IDOK Devotion for Friday, March 19, 2010
Pour Out – Pour In
It’s after 9 PM Thursday. I’ve been reading for inspiration and quiet frankly I’m tired, so brevity would not hurt my feelings a bit. At our last meeting here at this screen we were commanded to guard our hearts and we were told un-forgiveness was a quick way to let our guard down. What I am about to write is not my idea. I opened the book and there it was and here it is from Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore; page 200 (in part):
“For just a moment, envision your heart like a pitcher. When we’ve been hurt by another person, that habit we still retain from our old nature is to feed the heart-injury with incessant meditation. The water in the pitcher soon becomes cloudy, even contaminated. Praying about the person we need to forgive is the means by which we tip that pitcher heavenward and slowly begin to pour our negative feelings and frustrations out to God. As we pour out, a wonderful thing happens: we make room for God to pour in. Our omniscient God knows that a heart heals when a heart changes. Until we make room for fresh contents that change our hearts, we will never be healed from the injury and subsequent feelings of unforgiveness.
After we’ve practiced pouring our hearts out to God through praying about the person, it’s time to additionally begin praying for the person. I already know what you may be thinking because I used to feel the same way. “Why should I pray for a person who has hurt me so badly?” God’s ways are not our ways. He created our psyches, and He alone knows how they operate. He created our hearts so uniquely, so in His image, that they are forced to forgive in order to be free. God greatly honors our willingness to bless others when our human reaction would be to curse them. First Peter 3:9 says it all: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called, so that you may inherit a blessing.” Don’t miss the phrase “to this you were called.” I’ve heard many people say, “God could never expect me to forgive or pray for blessing for that person after all she/he had done.” Oh, yes, He could. In fact, to this we were called! The invitation to bless when the rest of the world would curse is one of the very characteristics that sets us apart and causes people to take note of our faith. What have we gained if we do it our way?”
I’m hearing You, ABBA, and I am grateful that You love me so much to keep after me. I don’t want You to stop and I know You won’t. I want You to pour in so by Your grace I will pour out. And I pray for other IDOKs or Readers that You are speaking to in this regard will also pour out, so You can pour in. Let it be so, LORD. Let it be so! You know too there are other needs and situations, we can only trust You with it. We bring them all, with no intention of leaving out a soul, we want them all to receive Your richest blessings. We pray too for our IDOK Troops, for their safety and protection; for their families to be at peace and well cared for. Please give our IDOKs rest and peace, refresh us and prepare us for service in Jesus’ Name. Amen and amen.