| Needed: Godly Counsel|
Yeah, me again. Sorry.
I want more of God; His face and presence. I want to walk in the FULLNESS of what He's intended for my life to be. And I want that because I know it will bring Him glory and make Him proud of me. To hear "Well done good and faithful servant," is one of my goals. I want to grow in love for Him and others and to decrease myself into nothingness for His name's sake.
I "don't care" about money, material things, or even if I'm in good health or not. Naturally, I don't WANT to be in bad health and I don't WANT to be penniless. But those things are irrelevant to me in serving the Lord because I KNOW Him as my Provider. If I don't have those things, I don't worry about them. I'm confident to pray for my needs and trusting Him on a daily basis. I've lived this way for many years, never once disappointed.
Materially, I couldn't care less about gaining/owning anything that I don't already have. (And I wouldn't care if I lost what little I do have - a bed, desk, chair, computer, clothes, a few books, toiletries and kitchen things. It's just temporary stuff.) I live so simply people ask if I'm Amish. If it weren't for SermonIndex and YouTube for sermons, I wouldn't even have a computer! I never cared about owning a home, buying gadgets, or anything else. Although, admittedly, I wouldn't mind having a car and taking real vacation. I haven't had either one for 16 years. I actually feel guilty for even WANTING those things because they're not absolute necessities.
Then I read all the promises in the scriptures. I CLING to the promises of spiritual blessings and growth! THOSE I pant after and will never stop seeking! I have trouble with the physical blessings, though. I always want my motives to be right and not seek after God for material things, but the Bible shows that God delights in blessing His children materially sometimes, too.
If I stopped here, I could answer my own question and say that this stems from a lifetime of being told I'm worthless, unwanted and having to prove that I was worth anything whether it was attention, kindness, blessings, a job, friends, etc., (This is something I seek God for healing in, but, again, if He doesn't, it's not a necessity. I'll still serve Him with all that I am and have!)
Here's my problem and where I need advice:
I know God knows my motives better than I do. I always want my motives to be pure. But, every time I'm about to do something "good" or "right," I STRUGGLE DEEPLY with thoughts popping into my head that are contrary to what I described above. It's like the enemy is taking advantage of my past pain of worthlessness and says things like, "You're just doing that to get a reward from God."
To be completely honest, it breaks my heart and torments me! Thinking about it now brings me to tears. I don't EVER EVER want to be reward-minded. I even struggle with eternal rewards. I know the scriptures says we should go after them, but I struggle with the whole concept of being rewarded in ANY way. Not just by God, but by ANYONE. If I take an elderly resident's garbage down to the trash bin for them, they try to give me a couple of dollars. It breaks my heart because it's NOT why I'm doing it. I explain that I know they appreciate my help but I really don't want money for doing it. 99% of the time I do win, but I hate that it even gets brought up so often!
You shouldn't have to be rewarded for doing the right thing. The fact that it glorifies God is the only reward I'm interested in. But these thoughts TORMENT me on a daily basis! So far I'm not getting any answers from God about it so I wanted to ask folks here.
Am I crazy? Am I being ridiculous? What on earth is my problem?
| 2016/5/22 22:27||Profile|
| Re: Needed: Godly Counsel|
Brother, the Lord wants you to be whole and to be set free from the strongholds of rejection otherwise you will not be effective for the Lord in ministering to others. Let me explain. We are created in the image of God and our basic needs are met through love and communication. When rejection enters a person they are denied love, security, acceptance, identity and recognition. They are no longer capable of loving or receiving love. The result is crippling and destructive to one's total person. Please note there are degrees of rejection whose effect is proportionate.
Rejection is a deep bruise that destroys one's total person.
Parents who cannot communicate love also suffer from rejection. Alcoholic parents (no communication of love), they substitute giving of things for love. Some are preoccupied (busy schedules create problems) and lapse into passivity in their parental role. Others are critical (requiring perfection). Some parents set goals for children requiring compensation (meeting those goals to be accepted). Many parents do not realize they are disciplining through rejection.
