Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Living in a world that is not worthy of such men, we are sons of the King resurrected never to die again.We are immortal though we offer our lives as living sacrifices. We storm the gates of hell with power untold. Breaking all bonds with a message of hope, setting free the oppressed with a message of love. We are more than mere mortals we are of royal blood(X2) You cannot defeat and army not afraid to die. We wage war with weapons unknown. Love for hate, submission for violence, we annihilate strongholds. With weapons of righteousness we defeat strongholds. We are an army that never sleeps, a force that never rests. A royal priesthood heirs in a kingdom of light. We have overcome the world, never to return as slaves. We are more than mere mortals we are of royal blood(X2)
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Whelp, here it goes...
Well, I really don't know what I have planned to say or how to say it. I can't seem to get to sleep and I feel like I need to get something off my chest or try to make something up. So here is what's been going on in my life. If you remember my first and second posts you will know that I am an imperfect person trying to live in tune with the life God has got for me. Sometimes it seems to be easier than others and right now it's really HARD. I seem to be in a valley, I seem to be doing it wrong no matter how hard I try or what I try to get out of this slump. I psyche myself up with a good prayer or some awesome worship music and then I get out into the real world and fall flat on my face. Then I come back to God ask for forgiveness and start the process all over again. To be honest it is stressful and at times purely depressing. 2 Peter 2:19 says that people are enslaved to whatever defeats them and lately my past has been defeating me.
Let's go back to what I said earlier. I am an imperfect person. My past is littered with sin, and trash. I have made plenty of bad decisions and will continue to do so. I am starting to learn something that I wish I never had to learn, but that is that your past catches up to you. Because of the decisions in my life earlier, my mind is constantly flooded with memories from the past that I wish I didn' have. Thoughts and emotions that I thought were "fun" or "innocent" back then are now haunting me day in and day out. The worst part is that I don't know if it will ever be the same. I don't know if my thoughts will ever be pure, or Holy again. I should probably pray more for it but I never seem to remember to do that. I need to pray more than I should.
Death is the first step
I think about the life of Jesus sometimes. I would say often, but that would be a lie. Remember: I am not where I need to be. But, I am on my way to get there. Back to Jesus. Jesus was always doing and saying things that didn't quite fit people's expectations of Jesus or what they thought he should be doing and saying, and he wasn't. One of the craziest things I think he says comes in Luke 9. After feeding 5000 men, and telling his apostles that their leader, (Himself), is going to be killed, he says that if anyone wants to follow Him then they have to die first. If they want to find life, they have to lose theirs first. (vs. 23). The crazy thing is that Jesus says, "If ANYONE..." that includes us.
I think that we forget that he says that and I know that I do for sure. It's what I am struggling with. The reason I seem to be in my rut is the fact that I can't get over myself. I don't trust God enough to die to my wants and desires and I don't think that the life God offers is "fun" enough. It's definitely a faith test and we are always taking the test. So, death is the first step in following Jesus.
Are we willing...?
This is what I have been reading and thinking a lot about lately. Our willingness I believe plays a huge role in our effectiveness of the Gospel and in our lives of service to God and his people. Do we really believe that God is the only one who can provide our deepest desires and quench our thirsty souls.(John 4). Are we willing to to give up pursuing what we think is the fulfillment of our desires and pursue the heart of God at all costs knowing that in the end we find true fulfillment in Him and the abundant life that he offers. I love John 10:10. A thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you may have life and have it in abundance. Satan has many, many ways to deceive us. He makes us think we can do it ourselves. He allows us to believe we are in control and that we can provide our wants and desires in life, only to find ourselves broken, depressed and unsatisfied.
Daniel chapter 3 is a great story of willingness in my opinion. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are pretty high up in the Babylon empire. They from earlier events were placed into the king's service and were well respected. But they are placed in a challenge. King Nebuchadnezzer, or Chad as I like to call him, had a golden image made. It was huge. And he made the decree that whoever didn't bow down to worship the image would be thrown into the furnace and burned away. Well, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were faced with a decision to make. Were they going to look out for their own lives and bow down, or were they trusting and willing enough to forfeit their lives for God knowing he is the ultimate redeemer and fulfiller of life. Well, we all know the story. They are saved from an angel of the LORD and God is ultimately glorified in the end. But here is the point.
