Infected Dough

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." - Galatians 1:10 (NIV)

“So how do you like your new schedule now?” asked this one co-worker.

“Awesome,” I replied but at the same time with doubts brewing in my mind. This was not the first time she asked me. I was careful ever since changes were made in the night nurses’ schedule, being told that someone didn’t like the way it was before. So change was a must.

There was silence as she listened to the rest of my reply.

“I love it that I’m off now on weekends than working. I get to go with my family to our fellowship on Sundays and then, for some quality time, go out for brunch.” I continued. I wasn’t trying to brag. I intentionally gave that same reply because there were many who had asked me and it was a part of my discerning their intentions or motives.

The silence remained. I stopped talking because only then I realized that if someone had asked and became silent after hearing an honest reply, then, that person must not be truly happy for others nor truly cared for someone else.

I was happy then, working on my own in another facility for maybe almost two years. Then, some nights, I ended up working with another nurse they gossiped about that he was not a great nurse but I didn’t listen to that. We ended up getting along well, divided the work amongst ourselves. Our work completed by morning and we both grew compromising, helping each other, not complaining and doing our work cheerfully. Until….changes occurred and they wanted me back at the main prison. That was in 2003. I was hired in 2000. I went through so much pain and fear because I got so comfortable in that facility and working with that nurse the others despised. Too much grapevine just kept going on to the main facility. I wasn’t afraid of the people. I just didn’t want the atmosphere. I found my comfort the usual way. That was to seek the Lord for I knew that when change came, He would be there with me anyway. So, fear vanished and I had been working at the main prison for many years again, overcoming whatever came my way because of the strength He gave and continues to give.

With this battle I’m in, I’m thanking the Lord for giving me a part of His answer as I go through this battle at work. Not everyone can be called “Christians”. Only those who follow Christ’s steps are the “true Christians.” For it is easy to claim someone is a Christian, yet does not realize their motives are still selfish.

Paul asked, “You were getting along so well. Who has interfered with you to hold you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who had called you to freedom. But it takes only one wrong person among you to infect all the others – a little yeast spreads quickly through the whole batch of dough! I am trusting the Lord to bring you back to believing as I do about these things. God will judge that person, whoever it is, who has been troubling and confusing you.” – Galatians 5:7-9 (LAB)

I am beginning to see the roots of this battle I am facing. One’s false perception became a huge desire to hurt someone’s joyful life. That someone is me. But what they don’t understand, if that person knows their true identity in Christ, even if changes come, that person’s stability comes from knowing God Who doesn’t change!

And as I recalled those pain and fear back in 2003 when I was being transferred to the main facility and with this huge battle I’m in now, I have no fear because I know how important it is to only please God not men.  Why? As a child of God and wanting to be His true follower, I know that truth that we are called to live in freedom. Not the kind that satisfies my desires but the kind of freedom where He is calling His followers to serve another in love.  I never desired to be a part of that batch of dough, infected with yeast. 

"Stop putting your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. How can they be of help to anyone?" (Isaiah 2:22-LAB)

They accused me. They had said lies about me. But I wouldn't face them and make them hear what they want to hear. What they would hear would hurt. Because His Word is like a double-edged sword. The sWORD that can remove that yeast infecting the dough.

"As the Scriptures say, 'He will be proved right in what he says, and he will win his case in court." - Romans 3:4 (LAB)

I yanked out one of my guitars off the wall where it was hanging. I haven’t played it in a while. Remembering all the songs He gave me, I wanted to offer it back to Him. Stretching the strings of my guitar, I patiently compared it with the guitar tuner. The tighter the strings got, the better tune. Oh, how my life right now is being stretched by His hands. I just pray that I will bring my best tune to His ears.

The Lord gave this song into my heart during that time of pain and fear in August of 2003:

Spirit of Lord

Lord, how can I go on?
How can I do Your will
Without backing down on my own?
It’s hard, oh Lord,
I cry for everyone
Who does not follow Your plans

Chorus:

Spirit of Lord, come and fill our hearts
Let Your love overflow and guide us
Spirit of Lord, come and live in us
Let Your works shine, glory is Yours always
Spirit of Lord…

Lord, sometimes I don’t understand
But I want Your will
So, give me the strength
It’s hard, oh Lord
But I want to be
A servant to Your plans

(Repeat Chorus)

All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.



Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends