Monday, December 8, 2008

My Source

Last week, I started to mention a few areas that I feel led to dig a little deeper. Yet another area I need to concentrate on is, selfishness. I'm not an only child but I often behave as though I was raised as one. I am the only girl, the oldest child, perfectionist, classic type 'a' personality. I am also a control freak and like when I make the plan and we do my plan. I like my ideas. I'm not so good at playing out other people's ideas. So, when I read this in my lil' Joyce Meyer devotional this morning it clicked with me. This is the place I'm trying to get to:

Enjoy Liberty
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive a crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.

Life is miserable when we won't listen to anybody else, or when we get mad every time somebody doesn't agree with us. To be so emotionally ruled and controlled that we are stressed every time something doesn't go our way is bondage. When Jesus sets us free, it means that we are free not to get upset just because we don't get everything we want.
It is wonderful to be free. We can give thanks for the liberty to receive God's help and walk in patience despite our circumstances. Our lives can be happy, blessed, and peaceful. We can experience joy no matter what the situation may be.

The first point I want to make is this, the crown in the verse above is the crown I spoke of last week, my husband's will be custom made people. The second point being, um, wow, bondage. That is a revelation for me. This short little passage demonstrates that the personality traits that I'm not proud of can be changed. This is good news. I know I need to spend more time reading the scriptures and memorizing the ones that tell us who I am and we are are in Christ.

One more bit that I want to add is from The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. The holiday season can, in any year, seem overwhelming and rushed, and leave our wallets a little dry. This year especially, many families are troubled with a lot of uncertainty, loss of jobs, etc. I want to share this passage with you to remind us to keep our eyes on our source. To be grateful for the miracle he has already done for us and I just love the way it is described in this portion of the book.

"Remember what God has already done for you. If God never did anything else for you, he would still deserve your continual praise for the rest of your life because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. God's son died for you! This is the greatest reason for worship.

Unfortunately, we forget the cruel details of the agonizing sacrifice God made on our behalf. Familiarity breeds complacency. Even before his crucifixion, the Son of God was stripped naked, beaten until almost unrecognizable, whipped, scorned and mocked, crowned with thorns, and spit on contemptuously. Abused and ridiculed by heartless men, he was treated worse than an animal.

Then, nearly unconscious from blood loss, he was forced to drag a cumbersome cross up a hill, was nailed to it, and was left to die the slow, excruciating torture of death by crucifixion. While his lifeblood drained out, hecklers stood by and shouted insults, making fun of his pain and challenging his claim to be God.

Next, as Jesus took all of mankind's sin and guilt on himself, God looked away from that ugly sight, and Jesus cried out in total desperation, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Jesus could have saved himself-but then he could not have saved you.

Words cannot describe the darkness of that moment. Why did God allow and endure such ghastly, evil mistreatment? Why? So you could be spared from eternity in hell, and so you could share in his glory forever!"

What stands out most for me in the story of Jesus' death is that he too has felt forsaken by God the Father. As believers, we all have seasons where the Lord is quiet. The bible promises us that he will never leave us, nor forsake us. I believe the Lord's promises. In the faith teaching at church over the last several weeks and through my own experience, I have learned that the silence is a test of our faith. Will I continue to trust and obey when I have no sense of his presence? I committed myself just yesterday morning at church to continually praise him. If I never feel his anointing or sense his presence again, I will worship him anyway. We are not called to worship for ourselves, we are servants, what he does for us is a bonus, a blessing.

We celebrate this holiday season because we are thankful for the Lord's birth. Because his birth led to a sin free life. Because his sin free life paid the price for each one of us when he was put to death on the cross that day. Jesus is the reason for the season! He is savior! He is my source! I will not look to the economy, my husband's job, my parent's, or any other source to supply my needs. I will look to the father.

Happy Holidays!

3 drops of sunshine:

Cindy said...

"As believers, we all have seasons where the Lord is quiet."

I have never looked at that truth through the eyes of the cross and the moment when Jesus felt forsaken. I will never look at those seasons in my life the same again.

This is really a beautifully written post.

Bless you, Cindy

Leah said...

Peeking in from SITS.

I loved this post. Thank you. I think it's easy to forget why we are celebrating this upcoming holiday, and it's easy to let the hussle and bussle of the holiday rule us. We need to be more centered on Christ and the man He is and what he did for us.

Jodi said...

Your blog is refreshing and awesome... thank you so much for sharing...