When last we left our intrepid padawan, Little Monk sat, frustrated and convicted… of “judging others”, by the very act of LOOKING AT THEM! *sigh*..
Best efforts not withstanding, conviction notwithstanding, repentance notwithstanding, even the Lord’s good will and undivided attention notwithstanding… try as I might to pass even one single hour without “judging” anyone or anything… I failed.
I’d asked the Lord to do me the kindness of “buzzing me”, making clear to me and my conscience, when I “looked upon another with measurement”, or “judged” another, and He was kind enough to honor my request. This resulted in hours of His gentle reminders, somewhere from 4 to 6 times an hour, over three or so hours.
The result? Sheer frustration!
After three hours of sheer frustration, I felt so deeply angry at myself, defeated, and futile. I felt weak, helpless, ashamed… totally aggravated… and the ultimate irony. The Lord said, “Little Monk, you’re doing it to YOURSELF now, and I won’t allow that either! Stop it!”
AARRGGHH!!! And in utter rage and futility I flopped down on my couch and said, “I give up! I can’t do it! I hear this, I see this, I know what You want… I am WILLING… in fact, I now passionately WANT to be free of this sin. But it seems WIRED in me. I have no idea how to learn ‘not to see this way’. I give up!”
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To which, Jesus simply said, “Good! Stay that way, because you cannot fix this, but *I* can. Just hold still, and let Me transform. YOU needed to ‘renew’… you needed to see this, understand this, and renounce this. But YOU cannot fix it. It is beyond your ability. I must transform this in you and your heart. Like any sin, I can take it away… you cannot remove it by your own strength. But I needed to let you try. Now, sit back, be patient with yourself, and give Me some time to work. I have this now.”
So things are. He is working. I don’t know how and won’t try to describe it. But I’m learning, slowly, simply to “gaze, then bless” rather than “gaze, then measure”. It will take time, I know. It’s kind of like feeling a tightness in your chest gradually relaxing.
Well, you can understand, I know… What am I saying really? What’s the affirmation?
I’m saying, “Gosh… I judge others. That’s wrong, that’s sin. I need to stop. Jesus says ‘don’t judge lest ye be judged.’ And I’ve been convicted of this, and repented it.
How has Jesus responded to that?
I, of myself, cannot correct my tendency to fail here, my innate vulnerability is too strong. However, Jesus having brought my attention to His word(s) on this (Matthew 7), and my having surrendered in submission of will to His authority on this (Romans 12:1), my focus and willingness to allow this Truth to “soak into” my mind and rewire my very consciousness (Romans 12:2). opens the way for Jesus Himself to “transform” me.
I’ve found that THAT transformation is (always) beyond my own skill, power, or authority… However, the Lord Himself really needs me to “get out of His way” when He determines to rewire such a thing.
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So… how has this all turned out? Simple… slowly…
I THOUGHT I needed to try some bizarre “custody of the eyes”… that the Lord somehow wanted me to “stop looking” at others with a discerning eye. But, rather… that’s not how it’s been working out…
What has been happening is interesting… I yet look upon others as my mind, heart, or spirit flow in their direction. BUT, rather than my “spiritual hand” extending outwards towards them with my “measurement forceps or calipers” within my fingers… my hand extends outwards towards them, extended flat in benediction and blessing.
This has not been so through an act of my own will, but rather it has been so of its own accord, and I’ve seemed “prompted to observe” the difference between the “now” and the “before”.
So, here’s just an “experiential observation” offered to you for your own “spiritual experimentation”, but I’ve had this happen to me a few times before in my life. It’s like Jesus offering me “training wheels” for a time, as I develop a new way of thinking, perceiving, or behaving. When this becomes “muscle memory”, and its own reliable discipline, no doubt I shall be held accountable for maintaining it… but right now, this is sheer grace gift.
I’d love to hear of any parallel learning you have known in your own walk, Gentle Readers. This isn’t so much “teaching”, as a simple “report along the way of the journey”.
