Emptying the Ex-Box

Zechariah 7: 9“Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; 10 and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’

Some of are still holding onto the Ex box. The Ex box is anything from our past, our old life that we do not let go of, or give over completely to God. It can be photos, notes, an object and ultimately it can be held tightly in our thoughts. I am pausing from sorting through Jonathan’s box of things to tell you I just threw away a bad memory I gripped tightly. Jonathan had many harsh realities to deal with, and he had some choice words he wrote down on paper about someone who was hurting him. Why keep such a note?

  • Because it feeds my own wounds
  • Because I’m angry
  • Because there has not been satisfactory justice
  • Because it vindicates me

These are the reasons I have held onto this sheet of paper. And even as I read it, I felt my heartache stirred. But, I declared out loud, “THIS DOES NOT HELP ME!” And, in a decisive move I balled it up and tossed the note in the trash.

  • Trust God’s justice
  • Acknowledge that God saw Jonathan’s pain
  • God alone is judge
  • Forgiveness frees me, and offers hope to the wrong doer

What do you have in your box? Is there one thing you can give to God that you desperately want solved, fixed, or don’t understand? Declare out loud the truth over the object and release it. Embrace the far better future God has for us and let go of the Ex.

My prayers are with you!

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I Don’t Need a Diviner of Dreams: I need Jesus

Jeremiah 27: 9“But as for you, do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers or your sorcerers who speak to you, saying, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10“For they prophesy a lie to you in order to remove you far from your land; and I will drive you out and you will perish.…

For an entire week I have dreamed about my son and his dad. In my year of grieving I have never dreamed about my ex and have had inconsistent dreams about Jonathan. Dreams are a tough call when it comes to interpretation, some are from God, and some are not. Are these?

As I research dreams in scripture, it is clear that many people have been lead astray by dreamers and interpreter of dreams. I am one of those people. I have had vivid dreams since I was a child. Most of them were night terrors or nightmares. As I got older I searched for answers in dream books. At no time did I think of asking God. In fact my searches took me further and further away from him.

We have all kinds of mediums, psychics, etc. today. I have had my palm read (none of which came true), been tempted by witchcraft (until I felt the depth of evil I was messing with), and been fascinated by dream interpretations. All of these men and women offer us quick fixes to long term problems. They don’t see how our story fits into the big picture, nor how the difficult things we avoid, may be the very things we must, and need to go through to achieve the greater good. They are just like us, men and women trying to make sense of circumstances that at times, feel beyond our control. We need someone who isn’t motivated by selfish desires, who isn’t into “truth telling” for the money, who risks loosing it all to bring us the truth of God. Men like Joseph, Daniel, and Joseph the step-father of Jesus had dreams clearly considered from God. Why is that? Scripture doesn’t say why these men dreamed and interpreted dreams differently than the rest. But, it does say that God was with them, gave them favor, and they gave him the glory.

Who are we seeking for answers? Are they giving God the glory, themselves, or Satan? I don’t need an interpreter of dreams to know that I am to pray for my ex, forgive him, and show compassion towards him and my mind battles with selfish desires–holding on to anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness. Lord, I ask that you would give me the strength to forgive others as you forgave me. Amen

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