I am so excited to welcome my friend Jill Cote to the Blog. I met her through her site http://www.letfaitharise.com three years ago. Since then we have cherished our friendship and it has been flourishing in the love of Christ. Her words have always inspired me in my walk with the Lord. I pray her words will bring an encouragement to you too.
Recently The Lord’s Prayer, found in Matthew 6:9-13, had been on my heart. I had found myself reading it, and learning about it through different messages and talks with my husband. Specifically the Lord was speaking to me about forgiveness. In time I began reading a book called “A Layman looks at The Lord’s Prayer” by W. Phillip Keller. Though I knew that the Lord wanted to go deeper with me in the area of forgiveness, it became clear that He first needed to reveal something else to me. As I began reading chapter 4 of this book, the section of the Lord’s Prayer that says “Thy Kingdom Come”, I found myself unexpectedly blessed. In one short paragraph the Lord made so much crystal clear. It was as if I had been looking through a veil that distorted so much. The Lord spoke to me about a lie that I have believed, and the root behind it.
As I read, it became clear, there was an error in my basic assumptions that had framed my way of thinking my whole life. The following is the excerpt from the book that I read, which touched me so deeply… “When all is said and done, most of us from our earliest childhood believe we are the king of our own castle. We determine our own destinies; we arrange our own affairs; we govern our own lives. We become supreme specialists in selfish, self-centered living where all of life revolves around the epicenter of me, I, mine.”
As the Lord spoke to me and touched me I picked up my pen, crying to the Lord, and wrote this short story that he gave me in a moment…
… Once upon a time there was a mighty castle, centered in a glorious kingdom. There was laughter, fun, love, warmth, but most importantly, there was security. This castle was safe. The ruler of this kingdom knew all was well and had no thought or concern that it would ever be anything different. But, one day, quite unexpectedly, the enemy charged. He tore down the walls. The fortress crumbled. Life would never be the same again. Memories of happy times became distant and now tainted with pain. Uncertainty settled in the hearts of those who remained. Safety was stolen. Fear blanketed their souls. It was settled, the ruler understood, she had failed. It was her fault. She wasn’t enough. She’ll never be enough…
I was the ruler of this kingdom. And with respect to my family whom I love dearly, the details of my family’s struggle don’t matter as much as the message the Lord was trying to teach me. I had believed that if I had been enough, I could have prevented heartache. I had believed that it was my fault. I believed that I was the King of my castle and that I had fallen short.
This lie, this lense I looked at life through had established basic assumptions that affected my way of thinking for decades. Many times the Lord had shown me this guilt I had operated in, I had felt it for years, however I didn’t understand the root… the root being the belief that I was the king of my Kingdom. When we believe that… we surely are solely to blame when things crumble.
As the Lord spoke to me I pictured pots with seeds being planted. This experience as a child caused three seeds to be planted.
- Bitterness and resentment towards those who hurt me.
- Unforgiveness towards myself and those who hurt me.
- Lies that were perceived as truth creating a corrupt way of perceiving life.
Then the Lord showed me what grew out of each plant.
- A need to control and protect, always striving to meet outside expectations.
- A lack of trust which created untouchable parts of my heart.
- An inability to see rightly through this distorted lense.
As a young lady, 11 years old, this was now the foundation I stood on. Surely the enemy knew this, and he sought to use this cracked foundation to dig me deeper and further from God’s truth. As I grew older, married, had children, I found these insecurities had crept into so many parts of my character and my life.
In this, the Lord didn’t want to leave me here. There was an ending to the story He gave me as I sat and wept that afternoon… This was the end to my story:
… Oh, this young ruler was confused. In her youth and immaturity she placed a robe of ruler ship on herself that she was not meant to wear… you see… she was a princess! It was her father the King of Kings who ruled the land! His ways were higher, his ways greater. He had allowed this battle to rage. He ordained the walls to come crashing down, so that He alone could be glorified as He built a new castle. A castle with a foundation of truth, walls of trust, a moat of protection, boarders secured, so that this young princess was truly ready for battle… oh how the Father loved His precious daughter…
God’s Word is our foundation of truth. Psalm 145:9 says “The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Surely He is trustworthy! He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world says 1 John 4:4. The borders of our castle are secure! He is sovereign! Col 1:16-17 says “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”
He alone is the king… not us… He alone we trust in… not ourselves or others… He plants completely new seeds in our gardens. Bitterness and resentment are replaced with love. Unforgiveness births forgiveness in our hearts. And the lies we once believed are replaced by His Truth! It was not my fault that the walls came crashing down that day… I hadn’t failed… and neither had God… He had a magnificent plan that He is still working in me. He is doing this same work in you, and you can trust Him!
In all of this… the Lord was seeking forgiveness in my heart for all. My time studying forgiveness was perfect preparation for this revelation the Lord gave me. How can I hold onto unforgiveness, when all things are a part of His sovereign plan. Thy Kingdom Come! Phil 2:13 calls us to forget about those things behind us and to press on.
Certainly walking these truths is much easier in my head, than in my heart. It can be a daily surrender to continue to forgive and to not hold those we love in contempt. My prayer for you… Lord God, help us to see Your Sovereignty in all things. Help us to remove this crown of control and place it on the rightful KING. We place ourselves under Your Kingship Lord. Rule and reign in us oh God! We no longer want to live a life of bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. We want to see rightly Lord… no matter the cost! Open our eyes to see Your loving hand at work in even the most difficult places. Help us to forgive and be changed… In Jesus Name, Amen
Jill lives in the United States with her husband and four children. The Lord has brought her and her family through many trials of health and home. In this, He has proven Himself faithful and sovereign. She is blessed to be able to share what the Lord is revealing in her heart in hopes of blessing others.