Accountability. That was a term foreign to many about 30 years ago, but I was fortunate to have caught a portion of that teaching in a Promise Keepers cassette tape. Yes, I admit, Promise Keepers was an organization for men, but I was already a seeker then and I was just as ravenous for whatever I could learn about the Christian walk.
By definition, accountability means an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions. Although I lived a more care-free life than many others and pranks were up my sleeve more often than not, being responsible for my actions resonated with me. Perhaps, it was because a prank wouldn’t be as fun if the “victim” didn’t know who the culprit was?… or perhaps accountability had to become part of my nature when I became a mother.
A few weeks ago, I freaked because I had joined in the yelling tirade of a new neighbour. I was saddened and embarrassed that I had succumbed and joined in the yelling match. When I told my Confessor of the incident and that I blessed my neighbour after the fact, he just about fell off his seat. I told him that I automatically said, “God bless you” but unfortunately, she replied, “There’s no such thing as God!”
I would prefer to tell you that this was the end of the story, but unfortunately, the neighbourhood drama escalated and the Bylaw Office of our municipality was brought into the picture this Thursday. I was furious and sadly, my mind went ballistic. I was just counselled to be careful about my thoughts and cautioned not to “fight in my mind”. My plea for the Father’s aid was continuous but periodically, some “juicy” thoughts came to the surface. Unknown to many living in West Vancouver, the attempt to keep new neighbours from cutting down mature trees has caused a lot of battles. My temporary prankster-like solution to this plight was to purchase “decorative” eyes, nose and mouth tree accessories and to put them up on a tree trunk facing the neighbour’s home. I had told our Father that that would make them know that the trees had eyes. It didn’t take long before our Father asked me what my motive was. Sheepishly I admitted that it was to scare them.
I do confess the battle in my mind was wild and it was difficult to control. One part of me kept proclaiming and asking God to renew my mind in Him, but another part of me enjoyed the scheming sessions. Thankfully, God very quickly brought me across the following link….http://www.joycemeyer.org/BroadcastHome.aspx?video=What_Do_You_Think?_-_Part_1 and my breakthrough arrived. God’s faithfulness in His promise was reinforced! “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 God knew I was failing and I needed help… BIG TIME. I am so grateful the “stinking thinking” very quickly ended.
It was interesting to note that each time the Holy Spirit convicted me of the wrong I was engaging in, I was delighted of how quickly the prompting came. My dearest friend, who also so happens to be one of my accountability partners, had an earful of these convicting encounters, but she, too, was prayerfully delighted and marveled of how efficiently and quickly the Holy Spirit worked. I wonder if this delight we both experienced comes with walking with the Holy Spirit?
“If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink (bless him/her) ; For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the Lord will reward you. The north wind brings forth rain, And a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance.… Proverbs 25: 21-23.
As if by chance, this Scripture verse and the next were discussed at our Bible Study just before the last incident occurred.
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the alter with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”… Isaiah 6:6-7
Not knowing why, I kept asking our Father to bless our neighbours. Perhaps it was in hopes that they would eventually behave. It would have been easier to curse, but God prevented that from happening. Thank You Lord!
I am so grateful to announce that, with God’s grace, a peace treaty has been reached today. The head of the house wrote…”Thank you for the thoughtful and kind response… I apologize for the rudeness that has been shown to you. There is some bitterness over the tree issue. I sincerely hope that we can move forward on a positive note.” While I wrote…” Once again, peace be with you L. God bless you and your family, Melissa p.s. – I did ask God to bless C after her tirade but she had said, “there is no such thing as God”. Although you and/or your family may not believe in God, to me, sending God’s blessings your way is the best gift I can offer you.”
May God receive ALL the glory!
Last night, I received a prophetic word which I had shared among the congregation who came for Adoration / Worship and Praise at St. Mary’s Parish. “Before Peter denied Jesus 3 times, Jesus had told him…“I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail, and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:32 Undoubtedly, we will be tempted by the enemy, but we can be comforted knowing that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, in Heaven, praying, interceding for us. He also encourages us to pray for one another. But, Jesus doesn’t end there. He says, “when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren”. “
Undoubtedly I had fallen on my face again and again over a short period of time, but God has been faithful and He has provided a way of escape! I am so thankful and blessed that I have turned again and now, I can strengthen you, my brethren.
All praise and glory belongs to God our Father, our Saviour and Redeemer… our Lord Jesus Christ and our dearest helper, convictor and source of power… our dear Holy Spirit!
Melissa – May 22, 2016