Rock of Offense (Day 2 from Cleansing thoughts)

   As I stared down at the impression in my hand, I understood it was not the rock I needed to let go of; it was the pain of my past. I had embedded the hurt so deep in my heart that I couldn't bear to hold on to it any longer. You see, when we hold on to the rocks of our past, we have a tendency to use them. Sometimes, we cast them at others who are getting too close as a warning to stay away. Other times, we use them as weapons to strike when we feel threatened. But most of the time, we use them to build a fortress around our hearts so no one can get in. These are the ones that become like a tomb, incasing the deadness of our heart from ever getting hurt again.

    I realized that night that fear was the gripping force behind the hand that held the rock. As I sat there, God gave me a revelation as to why the fear had such a motivational force behind it. The secret of the abuse was berried as deep as the shame it caused. As long as it remained a secret, it had control over me, and no matter how deep I buried it, I could not gain the victory. In the stillness of the night, God spoke to my heart and released it from its self-made tomb, "Do not feard, for you will not be ashamed; neither be discouraged, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth"  K(Isaiah 54:4, NKJV). I felt such a release that night. The secret that held me captive had no more hold on me. The rock of my offense had become the rock on which God would rebuild my life. Have I forgotten the past? No, but I have forgotten the shame!

    As I sat there deep in thought, I was overcome by the realization that the same God who had revealed Himself to those I read about in His Word would care enough about me to make Himself heard in such a profound yet simple way. I was reminded of Gideon when he built an altar to the Lord and call Him Yahew Shalom, "the Lord is peace." because he had seen the angel of the Lord face-to-face and God had spoken His peace upon him. Just as Gideon had felt a new sense of security on his relationship with the Lord, I too felt renewed and at peace with God.

    I took the very rocks I had used to build my tomb and now used them to build an altar before the Lord. In the quietness of the night, I placed the secret that had held me captive upon it, and God consumed all my fears. From that night on, when the enemies of my past come calling, I speak to them as the apostle Paul did, As it is written: Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and a rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame"  (Romans 9:33, NKJV). The rock I held that night was a piece of petrified wood, for me, it became a reminder that Jesus Christ has truly become the cornerstone of my life and the rock of my salvation.



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