Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Dangerous Mind

Have you ever experienced a time when you could not close your eyes without thinking about something you knew was absolutely wrong to think about? 

I had this experience last night as I laid down to go to sleep. Each time I tried to close my eyes, my mind immediately went to something I knew I should not be thinking about. I'll be honest, usually I end up giving in, but for whatever reason last night was different. 

Quite frankly, I got tired of the same things coming back to my mind that I do not want there and have such a difficult time getting rid of! This time, I was not willing to give up, because I was tired of Satan always winning. So what did I do? I kept my eyes open. 

I kept my eyes open and I prayed, out loud. I prayed that God would fill my mind with truth instead of the lies that were there. Then I spoke Scripture out loud, anything I could think of (at this point, I really didn't care if it fit the context). After quoting a few, for some reason the only other verse I could remember was John 3:16 (probably because that is the verse I am teaching my kids right now and we had just gone over it before they went to bed). 

John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him, will not perish, but have eternal life." 

I don't know about you, but I cannot think about that verse and not think about Christ's death on the cross. That's exactly what happened last night. I thought about Christ's death on the cross and then I thought about how all the times I give in to those thoughts, those are the things that put Him on the cross. 

Tears came to my eyes as I thought about all the times I've just given in, because I didn't want to fight anymore. How many times have we all given in to sin because the fight is exhausting? But even still... God loves us. He loves us so much in fact, He was willing to allow our sin to be the death of His own Son. Why? Because He is victorious over sin. Satan cannot withstand the battle against God's holiness. 

I didn't even realize until this morning, that as I thought about Christ's death and victory over sin, that thought went away. The desire to give in, went away. I am absolutely positive that it will try to come back. But I have hope that when it does, I will remember that fighting was worth it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Have I abandoned ship?

Recently in the news there has been reports of the captain of a cruise ship who abandoned his ship as it was sinking; leaving all of the passengers to fend for themselves. New reports have said there is even an audio recording of the captain refusing to get out of his lifeboat to go help passengers.

For the last month, God has really been hitting me about my words. Giving me a desire to be more encouraging in how I speak to my husband and children and just really being mindful of my speech. After much prayer, I began studying the book of Jeremiah in relation to this - I know it seems like an odd choice, but man has God spoken volumes so far, and I'm not even all the way through the book!

Do I have a heart like Jeremiah that says, "Lord I am unqualified" but is still willing to be used?
Or is my heart more like the people of Judah who have turned to their own ways, because the ways of the world seem easier than what God requires of us?
Am I grieved over sin, mine and others, out of a humble heart?
Or has pride calloused me to the depth of what it means to have committed treason against the High King?

Unfortunately, what I have learned is that I have had a lot of pride in my heart. My speech needs a lot of work, because it reflects my heart and, well, that's not very pretty right now. Of course it wasn't so blatantly obvious until just last night...

Last night we had a meeting for our upcoming women's retreat that our church does. In this meeting we decided who would serve in which areas. I was chosen to run sound. Really? Sound? That was my reaction.

Ok, I know this is going to not make sense to some of you, but doing background is not my comfort zone. Yes, I am more comfortable being out in front. How can that be? Well, I have spent pretty much my entire life as an attention seeker, so being in the center of attention is right up my ally.

The more I talked about how awkward I thought it was that I had been chosen for such a background position, the more I realized the extent of my pride. God was showing me my selfish "me me me" attitude. That I like to be out front, because I like getting recognition for the things I do and quite frankly, running sound may never receive any praise.

Talk about hard to hear!

Anyway, so what does this have to do with the ship captain I mentioned earlier. This morning I heard that story mentioned and I realized that like that captain, I was more concerned with my own comfort than that of others. There are going to be many things in life that God asks us to do that may be difficult for us for one reason or another. We can decide whether or not we are going to, through Him, do what's difficult and allow Him to grow us through it, or if we are going to abandon ship.

If I'm going to be honest, I would have to say that I have abandoned ship. I have not been willing to put aside my own wants and desires in order to show grace to my family. And for a little while, I was not sure I was willing to put aside my pride and comfort to join my church family in rescuing the lives of those who are spiritually dead. I admit, the job of sound still does not sound very enticing to me. However, knowing that God is doing a work on my heart does.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Perfect(ed) Body

Yesterday, at church, my pastor mentioned how when a Christian goes to heaven their perfected soul is joined with their perfected body. So those who have illness or physical impairments will have a perfected body in heaven.

DISCLAIMER: I have no biblical reference for what I am about to say, it is purely an interesting thought I had that I would like to further study.

What if, when we got to heaven, we were given the same bodies we have, but because there is no sin in heaven, we would see those bodies as being perfect because that is the way they were created?

Wouldn't that be kind of cool? It would be like when we finally start to look at someone who really drives us crazy through the eyes of Christ. We can't help but love them. So rather than anything about our physical bodies actually changing, how we view them would be what changes. We would see them through the eyes of Christ.

Again, this is just a random thought, but I thought it was an interesting thing to ponder. And if you have any Scripture that supports or even discredits this thought, PLEASE share, I would love to know!