If your life ended tonight, what would be the one word to summarize your life? What would be the one word God says, this is the sum of your life?
I think for much of my life, rejected would have been my word. The Definition of reject is to refuse to accept someone or something.
Many of you can probably relate to feeling rejected. Maybe you were rejected and abused by a parent. Maybe your spouse has left you, or you haven’t spoken to your child in years. All of this can cause emotional injuries leading to spiritual wounds. In those wounds, we recycle our pain developing unhealthy traits to protect our hearts. We go from being hurt to hurting others in the same ways. Our injuries lead to many of the following emotions, rebellion, self-pity, pride, envy, jealousy, insecurity, hatred, and hopelessness. I found out at an early age; I was good at rejecting others before they could reject me.
A few months after seeing my (now) husband, I remember him asking me why won’t you open your heart to love Bev, you have to open your heart and allow others to love you? This question surprised me as I was a master at hiding the real me. We refer to it as the chameleon mask. So many times, throughout my life, I have spoken a vow over myself about not needing anyone. I was stubborn, independent, full of anger, pride, and was not going to let anyone hurt me again. I had a lifetime of hurt at the hands of others. My heart was mine, and it belonged to me! Whoa, significant trust issues there!
I am sure you are wondering where I am going with this today. The problem is when we harden our hearts, we can’t be open to receive all that the Lord has for us. To overcome the strongholds of rejection, we must open our hearts to God, who promises never to leave us. We must have him deeply in our hearts.
A few years ago, we were traveling between ranches for the ministry where we worked. We were driving through the panhandle of Texas, coming back to Colorado. The middle of nowhere! We pulled into a gas station for a break and to get fuel. There wasn’t another person or car there. The vehicle we were traveling in was a diesel, so our standard procedure was that Jerry always filled the truck. This time he ran in ahead to the station, and I jumped out and started pumping the fuel. We soon switched places, and I went inside the station. As I was walking back to the vehicle, I noticed he was talking to a man. He had on an orange safety vest, appeared extremely dirty, and was sweeping the cigarette butts up across the parking lot. I felt a strong prompting to get back in the truck, which was strange as most of you that know me, know I don’t miss an opportunity to talk. As I walked by, I heard the man say something about the “heart.”
Jerry finished his conversation, hopped in the truck and we pulled out. Driving out of the station, we passed this man. He was standing there and looked intently into our eyes. It was like we were in one of those slow-motion movies. My husband was quiet for an extended period. For those of you who know him you are aware, that’s extremely unusual as well. I could tell he was processing the conversation he just had with the man.
He finally began sharing their conversation with me. He told me how this man had intense deep blue eyes. He was very intellectual and articulate. He had called to my husband across the lot, asking him if he needed prayer? Jerry replied, Of course, I do! Who doesn’t need prayer! After praying together, he stated how people need to have Jesus in their hearts. He then said many people are sitting in the church today that don’t know Jesus and don’t have Him in their hearts. As he pointed to his chest, he again said, “You must have Him in your heart.” He then shared how he had led three people to Christ in the last two days, there in that parking lot.
Jerry said the entire encounter gave him cold chills. It deeply touched his heart. He said time is short, and there are so many lost souls. Times are getting darker, and this isn’t the time for us to lack boldness and not share the gospel.
I can proudly say since that day, my husband boldly shares the gift given to us from God to everyone he meets.
“For God loved the world so much that He gave his one and only son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16
If I hadn’t opened my heart to receive this gift fully, I would have never realized God’s great love for me and come to an understanding of how truly loved I am, in the same way the Father loves Jesus himself. I am convinced He will never reject me as I have suffered rejection in the world.
In John 6:37, Jesus said, He will never reject us. (paraphrased). He has conquered darkness with compassion, understanding, and love. His death, burial and resurrection gave you and I life.
Recently in a time of prayer in the still small voice of the Lord, I heard these words, “Sitting in a church does not guarantee you a place in Heaven.”
It is time to overcome the stronghold of rejection and find out who God says you are! And if you don’t have Him “right here in your heart,” I suggest you find someone that does so they can share with you how to find that relationship with — Jesus, the one who has my heart.
For myself, it is the most significant healing for my heart I could receive. My one word is no longer “rejected,” I am… His “beloved.”
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart and give you a tender responsive heart ~ Ezekiel 36:26
(C) Beverly Shoemaker 2019