Today Deuteronomy 19:15 stood out to me (another cross reference from Hebrews).
"One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter is established."
How often I judge others based on the words of one other person. How often I condemn them accordingly. As I was thinking these things, Matthew 7:1-2 came to mind.
"'Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgement you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.'"
That is a sobering thought isn't it? Let us say that someone does something though, that is not against us. Something that is wrong. Maybe we are talking about a fellow Believer who has stabbed a friend in the back, or who's actions were less then Christlike in some other way. I did not witness the act, but one of my friends did and they tell me about the incident. My first reaction should not be, "I will not have anything to do with so and so" or "Someone needs to take action to pay him back!" No, my first thoughts should be to pray for them. "Lord, my friend just told me about this wrong act of so-and-so, and Father I am concerned...Please, work in the heart of this person and draw them near to You. If there has been wrong done, Lord, place a burden on their heart to make things right with You and the one they have wronged."
How often do I do this? How often do I respond in a way pleasing to the Lord? How can I judge another for his wrong deeds while I stand judging him when I have no real grounds for doing so? Doesn't that put both of us in the wrong?
"Judge not, that you be not judged" (Matthew 7:1). I need to take this to heart.
As I continued to read I came across Luke 18:8.
"When the Son of Man comes will He really find faith on the earth?"
Wow, that is a verse that will put you in your place. When Jesus returns will He find that we have faith? This brings to mind another question. When Jesus returns will He find us to have been faithful? Faithful in loving and serving Him, in loving and serving others, in prayer, in studying His word, in being good stewards of all that He has blessed us with? Will He find that we, you and I, have been faithful?
In closing here is a quote from Amy Carmichael's Edges of His Ways.
"Perhaps the Lord is saying to that one and to other who are constantly praying about something they personally desired, "Leave the matter to Me; you have prayed enough about it. You have compassed that mountain long enough."
This little excerpt may not mean much to you, but to me it is a reminder that sometimes we can pray and pray and beg and beg, but in the end it comes down to, "Do we trust Him?" When it is something we desire very much it is so hard to do, but there always comes a time when we need to lay it down at His feet. "Father, you know this desire in my heart, and Lord, this is hard. I do not want to give it up. I do not want to not get my way, but I know, Father, that You love me. You have my best interest at heart. Lord, take this desire, I surrender it to You. Lord I trust You! Whatever You discern in this matter, I know it will be best."