Willingness is what made them effective. They were up against, All of babylon when they opposed the decree of king Chad. Yet they were willing to sacrifice their lives for God. I want to live a life like that. I pray that I can have a willing heart (Psalm 51), and that I am trusting enough to give up everything I know to be right and true, to follow Christ. I want to be willing to let God fulfill me hearts desires and passions in the way he knows is best. So that is my prayer for all who read this....and some others. That we open our hearts and ears to listen to what God wants to give us and teach us and for us to be willing to drop everything and listen to what he says.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Well, this is new. I am posting twice in one week. Could this be a new Darin? I am hoping so. The rest of my post should clue you in on what today had in store.
I have just finished reading a really good book called "Flahsbang". It's a humorous that takes stories from the author's life that he ties into deep spiritual truths that are humbling, and though provoking. Reading through the book, I was touched and moved, and encouraged to do some soul searching and evaluating in my life. I have reached some decisions in my life that we all know about ourselves, but I am- while I have the motivation- going to try and do somethings about it. A lot of the things I do, and don't want to do, or don't know that I am doing, I don't even know how to go about changing, or what to change. But I am praying for change. I am praying that I can learn to let go of my death grip of the world and told let go and follow Jesus. I don't know where that will take me. I do know where I am going to start, and starting I have. Other things, I don't know about yet, but with prayer and reading of THE word, and meditation, I believe God will reveal to me.
Basically it all boils down to this. Life is a journey in which we grow and are formed into the likeness of Christ. At this point in my life, I feel as though I am static, not moving or growing, and I want to change that.
What changes can be made?
When I really started to think and throw things around in my mind, I thought of the Jewish people. In history the Jewish culture was and is a very tangible and "real life" culture. In the Bible when God would give them a truth or a command, there was a physical tangible thing in which reminded them of God and the things he did for them. The Jews rocks, and tabernacles and trees, and altars everything they had a deeper spiritual truth behind it.
I said all of that to say this: I am making some physical changes in my life to remind me of the spiritual changes that I am hoping take place in my "REAL" life. Some of the changes, are dramatic big changes and some of them aren't. And I am not changing everything, just some things. But the things I am changing are to remind me to grow and to always make a habit of, or to take things out of my life that don't need to be there. I am not sure how things are going to go, but I am going to try none the less.
I am in deed sorry if that you thought this post would be deep and meaningful and informative of THE word and how you could grow. Or maybe me thinking this is arrogant in the first place, and in that case...I am also sorry.
But maybe to salvage what validity this post has, I leave you with this: Change! We are all clay in the hands of a loving creator. He wants to mold us and to shape us into beautiful and useful tools for his kingdom and if we harden up and never let him mold us we become useless and brittle. We break and eventually die. So, strive for growth, and maturity. Remember there is ALWAYS room for growth. But also remember, we won't ever get it right and we are always in need of his grace.
Love you all I hope that this was worth reading.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
It's been quite a while since I have blogged, and for that I apologize. I write this more for myself than I write for the reader, because I can't sleep and because, I don't really have any readers. If I had any, this post would still be for me. However, since some people may read this, I am glad you are reading this and maybe through the grace of God you can learn something from it. Who knows?
What's up in my world...
Wow, has God turned my life upside down since the last time I wrote anything. I am no longer in Eastern Europe. In fact I have been home and left since then. I now life in the beautiful country of New Zealand. What an amazing place to be serving God. As I write this I see very clearly that I am not a very good writer and I apologize for those of you who are still with me up to this point. Let's get started, shall we?
Right now I am in what seems like "Limbo" God has called me to do some crazy and big things but at the same time I feel as though I have no direction to what I need to be doing. I really feel like Abraham (Gen. 12), not because I am some huge giant in the faith, or because I have done some great feat, but because God has called me to pick up and leave the things I have known as comfort and sent me to a place I don't know about. I don't know when I will get there, how I will get there, or where it is that I am going. All I know is that I am going. It's freeing to live a life completely dependent on God but at the same time it's so hard a challenging. There are days where I want to give up and live for myself. I want to know where I will end up and how I am going to get there. I want to know if I will marry, and who she is. There are a lot of things that I WANT to know but God never tells me. And sometimes that really bothers me.