An unloved child by a father will have difficulty building a stable relationship to God as Father. (You build the spiritual on the natural). A child who grows up under rejection will accept rejection rather than love from God. The parent image is the model upon which the child builds his relationship to God.
Peer relationships can bring rejection. Cruel remarks, Cliques and exclusion, lack of achievment, etc. One who is not whole in God will allow these things to move them from their sure foundation. They will be tossed to a fro in their emotions, like the waves of the sea. They will be incapable of having stable, loving relationships.
Let's look at Jesus, the most rejected man that ever lived.
"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not." (Isa 53:1-3)
I would not concern myself right now with ministry or doing great things for God. The Lord wants you to work with Him to drive out the enemies "in the land". His word to you right now is to "Possess the land, within".
What are the results of rejection?
1) Emotional immaturity. Love, acceptance and approval are essential for emotional maturity.
2) Love vacuum. No person can fill this vacuum and the person who is not healed of rejection who enters into a close relationship with another, runs the risk of smothering that person (drawing life from them). No person can satisfy all of our longings. The rejected person will worship the other and make them the center of their life. Manipulation is a major activity in a person who is suffering from rejection. Eventually, because the other person cannot satisfy all of the rejected person's needs they are either hated or enslaved (manipulated).
So a person who has a history of broken relationships has fallen into the tragedy of a love vacuum. I don't know if this applies to you, as I am just laying out for you some key problems created by rejection.
Also, goals and things cannot fill the vacuum. Men have a tendency to try to fill the vacuum with ministry (proving themselves to God). Possessions indicate success, career gives acceptance, intellectualism gives recognition. Extreme dedication to any of these could indicate vast emptiness, inside.
Another aspect of rejection is that the person is totally self-centered which can manifest in self-gratification, sex, lust, perversion. Or the can manifest a "savior image" and become very religious. This type of person can be dangerous in leadership because he has too great of a need to be needed. They will dominate all relationships in their midst. Don't try to fill this vacuum by assuming leadership. Be a servant of God and not man. You don't need to measure up to man. You don't get your acceptance from man but God above. Don't be a man-pleaser.
Loneliness and fear. The person not delivered from the stronghold of rejection will build walls to protect themself from hurts. Inwardly - full of insecurity, loneliness, fears, self-pity and vanity. Outwardly - either withdrawn or competitive. Those who are rejected and don't withdraw are highly competitive. They are dominated by fear of rejection.
You won't be able to mature spiritually until you come into the justification God has for you.
Shyness and humility are not the same. Don't be afraid to fail.
Self-rejection - manifestation of the loss of self-value. One accepts the rejection of others as indicative of his worthlessness. This builds a negative self-image, always comparing oneself with others...a mistake. II Cor 10:12.
Criticism has two attitudes - critical of one's self and critical of others. This person is suffering from self-hatred and loss of identity. Rejection destroys a person's identity. Teenagers seek identity with their peer groups. Adults seek identity in a profession, church, club, etc.
Man was made in the image of God and only in Him can he find his identity. God is the only ONE that can give us a new self image.
One cannot enter into fellowship with God as long as there is rejection. Tends to relate to God upon the basis of works. A substitute for the love of God or others cannot be busyness (activity).
And most importantly, REJECTION undercuts FAITH.
A sure sign of rejection is being unable to love or receive love.
If any of this speaks to you, and if you like, I can give you steps out of rejection. Through Jesus, we can possess the land, within and come into His rest (the promised land).
"Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it...fear not, neither be discouraged. " Deut 1:21
| 2016/5/23 0:21|
| Re: Needed: Godly Counsel|
Others will have a more helpful insights but I'd like to say two things:
First, I'm positive that the Lord is already proud of you, for he looks at the heart and I can tell that your heart is in the right place. Only those who truly love Him desire His glory over their own comfort.
