November 8, 2009

Stand


O Adonai, whom I praise, do not remain silent, for wicked and deceitful men have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.
~Psalm 109

King David had a lot to say about others saying inaccurate things about him. The psalms are filled with emotional outcries to his LORD, admitting his faults and begging for mercy and protection.

I'm so thankful that we have his words, as I feel as he did so long ago. Haven't we all?

I have to be honest, the current situation looks pretty bleak. I have been accused, by those I thought of as friends, of judging harshly their use of Scripture as a weapon. It has been suggested that I must have hidden sin in my life, and that is prompting my defensive return attack. I have been buffeted with arguments that one should be able to use the inspired words to rebuke, reproach, even club fellow believers into submission to their views. I respectfully and ardently disagree, and would even go so far to suggest that self-righteousness is not in the character of a true believer.

As it is with these types of situations, the longer it goes on, the worse and bigger it becomes.

I admit that I cannot quote Scripture as well as I should. I fully concede that I am not perfect and have weaknesses and transgressions to confess regularly to my LORD. However, I know this for certain; the Word of our LORD is to be spoken in love. It is a double-edged sword to be used wisely and prudently. To do otherwise is immature, unproductive and divisive. Period.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
~Ephesians 6

So, how or when does one use Scripture as a sword? First of all, the best one to wield it is the Holy Spirit. I believe it is effective when used in battle, as part of our armor against the enemy of our soul. It is to be prudently used by teachers, exercising wisdom in how it is applied - remember, they are held to a much higher standard than the rest of us due to their influence. There are rare situations where leaders and shepherds must appropriately correct due to sinful behavior, and this is right and good. But I ultimately believe that using Scripture to correct is the job of the One who knows the hearts of men, and I have to mention that He is never sarcastic or patronizing (at least, not in my experience).

I am deeply saddened by the circumstance in which I am standing. Oh yeah, I have cried out to the LORD, complaining bitterly at the judgment, falling to my knees in agony at the loss of friendship, fellowship and safety. I sense the enemy entering in causing dissension, dividing us into factions. It is obvious to me now that my definitions of friendship, loyalty and love are much different than that of those who I thought were friends. Regrettably, I am watching as this enemy has distracted leaders, twisted intentions, brought in those that are dishonest and secretive to sow chaos, blinded the ignorant and reveled in the pain that is being caused as a result. I want to cry out in warning, but I cannot.

There had to be cracks and openings in order for the enemy to get in at all. Weakness of character, pride and the arrogance of leaning on our own understanding are the pathways to darkness and mistrust, leaving the door wide open for evil to blow in like smoke, twisting and swirling through our midst.

However, I know that the LORD uses all situations to His glory to those who love Him. And He is in this one, as well. He has surrounded me with protection and support. He has prompted people to pray for me and others, that we may be strong against the attack. He has brought people together to share their hurt and help carry the burden. He has given visions to some and discernment to others to apprise them of the situation. He has given me words of defense; simply "the LORD is my defense". He has instructed me to be still and watch - and that is what I will do. I am convinced He will have His way.

I will say it again, I am not perfect. I never claimed I was. But this is what I know; the King of the Universe wants us to love and care for those around us in kindness and be a people eager to do good deeds. I pray that somehow, some way, we can find our way back to this truth.

Even the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
~William Shakespeare

7 comments:

Ari C'rona said...

I can't express strongly enough how I feel about your words, my friend. Inspired, succinct, the words of your heart. Yes, we are in a battle not against flesh and blood... My heart breaks for our little congregation.

Yes, He is our defense. :o/

Nitrocat said...

My heart weeps for you, Liz. I have seen first hand the devastation that ill thought words can have in a tight knit group.

Knowing full well the power that was his to wield, Jesus used his authority to serve, calm and bring peace to his disciples when he washed their feet. Not a sword, but a towel.

Praying forgiveness and healing for your congregation.

Hendel D'bu said...

*heavy sigh*

I am reminded of this post:

http://hendeldbu.blogspot.com/2009/07/death-of-love-affair.html

:-/

Ari C'rona said...

And this post from almost a year ago:

http://hendeldbu.blogspot.com/2009/02/defining-community.html

So sad... :o/

Mama Cache said...

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” ~ Psalm 133:1

I just can’t quote it without tearing up and trembling a little.

It has been said, “Let there be such oneness between us, that when one cries, the other tastes salt.” Much salt I’m tasting tonight, and it’s not all mine, my friend.

Paul implored the Ephesians “to walk worthy of the calling with which (they) were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.“

By degrees, how very easy it is to lose such oneness. How deeply sad is that loss.

You are all in my prayers.

ann said...

Dear Liz, ....you are beginning to get a number of readers from over here in England as you really do write so well...perhaps the Lord will open up some new doors for you through this pain...?

I have been Torah observant for nearly 20 years - as you know Mosh and I are pretty much on our own in our walk over here.....but I want to say this: I have found that the unsaved need to SEE and respect how you live....after all Jewish people should be provoked to jealousy....that is how Mosh came to faith...

We live amongst an orthodox Jewish community - they can recite the first five books of Moses off by heart - but they do not know Him who wrote them.....they are hard and arrogant and turn fellow Jews away from studying scripture after all who wants to be like them? It is a wretched thing...

I don't try to keep up with their knowledge of scripture its pointless - they can run rings round me and for what? To prove they're right? To put me in my place? Pointless...so I 'choose my words carefully'

For me it is so easy to light two candles on a Friday night..... it is another matter to face and deal with arrogance. It is easy not to eat pork ...it is much harder to deal with our petty jealousies that plague our souls....it is easy to celebrate Shabbat and rest - it is much harder to see and deal with our self righteousness.... this to me is where the rubber meets the road - has Yeshua REALLY changed us inside or are we as hard as ever?

Do we weep with those who weep? Do we mourn with those who mourn? Do we love despite people spitting in our faces? Do we go that extra mile for others or is our life centred upon ourselves? Are we selfless, giving, kind and generous? Do we put others before ourselves? Do we do these things naturally because I ask myself -surely we should?

THIS to me is what life is all about..... When Mosh was assaulted by our neighbour - his family did not want to know how much he knew they wanted to know how on earth he didn't respond - How on earth could we continue to reach out to him? THAT is what has provoked them to ask questions about our faith. Is it real or are we just like the religious biggots they come across in the streets? Remember the pharisees were puffed up with knowledge yet their self righteousness was a stench to Yeshua.

In the end love never fails and perhaps, and I say this guardedly - perhaps the trial for you dear one is to learn to continue to love and pray for those who wrong you.....it is such a HARD, HARD test....but I pray it WILL yield peaceful fruit of righteousness....The Lord has seen fit to trust you with such a test and He watches over you carefully because He ADORES you, He died for you and he will rescue you from EVERY evil attack and will see you safely home to heaven when the time is right......

If I don't have the pleasure of seeing you much here, I will look forward to spending time with you there......

Be of GOOD cheer...Will be praying for you every day and whenever the Lord prompts..

Love Ann xxxxxxx



Love Ann xx

Jedi-J said...

if folks walked the path there wouldn't be problems, being human makes people want to take short cuts.