JOURNEY OF A PROPHET - CHAPTER 3 - THE FAMILY STORM
Matthew 10:34-36 - 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
Yes, my family life became a bit chaotic and I found it very difficult adjusting. The main dynamics that changed were my relationship with my mom and my dad. Family is a big value in the south and you find that most families are extremely close-knit. I would later find that things weren’t as close as I thought.
Let me begin my describing the relationship with my mom. Growing up, I was extremely close to my mom. We had a great relationship. I respected her and marveled at her strength as a single mom. As the oldest of her kids and her son, I felt it was my responsibility to rescue my mom from the struggle of raising us alone. It became my duty that when I was old enough I would make sure that she was well taken care of which is normally the desire of sons of single mothers. As life got harder, my mom fell away from the faith and stop attending church. I continued to go alone. I kinda felt ostracized being the only one attending, but I remained diligent since my relationship with the Lord was growing. My mom knew that church was good and I believe she was proud to have a son that attended regularly. In addition to that, she welcomed many of the changes that were occurring in me. However, she hated a few. Because of her not attending as frequent as I did, I became resentful. As I harbored bitterness, I immediately begin to transform into a legalistic, unforgiving, and judgmental Pharisee. This put us at odds that resulted in many arguments.
For most prophets in the making, they struggle with pride. One of my biggest emotional challenges throughout my teenage years was respecting authority (my mother) even if I did not agree with what she did. My responsibility at that time was to honor her. God consistently convicted me and dealt with me concerning this behavior. It became so heavy that I would fast and pray concerning the issue.
In addition to that, I had an inner rebellion against my father. I say “inner” because I never displayed it when I was around him. I became compliant while ignoring the emotional needs that I needed from him. I was a church boy and served God, but I was still broken. I longed to have a deep connection with my father. I just did not know how or where to begin. Ultimately, I was afraid of being rejected again. As a result, the spirit of ‘Rejection’ began to shape me. This resulted in me becoming a people-pleaser. I performed because I felt that I had to do this to gain acceptance. Prophets in the making tend to wrestle with approval and the acceptance of man. Oftentimes, the opinions of people can drive them to disobey God like Prophet Aaron. (Exodus 32: 1-8)
Pride and rejection can critically damage the effectiveness of the Prophet’s ministry. Just look at the state of some of America’s prophets today. It is evident that the presence of pride and rejection have been mixed in with their ministry. It is the Achilles heel of the prophet.This is why we cannot resist the Lord when he wants to confront it! God dealt with me early on and continues to monitor my heart when it tries to resurface.
As I attempted to adjust with how my growth in God changed my relationships, it left a void in my heart that I longed to be filled. It drove me... It compelled me.. It almost broke me...
Can you look over your life and see where God has consistently attacked your level of pride?
How did you overcome it?
In what ways have the need for acceptance drove you outside of God’s will?