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Erupt or Look – Up “To Fulfill the needs of the Flesh or to Fulfill the Greater Calling”

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Today has been one of those days… when it seems everyone and everything is against me!  These are the days that seem to test my patience the most.  It’s the day when a lot of tedious encounters seem to pile up, almost like an overflowing volcano.  Feels like the world around me is working overtime to get my inner volcano to explode.  Trust me, I’ve had my share of days when my volcano has erupted.  I hate the destruction that my “erupting volcano” leaves in it’s path; sad children, frustrated husband, etc.  My volcano has erupted more times than I care to admit and I always end up feeling terrible afterward, when I’ve calmed down and observe the aftermath of my fury.

Today began as such… Without going into my “poor me” morning,… Despite my fleshly desire to vent in anyway possible the wrong that’s been done to me today… I allowed God’s still small voice to speak to my heart.  As I entered my offie today, I had two spare hours due to a no-show and a last minute cancellation, rather than taking this time to pout, I allowed God to draw me to His word.  The pull toward God’s perfect plan, requires tremendous effort, in order to break the cycle of our fleshly desire to vent our frustrations to the world. God uses scripture to speak truth into my heart on a regular basis… Today’s scripture…

Ephesian Chapter 4:1-6 “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  There is one body and one spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called — One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  But to each on e of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

This isn’t the first time God has gently drawn me to this passage, in fact, he drew me to this exact scripture last week.  This is how God most often speaks to my heart; through a gentle nudging of the soul to seek Him… to seek His word!  Suddenly, my entire day was altered as I allowed the Holy Spirit to convict my soul.  My frustration began slowly fading away, as the Lord’s conviction began to “right” the attitude of my heart.  Somehow, the Lord’s conviction was all it took to grab the fibers of the fleshly roots tugging at my soul, causing bitterness, anger, and frustration to build.  Sitting at my desk, with calming worship music playing in the background and my peppermint essential oils diffusing into the air, I surrendered to God’s better plan.  With my Bible sprawled out across my desk, God began to speak to my heart straight from his word, suddenly my heart is at peace!  Not only was my heart at peace, God in his firm but gently convicting manner, replaced my frustration toward His people with compassion.  In fact, the very people that crossed my path this morning infusing frustration into my spirit, became a different kind of burden.  God replaced my frustration with a burden to pray for the very people who originally frustrated me.  This is when I am reminded of the powerful God who reigns over all, the only one who holds my heart in the palm of his hands.  My Heavenly Father who loves me wholly and completely, despite my worldly mannerisms.  Several scriptures came to my heart as God began tenderly pointing me toward him, rather than focusing on all the problems in the world.

1 John 4:12-13 “No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us. We are sure that we live in union with God and that he lives in union with us, because he has given us his Spirit.”

Mark 12:30 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.”

Sadly, I am a slow learner!  God has been teaching me this very lesson for 25 years, to love others, more than we love ourselves.  Folks, in all my years of following Christ, I’ve learned on profound truth… I CAN NOT love people in my own strength… I am only capable of truly loving people through God’s Spirit residing within me.  Friends, we certainly CAN NOT love difficult people in our own strength… but we absolutely can love when we allow the Spirit to love through us… which is done by surrendering to thyself and allowing God’s will to take over our fleshly desires.  Simply put… “We must die to ourselves daily!

Blessings,

Crystal Ridlon

 

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