I have been reading quite a bit lately and these books that I am reading talk a lot about character development and the journey in my spiritual life. It's one of those things I have always heard but never really understood. I may never fully understand, but I am getting a clearer picture as time goes on. Character development takes time, pressure, experience, trials- so many things that mean it's going to hurt and you won't understand till later on in life, if ever. So much has happened lately to help develop my character, or so I hope, and it's not been so happy. Some of my relationships have gone bad, my living situations aren't always the greatest, lack of financial support, and a lot of my future seems so up in the air. I have no idea where to go, or what to do and that weighs heavily on my heart lately.
I feel as though this is where faith becomes real. Living as a disciple of Jesus isn't always easy. You are forced to make choices in lots of situations that aren't always comfortable. Do I really believe that Jesus is who he says he is and that my life is truly redemptive? Is the stress and heartache I am dealing with worth it? To go through and say "yes" to these questions is what I believe faith is. Faith is where we make decisions based on less than all that facts that go against what our simple human wisdom says to do.
I love how the Bible mentions several times the word "walk" (Gen. 3:8; 1 Kings 2:4; Micah 6:8; Romans 4:12; 1 John 1:5-7...)
Walking is slow, but it has direction and it has purpose. And I am learning that walking with God is all we can do. There are so many things I love about the Bible. I love them so much I get distracted thinking about them. Check this: (Psalm 119:105) says that God's word is a lamp for our feet and a light to our path. Wow, how crazy is that. We aren't shown much in front of us just enough to know for sure that when we walk with God the ground under our feet is solid enough to stand on.
I don't know a whole lot about anything, but I do know that the pain is worth it. I do know that fighting a battle that seems pointless, isn't. I know that there is reason for what we go through. I know there is a God who loves us, and has a plan for our lives, but it takes time, and hurt. We are being renewed everyday, we are being molded into who we were made to be.
So what's next?
What's next? I don't know. That is yet to be determined.
God I thank you for late nights where I can't sleep. I thank you for these times that I can dig into your word and look into myself to see where my heart is and see if I am walking with you. God, I pray for those around me. I pray that I can be transparent so that the people around me can see you. Help me to continue to live for you, and live the life you have created me to live. I pray for direction, but I am learning to be okay to take it a step at a time. LORD give me the strength to rest in you and the desire to run t you when it hurts and nothing makes sense. You are a good God, and I thank you for everything.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I am not very consistent with posting but what the hey, I am young and undisciplined. So, here is what's been on my heart lately.
Well my condition in life is not unlike everyone else's as stated in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." That's the truth. I am still sinning. It's funny to me sometimes how pathetic I really am. I fight, and I fight, and I make little to no progress. And after the day is over, I journal and pray asking for forgiveness and I go to sleep. I wake up and repeat the same process over again. I am sure there are Bible scholars and very spiritual and awesome Christians out there who, although don't have it all figured out, are further along than I am. They could tell me my problem and what I need to fix it and to grow. But, I am growing. I am walking and I am working to become the man of God I was called to be. I make a lot of mistakes, and I sin and I fall, but...
God's grace is more than enough. This is where the title of my Blog comes into play. I was reading in Exodus, and I was reading the part where God reveals his glory to Moses. And what God says about himself, is something that has brought me a lot of peace and a lot of comfort these past few days.
"And He passed in front of Moses proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickeness, rebellion and sin..." --Exodus 34:6-7
Man, that has been helping me a lot. I don't know deep spiritual truths and I don't have strong theology, but I do sin, and feel pain and guilt. I don't understand everything about the Bible, but I do know that God is infinitely patient with me. God is full of grace and mercy and even when I am in my lowest of lows, and neck deep in my sin, He loves me with a love that will never end. I thank God, with all that I am, for his grace. I thank God because he sees me as his child. What an awesome feeling.
I have been struggling with thoughts, and actions, and just being human. I needed to share this with people. I wanted to share what's been helping me. I don't understand everything, but what God has blessed me with I will use to encourage others. Go with God, and live free in his comforting arms, endless grace, limitless love, and infinite patience.