Friday, September 18, 2015

Even if it cost...

Today is like most days, I struggle with control, fear and wanting to hide.  This, just a short time ago, looked like going to my bed and pulling the covers over my head,  maybe sitting on my computer for hours at a time or just daze from my white cushioned chair on my screened in porch, without a thought in my head.  It was my way of controlling my life.  It was a way of escape from reality.

In those days, just doing more may have helped temporarily but something was wrong in my beliefs.  Even though I didn't understand or see it then, I didn't think God could be trusted with me, my family or my life.  I had a faith to get saved but not one to live by.  Can you think how you run from God, hide from others?  Try to control the circumstances and people in your life?  The Spirit will show you.  Ask Him and those who know you best.

If God does not control us, we are a controlling people, whether passive or aggressive.

Oh to be young again, full of life and determination and self wisdom.  I remember my self reliant days when I could conquer the world.  When I could do it all and I needed no one.  I could handle whatever life threw at me and do a pretty good job of doing it.

 Always becoming more like Jesus.  Can I really learn to love as He does?

I have heard it said, when we know the love and acceptance of God we do not want the approval of man.  I agree we do not want mans approval, but rejection and meanness toward us from others is painful.  Christ suffered for us in rejection and He felt the same pain we feel.  We can use our outward anger to try to control others or we can use the silent treatment, which is also anger, to manipulate control of others.

How others treat us does not define us or keep us from loving God.  Neither does it keep us from doing what He would have us do.  We are to stand against sin and confront it in us and others in a loving, gentle, encouraging way, if it is safe.   Our battle is not against flesh and blood but evil spirits.  How we treat each other really does matter and it can hurt.  There are many times I have had to say I was wrong, will you forgive me?

What comes out of our mouths and what we do, is in out heart.  It comes from what we are believing, trusting in.  I was trusting in myself to protect me and give me what I thought I needed.  We are to build up and encourage each other.  Life can be hard and a kind word can change everything in someones day.

I live by the renewing of my mind?

As the horrible, intrusive thoughts, uncontrollably shot through the broken walls of my mind, I prayed...  Holy Spirit would you take control of my mind, my thoughts.  Is that really what I want, I silently ask myself.   Do I really want the Spirit, to take control of my thoughts?  At first it scared me.  I decided yes, this is exactly what I want.  Let no unwholesome thought come into my mind but what is good, pure and praiseworthy.  Only what is God honoring.

A month or so later, I began my day with these prayers.

Holy Spirit would you fill me today.  I needed a daily, fresh awakening of the Spirit and its power to change me.  Would you satisfy my very soul of this craving inside my heart for more of something.  I want it to be you.

I surrender to you my day.  Bring into my life, who you will.  I do not know, how my life is suppose to look.  I ask you how to pray.  Jesus would you pray for me?   I long to follow you Jesus, where you lead me.  To go where you go, even in difficult places for me.

There were some things I had to give up.  I am still giving up. At first it was not easy.  There are still times I hold on to my way for awhile.  I want the Spirit to fill me in the recesses of my heart.  Even in the places I had let good things occupy, the most important places of me, my thoughts, my heart and my will.  I needed healing.

My life is changing...I am changing.

 "I love my life".   I am at a point now of no return.  I see with God none of it was wasted.  I wouldn't go back even if I could.   I love the people in my life, the old and the new.  I love my family and being there for them and with them.  

Some days are still really hard and I may not know why.  It just is.  I get weary and tired and want to give up, but just before I do, the Spirit reminds me of who I am to Him.  That, it really is worth the fight.  It is worth the cost.

Jesus has compassion with our weakness.

God is not just some distant, way off god, working this and working that, controlling life from afar.  He is intimate and up close.  As I pour out my heart to Him, my fears, my concerns, my worries and anxieties, my longings, He is there.  He meets me in my vulnerability and honesty, my desperation, in my struggle and my request for more of Him.  I don't always feel His presence or His grace, but He never, ever leaves me.  He brings joy, even in the struggle.  We can play hide and seek in our little games, but He will find us.  We will be found out.  He is totally committed to us and to have our whole hearts, even if it cost His life and it did.