Have you ever came into contact with something or someone that made you feel uncomfortable?
Before I entered into a relationship with Jesus, my life was full of a lot of things like drinking, smoking cigarettes, and, well, I had a real mouth on me. It was an exterior that was evidence of a lifetime full of abuse and neglect. This exterior was an automatic response to protect myself and, then, dull the pain.
In those moments, if someone would have told me that I should stop, I don’t know that I would have, because I did not feel like I had the reason to stop. I didnt have the will power to do such a thing.
When God came into my life, what was once a loss of the will to live became a powerful passion to do right for myself. To put into video game terms, I went from a minus 100 will-power to a plus 100 will-power. Everything was changing in such a great in awesome way. It was what I needed. I needed that time of mercy. But as God demonstrated his love for me, he also began to reveal the sources of my pain, the sources I could change. This was not easy but needed to be addressed.
It was a difficult task to stop smoking cigarettes. I had been smoking for 15 years, and it took 2 years to quite. I have been in those moments when I would be walking and begin to smell cigarette smoke. In the earlier days of my recovery, it smelled so good. But then something deep inside caused me to feel uncomfortable.
It would have been so easy to drive two blocks down the road and buy a pack of cigarettes. Would I heed the warning, or would I feel offended that someone was telling me that I shouldn’t do it?
If someone came to my house and set a pack of cigarettes in front of me, would I be offended? I may feel offended, but should I blame my conviction on the person who placed those cigarettes in front of me? Or should I take the matter to the Lord ready to learn what was being presented, something that was for my own good?
As children of God, we must learn to hear the conviction of God over the offense of another, or even the guilt of the devil. If we don’t know the difference, we are likely to blame people as we can be easily caught up in our flesh if we don’t attend to our spiritual well-being.
Today, if someone brought cigarettes into my home, I would ask them to put them in their pocket or in their purse, for the sake of the children. Although though those things make me feel uncomfortable, it is not the fault of our guest that I recieved that feeling. That feeling is a reminder from God of what those cigarettes represented – a lifetime of abuse and neglect covered up by substances to help dull the pain.
I don’t need those substances, because God is my substance. He is my everything. When I listen to those uncomfortable feelings and acknowledge them before God, I am more able to avoid the dangers of this life and live in prosperity.
This is what God wants for us: peace and prosperity. Ask God today what that looks like for you. Ask it with a sincere heart and respond accordingly, and you will never regret the outcome.
Go forth and be blessed my friend.