The world says I must be happy or something is wrong with me. A false thought, for sure. I think life shows us continuous happiness as a goal but it is not possible. Life has ups and downs.
Hypocritical Christians may tell us, “if you are going through hardship, conflict, emotional distress, you are not a good Christian. Maybe you aren’t walking with Jesus. Maybe, you are sinful and being punished, you don’t show Christian love.”
I liken these statements to bricks. They are stacks of lies from the enemy meant to keep us from the wisdom of God which can bring joy. They are meant to tarnish our testimony.
These bricks can limit our lives and cause others to question the love of Jesus. They are a barrier to freedom in Christ shared with anyone placed across our path.
John 16:33 Jesus said, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Jesus promised there would be troubles on earth. However, He said, He would be with us in the trials. He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Life has trials and sorrows but we don’t have to stay in a victim mindset. We can drop the bricks.
In my legalistic upbringing, I believed the lies I shared above. However, the more time I read the Bible for myself, the more I feel the Words of God speaking truth and taking down the bricks I stacked as a wall holding me back from freedom. There is freedom in Jesus.
What are your bricks named?
Is it, you are not enough? God does not really want to hear your voice.
I don’t suppose you will test God again and be a risk taker. Do you have a death wish?
You will never be forgiven. You are a lost cause. You are being punished for past consequences.
Slow but sure, the bricks are stacked. One by one, the wall gets higher and higher. On one side of the bricks is the condemner talking lies and discouragement. On the other side of the brick wall is Jesus waiting for you to stop and take down each brick as He guides your hand. The more you hear His sweet peaceful voice the more you see His face emerge. Bricks begin to fall, the space between you and Your Savior becomes cleared like a demolition. It is work to take down the bricks, however, the more we trust in Him the more endurance He gives to keep going.
I used to think the future had to be successful. I would put the work in, determined to achieve goals, career, marriage, have a family, buy a home, and then I would be happy. But life didn’t work the way I planned. I had to have times of no control and learn perfectionism is a brick of sin. My journey from infertility to being a mom blessed by open adoption was filled with fears, grief, love and joy. I was being made new as I leaned into Jesus.
What I am learning with every new day is God’s level of success is not in the stuff, it is in the obeying Him. He will direct my path to the best and He can be trusted.
There are times when no matter what I do or say to lives around me they can not be molded by me. I must give their lives to God. I must not pray for success, but instead for the trials and joys to draw others in my sphere of influence to obedience to God. The bricks will fall when I change my thoughts and pray in this way.
There are times when we do not see the fruits of our attempts to love like Jesus. We can not see into the future. It is in those times of uncertainty I found Ezekiel 3: 4 – 12 very insightful.
Ezekiel 3:4-12 NLT Then he said, "Son of man, go to the people of Israel and give them my messages.  I am not sending you to a foreign people whose language you cannot understand.  No, I am not sending you to people with strange and difficult speech. If I did, they would listen!  But the people of Israel won't listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn.  But look, I have made you as obstinate and hard-hearted as they are.  I have made your forehead as hard as the hardest rock! So don't be afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are rebels."  Then he added, "Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself.  Then go to your people in exile and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says!' Do this whether they listen to you or not."  Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the LORD be praised in his place!)
Lord, help your people, parents, family and friends to loose the people who are in conflict.
Reread the Ezekiel scripture again. Place your family / conflicted persons name where you find the name Israel. Then leave your petition at the foot of the cross.
We can pray but only God can move mountains and open ears, hearts, minds, and eyes. In the end, sometimes the call is not success but to obey God.