What an amazing time of renewal in my heart, sweet fellowship with my girlfriends, and rockin' out some praise for the Lord! I wish I knew where to begin about what made this weekend exactly what I needed. I have been going through such a desert time in my walk as a Christian and asking God to revitalize the fellowship we once had. Sadly, I found that I have built layers onto my calloused heart. I truly have been living each day as if I were the controller of my own destiny. Not absolutely sure why I decided to take the driver's seat of my own life because I am seriously lost! I am on an unbeaten path, so to speak. Its boring. There is no scenery. No excitement. No danger. I am just traveling along the day to day commute of life. Just wondering how life began happening to me instead of things happening in my life.
Then, this weekend I realized my issue. I have joked about it with friends but never knew the sin that had taken over my thought life. It was the sin of glorifying myself. I cringe as I tap out these keys admitting openly the dark, cobwebby places of my mind. See, this is where long time Christians get tripped up. We strip away all the obvious stuff...like partying, having a potty mouth, slandering others, blah, blah, blah. But its the MIND where it all begins. The actual enticement of sin. We entertain it like long lost friends and they manifest into thoughts that soon become behaviors. This is frightening because the life of a Christian does not model this...actually, it is the exact opposite. We are to decrease as Christ increases within. We are to glorify God, not ourselves and our lives are the exemplification of Christ. When you see me, you need to see Jesus. So here is the bile that comes to the fore as I think on this truth for myself...if I want my own glory, then I am no better than Satan himself who equates himself to God wanting the same glory.
This disgusts me to the core.
And it makes me realize that I have a lot of work to do. Not because anything I can do will make God love me, pleased more or less, or even appease Him from anger. No, He understands my humanity and that understanding alone is mercy and undeserved grace in its purity. But the work of a Christian sold out for Jesus. Taking up my cross. Surrendering my total will; not part of it.
Now I am thinking of that song...
Holiness, holiness is what I long for
Holiness is what I need.
Holiness, holiness is what you want from me
So take my heart and form it
Take my mind; transform it
Take my will and conform it
to yours, to yours, O Lord.
This is so the cry of my heart. And because of that I want to admit some things here. Not because it's funny or blog worthy. But because we are set free by not hiding and becoming transparent. So many Christians hurt the Christian image as a whole because they are scared to be honest and seen as fallible. Because guess what? We all fall short of the glory of God!
So here are my 10 confessions so that we can keep it real at Two Shades of Pink, get encouraged and realize working out our salvation is living up to what we have already attained. So many people have it backwards. They are working towards acceptance. Praise you Jesus Christ, I am already accepted and I am asked to live out my salvation that is 100% assured.
1. During Beth Moore on Friday night, I was praying with my whole heart, asking God to get all the glory, to bring me back to the heart of worship and all of a sudden my closet pops in my head and I begin moving hangers figuring our what I am going to wear to the Saturday portion of the Simulcast.
2. Most days when I have a choice to read my bible or read Christian fiction. I pick the fiction every time since it is a lot easier to live vicariously through a book character then devote my own daily fellowship with God.
3. Sometimes when I sing worship in church, I wonder if people heard the notes I am hitting really well rather then remembering the God I am supposed to be worshipping.
4. I had a Jehovah's Witness come to my door the other day. The girls were napping and instead of talking to her for 2 hours like I would have 2 years ago (I so know they got together and marked my house with an X and never came here anymore because I would trap them with chocolate chip scones and the solid truth of Jesus Christ) I told her I was a born again Christian and I really was not interested. I was nice but where the heck was my loving witness? In all honesty? I wanted to be alone with the free time I had.
5. I have been afraid to write on this blog like I am with this post because I cared more about gaining readers then I did about my own convictions. I am not saying every post will be like a sermon but I never want to water down my very life source again.
6. I spend more time preparing my look each Sunday then I do about preparing my heart for God's message.
7. I gossip more than I care to admit. Yet, I am rather intuitive to others who do the same and can hold them at arms length.
8. I often judge my husband and where he is lacking spiritually rather than focusing on where I am utterly wanting in my own faith. It is so easy for me to spot the sin of others and cover it over my own with appalling piety.
9. I am so insecure that I think I spend more time worried about what my friends think of me then enjoying and growing a friendship. This also affects me in my witness. I want people to like me more than I want them to hear the Good News.
10. I quickly become disenchanted by Christians who fall due to holding high expectations of those in the faith. Grace is often a willful choice for me. I do extend grace, but remember I am sharing my thought life with you. But it does change my behavior. So where others will reach out, snatch those from the flames, I can sometimes desire to watch them burn and call it natural consequence.
OK. I may need to go throw up after admitting all of these things. But here is the thing. I am a work in progress. I acknowledge my limitations and ask God to transform me. To give me His likeness. To use me mightily.
And most of all...to get all the Glory.