The Jail - Encouragement Café - December 4

The Jail
 By Maria Drayton

I want to know Christ – yes, the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so somehow, attaining the resurrection from the dead.  Not that I have already obtained this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Philippians 3:10-12 NIV

I grew up thinking that it was best to stay silent and keep out of the way.  “Children should be seen and not heard” was often the motto.  So that’s how I grew up and I retreated to a space deep within me never wanting to stick up for myself and always letting people walk over me. 

Fast-forward to my adulthood when the pendulum swung too far to the other side and I finally got fed up.  Fed up with being walked on, talked to crazy and always feeling as if I had no voice.  So it began…arguing my point, taking a stand against injustice, fighting back and holding grudges. 

One day, I got so exasperated with life I began to cry to the Lord and that’s when He showed it to me, my heart.  It had become hardened with unforgiveness and anger for people.  I needed balance.  I had to learn there was a time to speak and a time not to speak.  A time to stand and a time to pray.

Scripture tells us, “Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice,” Proverbs 13:10 NIV.  “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”  Proverbs 20:3 NIV.  

So I take this literally, and if possible, I try to avoid arguments.“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”  Romans 14:19 NIV

Now, I pray and ask God to fight my battles for me, but through prayer, if the Holy Spirit leads me to say something, I do. 

I remind myself of the “jail of my heart” that the Holy Spirit revealed to me years ago.  “For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” Hebrews 10: 30 NIV

Let us remember that we are the only God that some people will see.  They will know us by our fruit.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NIV.It’s not only important but essential to walk in the peace of God if we are to:

  1. Be a good representative of God’s Kingdom
  2. Be a good servant of the Lord
  3. Run the race that He has set before us

Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your peace.  The peace that surpasses all understanding.  Help me keep watch over the gate of my mouth and walk humbly before Your throne, not always seeking to defend myself or my position.  It is You alone that vindicates me.  I want to be a good representative of You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2018 by Maria Drayton.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Monday, 04 December 2023.