Well ya’ll… It’s been FAR too long since I have taken the time to sit down and blog. But today, I blog. Let’s just say that I had an experience earlier in the week that was worth writing about. On this blog I have spared no expense sharing my heart. You all know that I am a sinner. The whole reason I came back around to Christ was because my life was headed in the wrong direction, and filled with sin and suffering. I am not too self-righteous to admit this. However, I want to share with you – there are a lot of people who are. I feel bad for those. My heart reaches out for those who appear to themselves “on a high horse”, and some of them – I am finding – are “Christians”. That’s not the way it was intended to be. We are called to BE THE GOOD in the world. When we see someone who has overcome sin, hurdles, and obstacles in life, it’s not up to us to judge or condemn.
I ran into a person in a restaurant the other day. To say the least, it was an unpleasant meeting. She called me by name as I was walking out, I responded and walked over, then she asked: “you’re a Christian blogger right?” To which I replied “yes.” Then the fun began! (sarcasm). Sheer attack is what I was faced with. She began yelling, pointing, causing a scene, name calling, and just downright being rude. Contrary to what I thought my reaction would be (ahem-slam her head into the wall behind her ) I was gentle, calm, and began trying to make sense of her madness, even to offer a ‘conversation’ (to no avail). I quoted scripture in rebuttal. (To which I was impressed, I didn’t even know that was in there!) This Cherish, The one who has been overtaken with the mercy and grace of God, has changed my heart of stone to a very soft ball of flesh.
It made me realize that all the things I have been saying is true. I am a changed person. God has done something INCREDIBLE through little ole me. As I left, I wondered who told her she could throw stones? When I walked away from that mess of a person, I was somewhat proud of that event that occurred. Even though it was a bash to my “ego”, I realized that I have lost my ego. I realized I have lost my “pride”(which was too big to begin with) and became solely dependent on God to fight my battles for me. It was truly amazing to walk away feeling on top of it. I had nothing to feel ashamed about – though she did. (Though probably too self-righteous to admit it.) The bible warns against this here: Romans 12:16- Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Afterall, Matt 7 says: Judge not lest ye be judged.
That experience in itself made me ponder. A hypocrite like that is the reason people don’t go to church. The reason some are afraid to go to church, and who’ don’t lik’e to go to church. It’s because a “Christian” like that is on the pew behind them! It’s Christians who call themselves Christians on Sundays and get into brawls and fits of rage that cause problems.
Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. If you live by those guidelines you realize everyone starts somewhere.
Let’s See What the Bible Really Says About Judging:
“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” (Prov 31:9)
“Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt show her all her abominations.” (Ezek 22:2)
“But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” (1 Cor 2:15)
“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” (1 Cor 6:2)
I have decided that I will stand for what God wants from me in this lifetime. Though it doesn’t make worldly “sense” to me, I trust God – and my measure of faith is all I have, and it’s sufficient. 1 Corin 2:10 “But God has revealed them to us through is spirit. For the spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows, the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the spirit of God.” Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. EVERYONE is a sinner. But it is in honestly, sincerely, wholeheartedly asking God to forgive you of it – that makes you new and forgiven.
I am forgiven.
Proverbs 18:19- Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
So I thought back about what happened in the restaurant, and God led me to this. Galatians 5:19-26
Now the works of the flesh are evident which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dessentions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; Of which I told you in a time past that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. IF WE LIVE IN THE SPIRIT, LET US ALSO WALK IN THE SPIRIT.
So, to the lady at the restaurant… I will advise you (as a Christian) read Galations 5:19-26. As I read it, I suffer the condemnation of the flesh. (As do you.) It seems to me that you and I are just alike in Christ’s eyes. However, I walked away and WALKED IN THE SPIRIT in the face of attack.
Every Knee will bow, and every eye will close.
I talk to a lot of people that grew up in a church atmosphere, and for some reason most of these people still don’t understand how to pray. I have heard people tell me that “I feel like I’m doing it wrong” or “I don’t think I understand prayer”. Guys, listen up!
PRAYER IS NOT A METHODICAL RELIGIOUS MOTION YOU TAKE!
