Embracing Your Thorns
Humbling ourselves and making the first move to resolve offenses can turn our biggest rival into our greatest cheerleader. What do you have to lose? Often our own pride and caring what others think are obstacles preventing us from doing so. The Bible tells us to break up hardened ground and not to sow among thorns. What does this mean? Hardened ground might be places of unforgiveness or obstinance requiring repentance. Thorny ground in the parable of Matthew 13 represented the distracting cares of this world and deceitfulness of riches. Worldly concerns choke out the seed of the word from producing fruit. Are you acquainted with any thorny or bitter people?
One night I was awakened in the middle of the night with these words: Embrace your thorns. Why? Because painful circumstances, mean people who have offended you or spoken falsely about you are actually helping you arrive sooner to your destiny. Perhaps we should thank them. They are helping us lose our reputation in the world and, as a result, bring the humility necessary to hold the gift God has for us. If we are made in the image of Christ and follow in His footsteps, we must remember that He was made of no reputation. Hebrews 12:2-3 tells us to keep our focus on Jesus, the perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. The scripture continues to say we should consider him who endured such opposition from men so that we do not grow weary and lose heart. The joy set before Jesus was our deliverance and freedom from sin.
What is the joy set before you that would help you endure your own cross? Would transcending the world system, answering to an audience of One, coming into your kingdom calling or helping point others to Christ be enough of a joy?
What did Jesus do with the shame? He endured it but He despised it. He was going to another place and knew it was leading Him to sit at the right hand of God. We are not to be held back by old companions on the road of victim mentality, self-pity, or shame. Let’s strap on our best running shoes to journey to our new name, a new kingdom, to be seated with Christ. We are being redefined and shedding an old skin that was hard to live up to anyway.
When we see this process in a redemptive light, we will run to make the initial effort to resolve our differences, humble ourselves and break up hardened ground.
Jesus sat down at the right hand of God. Are you trusting in the finished work of the cross and who you are in Him now? Do insults roll off your back replaced by humility? Have you embraced your thorns, swallowed your pride, resolved your offenses? Then you are ready to represent Him.
Psalm 87:6-7 announces, This one was born in Zion. As they make music they will sing, All my fountains are in you.