If you want to read the first post in this series, click here.
Last night as I was trying to slip into dream land, the Holy Spirit hit me with some insight into my own heart when it came to my past and where He has brought me in the past season. I couldn’t help but be filled with joy at the love of His mercy in rescuing me from myself in so many ways. I was my own messiah (in a very subtle & deceptive way). As truth has began to align in my heart, there has been such joy in the face of whatever comes!
Then I leaned over, grabbed my iPhone and typed out the below email to myself:
Judgmental tones were used in my speaking, teaching, etc as a means to motivate my own self to holiness. Rather than crying out for the Holy Spirit to give me grace to endure, I heaped loads of guilt upon others, weighing them down with burdens rather than causing the hope to come to life, & the Holy Spirit to take His proper role as the seal upon their hearts. In really basic terms I was striving to cover up blatant sin & motivate myself out of it by leaping on & off of the backs of others. Lord forgive me. My salvation theology was messed up along with God’s mission through scripture. Which in turn caused my heart to get messed up and filthy on the inside, leaving my outside looking clean most of the time. I was good at making legitimate excuses (not really) for the things I said.
Let me give context for the different people that might read this and not know the inside scoop on Richee Parks. For some, you’ll read this and know exactly what I am saying about myself because you have walked closely with me over the past years.
Since truly grabbing a hold of God’s love years ago, I have been kind of an odd ball in Jesus. Preaching hard messages, seeking to shake others from their perspective and stance because I felt that I had something better to give them. All the while, being rejected, slandered and gossiped by groups of people along the way. Humility and meekness were a rare thing to behold when it came to my inner man. I was an advocate of a message but behind the curtain of my heart I secretly was advocating myself. And even in all the rejection that many of you have seen me face over the years (based on standing true to what I believed), God has began to open my eyes that even in rejection, praise of man can be birthed. Even praise from myself, toward myself. A little pat on the back in my heart here, and a little boasting in my mind there.
Pause in the blog…I am heading out with incredible Mr. Ken Krause, to catch up after weeks of not having a chance to connect.
Alright, I’m back. :)
Over the years, God has asked me to travel to many cities and take on many different responsibilities, but the one thing that is unfortunately true of every one of those seasons, is that pride eventually became my sail by which I blew through those times of ministry. I was screaming sermons on Pharisitical behavior, but was blinded to my inner slime that I hid well. The verses below described me exactly, but I didn’t want to give up reputation, recognition and identity that I had founded in certain genres of Christianity.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matt. 23:25-28
What a turning of tables it has been for me. God is still at work on the inside of me and Psalm 15, one of the first chapters that empowered me into a radical pursuit for the Lord way back when, has now began to grip my heart once again at a whole new level. In fact, much of the Word has.
A Psalm of David. O Lord , who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill (in the next age)? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;Â Ps. 15:1,2
Lord, continue to give me the grace to speak the truth in my heart, that I might be with you for eternity. Continue to root me and ground me in Your love by the power of Your Holy Spirit for the trials that are coming at the end of the age. Lord, I see the contractions, but may I make it through the labor with my heart intact for you, and be birthed into the next age with my resurrection body given unto life! May prayer remain central to this internship of a life, that I might access grace to live a holy life, overcome and be a conqueror in the end. Amen.