Secondly, from my own experience with a similarly perplexing problem in my walk with Christ, I'm confident that if you keep bringing before him what troubles you, He will answer you in His timing. After a few years of asking Him about it, He took me right down to the root of my problem one morning while I was driving down the street. It was one of my most memorable encounters with the Lord and changed me profoundly. He is faithful and He cares deeply. I just want you to be confident that He sees your struggles and that an answer to your prayers is coming. Bless you. brother.
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
| 2016/5/23 1:20||Profile|
| Re: |
The Lord loves our brother and with all of us, no matter what the "enemy" in the land is, the Lord wants us to have understanding so that we can get to the root. We have a part to play just like the children of Israel. They had to act in faith to drive out their enemy, looking to God for victory. It is the same thing for us today in our spiritual battles. We act in faith towards God to drive out the enemies in the land.
We have to "lay the axe to the root" of those things in our life that do not bring forth good fruit. God will give us understanding and then we must "lay the axe".
Luke 3:9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
His love and acceptance (accepted in the Beloved) will strengthen us for battle.
| 2016/5/23 1:29|
| Re: |
Thanks for responding, Julius. I appreciate you taking the time out to lovingly be so thorough and thoughtful.
Given that there are varying degrees and types of rejection, some of what you said hits home and some doesn't.
With the hope of not going into another long post, I can say with 100% assurance that I know God is working on this issue in me in His own time and I'm very patient. I absolutely trust Him, His ways, and His timing!
Thankfully, giving and receiving love isn't an issue for me. I've never been told, "I love you," but I wouldn't shrink back at the hearing of it! As for giving love to others, if there's a spiritual gift of loving others, I have it. It's genuine, without the clinical symptoms/diagnosis of being needy, clingy, looking for approval, etc., I never did the needy and clingy thing and I gave up looking for approval from others about three years ago.
Even as a kid, growing up with abusive parents, God shielded me from the kinds of scars that people generally need years of counseling for. I knew God was real without anyone ever telling me. (I just didn't know about salvation until I was 17!) Whenever my parents were mean, I knew it wasn't my fault because I was a "good boy." Many times I remember thinking, "I hope they get better soon." (They didn't grow up in loving homes themselves, so they didn't know how to love.)
In all honesty, for all I went through in the area of rejection, I really am very, very blessed and fortunate for coming through it like I did. In this regard, I am TRULY the MOST blessed person I know. God has spared me from more than I even know! I could give testimonies that would blow your socks off!
The scars that I DO still carry, mostly come from churches and ministries that abused their authority. These places affected how I viewed God, to the point that I believed He couldn't possibly love me anymore. I was a constant volunteer wherever I was needed. I was known for it. Cooking, cleaning, parking lots, nursery, set up and tear down for conferences, etc., Unfortunately, they were Word of Faith churches. (Brutal egos and power trips!) All of my volunteering ended up getting me involved with the likes of Joyce Meyer and Benny Hinn. Behind the scenes of those ministries is... scary. It took me a VERY long time to trust God again. And it's taking even longer to heal. Even so, I consider myself a walking miracle when I consider all of the other garbage I could have been saddled with in this area!
So, the rejection damage that remains has been, and is being, dealt with by God. My post is more to do with my struggle with the rewards and blessings God promises. I examine my motives in everything I do. I tremble at the thought of having wrong motives! That's what the enemy has latched onto and whispers in my ear several times a day. I'm not interested in "payment" or rewards, but I know I don't have right thinking in this area, thus the torment of the thoughts that run through my mind.
(Quote Feature doesn't work for me.)
JULIUS SAID: "I would not concern myself right now with ministry or doing great things for God. The Lord wants you to work with Him to drive out the enemies "in the land". His word to you right now is to "Possess the land, within".
"Ministry" and "doing great things for God" are the absolute last things on my mind, actually! I don't look to be great in the eyes of this world (even Christendom). I only want to finish my race and complete the work that God has chosen for me to do. If that means moving to :::insert any town/state/country here::: and scraping road kill off the streets, then those are going to be the cleanest streets you've ever seen! Position, acceptance and being esteemed mean nothing to me. I can honestly say that. In fact, I want nothing to do with them. I would MUCH prefer remaining unknown and unseen while obeying what He tells me to do.
