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.