It’s Time! Christ Be Formed In You!
I just feel a real pressing in my spirit to share something with some of you regarding the circumstances you find yourself in. It’s not always easy to embrace, but the Word of God tells us throughout scripture in various ways, there will be trials, we will be refined by fire, etc. It’s so easy to think sometimes that it’s always us reaping consequences; He doesn’t love me, I’m being punished, things will never change, I want my life to be perfect so why isn’t it? We often think and feel all these things. But many times, God is using our circumstances so that He can be formed in us.
I remember when this season really intensified for me. I was grieving because so many untrue things had been said about me by so many people I loved dearly and for no good reason. I felt betrayed. In my sorrow I asked the Lord why this was happening to me when all I had ever wanted was to reflect Him and be the church He had called us to be. I didn’t care what it looked like, I was going to do my part to see His Kingdom church thriving; seeing people operate in genuine love and compassion, healing the broken, and saving the lost. Instead, I found myself at the heart of betrayal and despair. I was beyond devastated. As I continued pouring my heart out to the Lord, He gently reminded me, “I was betrayed Julie.” I went to the Gospels and read how those closest to Jesus had turned on Him too at some point in their lives. Of course there was Judas, someone in the inner circle of Jesus. Jesus spent a lot of time with Judas, and yet was betrayed until to death by him. Another one that comes to mind is Peter. One who claimed he would never betray Jesus and yet he did. But how did Jesus respond to all this betrayal? He loved, He forgave, and He saw Peter restored in the midst of it all. Even on the cross, He cried out to the multitudes that had crucified Him, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” His love did not change for them, and beloved, it should never change in your circumstances either!
During this season my character, my reputation, was also attacked. It seemed every unkind thing you could imagine was said by some of those I loved the most. I couldn’t even wrap my mind around it. What on earth was going on? Why were they acting like this? It really bothered me that so many things were being said of me that were far from the truth. Again, I cried out to Jesus; begging Him to make it all just stop. Again, gently Jesus said to me, “Julie I was a man of no reputation. My own family, my hometown, often thought I was crazy and didn’t understand the things I did. The religious community, they were relentless in their efforts to tear me down and discredit me. Remember Julie? Go read it again in My Word and be blessed by it; for yours is the Kingdom Julie!”
So many times in my life, especially in recent years, I have cried out to the Lord in my sorrow and despair. Yet, each time, He lovingly met me and reminded me that he felt all those same things too. I wanted the pain to stop. I wanted my life to make sense. But wait…I also said many times, “Christ, be formed in me that I may be a reflection of Your glory; that people will see who you really are as You live through me Lord.” I guess I wanted the best of both worlds, didn’t I? I look back on it all now, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m a better person because I allowed the Lord to refine me through it all.
I could have let it all make me bitter, but I chose to let it make me better!
Which did I want more? Did I want to focus on what others thought of me?
Did my friendships, my reputation, and all those other things mean more to me that my cries to be a reflection of Him; advancing His kingdom and reflecting Him to a lost and broken world?
Well, you guessed it. I chose Jesus!
Nothing means more to me than people seeing a reflection of who Jesus really is,
in a world where He is so misrepresented and misunderstood.
The world needs Jesus!
I want to demonstrate the Kingdom; not the life of a Pharisee. It was and is worth it all!
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It can make you bitter or it can make you better.
Let Christ have His way in you. Let Him be formed in you!
Fuel Up! (Scriptures for further reflection)
Gal. 4:19 ~ Christ be formed in you!
Zechariah 13:9, 1 Peter 1:7, Malachi 3:1-18, 1 Peter 5:10, Job 23:10, Proverbs 17:3, Psalm 66:10-12, Eph 5:26 ~ Refined by Fire!
James 1:-8 Count all your trials as joy!
The Answer Is Yes! We Do Need You!
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