My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times….Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. (Psalm 119:20, 24. ESV.)
Boy am I thankful for an all knowing God who not only knows the exact number of hairs on my head but who also knows my heart, the desires of my heart, and things I need to work on in my life. As a work in progress, it blesses my heart when God answers, teaches, and/or intervenes…sculpting me more and more like Him. It’s even nicer when this molding happens without the pain that comes with pruning and refining but rather is a gentle forming. Lately, I have been beseeching my King for wisdom and for Him to search me and make known to me areas in which I need improvement.
Two answers came to these sincere prayers. One was in the form of a book which was given to me by a dear sister in Christ. Though she was not aware of my heartfelt pleading to my King, it was placed on her heart to share this book (which she had read) with me. It has truly been a blessing! The book is BOUNDARIES: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life by (believers) Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Within its pages the written words pierce my heart and give biblical answers.
The second response to my prayers came in the form of a person…a very biblical, knowledgeable, sister in Christ…my aunt. As God would have it, my aunt and uncle were on vacation in the Carolinas when their hometown was hit by terrible weather and they got snowed out. Even though the steep road which leads to their home was plowed, the ground is too cold for the salt to make a difference and the precipitous street cannot be used. We received a call after 10:00 p.m. Saturday night asking if they could come here for a bit, until they would be able to return to their house. They arrived Sunday evening and fellowship with them has truly been an unexpected, indescribable blessing to my soul!
My aunt, so filled with understanding of God's word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit has been counseling me on the 10 year tribulation I have been seeking the Lord though. As a lady whose heart beats with love for our Heavenly Father and speaks as the Holy Spirit leads her heart, her wisdom and advice has been (and continues to be) immeasurable!
The combination of the two blessings from my King has once again paved the way before me.
There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way; whoever hates reproof will die. (Proverbs 15:10. ESV.) Cloud and Townsend remind me, "To rescue people from the natural consequences of their behavior is to render them powerless." (BOUNDARIES, Cloud and Townsend, p. 51.)
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:17-18. ESV.)
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you." (1 Corinthians 5:11-13. ESV.)
…for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. (John 12:43. ESV.)
Cloud and Townsend also remind me, "Separating ourselves protects love, because we are taking a stand against things that destroy love." (BOUNDARIES, Cloud and Townsend, p.54.)
I have been fighting the good fight for 10 years! Not one year, not five years, but 10 years…and that is a long time. I will continue to do my part and seek the will of the Lord and wisdom…only from a safe distance.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. (Proverbs 22:3, 27:12. ESV.)
One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless. (Proverbs 14:16. ESV.)