So, right now, my goal is just spending as much time in prayer, worship, the Word, and just plain old abiding and waiting on Him. When He says go, I'll go. Until then, I'm seeking His face.
Where the thoughts about "only doing this for the reward" come in, it's for doing things like setting aside time to worship, reading the Word, examining my life, being conscious to display works worthy of repentance and displaying the fruit of the Spirit. Like I said, the enemy knows how careful I am of my motives and wanting them to be right!
But, again, I do tend to overthink and over-analyze things since I'm prone to perfectionistic tendencies. And because the area of motives, and wanting to genuinely bring God glory, are things I'm continually attentive to, I don't trust that I'm NOT possibly over-analyzing these things. I think I just need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give me a battle plan to handle these thoughts as they come. They're exhausting!
| 2016/5/23 1:37||Profile|
| Re: |
Thank you, SolaVeritas, very much!
Your reply makes me think that I AM overthinking all of this. I've been told my entire adult life that I "think too much."
A scripture that came to mind as I read your post was Philippians 4:6, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;"
I am anxious. We're told to be anxious for NOTHING, even if it seems like it's a good thing to be anxious about, like guarding my motives.
It's "funny." I have all the patience in the world for other people. I can wait three hours for you to tie your shoes only to figure out your not wearing any. But, when it comes to myself, I become impatient and think I should be able to fix things once I know what the problem is.
I guess God is showing me that there are still things I need to learn to let go of. After all, I HAVE been praying for His help with COMPLETE surrender.
Thank you again, SolaVeritas. I got a lot of comfort from your post.
| 2016/5/23 1:46||Profile|
| Re: |
I have to admit, as dumb as it sounds, the concept of being loved is so foreign to me that I can't conceive of it. Whenever I see family members laughing, having a good time, being friends with each other, etc., I've been told I have a lost puppy dog look on my face like I'm trying to figure out what I'm looking at!
I try to look at it this way: The first time I'm likely to HEAR the words "I love you" spoken to me will be from Jesus Himself! When I think like that, it makes everything so much more bearable!
And, when it comes to laying the axe to the root -- THAT'S what I'm all about! Forget the symptoms, let me at the disease itself and I will ruthlessly fight against it!
| 2016/5/23 1:51||Profile|
| Re: Needed: Godly Counsel|
I love this forum. Not knowing any Christians in the 3D world, it's GLORIOUS to have SermonIndex to come to to bounce things off of other believers. I tend to be the kind of person that, once I talk something out, I'm good... It really helps clarify my right thinking from my stinking thinking. A bit like separating the sheep from the goats!
I need to surrender this area of my life to God and trust that He understands. Sounds silly to others, I'm sure: "Of course God understands!" But, when you haven't had much understanding in your life... Then I need to pray and dive into the Word for a battle plan for when these thoughts arise. I've given them too much time and place already.
Hey! Look at me! I'm growing! Woot!
| 2016/5/23 1:58||Profile|
| Re: |
I don't think that your sensitivity to sin is over thinking. You might over think in other areas, but in this one, the opposite is the danger.
For what it's worth, my view is that the Lord is preparing you for a deeper work. For a lot of Christians, avoiding deliberate sin is as far as they think is possible and that we are covered for unintentional sin.
I have found this not to be the case, and the Lord desires us to be free of that too.
How is that possible some would say?
Well we are told to be holy as He is holy, that our thoughts come from our hearts and a pure heart will not produce evil thoughts. If the Lord gives instructions, then it is possible.
To be where you desire, is a place where you will definitely hear the Lord say, well done thou good and faithful servant and it is the most wonderful thing in the world to hear!
So l would encourage you to go on to perfection and learn to surrender all.
| 2016/5/23 3:31|
| Re: |
By the way, l also experienced not understanding how people were so at ease socially and knew the right thing to say but found out much later it was not just though abuse but also because of being on the autistic spectrum.
Huge anxiety issues there which the Lord takes away when we are in full union.
| 2016/5/23 3:36|