∼The Middle of the Garden∼

My experiences from walking and talking with Jesus in the middle of life's garden…a blog by Janet Williams

Revelation 14:6 “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, with an eternal Gospel (good news) to tell to the inhabitants of the earth, to every race and tribe and language and people.” AMP

Whenever a person’s cause becomes bigger than their God their cause becomes their god.                      

What I am saying is that whatever you lean on, rely on and trust in to make a change in the world that you believe has more power then that thing/idea/cause becomes your god. It takes the place of God in your heart. Your cause dethrones God and replaces Him with an idol.

When you believe that your actions, outrage and protesting become more powerful than your prayers in the ears of the Almighty God then you begin to think that God isn’t all that powerful or isn’t all that caring. You begin to question whether God sees the injustice you plainly see. You begin to take a step back from your faith in Him and you take a step towards your own solution. You begin to take matters into your own hands and do the fighting for yourself because you’re convinced that God isn’t doing enough, He isn’t doing it fast enough, or He isn’t doing it as complete as you want. This is exactly the kind of thinking and actions that the devil is hoping you’ll take.

The devil is interested in presenting humans with a parallel gospel. Just as he will bring about an Antichrist or a parallel Christ. He wants to get our thinking off just enough that we get sidetracked from Jesus’ real message. He wants us to focus in on social causes and hunts for justice. He wants to get us spinning around in a whirlpool so that we loose sight of the cross of Christ.

In fact the devil wants us to lose sight of these scriptures altogether. They are: 

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]”  AMP   

I chose Matthew 11:28 because it reminds me that we aren’t supposed to be overburdened or laboring away at endless toils. There is a time when we need refreshing ourselves. Jesus wants us to know true rest for our souls.

Psalm 7:6 “Arise, O Lord, in Your anger; lift up Yourself against the rage of my enemies; and awake [and stir up] for me the justice and vindication [that] You have commanded.” AMP

I chose Psalm 7:6 because it is really God’s job (if we let Him and ask Him) to get vindication and justice on our enemies. It is His job to change or not change other people’s behavior, attitudes and choices. If we try to take on God’s job and He doesn’t want another person changed they won’t change. If we try to take on God’s job and we actually change another person we must know that the power to remain stable with this new change may not be there and the change may revert back to the old habits, thoughts, patterns and ideas. We can’t be someone else’s Savior or Holy Spirit and when we try we end up doing more harm than good.

Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].” AMP

Matthew 16:24 came to my mind as I thought about the true cost of being Jesus’ disciple. It is a continuous act of denying myself the rights or privileges afforded in this world. The right to hold a grudge or an offense is one. The right to get revenge. The right to love only those who act lovingly towards me. The right to broadcast another person’s offense. These are all rights that I gave up to be Jesus’ Disciple. My cross is one that I have to pick up every day. My burden is big enough for God but too big for me to carry. I must conform to Jesus’ example of living, thinking and being.

Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.” AMP

Jesus didn’t come to add to our burden. Jesus came to give us rest from it. He came so that He could carry our burdens and we could find rest, relief, ease and some quiet in our hearts and minds. I think that we have become a people who are uneasy about resting and finding refreshment for our tired and weary souls until it is too late and we’re in over our heads. That’s the time we say or do the very thing we shouldn’t. We become careless and reckless and step into the middle of another person’s whirlwind without really knowing the whole truth of how they got into the whirlwind in the first place.

Romans 14:17 [After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  AMP

This scripture is one of my favorites. I have prayed this scripture as a prayer for many years. Why? Because I don’t want to be full of angst and restlessness anymore. I don’t want to be riled up and angry anymore. I want peace. I want to be seen by God as being right, clean and whole. I want joy. Every cause that I have taken up takes me out of the kingdom of God and puts me right back on the treadmill of anger, judgment and restlessness.

I grew up in the sixties and seventies. It was a great time of upheaval and unrest. I know what it is to feel discriminated against. I remember how hard women had to fight to get men to even consider the cause of equal rights. I also know that throughout my working years I enjoyed the inroads that they made during those tumultuous years. But, I also know that some of those high profile women (seemed to me) to lose their own soul through their voracity for their cause. They presented a view of women to the world which wasn’t true for me. The “fierce, aggressive, workaholic” wasn’t me. The “I’m as tough as any guy” view wasn’t me either. Some of those women became the very thing in the men that they were fighting. Even then I wondered what good it was to them if they won every victory over men dominating and holding back women but ended up losing sight of dry land; of home base; unable to divine true north; becoming too feminist minded to be of any earthly good, what good is that to them?

When we gain the whole world but lose our own souls then we’ve exchanged our God for our cause. When we do that, we’ve exchanged far too much. Once there, how does anyone go back?

This is Janet Williams from THE MIDDLE OF THE GARDEN. A BLOG TO SEE!




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