Reprimands

Over and over again in the scriptures, I notice how the men of God respond when people sin against God or them.  They don’t gossip or get frustrated or yell or throw fits or cut off all communication with them; the men of God immediately seek God.

As soon as I heard this, I tore my garment and my cloak and pulled hair from my head and beard and sat appalled. 4 Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice. 5 And at the evening sacrifice I rose from my fasting, with my garment and my cloak torn, and fell upon my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God, 6 saying: …“And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments… (Ezra 9)

Ezra could have screamed and yelled.  He could have kicked the offending parties out and cut off all communication with them.  He could have reacted a lot like we do when we are offended, hurt, or see someone we are close to chose sin.  But he didn’t.

The minute the sin came to his attention, he fasted and sat with the Lord IN SILENCE.  After seeking the Lord for a significant amount of time, he then sought forgiveness on behalf of the offending parties, and eventually asked the Lord for direction on how to correct the sin.

Sometimes I wonder what the world would be like if all of us who claimed to love the Lord reacted to other people’s sin in this matter.  We took it as a serious offense against God and not against us.  We weren’t personally offended and defensive but rather immediately sought the Lord and allowed Him to respond to the sin.  We lived in this manner that said, “I trust God to solve this sin issue.  I don’t have to fix it in my own power or strength. I don’t even have to tell God how to fix it.  He is big enough and smart enough.”

What would our home look like?  What would our church look like?  What would our heart look like?

I know I struggle with this.  At times, I take it as a personal offense when people are rude or gossip or deliberately choose sin.  I want to talk about their choices and come up with solutions to “fix” them.  My default is to think about the offense against me instead of immediately fasting and seeking the Lord.  But I want my default to change.  Today I’m committing to working hard to change that default and allowing the Holy Spirit to change my mind and heart to trust the Lord,.  To truly seek Him first instead of seeking my own solution to a problem first.

I can only imagine how freeing this will be.

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