Thursday, November 27, 2014

An Undoing

At this moment in my life, I feel like God is taking me through a cleansing process. He's helping me unlearn the ways the world has influenced me to act, to think, to speak... And He's instructing me to relearn life through Him, and His word. He's sensitizing me again, to the things the world has taught me to be desensitized to, and softening the hardness of my heart, layer by layer. Albeit beautiful and necessary, this process, this undoing so to speak, is difficult.
 The battle becomes more strenuous, more emotional with every single layer He peels back. Like peeling an onion, the stench gets stronger the more you peel away, and the tears get heavier. But every time, without fail, He's there to comfort me and encourage me, every single step of the way. And the more difficulty I face, the more grace and love He pours out in my life. I can feel Him strengthening me, every time I choose to fix my gaze on Him and His unchanging love, rather than the unstable, inevitably disappointing and ephemeral things of the world.
 I remember my pastor once saying, "I don't want to get my world views through the world, I want to get my world views from the bible." It reminds me of Paul, who thought he saw so clearly, when he was persecuting Christians. His world view was so certain. Then Jesus stepped in and flipped his entire view upside down. He finally saw real truth and ironically, became blind. That is so symbolic to me. He lost his sight, the eyes that he once believed saw everything so clearly... And got his sight renewed by Ananias, a disciple of God. Now Paul saw through these new eyes... Given to him, by the Lord. What an "unlearning" he had to go through...
Choosing to follow God, isn't this instantaneous, one time transformation. It's a process... An undoing. A refining. He is giving us new eyes like he did, Paul. And now it's a relationship we're cultivating... God pursues us, but we now have a duty to pursue Him back... And He is always faithful to respond.
I pray for triumph over these trials, God. Help us never lose sight of Your love. You are faithful to provide. There is nothing, no problem that can ever be bigger than You. Let us be a generation that seeks Your face.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

One Foot in Flesh, One Foot in Spirit

I heard a great analogy for what it's like for a christian to be living in sin: Imagine there is a giant pile of manure in the middle of your living room floor. Now you decide you want to clean your house, so you start dusting the cabinets, sweeping the floors, wiping down windows and mirrors, the whole shebang. The house is now squeaky clean. There is not a blemish to be seen inside or out... Except for that huge pile of manure on your floor, that's still there, collecting flies and saturating the whole house with its foul odor. Yet you still say "Perfect!" pat yourself on the back and call it a job well done.
We've all been there. I know I have... Trying to delude myself it was okay to keep one foot in the flesh and the other in the spirit. Doing this tore me apart. I used to try and appease my guilt by saying "well, what I'm doing is not that bad. I'm not committing murder or anything of that degree..." This was a dangerous mindset to fall victim to, but God in His grace revealed something to me that shattered this lie in my life. He told me not to think for one second, that because I considered my sin as "not that bad," in comparison to what someone else may have done, that I wasn't breaking His heart the same.
When I first started my walk with God, I'd tend to compare my walk with others' and feel discouraged when I wasn't seeing His grace in my life in the same way as theirs. But God showed me that no two walks are ever the same. He created us individually, and so He loves on us and speaks to us individually. We should never compare our walks and expect God to work in our lives the way they did in another's because He uniquely works with every one of us. The same goes for sin. Just because my pile of manure isn't as big as someone else's, does not mean that it doesn't reek in equivalence in the eyes of the Lord.
In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says "Therefore, whoever relaxes one of the least of the commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." As I was reading this passage, God revealed something to me. His commandments, are not apples in an apple orchard. We can't pick and choose the commandments we like and overlook the rest. Every single commandment is indispensable, and I pray that if we relax even one of Your commandments Lord that you convict us, and reprehend us in Your love.
I pray to you King Jesus, to never let me or anyone disrespect You, by trivializing Your commandments. You, who even through seeing the piles of manure in our lives, loves us indescribably. You who in your reckless love, sacrificed Your only Son to be a ransom for us. We are to be a light, a lampstand to the world, God. May we never, upon taking apart the lampstand find dead flies spilling out from inside. You are better than anything the world could ever tempt us with and You are with us in all trials. I love you, Jesus and I thank you for your mercies on our lives. Amen.