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    Pride & Correction

    Pride & Correction

    One of the most difficult things in a Christian’s life is to receive correction, especially from someone we know. Equally difficult is to be the one administering the correction.

    In our lives before Christ, while we were children of darkness, each of us had established our own walls to surround us and protect those things in our lives we place value upon. In the process of building these walls of protection, we used as the brick and mortar materials made up of our perspectives of what we think is good. These we have tested for ourselves. Some extensively, others not so much. All in all, what we have established in our lives that we identify as truth is what we rely on every day.

    If someone, anyone, were to challenge these ‘truths’ we believe in, we become very defensive. Many times, disagreements arise where we may disqualify that person or persons in our lives. Then we just move on without the friendship we thought we had for they have crossed the line and we can no longer ‘afford’ to view them as trusted friends. Most of the time, our argument when someone challenges our ‘wall’, our concept of truth, we just brush it off as it is their opinion and we do not need to listen to them. So we either disassociate ourselves or do not allow that person to have as much access to our lives, seeing as how they disagree.

    Sometimes, we may have close friends who, in an effort to help us or improve something in us, will try to correct one or more of our closely held beliefs. Instead of recognizing the good they are trying to accomplish, we view their words as a personal attack and we defend ourselves and sometimes, get angry, maybe even very angry. We think to ourselves, “How dare they say such things! How dare they even think such things!” We are blinded through our own defensive mechanisms and cannot recognize that our friend(s) are only trying to help. We push them away. These situations typically arise when we are facing stressful times or we are down. We feel they are meddling and trampling in our lives and we resent them for their intrusion. We have all had seasons like this in our lives as unbelievers.

    Then Christ came into our lives. We have been forgiven of our sin. Everything has changed….right? Just like Lazarus rising from the dead, he was freed from that which took his life. But was he completely free as he emerged from that tomb? The answer is no, otherwise, why would Jesus instruct others to “loose him and let him go?”

    Lazarus remained bound by those things that bound him in death. The same is for us. There is much that remains of those things that have bound us before Christ came and remains after our new birth. This is where the working of our salvation in fear and trembling comes into play. Those grave clothes, which continued to bind up Lazarus, needed to be removed. What they represent in our lives are areas of unforgiveness that still clings to us, judgments that still influence our thoughts and actions, vows and oaths that still weigh heavily on our perspectives and expectations.

    Those walls of protection built upon the lies of the enemy in our lives before Christ still remain and must be torn down so that a new foundation of Christ’s love can be laid. We have been forgiven but the old grave clothes are still there and must be removed. Many believers came into God’s kingdom thinking that nothing more need be done, that it was all accomplished at calvary. The punishment for our disobedience to God was once and for all paid. Like Lazarus, what killed him was removed and he now had new life. Also like Lazarus, although he was alive, he was not free….yet.

    So, for most new believers, many of the old wounds, betrayals, rejections, hurts remain, vestiges of our old life, the old man. We still hold to many of the walls we’ve built in our lives. If we’ve been hurt through some form of abuse, it still hurts to be near those who have and continue to abuse us. We find it very hard to forgive much less to trust those who have only shown us harm, yet we are now called to not only forgive, but also to love them. This we find very difficult to do. We just don’t understand why or how to overcome these hurtful feelings and expectations.

    God has provided a way for us. Jesus said, “Forgive those who have trespassed against you.” And “If you do not forgive others, then your heavenly Father will not forgive you either.” The act of forgiveness brings the remedy of healing to the one forgiving. When possible, the Spirit of God may direct you to approach the one who caused the offense to seek their forgiveness. When that is not possible, we are still required to forgive. Do not concern yourself what happens next. In our walk with God, we are only required to take the next step. He never requires us to ‘leap frog’ ahead. We just take one step at a time. The ability to forget and trust comes later…first we must obey His command to forgive. He will make the change in our hearts for the rest. Love will come as our own hearts are healed but not until we forgive.

    Judgments must be broken. It is through our judgments we bind up the ones we judge. Bondage is a spiritual result of judgment. Through this, our expectations are set based upon the past performance of the person we have judged. Because of our judgment, we do not expect any changes can or has occurred in that person. As a result of our judgment, we do not treat this person with a hope for change but rather an expectation that they will continue to do as before. This is a mindset we have established through injury, unforgiveness and judgment. This is what the bible calls a stronghold. It is a high thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God’s infinite love and mercy and does not allow change to come from its point of view. It MUST be broken after we ask God’s forgiveness. Then and only then can this mindset and expectation of no change be broken. After this, we can begin to seek after God’s heart regarding those that have harmed us and get His perspective remembering that God’s love is perfect while our own is imperfect. He will give us His perfect love if we ask. But keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking until you receive what you seek. It is God’s good pleasure to give to you all things pertaining to His kingdom.