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Jesus concluded with this:
“God Himself wrote with His own hand, ‘Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.’ on the walls of Babylon. Only God can say such a thing. YOU cannot. So, stop doing it, saying it, thinking it, or even feeling it. It is simply and totally My job, not yours… above your pay grade. K?”
I nodded, happily… realizing that I am His child who doesn’t have to carry that responsibility. And He pats me on the head. “Good.”
Pray for me, always! Please! And grace to thee!
4 thoughts on “Pulling the Heads Off Flies — Part II”
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
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Above my pay grade. Yep, it is. And I learn so very much when I simply pray, “Lord, help me surrender. Help me allow you to take me over.”
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LM this IS a great teaching so don’t sell your experience short. We ALL need to be able to see the perspective from one another’s walk but also experience in dealing with “Father God – Relationship!”
I had a similar thing years ago (since you asked) with anger. I inherited a very hot temper from my father and the way I was raised; it was almost nurtured. The problem was, I was “supposed” to be a Christian and my anger was interfering in my testimony and witness! When it finally dawned on me, I realized, as you did, that I couldn’t change it, for it had to be the Lord to transform me and do the work from within.
I can honestly say, that when I look back as I have done many times, I cannot see a moment in time when that transformation happened. In hindsight, it almost appears instantaneous yet I know it wasn’t! But it was a miracle for no longer did I have or even sense that short fuse that used to drag along with me. Some years later, I ended up working for a company that seemed to bring that anger back and I didn’t even see it coming. Guess what? The second time for “healing” wasn’t so easy as it took me many of times on my knees to get back to that place of peace that the Lord has brought me too. I have learned a lot through that experience and have come to realize that when it comes to a transformation of the heart and spirit, it is ONLY Christ whom we can rely on!!
Now to one other question I have and it goes along with this quote from your part II; “I THOUGHT I needed to try some bizarre “custody of the eyes”… that the Lord somehow wanted me to “stop looking” at others with a discerning eye.”
The thing that has me agreeing and yet feeling a little different stems from the whole of Matthew 7 and the spiritual gifts that I still believe are in play today and one of them is discernment. The first of chapter 7 speaks ALL of what you stated and the term judging in the first part of the chapter pertains to “passing sentence or to condemn” which we have absolutely no right or authority to do in anyone, Christian or non-Christian. It is ONLY God through Christ Jesus who will judge and that based on what we don’t see, namely, the heart condition.
But — in the second part of the chapter, Jesus is setting up the scenario that we do have to judge in a “discerning (spiritually gifted) way” to help keep the Church, the Body of Christ from, 1. False Prophets, 2. Wolves in Sheep’s clothing, and 3. The devil coming as an angel of light. He goes on in that same scenario telling us that not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” does He know personally and not everyone who does anything using His name, for in essence they are using His name without His authority derived from and intimate relationship with Him. It all goes back to His example that “He doesn’t say anything or do anything unless the Father tells Him. In other words, what the Father says or wants Him to do, He says and does.”
So must we be in our relationship with the Father through the Son. We have to do that though in FAITH which is our surety or guarantee so to speak. It is that faith that is PLEASING to God and since God is sovereign if we do make a mistake, walking in faith, God is powerful enough and wise enough to not allow harm to come to others because we make a “mistake.” He will also deal with us in a gentle yet in a way that will allow us to learn to not make those same mistakes again, if we are truly listening to Him.
Discerning truth, from falsehood, JUDGING, whether something or someone is true or not is not to protect ourselves as individuals, but to protect those in the Body of Christ, the True Church, to be protected from the false prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing and the enemy disguised as an angel of light or truth. When the devil tempted Eve and used his twisted logic on her, he was at that time the most beautiful creature, according to Scripture and I’m sure that had a lot to do with it. (Besides the fact, if she didn’t succumb, we would have no clue as to right and wrong or the need for Christ and the choice we have to accept God’s love through Jesus, etc.).
Anyway, maybe one of these times on Skype or in email we can have a back and forth on this. As far as what you taught us in these lessons (yes teach!) I have to agree and we need to reminded over and over again what our Father asks us to do as compared to what only He can accomplish!!!!
Love and God bless, greatly!