Thursday, November 29, 2012

You've Got to Stand for Something or You'll Fall for Anything

Sometimes people will misunderstand you.  Sometimes they will feel angry or offended because of your choices.  While that is not ideal – their feelings cannot be what move your choices.  We have to stand for the Truth if we really want to be in right standing with God.  And we must obey what He tells us to do – that is what we are held accountable for – the responsibilities and gifts and commands He’s given us.  No one else will have to answer to Him – not the offended, not the annoyed, not the upset…only us.  Even among close friends and family, even in the church, people will misunderstand.  We just have to choose to do our best to be considerate and respectful, but first, always first, submit and obey God.

Jesus understands that it’s hard – we care what other people think and feel – we are human, and this is not a bad thing (check out Heb. 4:15), but we still have to place those things under obedience to God.  He understands, and when we ask for help He will help us, but He is still a jealous God and He won’t be put second place to anyone.  And when you resolve to live your life sold out to the Truth, fully submitted to Him, this resolve will definitely be tested.  But don’t fear, we will all be tested, it’s how you know what your made of…and when you see that what you are made of turns out to be not so great (cowardly even), that’s the perfect opportunity to find out about the grace of God, and how relying on His strength is better than anything even the best of you could have contrived.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

On my Soapbox

I read another article today about how we shouldn’t say “I have nothing to wear” because we have too many clothes and people in third world countries are lucky to even have one pair of shoes.  It’s about like telling your children they have to finish what is on their plate because there are children starving in Africa.  Guilt motivation is stupid stupid stupid stupid.  And I dislike it the most when people in Christian circles try to use this to get you to do the “right thing”.

I am so sick of “I should” “I shouldn’t” – blah blah blah…doing something because you think you “should” is not good character, and it doesn’t really change your heart, and when things get tough enough you will always compromise!  Always!

Let me tell you something – motivation is driven by belief. 

In the Old Testament, when God gave the Israelites the law to follow He did not say “Thou shall…” and “Thou shalt not…” and just leave it there.  First, He brought them out of slavery, and every few lines or so of Him telling them what to do, He says “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of slavery, to be my own, to bring you into a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Do you know why we do the right thing?  We do the right thing because we believe that our life will be better for it.

Now, let’s get back to that clothing comment – I’m pretty sure every woman on the face of this earth that has the luxury of multiple clothing options has said “I have nothing to wear” while facing a closet full of clothes. 

I have said that – while hoarding a closet full of clothes in about 6 different sizes, praying that someday I’ll be skinny again and get to wear clothes that aren’t covered in spit up stains.  And then I read that stupid article about how people in third world countries don’t have clothes, so I shouldn’t complain, blah, blah, blah…

Well, let me tell you something, I’m not complaining anymore – you know why?  It has nothing to do with people in third world countries.  It has to do with me letting go of some things that I cannot use right now, and trusting, believing that God will provide.  I believe God, because time and time again He has brought me through and provided for me.  I trust that when I let go of those clothes and shoes that I cannot use, and take care of those I can, and submit my desire to look nice (and lose weight ladies) that He will help me.  He shook that poverty mindset off my life that if I don’t hoard it, I’ll do without – my hands are open friends.

And let me tell you something else – God spent chapters describing the precious stones, tapestries, linens, etc to be used for His temple…He’s into nice things.  And you know what – we are the temple of the living God – why would He not want us to be covered in fine linen and jewels?  We are His prize possessions, the temple of the Holy Spirit! 

I believe that He will pour out on us, cover us, and that He wants me to be His vessel to clothe the poor and needy – so He will provide the resources.  And I believe that when I am more interested in people seeing Him than me, then He is free to bless me with coverings that make me feel beautiful.  And I can tell you, this girl prays for outfits on sale, and the Lord provides!