Prayer is simple. It is coming to God from a sincere heart, and ‘talking’. In John 15:15 Jesus said “I call you friends”. Think for a moment about your friends. Now think about a specific friend, or mentor that you greatly admire and respect. How do you talk to them? You can start with that idea, then imagine God: A holy, beautiful, sinless, perfect “person”. It is hard to understand with human understanding, however my case stands that you can talk to God like he is sitting in the chair next to you (with upmost respect of course).
For instance, when I get up in the morning, I say a short small breath prayer. What is that? Well, it goes like this: God, lead me guide me and direct me today. Let me be a light unto a dark world, Amen.
However, I generally worship “talk to” God all throughout the day. When I am getting ready for work, I talk to God about my concerns for the day. When I am driving to work, I pray he protects me as I travel, and put me where he wants me. When I am at work, I thank him for the blessings that happen immediately as they occur. I give thanks in EVERYTHING. 1 Thes 5:18 says give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. If I hear a praise song that makes me remember what God did for me, I praise him and thank him and glorify him in my still, quiet places. This song always gets me going :
When I think about the Lord http://youtu.be/QsEGRB695hs
Children are often times the BEST prayers. Why? Because they pray because they want to, not because they feel they have to.
Prayer is basic. Prayer is heartfelt. Prayer is the sincere wanting and needing to be closer to God, not just about asking God to grant your wishes like a genie. God is not going to give you everything you ask, and it doesn’t mean you have to blame him when you don’t get what you thought you wanted. It could be that there is something better coming down the pipes for you. Prayer is giving your heart to God, and asking him to search it, and reveal what belongs there and what doesn’t. Prayer is humbly presenting yourself for searching. Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Prayer is that simple. A little advice, prepare yourself before you come to God. I used to pray this BEFORE I prayed – “God, shut down my thoughts and restless body, let me forget this world for a few uninterrupted moments with you. I want to come to you today, please reveal yourself to me Lord.”
There is no right or wrong way to pray. Prayer is between YOU and GOD. If you pray, and feel God – then he heard you. If you are unsure, maybe you can visit with someone who can help guide you. Sometimes “being unsure” is just a matter of the heart. Sometimes you just feel too full of sin or guilt to feel like you are “worthy” of God to listen or talk back. If that is you, LET IT GO. God will take your burden if you just ask. Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
IF GOD SAID IT – HE MEANT IT.
I will leave you with this: Rev 3:20 Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
If you still aren’t sure that you are being heard, or you feel you don’t understand prayer – Here is something you can start praying for and it may change your life.
I have been working a blog post out in my mind for several weeks now. I got the title “success in a box” by my random thought processes that occur in a day. Basically the principles of the success in a box is what we wish we had. We wish that God would just plant us in business, an overflowing money-tree orchard, or a partnership that we could just reap the benefits of the success instantaniously. Yeah…. Wouldnt that be great?
I have been praying a lot about my vocation. I want to do something greater than what I feel like I am doing now. We all go through those times in our lives where we just feel like there is more out there. Well, I am in that place. I asked God if he would set me up for success. Set it up to where he would put all the supplies and talents I need in a box, and opening the box is the hardest thing I would have to endure. lol…yeah right. Ridiculous thoughts!
Then a funny thing came over me. Thinking of work and sucess, I began to ponder qualifications for this new position I was asking God to put me in. How would I apply? What about a spiritual resume? Am I qualified for the gifts I am asking God for? hmmm….not sure yet. I want to work with God, but would I just work for grace? Un-ending un-failing grace sounds good –BUT.
Hmm….. What are the qualifications I possess? What level am I on in Gods eyes? My heart? My spirit? I have been told once or twice that I “looked good on paper” in interviews. I wonder what I look like to God. If I were in line next to – lets say Mother Teresa – how far away from landing that gig am I?
R-E-A-L-L-Y FAR! REALLY, REALLY, REALLY FAR!
I wish I could turn in my spiritual resume and have it red-inked by God himself. Blot over my mistakes. Make the necessary improvements. What else do I need to learn to be amazing at Gods works? All these things I just sit and think about. What would your spiritual resume look like? I think mine would appear like this:
I’ll leave you with that.
