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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

perspective

The Lord has been shedding His light on a past season of sin that I did not understand why I could not grasp the truth over. I wanted the truth but there were areas in my heart and mind that I was dealing with that were deceiving me. Without going into detail, I hope you can relate somehow to what I am talking about. I knew the truth of God's word but what I felt and how I acted were not in line with the truth. I can not tell you how I love the psalms and I can not begin to express what they mean to me. Anyway, I could literally write on some of these verses for hours and hours and I would lose everyone because maybe the Lord intends them just for me. I believe so much of my faultiness and the corner of deception in my mind was due to a lack of perspective (seeing the big picture). Perspective is very important in the life of a Christian. If we just decide to live for the here and now we will forfeit everything. I have to be very careful to not make constant "feeling" based decisions. Case in point: Rod and I were in a fight a couple of weeks ago and in my anger I sent him an ugly text message. The point was retaliation and I wanted to provoke a response in him. I am just being honest. Well, he just got the text yesterday. He forwarded it back to me and I called him and said, "You just got this?" To which he said, "yes Jenny and you need to stop doing those rash things in the heat of the moment...look how drastic you got in that text message." He was right and we laughed it off. Even when I sent the message I really didn't mean what I said but I just wanted him to respond. If I had the right perspective I would not have sent that message...but I was just plain walking in the flesh. The thing is that was sin for me. We are told in our anger not to sin. We are to be angry, but not to sin in our anger. I have prayed these verses for several years:
Psalm 90
12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 144:3-4
3 O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him?
4 Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.

James 4:14
14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

The point is that we only have one shot here. I want God to show me that each day may be my last. We are truly not promised tomorrow and if we live in this light it really does help us to keep perspective. Look at your relationships and the shape that they are in...is that how you want them to be if you don't have tomorrow with that person? Do you want to continue to hold on to that grudge? To you want to keep your pride and refuse making amends because you are right? If you live that way, I promise you will live with a lot of regret. The Lord has been faithful to these prayers as if to constantly nudge me to make things right whether I am in the wrong or not. If I don't respond I will lose sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. I can't tell you the times I have woke Rod up to apologize to him even if I did not feel I was in the wrong, just so I would not let the sun go down on my anger. You can't control another persons anger, or whether or not they let the sun go down on their anger but you are responsible for yours. If you don't deal with yours you will give the enemy a foothold. That is a command with a promise.

So this past Sunday we celebrated 20 years of being in Hoover, Alabama as a church family. We just finished celebrating 100 years in the life of our church. We made a time capsule to be opened in 50 years and our church members were to write a letter to the people who would be opening the time capsule in 50 years. Well, this got me thinking and it brought me back to the above verses. I started really thinking about my life and the traps that I get into that are just one big fat waste of time. I can not believe how fast life is flying. We get one chance and are not promised another day...but one chance on this planet earth to impact others for Christ. To leave a legacy for Christ. In 50 even 100 years no one will care about my hair, my clothes, my hobbies, football teams, i-pods, my name. I am not saying that you should not take care of yourself or have hobbies but I am just guilty of getting distracted and pouring myself into things that don't matter and won't matter. I really started thinking last week about how the passages that speak of satan being cast down spoke of him being an angel and him becoming proud because of his beauty (Ezekial 28). Our economy is all about that. Looking young and beautiful and thin...and it really can turn to pride. Anyway, Proverbs clearly states that beauty is fleeting yet we pour ourselves into attaining that as women almost every day and then we are jealous of others when we feel like they are better than we are. Am I right? Take care of yourself and honor the Lord with your beauty but this should not be the thing that is all consuming in our lives. Another problem I think is so prevalent among the US is that we compare ourselves so much to others instead of bringing ourselves before the word and realizing that as Hebrews says
Hebrews 4:13
13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

While we think that something is okay for us because it is for someone else we really need to realize that everything is permissible but not beneficial and that we really are going to give an account. Also, I don't even want life to be so much about what kind of legacy I leave as much as was Christ revealed in me? Was my life about Him? Was He brought glory? If I make it so much about me leaving a legacy it puts the focus on me and takes my focus off of Christ. If I make it my utmost goal to focus on Christ, to know Him and to run after Him...I will not have to worry about leaving a legacy. If He is my perspective, I will live...not in perfection...but in light of eternity. I want this. I am so sinful left to myself. I was on the phone with a friend the other night, she knows me very well, and I said to her that I sure appreicate others encouraging me...but that I know how sinful I am left to my own demise and I don't buy my own press. Those were my exact words. If I take my focus off of Christ and live in the flesh...I am a wreck...to put it nicely. An absolute accident waiting to happen...I know first hand!

