I Had To Repent Today….

I had to repent today. (Well, I repent everyday but this specific issue I feel led to share.)

I’ve been struggling with something lately and God has been faithful to speak clearly to me in His tender, loving way. In the midst of this situation, I now realize that I had fallen into judgment. It’s been weighing on me and bringing me down on the inside. Here is how my loving God spoke to me:

Yesterday morning in my quiet time He led me to read in Isaiah. I read chapters 40-43. When I was done I felt led to go to the New Testament, but I wasn’t sure where. So I grabbed a chunk of pages toward the back of my Bible and figured I’d get clarity if I just headed over to the New Testament. Well, as God would have it…. the page I immediately turned to was Matthew 12. As I glanced down on the page I saw the words:

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out… Matt 12:20 

I said “HEY! I JUST READ THAT!” You see, this verse is quoting Isaiah 42:3. Now you know when that happens…. God is trying to tell you something!  Unfortunately it was time for me to head out the door and not be late for church, so I didn’t have a chance to research this more fully at the time.

So this morning, this was my first order of business. I began to research various commentaries on this text to get clarity of what God was trying to tell me. Here are some excerpts:

Isa 42:1-4

(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

[Speaking of Jesus, Matthew Henry writes:] The opposition he meets with he shall not strive against, but patiently endure the contradiction of sinners against Himself. His kingdom is spiritual, and therefore His weapons are not carnal, nor His appearance pompous… gently, and without rigor, those that are wicked he will be patient with; when he has begun to crush them, so that they are as bruised reeds, he will give them space to repent and not immediately break them; though they are very offensive, as smoking flax yet he will bear with them, as he did with Jerusalem. Those that are weak he will be tender of; those that have but a little life, a little heat, that are weak as a reed, oppressed with doubts and fears, as a bruised reed, that are as smoking flax, as the wick of a candle newly lighted, which is ready to go out again, he will not despise them, will not plead against them with his great power, nor lay upon them more work or more suffering than they can bear, which would break and quench them, but will graciously consider their frame.  He will not break the bruised reed, but will strengthen it, that it may become a cedar in the courts of our God. He will not quench the smoking flax, but blow it up into a flame. Note, Jesus Christ is very tender toward those that have true grace, though they are but weak in it, and accepts the willingness of the spirit, pardoning and passing by the weakness of the flesh.  [He displays] the courage and constancy with which he should persevere in this undertaking, so as to not fail nor be discouraged. Though he meets with hard service and much opposition, and foresees how ungrateful the world will be, yet he goes on with his part of the work, till he is able to say,” It is finished;” and he enables his apostles and ministers to go on with theirs too, and not to fail nor be discouraged, till they also have finished their testimony. And thus he accomplishes what he undertook.

WOW! God was clearly reminding me to have mercy & compassion and not judgment, and to remind me that this is not a carnal battle but a spiritual one.  In our flesh we tend to “write people off” [snuff out the smoldering wick, break the bruised reed] – we can tend to see people as beyond hope and we push them aside and move on. BUT THIS IS NOT GOD’S HEART! . He will not break the bruised reed, but will strengthen it, that it may become a cedar in the courts of our God. He will not quench the smoking flax, but blow it up into a flame. WOW!

But God wasn’t finished. I then opened my email to find a word from Francis Frangipane. He is issuing a FAST FROM JUDGING.  Here are some excerpts:

Perhaps the most life changing fast is the one I urge intercessors to employ. I ask them to take a month and fast from judging. It is interesting to watch their reactions. “What will we think about?” they query. I am only saying do not let your concluding thought end judging a person, rather, let it end in a prayer for mercy.

The instinct to judge, to criticize, is a curse upon the Church, and it brings death upon us as individuals. A curse? Death? Yes, every time we judge, we are simultaneously judged by God, and each time we condemn another, we ourselves are condemned (Matthew 7).

Many Christians will pray, engage in spiritual warfare and rebuke the devil, yet often the enemy they are fighting is not demonic. It is consequential. Life is being measured back to them according to their attitudes toward others. They are under judgment because they are always judging (see Matthew 7:2).

When I say “fast from judging,” I do not mean we should abandon discernment. No. But judging people is not discernment. Fault-finding is not a gift of the Spirit. When we see something wrong, instead of only turning critical, we must learn to pray for mercy for that situation. We will still see what is wrong, but we are harnessing our anger and seeking to redeem what is wrong by the power of Christ’s love.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7). When we resist the impulse to judge or condemn and, instead, pray for mercy, an amazing thing happens: a door of fresh mercy opens before us. You see, in every moment of every day there are two doors in front of us. One is a door that brings waves of mercy into our lives, while the other door opens to a life full of obstacles and difficulties. How do we enter the mercy door? The key to a life blessed by God’s mercy is to give mercy to those around us (See Matthew 18).

There are Christians I know who have not made spiritual progress for years. They attend church, they tithe, yet they maintain a judgmental attitude. They always have something negative to say about others. As such, they position themselves under God’s judgment. Their capacity to receive divine mercy is closed because they do not show mercy toward others.

James wrote: “Judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). It is a sobering verse: judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy.

Are you pondering why your version of Christianity doesn’t quite feel like the abundant life Jesus promised? (See John 10.) Perhaps it is because you are too judgmental. The good news, however, is this: mercy triumphs over judgment. If you know you are a sinner and that there are areas wrong in your life, yet you strive to be merciful, God promises He will respond to you as you have responded to others. The areas in your heart that need mercy will find healing in the life God grants to the merciful.

Beloved, ponder the next season of change in your life, perhaps it is time to embrace the mercy fast. Yes, for thirty days, see what changes occur when you fast from judging.

Francis Frangipane
Ministries of Francis Frangipane  (you can read the whole word here: http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word/8898)

WOW! I am thankful that being in a state of judgment is not a daily struggle for me, as it is for some. But we’d all be liars to say we never fall into its trap.

I am thankful today for God’s faithfulness to reveal to me that IN SPITE OF MY BEST EFFORTS NOT TO, I had fallen into judgment on a particular situation, rather than allowing the situation to drive me to wage spiritual warfare to STRENGTHEN THE BRUISED REED and BLOW ON THE FLAME OF THE SMOLDERING WICK.

Forgive me Lord for my self-righteous attitude that wanted to snuff out the smoldering wick. I recognize that given these circumstances I may have a legitimate argument and have a legitimate right to snuff out the wick, but I also recognize that when I made you Lord of my life I gave up those rights. I gave my rights to you and therefore I put this situation in Your hands…. Your loving, gentle hands of restoration that will not break the bruised reed or snuff out the smoldering wick.

THANK YOU LORD for being merciful with me… for not breaking this bruised reed or snuffing out my smoldering wick in the midst of my sinful heart attitude.


About Mary L'Esperance Held

One Response to I Had To Repent Today….

  1. gloria says:

    Thank you for an on time word. God had spoke to me about someone who had wronged me and I wrote them off. God had said to let them know they were forgiven. I had resisted, this is my confirming word.

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