Friday, March 14, 2014

"Fake It Til You Make It"

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

I know what my AA friends mean when they say "Fake it til you make it", but it has a sting for me. It reminds me of who I use to be, a "Fake".  I believe we must go in faith even when we don't feel like it.  When the feeling is not there to trust, we pray Lord I believe help my unbelief.  I believe.  I am not faking it I am trusting God to do in me what I cannot do.  I am leaning on Him to bring faith when I do not have it.

There are other words that remind me of the life I once lived of "faking it", sweet, nice.  This reminds me of a time when I was sweet and nice for all the wrong reasons.  I did it to get the approval of others.  For them to like me. To keep the peace. I didn't want anyone mad at me.  I didn't want conflict. I wanted them to like me.  I had an unquenchable thirst for love and I tried to feel it with others.   I did it for me.  I didn't know what it meant to love others more than me.  I didn't know how to love if it did not benefit me.  I was at the center of my world.

The bible does not tell us to be sweet and nice but to encourage one another and be kind, gentle with each other.  These words have entirely different meanings.  Sweet and nice are to please.  Being encouraging and kind and gentle are for the benefit of others. It is a gift of the Spirit.  There is no better way to build true relationships than through honesty and being encouraging and kind and gentle.  Paul, even when he was about to tell the church hard things, he began with encouragement.  He truly loved them.  I cannot tell someone a hard truth or correct them without much labor over prayer and anguish.  They must be build up first to hear the sometimes hard truth. It is the love of God that brings us to repentance.  It also is a gift.  I must be willing that they not be pleased with me.  I am more interested in their well being than mine.  I must go to them in love.  Loving them more than me.  It is the motive of my heart that God sees.  Out of our hearts flow what we are truly believing and what we do.

When someone says I have a gentleness I know this is from the Lord.  When they say I am an encourager I know apart from Him I am not.  I remember who I use to be without His love flowing through me to others. I try to just remember and move on, because it can actually make me sick, I was so selfish, self-centered.  But we have the gifts of the Spirit of Jesus and the Father living in us.  We can love with their love in and through us.  We can wait on God to change another person but pray for them with our whole hearts, trusting God to do what we cannot do, change a heart of man.  We can trust Him to change us. He is in the heart changing business.  It all has to begin as a turning to Him, a leaning and relying on Him.  It is a relationship.  A dependency we cannot come to on our own, but is a work of His Spirit.

When I wake up in the morning.  I say, "Good morning Lord, what are we going to do today".  How do you want me to love someone.  I don't desire anymore for someone to think how great I am but how great God is.  That He can change a self centered person, self righteous person to actually love them in ways that says, I really do care about you.  God cares.

When interruptions come into my day I know it is the Lord bringing people and circumstances He wants me involved in for some reason.  To love those people.  To seek opportunities to love them with the love of Christ, Father and Spirit.  I see it as Him directing me not to frustrate my plans or me but under His direction and leading.  There are not many things that are more joyful than Jesus using you to love someone with His love.  He says when you do it unto the least of these, you do it unto me.  When we love others we are actually loving Him.  It is a giving and receiving of Jesus love through others.  It is an amazing thing.  It brings Him much glory because you know apart from Him you can do nothing of any value.  You have depended on Him to bring the plan of your day around and to others.  What an opportunity He has blessed us with actually being a partner with Him in loving others with His love.

On the cross, it is said, that He endured the cross for the joy set before Him.  I believe we are that joy.  That joy of giving and receiving His love to others.  I believe when we love another person, even sacrificially it brings Him great pleasure and joy.  When we do it trusting Him to work a miracle of love in another person, to actually be Jesus to them, He is pleased.  We already have the favor and pleasure of God because of what Jesus did on the cross for us but it pleases Him when we do things trusting in Him to do what we cannot do.  Love another person apart from Him.

Even as I sit here writing about the love of God, yet I struggle with wanting just one glass of wine, I tell myself.  I told my husband, I need you.  I need you to tell me that drinking is not good for me, my relationship with you and with the Lord.  He said, "what you are saying is true".  I am reminded of how self centered and selfish addiction is.  How it is nothing but thinking of yourself.  It is totally self consumed.  There is no love for others in it.  So I pray, rescue me Lord from myself.  Help me to die to my wants and desires for the sake of my well being and the sake of others.  My body is your temple.  Help me to honor it and care for it as you care for me.  It is the prayer of Jesus to the Father for me.  Just these simple acts of reaching out to others and to God brings me much peace tonight.  He is always the answer.  Love as I have loved you.  The Father loves you as much as He loves me, His very own Son.  For that He calls you daughter.  Build me up Jesus in you.  I don't want to be selfish or fake it anymore.