So what if I have a child or spouse, or boss or government official or friend who is acting out and not behaving themselves properly or living up to their God-given potential? What do I do? Or maybe I am in a situation which I consider terrible. How am I to respond?
Responding in the flesh
My temptation is to judge, put down and call people out for their misbehavior. Currently the political and religious scene in America is full of accusation and name calling. The church I got saved in considered every other denomination as unsaved, along with the Mormons and Catholics.
So name calling is prevalent in the church, the entity called by God to be the light of the world, and this name called has now extended into the political arena. It absolutely defiles one's spirit to listen to any political or religious debate as they are no longer a sharing of ideas but an attack against one's "opponent." The result is destroyed relationships, disgust and discouragement.
Moving from people to situations: If I view a situation as terrible I am likely to get depressed and say" evil is so powerful and there is nothing I can do to stop it. I even have a verse saying evil is supposed to get worse and worse until the coming of the Lord." Rather than seeing God’s kingdom advancing (Isa 9:7), I see darkness advancing.
I am cautioned ...
- From the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way (Ja.3:10).
- Not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing (1 Pet. 3:9).
Responding in the Spirit
Well how about a better approach. How about I simply ask Jesus how He sees the person or the situation, tune to flow and speak or pray the blessing I sense from the Lord for the person or situation. That would sure take away my discouragement and grumpiness, and it would release people and events to the working of the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to come and perform His miracle.
Another step of course is to honor the person I am with and engage them in a conversation. I did that with a Mormon I was sitting next to on a plane and found out he did not believe any of the "awful" things I was taught that he believed. He believed Jesus was the son of God (not a son of God), and salvation was through acceptance of His blood alone to wash away ones sin. Well, that sure makes him my brother in faith, unless I choose to inform thim that he is lying because I have read a book about what he believes, and it is NOT what he is telling me he believes. Just to let you know, I have stopped reading accusative books, and chosen to honor all people (2 Pet. 2;17).
Facts are what appear in the natural, but Truth is the way things appear through the eyes of God.
We recall Peter and Silos worshipping God after being thrown unjustly in prison, and the result was God moved in a mighty earthquake freeing them and they were then able to convert the prison guard (Acts 16:25-30). How's that for turning the tables on wickedness.
As steven was being stoned he released a blessing, rather than a curse. "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" (Acts 7:58-60). The result was that Paul was later moved upon by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the work God had ordained for him and he became the apostle to the gentiles.
I remember when tension arose between my dad and I. I had embraced the baptism in the Holy Spirit and he hadn't. The Lord spoke to me to love and honor my dad just as he was and not try to change him. I said yes to the Lord and I received a letter in the mail three days later from dad saying God had convicted him not to charge interest on the home loan he had given me years earlier. Dad was forgiving all interest paid and applying it toward the outstanding principle. Amazing that the Spirit could work that quickly and effectively over 1500 miles, just because I choose love, honor and release, rather than judge, condemn and pressure.
My confidence is that God works all things out...
I can in everything give thanks as the Bible is clear that God works all things together for good to those called by Him (Rom. 8:28). So I can speak faith, hope, love and life because I have an inner confidence God is in control, and looking out for me and converting every situation, which I place in His hands, to good. Eevery time I praise and thank Him for being God over a person or situation I am placing that person or situation into God's hands.