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Take my life and give it meaning
fill me up with love and care
I feel the best is yet to come
and with it I’ll see you there
my hope comes daily now
I get that fresh renewal
instantly my hands flew up
and then my wings they grew
I’ve never felt better
at times, more sane
yet it doesnt matter
it’s the new life I gained
I may stumble each turn I take
I know lifes changing fast
you will guide each step I make
I know you are leading me back
I never thought you would lead this way
but I am thankful you withstood
for all you have done for me
you have always been good.
I will serve you with all my heart
rip me up and lay my-self down
teach me your lesson, if it tears me apart
I will work on my eternal crown
I wish I knew the “how” lord
I know its better this way
my soul is safe with you
my need in you grows each day
keep guiding lord,
and speaking to me each day
without you I will fail
I don’t want to stray
You have the reins now
Im just following you
hard to see it sometimes
when alone- you can’t push through
Im being selfless now
listening for something too
no more filling empty time
I heard the call, Im coming to you
We have to grin and bear it. I’m talking about those trials and uphill gravel-gripping climbs we must endure to get to those happy moments in time. Wishing that you could just sit and enjoy simple contentment for a little while. This blog post is essentially a letter to my life. I was pondering where in the world was I when everything occured lately? I guess I revisited La-La-Land for one last free ride on the ferris wheel. I wonder how on earth I survived such struggles within a year, and I wonder how a persons life can uproot so quickly. I have traveled light years in 365 days. Seems uncanny. Unfathomable. Yet somehow, it happened.
I was tested every single day. I woke up to a morning “grouch-alarm” test. I ate lunch to the “lets eat ourself full with emotional soup” I went to bed with “nightmare in Texas”. There were other tests in between, but who wants count. I must’ve passed the tests for the most part I assume. I rose out of the graveyard somewhere in between, and have a testimony that seems to be blessing others right now. I heard my pastor recently say it this way:
“When you are sick, ask God how can I use this to glorify you? When you are well, ask God, how can I use this to glorify you? When you are down, ask God how can I use this to glorify you? When you make it to the top, ask God how can I use this to glorify you?
Just keep your chin up. Know that God is working in your life and whatever you are going through (provided you have turned over the reins to God) he will use that situation for his glory allowing you to share the story of it. So if you feel down and out, just know that your time on top of that mountain is coming soon enough. You are just information gathering for a grand testimony in the end. Remember, there is no testimony without the test. How good will yours be?
When you pray: “Thy will be done oh lord”, it’s easy to say. That’s about all it is. We all remember
let thy kingdom come, let thy will be done as in heaven so upon the earth Matthew 6:10…..
Well we said it for years, but did we ever get it? I know I didn’t! It took me far too long to really realize what “Thy will be done” for my life truly meant. I can’t have all that I want. I can’t do all that I want. I can’t achieve all that I want….ALONE. And if god doesn’t want those things for my life, I just gave him permission to take those things out of my life via verbal contract. Make sense??
I wanted my will. But I prayed for God’s will. Honestly, how stupid. Words, words, and more words – yet I never put the connection together. I guess the idea of thinking “ I am a good person” and I am really doing no harm in my actions, meant that I must be achieving gods will… sewn into mine- of course.
I’ve banged my head against enough walls, and been on the wrong side of decision making for years.
I learn the hard way I presume.
Finally giving it all, and accepting Gods will is TOUGH. Especially when he tells you, for the most part, exactly what he expects from your life and time on earth- and you don’t like it. I said “but god, I don’t wanna do that” I don’t wanna work there, I don’t wanna live there, I don’t wanna…Yadda yadda yadda.”
We humans are so full of ourselves. The day I finally got it, I was angry! I did NOT want all the things God obviously had in mind for me. I wanted my selfishness still. Me! Me! Me!.. Mine! Mine! Mine!
Yeah, I said it. Thanking God for his mercy right now….
If god and I were in a boxing ring together, surely he would have a couple teeth bite marks on his forearm. I FOUGHT. I fought incessantly, and I fought with fire. Then…months later, I gave in. I simply threw in the boxing gloves, threw my hands up for the last time and said “Thy will be done oh lord.”
Life has been better since I finally nodded along with God, rather than fighting. As I sit here I picture cattle in the field walking head-to-tail on that narrow winding trail beaten into the ground for them. (maybe that’s the Texan in me) But that’s what happened I guess. I got in line. I quit playing around and got serious about Gods will for me.
We should all be doing the same.