Only One Righteousness

I had something happen yesterday and I had to make a decision.   I choose to think about it before I made this decision.   Many times before I would react.  What I have been learning in the http://www.4pillars.me has really made a difference in how I think.    This has  reinforced what I already knew.

Below is a blog from a dear friend of mine.   She wrote this earlier this morning and it just confirmed what I had to do yesterday.  

Kevin

 

 

Only ONE Righteousness… and It’s Not Mine!

I have a rule book. You have one too. We all have one! It runs in our unconscious / subconscious mind providing a foundation and structure to give us stability, security, and a sound measure of our “goodness.” We like to feel good about ourselves. We like to be able to measure ourselves on some scale that indicates our righteousness. And if we are intellectually honest, our rule book also enables us to measure others. We struggle to accept that we do not possess any righteousness apart from that given to us by Jesus Christ, and we are truly not equipped to measure anyone.

My rule book was recently challenged by the Lord… and He prevailed! Here’s the story.

Over a year ago, the Lord instructed me to end a long-standing friendship. He had spent almost a year at that point guiding me with instructions on changing my conversations with people across the board, unveiling patterns in this particular relationship which were becoming increasingly unhealthy and unusual, and exposing dynamics which came into play at the formation of the friendship which require spiritual remedy outside of my purview. I spent all those months fasting and praying and praying and fasting for clarity. My heart was burdened, grieved, sad. The Lord instructed me what I could share and what I was to say when i communicated my decision to sever the friendship. I wrote it down so I could read it. I cried all the way through. But I did it. It was done.

Well, not so fast. It was done according to my rule book. I had communicated the boundary, but I hadn’t created the boundary. You see, I have a rule that I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want to wound anyone’s heart. My checklist for that includes never unfriending or blocking someone. That seems like such a harsh thing to do and violates my definition of “loving someone well.” Over the past year, I have felt an increasing distance from the Lord. The more certain and secure I felt by adhering to my rules about unfriending and blocking, the farther I felt from the Lord. I didn’t connect it at the time, but can clearly see it in the rear view mirror now.

As soon as I confessed the growing separation in my heart and cried out for Him to return to me, I felt the Lord begin to challenge my rule book. He was guiding me to block this individual. I asked Him for scriptural support and a clear understanding of how it will benefit that person. His response was swift! I had to see how it would be in the best interest of the other person, not me. He showed me. I wasn’t hurt. I wasn’t angry. I was  concerned because I fully comprehended the dynamic at work and wanted freedom where there is oppression. So, I unfriended on social media and removed the contact from my phone. Done!

Well…no. Several weeks later, I received a text from a number not in my contacts. At this point, the Lord was firm with me. This change to our relationship was a real challenge. Communicating the change simply was not enough. I was to remove the temptation to continue to engage with me by completely blocking this person. It required me to delete a major rule from my rule book. I also knew there would be a risk to my reputation and possible backlash. I understood how this was loving well based on everything the Lord had revealed over the past couple of years. Nonetheless, I cried. My tears were partly for the relationship, but also for the loss of another rule by which I can feel secure in performing my definition of “good.”

The Lord is not interested in honoring my rule book. As long as I choose to feel secure in my self-righteous standards, He will continue to feel distant. Not because He is distant, but because He is unable to communicate His righteous ways until I am willing to renounce my rules. How gracious He is to allow me the loss of experiencing His Presence as an indicator that I have a big fat rule standing between us! I feel good about myself {and in all honesty a bit spiritually superior), but at the cost of His Presence. He doesn’t endorse my rules.

The important distinction is knowing the difference between truly experiencing His Presence and my soul’s elation at meeting my own “goodness” standards (which I can honestly tweak as I go). My soul deceived me for the first 43 years of my life until one day, by His grace, I clearly saw how far I was from the Lord and my very nature was laid bare. Oh how devastating! Now I understand the indicators.

During worship at church following my obedience, the Lord spoke to me, “NOW, I can trust you to wound someone.” What?! I had to really seek Him about this!

Deuteronomy 32:39
See now that I, I am He, and there is no god beside Me; I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal, and there is none who can deliver out of My hand.

Job 5:18
For He wounds, but He binds up; He smites, but His hands heal.

Proverbs 20:30
Blows that wound cleanse away evil, and strokes [for correction] reach to the innermost parts.

Proverbs 27:6
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are lavish and deceitful.

Isaiah 53:10
Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise (crush) Him [Jesus]; He has put Him to grief and made Him sick.

There is definitely scriptural precedent for God’s activity in wounding. The key to being found trustworthy to wound others in obedience to Him is only wanting what is most beneficial for the other person…not motivated by hurt, anger, revenge, or out of my own woundedness. It MUST be motivated by love.

My rule book is diminishing little by little. In my heart there is only ONE rule. Abide in the Lord, staying connected to His heart and listening to His wisdom and counsel so I can obey whatever He tells me in every situation. In my subconscious I have a bunch of rules erecting their own standard. My love is infinitesimally small and my definitions razor-thin narrow in comparison to His vast Love and Wisdom. His Righteousness is the only ONE that can stand! Living without my self-made rule book feels like walking on water… it doesn’t feel very solid to me at times, but by faith I stand on His righteousness alone!

Still letting Him help me ditch Da Rule Book!
Tricia

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