Can I Be Honest?

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I am selfish with my “me time”. I don’t need it often, I don’t need very long, but when I need it I’m selfish about it. I think, “I need this time, it’s more important than a two minute conversation with a stranger”, “Don’t make eye contact with people or they’ll want to talk”, or “Finally, time to read my Word and grow with Jesus. But I swear, if someone interrupts these few minutes I have, they are going to regret it”

How unfortunate it is that when I’m yearning to to grow and be more like Christ, those interactions and life circumstances can be some of the moments I fail the most.

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each otherā€™s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”

Ephesians 4:1-3

As often as I like to think I need alone time to grow in these areas, sometimes when I am being stretched and squeezed the most are greater opportunities to grow like Christ than perhaps an hour in silence. After all, isn’t the goal of that alone time to be more like Christ outside of it?

Sure, I have the head knowledge that this is important but only when I’m on my guard to do so. Only when I am mentally preparing myself to be patient am IĀ willing to be patient. The more I think on it, the more ridiculous it sounds.

I desire to be a humble, gentle, patient, loving person because that’s the example Christ set. However, am I really makingĀ every effort like Paul talks about?

I pray that as I am being stretched from day to day rather than letting my heart be like Christ’s when I’m prepared for it I am praying that the Lord gives my heart an actual understanding of love that is patient with those around me at all times.

I can have the head knowledge of who God is but if I do not hide His Word in my heart then my head knowledge will never translate to heart knowledge.

Our everyday speech should reflect words that give life because we have the life giving Word in our hearts and our mouths.

Paul goes on to say, “…Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.Ā He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”

Ephesians 4:15-16

Can I be honest?

I don’t always live the life I am called to but I’m a work in progress and I hope that in the times I fail, you’ll see that Christ’s love never does.

-MN

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If Good is the Enemy of the Best…

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“I will lead blind Israel down a new path,Ā guiding them along an unfamiliar way.Ā I will brighten the darkness before themĀ and smooth out the road ahead of them.Ā Yes, I will indeed do these things;Ā I will not forsake them.ā€

Isaiah 42:16Ā NLT

“God, what do I do? I need your help. I’ve been praying for your guidance but I can’t seem to find any direction. I’m afraid of this. I’m not sure if this is good or bad. What does this mean…? This must not be what you want, because I’m afraid of it.”

Fear and a lack of peace are two entirely different things. However, we can often times let fear be what guides our life, actingĀ as theĀ Holy Spirit. Yet, it is not our guide but a crutch masking itself to keep us from being brave.Ā Ā The Holy Spirit speaks in truth, peace, and love yet we confuse the two, forgetting that God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

God was for Israel, not against them. He said he would smooth out their roads and lead them when they were blind. You can’t lead a blind person if they refuse to follow. However, if you were blind and you knew that the perfect guide was with you at all times… why refuse?

Fear.

God clearly tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Yet, when we are on our faces in fear asking God what to do, we listen to that fear to tell us how to live our lives.

If good is the enemy of the best, then fear is the enemy of power, love, and self-discipline.

What then is to be done aboutĀ life’s decisions?

You must be able to know that when God is truly guiding you, even when it is scary and unknown before you that does not mean it is bad. This just means you need the faith to trust our guide. The guide who, “…will neverĀ leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6).

Take that fear and throw it out the window, let yourself have child like faith to look fear in the eyes and say, “you are not who my Father says I am. I walk in power, love and self-discipline” Because at the end of the day we know who wins this life and it’s our Christ who was raised back to life.

-MN