    The next important step is to break that cycle of control in our lives that makes demands we find we are incapable of meeting. I am speaking of the promises we made to ourselves when we were first injured by someone. For example, let us say that one of our parents was an alcoholic or drug abuser. They have lashed out at their spouse and children and said or did things that brought great injury, either physically or emotionally. We blamed them and did not forgive them for what they’ve done. Typically, we promised ourselves we would never allow something like that to happen when we grow up and have a family. In making this promise to ourselves, we have bound ourselves to fulfill this oath or vow. This action creates another stronghold in our lives that works to shape who we become. This is part of that wall of defense we are building around our lives in order to protect ourselves from harmful influences.
    Leviticus 5:4-5
    “Or if a person swears, speaking thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good, whatever it is that a man may pronounce by an oath, and he is unaware of it—when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty in any of these matters. “And it shall be, when he is guilty in any of these matters, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing;“
    Speaking thoughtlessly simply means we do not consider the implications of what we are doing. As small children, when these bad things happen to us, we react and cannot know what our own reactions will cause later in our lives. It is not until later in life do we begin to see the effects those thoughts and words will have. Lev. 5:4 calls an oath or vow sin. It does not matter whether we think it is for good or for evil, it is still called sin. Why? It is because we set up our own will above God’s will.
    James 4:13-16
    Do Not Boast About Tomorrow Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

    Proverbs 27:1
    Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
    So as you can see, it is better not to make a promise to yourself if you are not willing to allow God’s will to intervene. All such vows/oaths are considered evil and therefore sin, which must be repented of.

    This is how those walls are to be torn down and in their place, we must allow God to have His way as He works to transform us into the image of His dear Son.

    Pride is that defensive mechanism used to protect ourselves and the walls we’ve built around our lives. We are proud of what we have done and are easily offended when what we have done is challenged. This pride can be found in most people and even those who call themselves Christian. Unless and until we all yield our lives and our protections to the Spirit of the Lord, then it is certain that those walls remain. Sometimes they have only been exchanged for different kind of wall. A religious wall perhaps. In my many years as a believer, I have encountered many with such walls. These have simply exchanged one form of protection with another, however, with Christ, we can live our lives without those controls to protect ourselves as He has promised to be our great defense.

    One of the negative aspects or evidences that a person still has their own wall can be seen when correction comes. If their hearts have not yet come to trust in God their Savior and correction comes, they are offended. Oftentimes they will reject the correction based upon whom it came by. For example, I was sent by the Holy Spirit to speak a word of correction to leader in the church. His reaction was immediate in that he judged me as unfit and unworthy to correct one such as he. I was a relatively new believer and had not had enough ‘experience’ to speak in this manner to correct someone such as he, who had been in ministry for many years. He rejected what God had given me to tell him, although it was for his own good.

    A heart that has been truly circumcised will always be a heart that is teachable, recognizing that God is not limited to who or what He will use to speak into his life. If God can use a dumb animal to speak to a prophet to prevent that prophet’s most certain judgment, then there is nothing or no one He will not use. All God seeks is a willing and obedient heart. We cannot allow ourselves to become too puffed up and filled with pride as we grow in the knowledge of Him and in His power. Paul shared with us all how God used even the demonic to prevent Paul from becoming too lifted up and exalted because of his many visions.

    A foolish heart rejects correction while heart of wisdom receives God’s instruction. For the purpose of correction is to tear down the strongholds of unbelief and build up your most holy faith unto everlasting life. Therefore be wise, one who demonstrates they fear God by recognizing that God is not limited to whom He will use to speak into our lives. Correction is not intended to attack and destroy you, nor is it a word of condemnation. It is a word that speaks of a change of direction and understanding so that you will be fully trained in the knowledge of God and His purposes.

    It may be that the road you are traveling has pitfalls you are not aware of, so God sends His messenger to warn you of what lies ahead. It does not mean you are on the wrong path but there are dangers you are not aware of He wishes to prepare you for.

    So my brethren, walk as children of the Light and allow your Heavenly Father to use what He has at His disposal. Receive correction as a son so that you may be whole and walk in that peace that surpasses all understanding, knowing that the God of Heaven and Earth continues to form and shape you according to His good pleasure.

    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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    Item Reviewed: Pride & Correction Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jerry Sundberg
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