Friday, October 5, 2007

Out of Touch

James 2:15-17

15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

I hung up the phone with my sister an hour or so ago and I have been cleaning the house and thinking. We were talking about the kiddos and just family stuff. Then our conversation took a serious turn. She and her husband have three children and her husband is the associate pastor at a church in North Alabama. They have been visiting Paraguay for the last couple of years. Their church has helped start a day care center in a poverty stricken town. I was talking with her about some stuff that really resonated with me when I did the Daniel study (by Beth Moore). I was sharing with her about how much we have seen the hand of God provide for us and how I am afraid that if I were rich or something that I would be afraid that I would get really proud and think I had something to do with things (as if). I told her how I have been praying the following verses for several years in regards to needs:
Proverbs 30:7-9

7 "Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:

8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.

9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the LORD ?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

I have prayed that God would give us our daily bread. Man can not live on bread alone, but I have been praying that He would just meet my needs for years now. I know what it is like to struggle but I have no idea some of the struggles that others face around the world.

I got to thinking about the motto here in America: "Land of the free. Home of the Brave." Please hear me out as I say this, are we really free? Or are we in bondage to our stuff (I am not talking about everyone)? Are we really brave as Christians in America? As I type that I am washed in conviction. I get so tied up in my own self, my own trivial pursuit in life. I am not talking about war hero's but I am talking about America. In Christ we are free and He is our personal bravery but are we living that out? I am not always.... I can say that for sure.

A quick personal story is that I have really tried to take God up on His words in Matthew 6 and other passages. I want to trust Him when times are good and when times are bad. I want to seek first His kingdom. I want to be content. Not a sinful contentment, but a holy and godly contentment. I want to be satisfied with Him and in Him. I want to beat the snot out of my flesh and its cravings sometimes. It is never satisfied...wanting, craving, hungering, for lustful fleeting pleasure. Whenever Morgan starts to run low on clothes I pray and ask God to provide them for her. I am not speaking on prosperity but listen they literally show up at my door. Could I go out and spend myself buying them, yes. Instead, I have been blessed beyond measure by waiting on Him and watching Him do what He does. I sat on my couch and literally wept before the Lord over His provision for me Tuesday morning. Wednesday night Rod called me at work and asked me to come straight home when I got off because he was so tired. I always come home so I kind of cracked up about the call but instead of coming right home... I had not eaten all night so my stomach drove me to Taco-Nasty-Bell. This is what I was going to have to tell him if he asked why I was a few minutes behind. I thought about how much our appetites really drive us until we are suffocating the cries of the really needy in tirelessly trying to satisfy our flesh.

Philippians 3:18-20
18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ

I shared with Heather about King Neb and how he was given and opportunity to humble himself by renouncing his sins and showing kindness to the poor. Long story short he did not do this and he was humbled big time. Beth talked about how we wanted to learn this lesson in the classroom and not on a field trip. Amen. I don't want to have to take that field trip of being humbled because I have many times. It is not fun. Anyway, as she and I were talking she brought up some of the work they were doing in Paraguay (she says I write too long...just on and on she says...don't you love the honesty of flesh and blood!). The children that are in the daycare centers parents would LEAVE THEM CHAINED TO THE DOOR OR A TREE while they went to work in prostitution and etc before they had the free daycare to take them to. The children were so diseased and malnourished when they first got there. Can you imagine...leaving your child chained up or just playing in the streets while you went off to work? I can not even begin to imagine. As I have felt the chaos of clutter closing in on me tonight I thought about the abundance here. Should you run right now to your closet and get rid of all but one outfit? I am not saying that. What I am saying is that I literally have so much excess that it just gets in the way. As Heather and I talked she spoke of how the children there had one outfit and the daycare center was washing their clothes each day. She said the kids are getting fed, bathed, and loved on. She says the difference in going there last year and this year is a world apart. The children in the daycare were so much more nourished and healthy...Praise the Lord. Count your blessings because no matter what we are going through we are still blessed to live in America. Lord, I am sorry for my whining, complaining, discontented attitude. Please open our eyes Jesus and keep sending out the workers into your field to help your precious children. God please help us to not lose sight of the poor around us.


Fran said...

We can be SO very out of touch. Our world is sometimes just "sick" with stuff. I mean I love all sorts of stuff...but, thankfully God did not make my family millionaires because I would easily be caught up in stuff and spiral down quickly. That is my weakness...needing things, wanting things, feeling approved, wanting to fit in with the "others." I can feel completely insecure and turn toward anything that I think will bring me happiness. I've learned along the way...only my JESUS makes me truly happy. Its a beautiful happy. Whats that scripture...."Where your heart is there is your treasure." I paraphrased that.

Anyway, lets keep our eyes on Jesus...focused on others....furthering the kingdom...and glorifying Him through it all. I bet when we keep our God glasses on, our perspective changes completely.
I don't need to take mine off.

Have a great weekend Ms. Jenny. Love ya!

connorcolesmom said...

It is so easy in a society of too much but give me more to lose touch.
Thank you for that reminder!
God bless,

Teri said...

Great word Jenny! You put into words exactly my heart right now. How I need to throw myself at His feet and thank Him for all that I have been blessed with!

Lindsee said...

Your new look is SO cute!! :)

DidiLyn said...

Okay, I am officially in love with your heart! We are sisters. I'll be visiting often.
Thanks for blogging. Can't wait to read more.
You are my sister in Christ!