Walking By the Spirit

The Blessing at the Library

I just moved to town.

As a Momma to three, one of the first trips into town we made was to the library. We signed up to get our library cards, checked out our books, asked a few questions about this place we now call home and left.

photobooks

The following week, we returned with our books. In the town I used to live in, I would set the books we were returning on the counter next to the book drop when the library staff were busy checking people out. Then we would continue on about our business of finding new books.

Well…

Apparently that’s not how things work around here. When we had gathered our new books and headed back to check them out, the books we had returned had not been deleted from our cards, but they were also not where I had placed them. So, I explained that I had laid them on the counter right by a stack of other books I had assumed were also being returned. The books were found quickly behind the counter.

Then…

I was scolded. Yes, scolded, in an unkind manner I might add. My offense was repeated to the other lady behind the counter with contempt.

I apologized for not knowing the system and repeated her directions to make sure we were on the same page, agreeing to follow the system they have in place. Simultaneously during this conversation, I am also praying inwardly.

Now, you have to know that I am NOT about being a doormat. I don’t think being a Christian equals being a pushover. I don’t think one can read the Scriptures and get this. Even if you set aside all of Scripture except for the four Gospels, I don’t believe you can get this from the life of Jesus. Although Jesus went to the cross willingly (1Jn 3:16), and He did say, turn the other cheek (Mt. 5:39), this isn’t the end of Him…We can’t put Him in a box, because we also see Him in Scripture throwing over tables(Jn 2:15), calling people names(Mt. 23:16), talking about hell and judgement (Mt.23:33)…

I don’t mind taking up for myself or others and confronting ill behavior even if my knees knock a little. I’m a Momma. This is part of my job description. I’m a Christian. This is part of survival. Have you tried being passive in spiritual warfare? Not a good idea. Confrontation is a healthy part of life and loving people. Scripture even gives us directions on appropriate confrontation in Luke 17:3, 1Timothy 5, and Matthew 18.

But… all my words, all my actions have to be filtered through Him. If I am walking by the Spirit, I have to know that what I speak, what I do is His will or else it is meaningless. It is no better to equate Jesus with always being nice as it is to equate Him with always being confrontational.

The Word says: Walk by the Spirit. (Gal. 5:16 and 25)

 Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21

So, here we were at the library with this lady that I could have very easily given a piece of my mind and I would’ve been right. She was clearly in the wrong. I was emotional, though. I had a few things happen on that day that tempted me to be discouraged and this scenario, her words, filled my eyes with tears. They never spilled over, but nonetheless, there they were. I quickly prayed for direction and I immediately knew my mouth should be quiet. I would be speaking out of my whole day into this situation. She would get the brunt of all the collective hurts of the day.

The four of us  (my three kids and I) each stood there politely and checked our books out. My lips are moving as I am quietly blessing her. I am not even noticing their movement.

When we hopped in the car, my middle child, who is constantly observing people and her surroundings, asked, “Momma, why were your lips moving in there?”

“What do you mean, sweety?”

“When we were checking our books out, your lips were moving.”

“Oh! I was blessing the librarian”.

“Oh, why?” she asked.

“I was blessing her because I wanted to curse her,” I answered in a monotone voice.

And do you know what? Laughter erupted in the car. They all three thought that sounded so funny. Honesty is often funny, isn’t it? I think it’s funny because we can relate to each other. Children are so wonderful because they don’t thrive in plastic, fake, controlling, appearance ridden environments. They can see through all of it even if they can’t quite put their fingers on it.

Then, I laughed.

One of my kids belted out, “I know about that! I wanna curse people sometimes too!”

Another one said something funny that she wanted to say to the lady, who had been mean to her momma and it had us all in stitches.

And then I blessed the library lady out loud and prayed for her. Maybe she had felt discouraged like me over the course of the day and maybe she took that discouragement and flung it at the next person in line, who happened to be me and maybe I have behaved like that more times than I care to admit? I thanked Him that I had not walked by my flesh.

Dear Reader, we, who follow Christ, are people of THE BLESSING.

Did you know that in Genesis 1:28 after God creates man and woman, He blesses them?

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

And did you know that The Fall does NOT revoke the blessing? In other words, the blessing on mankind is NOT cancelled, or invalidated by withdrawing or reversing.

God does NOT withdraw His blessing from man at the Fall.

He does NOT curse us, oh there are consequences alright, but go and look at the Fall in Genesis chapter three and you won’t find God revoking His blessing on mankind. He curses the ground and He curses the serpent.

Even when we are under sin, in rebellion, by nature children of wrath, HE DOES NOT CURSE US.

Instead He purchased the security of the BLESSING FOR US with His own blood at Calvary.

The Bible says,”But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

He actually became THE CURSE FOR US.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—Galatians 3:13

Then, defeating death’s stench, He was raised and He BLESSES us with HIS VERY LIFE.

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation– having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13 and 14

And Dear Reader, walking by the Spirit blesses our children and the people around us with the real deal of Jesus- a form of godliness that DOES NOT deny its power. Jesus in us the Hope of Glory!

All that we do as believers is done in and by the blessing, never the curse, because He became the curse for us. This is precisely what we want people to see.

He loves people. Whatever He gives us to say or do, whether it be a strong word or a gentle gesture- it must be done IN THE ATTITUDE OF BLESSING. That is the fragrance of Christ.

Then, we leave the results to Him. We do not follow Him to please people.

George Mueller said as believers we are to die to our:

tastes

opinions

preferences

will

the world- it’s approval and censure

our friends- their approval or blame

Isn’t that worth thinking over? Isn’t that a snapshot into the life of Jesus and the way He modeled life to us?

And now, I’d like to bless you:

May you walk so closely to Him that you hear His voice saying, “This is the way walk in it”. May your life crown Jesus and point others in His direction. I bless your home with Scripture coming to life in front of your family’s eyes because a surrendered, blood bought child of the King of Kings resides among them and lives faith in Christ out before their eyes. And your people? I bless them with blessing you with Jesus in their lives… may all your people know Him and walk with Him accepting His gracious gift of redemption.

Blessings in Jesus Alone,

Diana