To be completely open and honest, this verse has challenged me to go a bit deeper today on this blog. Usually, I pray and God starts to speak to me about what everyone needs to hear. Usually, I pray and the blog starts to basically write itself… This time around I had to sit and be still for a bit. REALLY dig deep into why God put this in the scriptures for us to read.
Often times, we can skim over things in the bible and act like it’s easy to apply or understand. We read verses like this and think, “Got it! Don’t go to bed angry.” I will confess that has been me many times before with this portion of scripture. Up until today I never really sat down to meditate on it and ask God why.
You see, the word tells us to meditate on His words day and night. (Joshua 1:8, Psalms 1:2) I don’t know about you all, but there have been times I have gone to bed STEWING on some “offense” or something that was done to me. A majority of the time I am not thinking about the things of God in those moments. I’m so wrapped up in the “offense” that I cannot focus on the things of God.
In our lives, there is a constant battle between our spirits and our flesh. If you aren’t fully aware of that in your walk with God yet think about basically your urge to do good and Godly things, versus your urges to do things that are bad and not Godly. Last night, Pastor Chris Davis spoke to me about an old native America proverb that spoke of two wolves. We have the choice to feed whichever “wolf” we want to feed. Was that be our spirit “wolf” or our fleshly “wolf”. At the end of the day, whichever one we feed will be the stronger more dominant one.
I’m sure it is obvious that if we spend all night feeding the fleshly wolf that it will be a tough time to re-focus ourselves on the things of God. We must fight the urge to focus on the offense and focus on God. Focus on the grace we have all been given even though we CONSTANTLY offend God. Time and time again we offend God, but yet He is so gracious and king with us.
We all need to do our best to spend some time in prayer each night before we go to bed. Lay everything at His feet, focus on Him before we lay down and try to sleep. There is nothing worse than spending a night “offended” and angry. A majority of the time it ends up making things MUCH worse and making a simple disagreement, offense, whatever into something that DEEPLY offends. Grudges get formed. Bitterness takes root, etc… Let it go. Each day, each moment, each evening.
Focus on the things of God, pray for them, pray for those that “offended” you (Matthew 5:44). There was an “offense” against me that I took WAY too personal. Over lunch with one of my amazing friends Daniel he gave me some of the greatest advice I could have ever received in that moment. He told me to pray for those that offended me, BUT it was the way he told me I should pray. Often times, when I would pray for those that “offended” me I would pray in a way that ultimately made my life better. For example, “God please help them with there selfishness and bitterness. It is making my life SO much more difficult.” You see that? I centered. Whereas Daniel said I need to pray with true compassion for whatever is holding THEM back from a better relationship with God. For example, “God please help them with there selfishness and bitterness. I know that you have amazing plans for there lives and I know that if you could just touch their hearts, they would truly experience all that you are.” Now, mind you that’s not exactly what Daniel said, BUT the point is that we should pray for everyone in that manner. When we start to pray for others with true compassion, God starts to do a miraculous work in our hearts.
Take that time today. Look through your “offense” book and start praying for those. The devil may have a foothold in your heart and you not even know it…