move on. He gave me opportunities to serve the person I hurt and his family. He also made it perfectly clear that I have to be very careful about the line I draw to separate myself so as not to sin against my husband. That this is going to be a place where I will have to intercede with prayer and not much else.
Did I mention God has spent the last two years teaching me how powerful prayer really is. God still amazes me with his answers.
He also brought me back into contact with one of my spiritual mothers. Amy. She lived a holy life in front of my eyes. She was the biggest stone in my life. She showed me Christ in action and showed me what it as like to truly life different for Christ. What I found out that was being different isn't easy. That there will be times when your desire will try to get the best of you and lead you to sin. This is where the fruit of the spirit “self-control” comes in.
Just like being patience, it is a learned response. A gift only the “holy spirit” can give you.
What part did my sin play in her life? I don't know, but I know as a christian I am often tempted by trying to blend in the the crowd. To give in to my own desires. Being tempted isn't a sin. Also, God will provide a way out of every temptation, you just have to look for it. I try to always look for that way out, but there are days when I fail and I find myself repenting for a sin caused by my own desire and my lack of self-control.
BIGGEST LESSON LEARNEDEveryone can fall. Everyone has fallen. Everyone will be tempted to fall. God is there to provide strength but you must be diligent in prayer, bible study, fasting and in obeying God's word. It's when you think you cannot fall that you make your self vulnerable to falling the most. Pride has a humble end.
There is no one to blame for your actions but you. Your desires is what caused your sin and consequences follow for both the Good and the Evil you do.
James 1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 18:12: Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.Looking for more on dealing with your past?
The Hard Side of Forgiveness!
Hope that things can Change and Instructions!
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