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    A Case of Mistaken Identity

    A Case of Mistaken Identity

    During a visit with our son and some of his friends, he reminisced about a pet cat we once had that was a prolific squirrel hunter. This female feline hunted, killed and ate all the squirrels in the neighbor which were not wary enough to escape her clutches. Many times we would see what remained of the evidence of her exploits, usually the tail of that unfortunate creature. Included in one of her litters, she gave birth to an identical twin of herself. Not long afterward, this hunter cat passed away leaving her, now grown, female offspring. It appeared that the remainder of the squirrels that lived in the neighborhood did not know that this new cat was not the terror as her mother nor had any interest in hunting them at all. Everyday, these squirrels would climb to a safe vantage point and 'bark' at this hapless cat. She did nothing to either earn their ire or paid any attention to their constant harassment. She simply ignored them while yawning and cleaning herself, going about her business unaffected, as if nothing out of the ordinary ever occurred.

    This reminded me of another, somewhat similar, event that bore a striking resemblance to this picture. I was at a local church where I met a certain woman that had an immediate and noticeable aversion to me. It seems that I bore a strong resemblance to a person from her past that she had an adversarial relationship with. Apparently, that relationship had a very strong and decidedly negative affect on her with the unfortunate result for me being an immediate revulsion and rejection. In fact, her reaction towards me surprised even her closest friends. Having never met me before, her reactive response was unexpected and left me quite perplexed. After some prayer, I decided that direct contact with her was not advisable. Apparently, she was inconsolable and opposed to all attempts by anyone to reconcile this issue. Sometimes, these things do arise in any open venue where people tend to congregate. It is unavoidable. The best anyone can do is to not return this kind of negative response, pray and hope for the best. Love can do no more.

    Eventually, the matter was forgotten until one day, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to my heart about something I had both forgotten and considered a dead issue. When I was in grade school, an older, bigger and stronger student would seek me out to bully me. He was nearly a foot taller than me and loved to use me as his own personal punching bag. He always targeted my upper arms but due to his size and strength, his punches really hurt and the only relief I could find was to stay as far away from him as possible. This solution was not all that effective as this school was very small and not many places to hide in the school yard. Since we were not allowed inside the school building during recess, my options for escape were very limited. Telling my parents about it did not help. They confronted my teachers who then confronted this bully, but he just came after me with a greater vengeance. Needless to say, I could not wait for the day he advanced to the grade level which would remove him from our school.

    The long lasting result of this was to avoid everyone who shared his name. His name was Jeffrey or Jeff for short. For the next 20-25 years, I had unconsciously avoided all relations with anyone by this name. These incidents with him had long been forgotten but the damage was done. This left a remarkable and unusual scar in my life, one that had a farther reaching effect than I would have even considered. I had unconsciously judged everyone with that name as being someone I could not trust but no longer knew why. I found that I was always very uncomfortable around anyone with that name. I never even gave it any thought. Just dismissed it. Until, that day when God spoke to my heart.

    Once He revealed to me this long standing unforgiveness, judgment and subsequent vow, I repented, broke the judgment and renounced my vow. Immediately afterward, I specifically searched for anyone at church who had the name Jeff or Jeffrey and quickly made friends. It didn't take long to realize how much I had shortchanged myself by avoiding the Jeffery's of the world, most of whom do not share the characteristics of the childhood bully I once dreaded. It is also entirely possible that the boy who terrorized me was no longer a bully but may be a responsible and sensible father and husband.

    My sin, as I later learned, was not against this Jeffery but was actually against God. Psalms 51 perfectly illustrates this truth as King David sought for and received forgiveness from God for his unabated lust for another man's wife, the killing of that unfortunate rival and hiding away from God ever since for the multitude of sins he had committed. Being the leader of God's people as their king, he would be held to a higher standard than others but in spite of all that he had done and compounding this to his hiding from God for about one year before God sent his servant, the prophet Nathan to expose his sin, he finally yielded to God's word. The story in 2 Samuel does not fully illustrate the depth and earnestness of his repentance as shown in Psalms 51. Unlike that rejected repentance of Esau when he lost his inheritance, which he was shown to despise and only sought repentance to retrieve that which he had carelessly lost, King David's repentance can clearly be seen and understood for what it was, a deep and godly sorrow of the heart for having offended his God.

    For many things and many different ways, we have offended God our Savior but it is vital we understand the ONLY kind of repentance He will accept. The bible says that God hated Esau but loved David. Will we be sorry for only what we lost or is our sorrow one of a broken and contrite heart that realizes the offense is against a Loving and Long-Suffering God?
    Psalms 51:1-17 (NKJV)
    A Prayer of Repentance
    To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
    1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
    According to Your lovingkindness;
    According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
    Blot out my transgressions.
    2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    And cleanse me from my sin.
    3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
    And my sin is always before me.
    4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
    And done this evil in Your sight—
    That You may be found just when You speak,
    And blameless when You judge.
    5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    And in sin my mother conceived me.
    6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
    And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
    7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
    That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
    9 Hide Your face from my sins,
    And blot out all my iniquities.
    10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
    11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
    And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
    12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
    And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
    13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
    And sinners shall be converted to You.
    14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    The God of my salvation,
    And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
    15 O Lord, open my lips,
    And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
    16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
    You do not delight in burnt offering.
    17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
    A broken and a contrite heart—
    These, O God, You will not despise.

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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    1. Excellent share! Many who read may have gone through similar and will help many come not to judge the Jeffery's in their own lives! Bravo!

    2. Amen Rebecca! Once God showed me this, I realized how easy it is to forget how our attitudes and perspectives are affected by our past hurts. However, as we continue in Christ and want to have a deeper relationship with Him, the candle of His Spirit will search out these "hidden" things and bring them to light so they can be removed according to His instructions. So much of our lives are "guided" by our past experiences. Just like Lazarus was still bound by his grave clothes and others needed to release him from those bondages, so do we need one another to help US off with OUR grave clothes, aka, mindsets, attitudes, perspectives, unforgiveness, judgements and vows, all of which continue to bind us in life unless they are removed.


    Item Reviewed: A Case of Mistaken Identity Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jerry Sundberg
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