[anzac] "OUT OF CHURCH" and 'HURT' -by April Staples.

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2005 13:00:15 -0600
"OUT OF CHURCH" and 'HURT'
-by April Staples

A section of the vision shared by Hollie L. Moody (pasted below) 
challenged me, since I have been "out of church" for many years, 
though not out of regular fellowship with believers. I meet on 
Tuesday nights with a small home group, but I have avoided 
returning to organized "church." 

"I am bringing My children back into fellowship and unity one with
another. There are some who will resist this through fear:  fear of
being hurt by their brothers and sisters once again; fear and
distrust of denominations and spiritual leadership. They have
doubts and unbelief in their hearts. They have made themselves to
be unprofitable; for their fears and their unbelief have hardened their
hearts."  [-From Hollie Moody's word.]

Ms. Moody is right when she says that fear of being hurt by the 
Body of Christ has hardened my heart. I find it very difficult to trust 
"groups" of Christians. I have been crying out, "How can I love 
and have relationships with members of the Body of Christ who 
have hurt and condemned me?"

Last night (Tuesday night) I did not feel led to join the home group 
I usually attend. I told my husband I would intercede for them. 
Here's what happened. It may be a source of encouragement to 
some of your readers....
 
I began my quiet time believing I would be interceding for the 
Tuesday night home group. When I tried to pray in that direction, 
the words that emerged were, "Lord, how would you have me pray tonight?"
 
Praying in tongues, I sensed images like interpretations of the 
words I spoke. My spirit felt sadness. I began to hear words of scripture . . .
 
"For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not 
fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? . . . Do you not 
know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God 
dwells in you?"  (I Cor 3:1-3, 16-17, 21-23 NAS)
 
After more praying in tongues, I heard the word "condemning." I 
asked what it meant in the context of my prayers and felt led to 
repent for entertaining a condemning spirit; always finding fault 
with myself and with others. Faces of brothers and sisters passed 
before my mind's eye as I asked the Lord's forgiveness, then 
rebuked and renounced a condemning spirit. 
 
More words of scripture rose up and I proclaimed them out loud, 
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in 
Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has 
set you free from the law of sin and of death." (Rom 8:1-2 NAS).
 
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but 
Christ lives in me"  (Gal 2:20 NAS).
 
Crying. . . relief . . . release . . . grace falling like sweet rain, 
washing away guilt and shame . . . 
 
I ask again. How can I love and have relationships with members 
of the Body of Christ who have hurt and condemned me? Faces 
pass before me. I try to imagine loving them. A swift stab of fear 
pierces my heart. 
 
I hear, 'bear one another's burdens' and scramble to find the 
passage. "Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you 
who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; 
each one looking to yourself, lest you too to tempted. Bear one 
another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal 6:1-5 NAS)
 
I feel confused. How does bearing burdens deliver me from my fear 
of relationships in the Body of Christ? I read the same passage in 
The New Testament in Modern English by J.B. Phillips, "Even if a 
man should be detected in some sin, my brothers, the spiritual 
ones among you should quietly set him back on the right path, not 
with any feeling of superiority but being yourselves on guard 
against temptation. Carry each other's burdens and so live out the 
law of Christ. If a man thinks he is somebody when he is nobody, 
he is deceiving himself. Let every man learn to assess properly 
the value of his own work and he can then be rightly proud when 
he has done something worth doing, without depending on the 
approval of others. For every man must shoulder his own pack." 
 
Let every man learn to assess properly the value of his own work . . . 
without depending on the approval of others.
 
The source of hurts in my life has always centered on my not 
receiving the approval of others. Seeing myself through God's eyes 
has been almost impossible for me over the 31 years of walking 
with Jesus. My hunger for approval from people has crippled me. 
 
Now things are beginning to make sense. But I'm still confused 
about the "bearing burdens" part. I find a cross reference, "Now we 
who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without 
strength and not just please ourselves. Let each of us please his 
neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not 
please Himself; but as it is written, 'The reproaches of those who 
reproached you fell upon Me.' " Romans 15:1-2 NAS
 
Those who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those 
without strength.
 
But I am the one without strength! I am the one who has not 
learned to properly assess the value of my own work. I am the one 
who still depends on the approval of others.
 
Though Jesus reminds me that He will bear the reproaches 
directed at me by members of the Body of Christ, the question remains . . .
 
How will I learn to love and have relationships with members of 
the Body of Christ who have hurt and condemned me? 
 
With God's help . . .
I will learn to accept and truly believe that I am the temple of God 
and that the Spirit of God dwells in me. 
I will believe that God defends me when anyone tries to "destroy" 
me through judgment and condemnation. 
I will learn to properly assess the value of my own work and be 
rightly proud of myself when I have done something worth doing. 
I will not depend on the approval of others. 
And finally, strengthened by the love, acceptance, and 
championship of God, I will love my neighbor as I love my self. I 
will bear the weaknesses of my brothers and sisters and thus fulfill 
the law of Christ. 

Thank you, Father! Take me there.
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