Storyteller

A friend recently mentioned to me that writing is a form of therapy. I guess I fell into this after escaping what I often refer to as The Upside Down, and from those who acted as the Demogorgon in my life (D&D and Stranger Things fans are smiling right now.)

I have just as many drafts as I have published posts, and although I will make something public, I will then continue to edit it for days, which is bad. 😂. But, I really do want to be an encouraging storyteller.

I woke up insanely early this morning (like 3am) and went ahead to read the First 5 devotion app from Proverbs 31 Ministries, and do you know what? Today’s devotion was titled, “Truth-Teller.”

As the series continues in 1-2 Kings, we are studying the life of Elisha right now. He’s the Truth-Teller. He had a difficult situation in telling the truth to someone.

I’m afraid hurting someone’s feelings, but would I withhold the truth about eternity? Heaven and hell?

Even when it hurts, makes me sad, or burdens my soul…Oh, to speak the truth in love.

I want this despite my feeble attempts at even being able to discern the Lord, and stumbling through trying to convince others there is saving grace waiting for them.

Some people are really stuck in their traditions, as I guess someone could say of me… but I’ve learned to cling more to the Bible than just one denomination, although I love the church where God has placed me.

People do not understand that an earthly church is not the true measuring stick of God. Any church building and the people in it will have flaws, but God’s Word does not.

If you have a question? Don’t blame a church or pastor or media source for your disagreement – go match it up to God’s Word yourself, and then pray He will explain and reveal to you why you’re struggling or doubting. Call to Him, because one day you might go to seek Him, and He will not be found.

Like the saying goes…it’s not about you and other people, it’s about you and God.

Assembling ourselves together feeds the soul and reminds you there are a building full of people seeking healing, peace, restoration, prayer partners and forgiveness…just like us.

In the end…it’s really just about your choice of knowing, accepting and then actually following Jesus. It’s not a church membership or baptism certificate to keep in your pocket while you go back to your old way of life.

If you face an obstacle in sharing your heart with someone, then maybe the Spirit hasn’t yet softened their own heart, or worse, maybe they have hardened their heart. That would definitely be a prayer request – for no one should reject the Holy Spirit. Be brave enough to admit that those who reject God’s Spirit are not going to heaven…but let’s also be brave enough to try and convince them to reconsider.

Over the last 20 years, I’ve definitely learned that being too zealous, and speaking without praying first, can only end in disaster. Even if we are willing vessels, we still have to wait until God prompts us to move.

See, I’ve been on the other side of the table where a best friend was trying to talk me back into the fold, during a time when I was in Sheep Gone Wild.

I am not kidding. We were in the food court of the Harbert Plaza in Birmingham and everything she was saying to me – was exactly how I once counseled other people. I just didn’t care to believe it anymore. God, in my stupid, selfish opinion, had failed me, and I wasn’t speaking to Him.

As I smiled and nodded at my friend’s pleadings, I had absolutely no intention of doing what she asked. I knew the Bible, knew the verses she quoted, and had a lot of scripture head knowledge, but no heart knowledge. No relationship with Jesus…just a lifetime in church and belief He was out there, but clueless that I had never actually met Him.

But, in 2003, God left the ninety-nine and pursued me through hills and valleys and clubs, for months, until He found me caught in barbed wire…weak, injured and crying.

He carefully removed the twisted metal that ensnared me, washed away my wounds, and then embraced me as He carried me back to the safety of His flock.

He didn’t have to say anything. I was ashamed for running away, and being back in His arms was like a salve to the wounds from the world.

Everyone isn’t always ready to hear about Jesus just because we are excited about how we found His joy, grace, insight, and abundant love.

Don’t take it personal when people resist the gospel. I believe only the Holy Spirit can draw someone to Christ, as Jesus said in John 12:32 before His death, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

Although, I’ve already encountered resistance and even rejection (as I have since I was 20), I am afraid it is because so many people do not seem to know what the Bible actually says.

It must seem too daunting to read it (it certainly was to me in the beginning), and then their information comes from other unreliable sources. Over the years, they only get fed bits and pieces of half-truths, and much of that stirs up confusion and doubt. We must feed on the Word ourselves. Test it. Challenge it. Pray for insight…for your eyes to be opened to great and mighty things which you do not know.

Of course, the enemy will do everything he can to keep people from the truth, by allowing parts of the Bible to be known, twisted, misunderstood, and cause division.

Satan is the author of confusion (John 8:44).

Our God is not a God of confusion, but a God of peace.

One again, I have to share a section from this Proverbs 31 devotion because it just matched my heart from recent weeks.

I want to tell more people…people close to me. But, I don’t know if they are ready. However, there’s been so much tragedy and death in our community, and my own family, that I just have a new sense of urgency to stop talking about the weather or my favorite coffee, and tell the story of Jesus, just to make sure they have heard the truth.

I’m not an expert by any means, but I’ve lived it for almost 20 years, and I know…I KNOW, it’s worth it. I would never go back to my former life.

Pray for me to be a storyteller, and truth-teller, in the right season and time.

Copyright © 2018 Keysha Thomaston.

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02.13.18

Advice for the Truth-Tellers

Proverbs 31 Ministries

Whitney Capps

“It’s hard to talk about sin that separates us from God and the judgment that is coming. Truth is truth, but it has to be handled rightly. That sounds good, right? But what does that look like when we are struggling to be truth-tellers? I think Elisha’s example gives us three valuable lessons.”

“Godly truth-tellers don’t relish the chance to smack people around with the truth. Truth-tellers long to see truth do the work of repentance and reconciliation to God. Our tears may communicate grief or gratitude, but truth-tellers ought to be people of prayer having asked the Holy Spirit to give not just His message, but His heart for those who will hear it.

Messengers of God’s truth rarely get to share only good news. Even as ambassadors of the gospel, you and I are called to share the freedom of life in Christ.

But that is only good news because apart from Jesus, our current situation and future destination are so, so bad. Even with the privilege of sharing the best news possible, I get nervous and afraid. How about you? Let’s remember Elisha’s example the next time we get that knot in our stomach signaling it’s time for some hard truth-telling.”

Full Link: http://www.first5.org/plans/1-2%20Kings/ff_kings_32

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have called Your people to be ambassadors of the greatest news of all ¾ that we are free from sin and death and alive in Christ. I know that people all around me need to know that truth. Some will welcome it. Some will reject it. Help me focus on what You’ve asked of me, not what others may think of me. I want to be a faithful truth-teller.