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Saturday, October 8, 2016

How do we overcome judgment?

Praise the Eternal!  All of you who call yourselves the children of the Eternal, come and praise His name.  Lift Him high to the high place in your hearts.  At this moment, and for all the moments yet to come, may the Eternal’s name ascend in the hearts of His people.  At every time and in every place—
from the moment the sun rises to the moment the sun sets—may the name of the Eternal be high in the hearts of His people.
 (Psalm 113:1-3 VOICE)

What does it truly mean to be an overcomer?  I was listening to a gal share an article from her AA magazine which described a transition in thought and practice which occurs when you are finally "overcoming" your addiction.  It described the situation of being in line at the checkout counter, finding yourself constantly counting the items the individual has on the belt in front of you to see if they "really" qualify to be in the line - judging others.  As you first begin to overcome the addiction, you find yourself in a place where you might still count, but when you have finally overcome, you not only don't count anymore, it just doesn't matter to you how many items are on the belt because they belong to the other person. 

I probably didn't do this article any justice in that explanation, but one thing that spoke to me is that she said, "You just leave things alone which you really don't need to be bothered by any longer. You don't assume the "items" of another really need to be part of your worries any longer."  She shared how in her worst place of addiction she was constantly overwhelmed because she took on things others put on her that really didn't matter in the whole scheme of things, but because she was so compromised in her judgment of self, she was constantly engaging in judging others.  I think as we move from "being under" any weight in our lives into a place where we are free from that weight, we move from being judgmental about self and others into a place of leaving that to God.  She was spot on in what she shared - the items on the other person's "belt" really aren't hers to deal with - the person deals with God about those "items", not with her.

As I was reading in the Psalms this morning, I came across the passage above and something caught my attention - I put those things in italics.  There is a song I absolutely love that has recently come out on the Christian radio called "Chain Breaker" by Zach Williams.  The words of the song set it out pretty clearly - if you have pain, he's the pain taker; lost...he's the way maker; needing freedom...he's the prison breaker; got chains...he's the chain breaker.  Wow!  Now look at the passage I copied for us today.  Got chains...lift HIM high to the high place in YOUR hearts.  Needing freedom...let his name ascend in YOUR hearts.  We don't move easily from being judgmental, carrying the worries of the world upon our shoulders, and internally conflicted, but as we begin to place God in the high places of heart, we begin to feel weights lifted, places of bondage loosed, and the confusion of internal conflict settled.  Why?  It is the place he ALONE was designed to fill!  

The way to overcoming isn't to just empty ourselves of the stuff we shouldn't have packed away into those places - it is to allow those places to be filled as they were designed to be filled! Anytime we stand in judgment of another, we elevate ourselves to the high place in our hearts. Anytime we step back and let God assume that place, we find the "items" on the other person's belt don't really matter any longer - they belong to God.  Just sayin!