The Lord has come to His Bride to raise her gifts from the dead and encourage her in failures. May His hope and enthusiasm for each of you be with you, Heartdwellers.
When I came into worship, I was in the absolute pits of disgust with myself. I came repentant and deeply feeling my carelessness with the graces invested to me by the Lord. All I could do was repent. He tried to cheer me up with one of the songs that I love the most: "Dance with Me, I Want to be Your Partner." It's a beautiful song from the 80's, I think. Anyway. And a few other upbeat songs, but I was totally flatline. Poor Jesus!
Jesus began, "I could have danced all night with you, but you just weren't getting it!"
Lord, I don't know when I've felt this badly about myself, but I know there have been times.
"How can you say you are the worst sinner unless I allow you to see your sins?"
Case in point. Thank You, Lord...
"No, seriously. You ask for more humility, what do you suppose follows?"
"Exactly. I want you to have more humility, I really do. I just hate to see you suffering so much over your faults, and you have so many. Even now, I am showing you mercy."
I wish I could say that makes me feel better.
"Well, suffice it to say, it's not as bad as it looks. You do have a real enemy who wishes to crush you in 'court.' But remember: My sentence is always Mercy and restoration. Where his is misery and desolation."
"I know how you feel when you see other artists who have found their niche and you still feel awkward in yours. I know how painful that is. But I want you to remember: your niche is multifaceted. You have many different expressions in ministry. Right now, your writing and teaching gift is flourishing. That in and of itself should bring you great satisfaction and joy."
Oh, sweet Jesus, truly it does. I don't mean to be ungrateful. I just have remorse for wasted time and making something simple so complicated.
He replied, "Yes, you do have a knack for that, I will admit it. You also have assignments against you that cause you to think that way, not even to mention the way you were raised. But with My Grace you are overcoming all these obstacles. And there are many Heartdwellers here on this channel that have the very same issues. You are not alone, Clare. But when you ask for more humility, well... that's a prayer I am always happy to answer."
Thank You, Lord...every once in a while I get a glimpse of just how pitiful I am, and I know that's healthy. I mean, it feels good to see this about myself, but it is a little scary, too. Kind of like I grew up feeling so hopeless and dark about myself.
"Yes, but now you have Me, and together we will overcome these obstacles. The good thing is that you are seeing what you are without My Grace and that will cause you to distrust yourself and trust Me more. In My strength we can make it up that mountain at last. Why don't you share what you've been going through, Clare?"
If You really want me to.
"I really do."
Okay... oh, humble pie...
Well, this portrait of Jesus is an absolute challenge, especially because I am short on talent and ability and long on wanting it to be perfect. But I am learning again...to trust the Lord and His instincts when He puts an anointing on something. He touched the portrait three nights ago and something happened, what was beginning to appear was anointed.
But I reasoned to myself, 'Well, I should change the height of the eyebrows, or the width of His forehead.' So I did, and I 'lost' what He had done. I could have kicked myself. Now I've spent two nights trying to get it back and it's still not there. Pray for me!!! Please.
Then I felt the anointing on an album by Julie True when I looked at albums to play while I was working on the portrait. I felt like Holy Spirit got very excited when I pointed out her name. So, I've been listening to her music and now I'm feeling jealous that my music gift is under-developed. My own fault. I really LOVE her simplicity, sincerity, and gift with the piano and arranging.
So, with the failure of the portrait and seeing what another soul did with the investment of graces God gave her, it made me feel very ashamed with myself.
On top of that, I can't think of any sin that makes me feel more like a dog than jealousy. I see it as a terrible sin, and most of all the fault of laziness in not cultivating the gift given me by God when others have. I believe that when a person finally finds their niche, it's because they've worked extremely hard, weathered tremendous storms and are blessed by God.
So, looking at myself, I KNOW I have not worked hard enough in music and conviction runs deep. Now, my beloved friends, please - it's ok, you don't have to comfort me, or make me feel better. I know you can relate and sympathize, that's certainly enough. But for the sake of the Kingdom, if you are being slack with your gift...listen up and press in! You don't want to feel remorse for not cultivating what God gave you.
And one other thing. I was always discouraged, because the churches we went to never wanted to help and make room for our gifts, so they didn't get cultivated. And I fell into a slump with the reasoning, "What's the use, I'll never get a chance to use that gift anyway." Here, I'm talking about music. You see how Satan's cronies have lied to me? I could have had so much more to share with you if I'd obeyed and did it anyway!!!
And for any pastors listening in, one of the greatest injustices you can do is to be overly possessive and controlling and fail to make room for the gifts of those who attend your church. They are there to contribute to your ministry and to be strengthened to cultivate their gift and bring forth fruit for the Kingdom. If you let politics and playing favorites control ministries, you're worshipping man not God. So, please - be faithful with the talents put in front of you, be willing to raise them up.
So much for my sad soup...
Jesus continued, "That's pretty sad soup all right. Well, you've made several good points. Now I want to point out to you, My Love, that I am the God of restoration. No matter if time is short, if you do what I've asked you to, you can still make a difference. Your voice is already anointed, you just need a little more practice and pressing in. I will bless your efforts, Clare. And as you can see, I'm making the time for you. So no excuses! Be restored in My Grace, take up the gifts again and go for it. As far as the portrait goes, I will restore that too."
Thank you Lord, I feel much better. Kind of...
Please, dear Heartdwellers, don't write to me and tell me you don't want to hear about my problems! They are brought to you by the Lord, so you can see how wonderful He is and that if He can use me with my mountains of real faults and sins, He can use anybody.
Jesus answered, "Amen! Oh, My beautiful Brides, how Satan has duped you into quitting the gifts I've imparted to you. Go back, My Beauties, go back and take up the gift again, keep cultivating it. In Heaven you will be masters at what you do, but even your suffering in working with your gifts is bringing forth fruit for the Kingdom. Anything you do in obedience, no matter how lacking in skill you are, no matter how frustrated you are, no matter how hard it is - because you are doing it under the yoke of obedience, I am bringing souls into the Kingdom because of your suffering and frustration. And who knows? You may yet finish something that will move on the hearts of others and bring its own fruit forth.
"So don't give up. Press in. And do it anyway."