Don't Hold Back

I Kings 20:35-43 is an interesting account of a prophet. “And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his fellow at the command of the Lord, ‘Strike me, please.’ But the man refused to strike him. Then he said to him, ‘Because you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as you have gone from me, a lion shall strike you down.’ And as soon as he had departed from him, a lion met him and struck him down. Then he found another man and said, ‘Strike me, please.’ And the man struck him—struck him and wounded him. So the prophet departed and waited for the king by the way, disguising himself with a bandage over his eyes. And as the king passed, he cried to the king…” This seems like a weird story, right? But I want to make it clear for you. The Bible has a message in this for us. If you don’t do what God has called you to do, He will find someone else to do it. My biggest fear is God might find someone else to do what He has called me to do. I don’t want to miss the blessing God has for me! God tells us, “Do not harden your heart the day you hear my voice.” We need to make time to spend with God in prayer and reading His word, to tune our hearing to His voice. I am talking about accessing the presence of God. Systematic disobedience will result in Him finding someone else to do what He called you to do. 

When the first man refuses, the prophet goes to another man and he hits the prophet so hard, he actually wounds him. (Maybe he saw what happened to the first man.) Now that the prophet was wounded, he waited for the king to come, knowing that the king would listen to what he had to say because he was wounded. In other words, “My wound will qualify me to be heard.” So many of us are trying to dodge things. Do you do everything in your power to avoid suffering and pain, challenges and difficulties? And when you do experience these things, you try to hide them because you think it disqualifies you. Look at this truth - it is your wound that will cause the king to stop. It is your pain and suffering that makes your words carry weight. Intelligence and beauty do not qualify you. But it is the stuff you’ve been through that qualifies you to be heard. 

The enemy wants you to think you are disqualified. However, when God heals you, He leaves the medicine inside of you to heal someone else. You are a walking pharmacy! You can offer healing to other people with your words. Testify! God will heal your wound but He will not make your scar disappear. Your scar is your testimony. Be willing to be identified by your scars, like Jesus. We show our faith by what we have been through. Quit sitting on the bench and rehearsing the wounds. God heals you and makes you whole but He leaves the scar. God never wastes pain. If you cover the scar, you will feel victimized. But when you are honest and show your scar, others realize they can get through their stuff because you got through your stuff. You can turn misery into ministry and pain into praise. Be honest with God. Give Him your wounds. Allow Him to heal you. Then use your healing to help heal others.

We tend to think when bad things happen, that the devil has stolen control of our lives. But God never sleeps or slumbers. It was God’s will for this prophet to be wounded and to carry this scar on his face. What do you do when God orders challenges? Learn to be content. Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered. God will use these things for His glory. We go through difficulties and storms, but they don’t stay. If you get so preoccupied that you keep talking about the storm and reliving it, you will lose your joy. Rejoice and be glad. We’ve all been through stuff. Get in the truck, put it in gear and drive into your destiny. You are not disabled because of your challenges and difficulties. Look at the full circumference of your life. Don’t pull one segment of your life out and focus on that. Start ministering to people from right where you are but in consideration of all that you are, and stop believing the lie that you can’t serve because of your scars. 

Yes, you’ve been wounded. But you also need to know the truth of God’s word. Many continue in sin because of what they have been through. Romans 6 is a powerful chapter. What shall we say, shall we go on sinning? By no means! We have died to sin. How can we live any longer in it? When Christ sets you free from sin, you are free. Salvation is only the first step of your walk with Jesus. You’ve got to move past this first step. Otherwise, the devil is right there to rob you of your joy. The flesh has to die. No one, the church or anyone else, can fix your flesh. (“Still struggling” is Christian for “still doing it.”) Your flesh has to go to the cross so you can become what God has called you to be. Sin is the fruit of iniquity. You can deal with the sin but it will keep coming up if the iniquity is not dealt with. Ask God to deal with your iniquity. Jesus was bruised (bled on the inside) for our iniquity. That tree of iniquity that bears the fruit of sin has to be cut down and uprooted. If iniquity is not dealt with, living the Christian life will exhaust you because you’re trying to do it in your flesh. You will continue to struggle. 

Colossians 3:3 is my final point. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Your life is now hidden in Christ and the devil cannot find you when you are hidden in Christ! He can’t find you to buffet you and tempt you. Only what you hold onto can Satan use to hit you. Learn to let it go. Be hidden in Christ. It’s God’s heart that you be free. And if you are set free in Christ, you are free indeed. Go to God and ask Him to remove anything in you that you should not be hanging onto. It is what we are hanging onto that makes us unstable, up and down in our walk with Christ. Be rooted, hidden in Christ. Go to God and ask Him to deal with your iniquity. It is not enough to just be in church, even if you are serving and giving. Listen to God and respond in obedience. Don’t let iniquity become seared into your heart. Surrender it today. No holding back. 

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