I was reading Hebrews 11 the other morning and got to the end verses (they absolutely do me in) and I came to the part that says "the world was not worthy of them." These people were not perfect...but they had one thing in common...they chose to believe God. They were weak, yet in their weakness they were made strong. When we choose to put our focus on God and choose to discipline ourselves through knowing Him through the Word it will change us and we will be able to live in the power of the Spirit in a way that we can't on our own. The opposite is true as well. If we choose to just live for ourselves and feed our flesh...the world will be worthy of us alright. I love these verses speaking of their perspective:
Hebrews 11:15-16
15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Listen you and I have the same opportunity we can return to our own land of slavery that God has delivered us from by choosing to live for the moment for what feels good. Or we can look continually by faith for a better country. I can not tell you how many times I get discouraged and I get in the word and my faith is renewed to go on and keep believing God...or my mind gets renewed. I can't tell you though the grace God has poured out on my life either. I know their have been times where I have disappointed Him and He would be ashamed to be called my God...were I have brought shame and reproach on His name. He takes us back and renews us thank God. If He kept a record of sins who could stand (Psalm 130)?

Below is my prayer that God would steal my focus, that you and I would have an undivided heart, that we would love Him wholly. That we would not settle for what is cheap. Oh how I have settled. Most all of my disobedience can be summed up in a lack of love for my Father because if we love Him 1 John says we will obey Him. Well, I am praying that His love will be made complete in me. I want to obey, I have sure suffered the consequences of disobedience.

Psalm 119:37
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

Turn our eyes from worthless things God...turn them to You through Your word.

The word for worthless things in the Hebrew is Saw meaning false, worthless, that which is in vain, sin iniquity, calamity, destruction. God please help us, give us focus. May it be said when we go to be with you that this world was not worthy of us.

9 comments:

Little Steps Of Faith said...

Wow Jen, that was some intense stuff:) But truly awesome:)

I love it how God brings a message to my heart, and then I go through to my other blog siestas, and He is teaching them the same:)

Its always about seeing the bigger picture when it comes to Him:)

I think about it now, and we all have our places in things in life, and I didn't have this blog last year, because I wasn't ready yet.

Siesta, Jesus is everything, and I am glad to know that you know that:)

I love reading your inspiring thoughts:)

Be Blessed:)

Angie

Abby said...

thanks for this girl...that first part really hit home with me...i too am dealing with a past season of sin that i was freed from not even a year ago yet, that has tried (an unfortunately been successful a few times) to rear it's ugly head back into MY head. old deceitful thoughts sometimes provoke me to give in instead of standing firm through the power of Christ in me to fight this thing.

a friend of mine this summer gave her testimony and it was only then that i realized how similar we were as well. but the part of her story that stuck out to me was that she had struggled in an area of sin for so long, but still felt the guilt and shame long after she had repented. she said she finally realized that she wasn't accepting God's grace in that area as ENOUGH. the enemy was letting her believe that she was doomed to live a life still haunted by this past instead of pressing forward with a powerful testimony to stand on and share with others.

i think i'm sort of there now. realizing that i acknowledged God's grace over this area in my life, but i never really believed and accepted it for what it is. no, i don't want to forget that season because i don't want to ignorantly go back there with my guard down; but there also comes a point when i have to accept the forgiveness that i've already asked for, and that has been given.

sorry i just wrote a book...guess i was sorting my thoughts out in a comment...lol...maybe i just should have said "thanks" and sent you an email! haha...have a great day :)

connorcolesmom said...

Oh girl how the enemy loves to through past sin in our face.
I too have had issues that I ahve struggled with but over the past year I am feeling the power of being obedient and the sin has lost its grip on me!
Praise the LORD!
Thank you for this post and your honesty!
Love ya,
Kim

Fran said...

Hey girl...
I could just say soooo many things on this fantastic post. I'll keep it to two: 1. Lets pray for our perspective to be HIS perspective.
2. We are free. Pray daily for that freedom to be fresh and renewed in our minds....our minds!
Satan cannot go there when we keep our mind renewed and focused.

Why can it be so hard?? Jesus knew it would be hard for us....thats why we keep running to Him a million times a day. I love Him so. He rescues me daily.

Thank you for your honesty.
Bless you siesta.

He Knows My Name said...

jenny, you know what i think. i admire you. you are working thru some hard things at a young stage in your life. you said "i knew the truth of God's word but what i felt and how i acted were not in line with the truth". ok. you probably have confessed and discussed this with God and now you have to choose to not believe any of satan's lies to keep you in the guilt/remorse pit (i'm preaching to myself here too).

you talked about your past, your present use of time, your falling for superficial things, your legacy these are all things the hs gets pickier and pickier with us and aren't we glad he does.

~janel

BethAnne said...

I can so relate to everything in this post - everything. Thanks for all the reminders....I need to stop obsessing over my looks and obsess over my God. Thank you sharing what God is teaching you!

Suzi said...

So true, so true! I have been reading a ton of really depressingly sad blogs this week! And have been thinking about many of the same things you touched on in this post!

I so do not waste a minute in sin, anger...my flesh.

I want to leave a legacy beind for my loved ones.

Thanks for sharing this today! It was a great post and I think we can all relate!

Tam said...

When I read this, "Most all of my disobedience can be summed up in a lack of love for my Father because if we love Him 1 John says we will obey Him. Well, I am praying that His love will be made complete in me. I want to obey, I have sure suffered the consequences of disobedience." It hit me right in the center of my being - You've just said it all for me...

Profbaugh said...

Oh wow!! I think I'm actually a little bit speechless (this could be a first!) I guess I'll just say, "Preach it, Siesta Jenny. Preach it!"

Amen!

~Cheryl