Friday, May 7, 2010

Choose Life

Oh, how I wish I had been on that hill so many years ago, when Jesus shared his wisdom and spoke what we now call, "The Beattitudes." As I read Matthew 5 today, I tried to picture myself on that grassy knoll, shading my eyes from the sun, shifting positions to see my Lord more clearly. I tried to listen for his voice--booming across the plain so powerfully that everyone present could hear. I tried to soak in the words He spoke to me--and to all the others--because I wanted to understand what it meant to live by a higher law--to think on a higher plane. I wanted to understand how I, too, could be like Jesus. As I tried to do all these things, His words became real, and this is what He said to me:
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."
"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Tori, you must be a peacemaker when you feel like being a troublemaker even if you are the one who has been wronged. I will bless you when you choose to make peace and not war. I will open your eyes to more of me. People will say things about you that are not true, but I know the truth about you. People will do mean things to you and say mean things about you--and these will hurt your heart. But keep doing the right thing and saying peaceful words--even when you feel like hurting back--and I will bless you for this. Please don't get bitter. Bitterness eats your soul. You need to rejoice in these difficult times, Tori--in the times where you feel like you can't control your hate. I will control these feelings for you if you let me, but you have to give up control. You CANNOT sting when you have been stung. I forbid it and I want you to obey. Keep thinking of me and everything I went through for you. I am God and I have spoken.

And gently, but clearly, my Lord also spoke these words:

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. ...if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? ...And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

My precious daughter, I want you to listen even more carefully now. What am I saying is contrary to your nature. It will be very difficult for you. That's why you have Me. You can't do it by yourself--you are too swayed by your love of yourself and your emotions. You are too swayed by what you perceive as "justice." But I am the one who avenges, remember? Here is what you need to know (take notes because I know that once you leave this chair, the clearness of my words will become fuzzy in your mind): When I said "Love your enemies", I meant it. It's not just a suggestion or a really good idea, it is my COMMAND. I want you to look like my child, and if you only love when it comes naturally, Tori, you are not giving a clear reflection of my character. I love ALL THE TIME. Even when you are unlovable--even when you reject me. If you only extend my grace to those who treat you well, are you any different than the rest of society? I want you to be set apart, Tori. I want your ways to shine above the ways of the world. I want you to walk the high road and never bow to un-Godlike emotions or words. And when I said, "Do everything in love", I meant EVERYTHING.

Tori, I say "Be perfect" because my Spirit resides in you. This is not an impossibility. This is a matter of faith--faith in a perfect God. And faith in the promises I give. If I say you "can do all things through Christ", then you can. You can even be a peacemaker and a lover when you feel like being a rabble-rouser and a fighter. If I say that "all things work together for good for those who love God", then they do. Your situation may look bad to you and you may think that you have to take control, but I am still there, working it all out and making you better in the process--IF you will yield.

Are you still listening, my child? I am still speaking. It's all about choices. You can choose God's ways which give life, or man's ways which lead to death. I say choose Life. I love you.

" And this is my prayer; that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God."
Philippians 1:9-11

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