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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Things That War Against the Soul

1 Peter 2:10-12

10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

It always amazes me when I listen with my heart how God brings sermons, bible studies, and etc to the same theme bringing unity to the message He wants driven into my heart and mind.

How many times do you and I let this world system, culture, or what people say about us define who we think we are? God says that in Christ we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, we are holy, loved, chosen by God, saints (set apart ones), washed, forgiven.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

The Lord has really been speaking to my heart over this (through scripture and other sermons) wanting me to believe who I am in Him. He doesn't want me to just know it as a fact or something on a page but He wants me to know it down in the bone and marrow. Something Beth Moore has often said that has stuck out to me for years is that we act out what we truly believe. She is dead on. We desperately need Gods truth to sink down deep in us or when the storms come in life we will not stand.

I have been having a time in the desert (not dessert...LOL) where the Lord has been testing me and stripping me of well me, and bringing things to the surface that need to be dealt with. If I do not believe what God says to be true of me I will inevitably look for worth and fulfillment in something else. This passage of scripture tells us who we are in Christ and then it admonishes us to stay away from the fleshly lusts (KJV) that war against our soul. The word for fleshly is:
4559 sarkikos {sar-kee-kos'}
Meaning: 1) fleshly, carnal 1a) having the nature of flesh, i.e. under the control of the animal appetites 1a1) governed by mere human nature not by the Spirit of God 1a2) having its seat in the animal nature or aroused by the animal nature 1a3) human: with the included idea of depravity 1b) pertaining to the flesh 1b1) to the body: related to birth, linage, etc

And the word for lust is:
1939 evpiqumi,a epithumia {ep-ee-thoo-mee'-ah}
Meaning: 1) desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust

When you and I are walking in the flesh not yielding or submitting to God we will live for the things of the flesh and reap destruction. Unfortunately, I know about making poor choices that have harmed me. When we seek to live and walk in the Spirit our lives will bring forth fruit that will last and we will have peace in our souls.

I have always struggled with insecurity. Growing up I so desperately wanted to please everyone but no matter what I did it didn't seem to make anyone happy enough. Then along the way in certain relationships I would allow other people to define me with their words. One day after much frustration it was like the Lord whispered to my heart, "Jenny, forget what anyone else says about you...who do I say you are?" I had to make a decision to yes learn from criticism, but to not let what others say define me as a person if it is in contradiction to what God says of me. Being insecure will lead to all manner of desperate decisions and attempts to try to find love. It will bring you to the things that war against your soul and often wound you when you seek your worth in anyone but God.

I can still remember things that were said to me, fiery arrows that were shot straight to my heart, and I let those things have control over me. I remember hearing things like you are an accident, I hate you, you're an idiot, you get the picture and those things would wound and I would think well they know me so it must be true. Then, over the years I let a lot of peoples actions define me...what they didn't do or the emotional rejection I felt, define me as well.

If you have never struggled with this I praise God. All I am trying to say is if you and I don't let the love of God sink into our parched and barren souls we will set ourselves up for disaster, always seeking to be affirmed by this world or other people in my life. It will suck our will to live. God will allow people to fail us in order to open our eyes to the One who will never leave us or forsake us. He will also use these divine set ups to teach us that no one can fill us it is truly impossible. If we seek others to define our worth they become idols in our lives. God for sure provided others for fellowship but we are not to bow down and take on a yoke of oppression to someone we have let (define us) or become "a god" in our life. WHO DOES GOD SAY YOU ARE? Search it out. Ask Him to free you from all of the lies you have believed so that you can walk securely with your God.

I was reading Job and something really stood out to me in the footnotes. It said that maybe the enemy used Job's friends bad counsel to tempt him to sin against God. I think he for sure knows where we are weak and if this is an issue for us he is going to use it to our demise to get us to live in defeat. Lets not let that creep get the victory. If you are in Christ, the Lord Jesus set His affection on you. He loved you so much that He died for you and one day in the blink of an eye...He is coming in a very real tangible way...He is coming for you. So no matter the rejection, you are not rejected by God. He bought you at a price, while you and me were dead in our sins. Allow Him to kick down the walls you have put around your heart in a measly attempt to guard your own heart yourself. When you guard your heart without giving it to Him to guard, you set yourself up for a lot of bitterness, which will take root and spread like a cancer into your whole being and even permeate those around you.

I wish I could open up and be so honest of all the ways I have been tested with this but it is between me and the Lord. It is my prayer for us that we don't waste our life here trying to feel affirmed by this world...it is a beast that will never be tamed. I pray that we will believe God and go on with Him even if our family rejects us (in not loving us the way we want to be loved), our friends reject us, or even our husband rejects us. We have got to believe God and no longer live like a victim waiting for the world or people to love us, when God loves us so much. We are to be a peculiar people (not in some weird way) and a people that are set apart to declare the praises of the One who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. To do this we are going to have to walk by faith and not by sight (or how we feel). We are not who we once were anymore. We are not to walk like we once did...and it is easy to return to that if you aren't allowing God to have His way in you and if you aren't replacing lies with truth. I sure don't want to be the dog returning to her vomit, like the fool who returns to her folly. Vomit tastes nasty, LOL! I have had enough of my own junk.

2 Corinthians 5:7 We live by faith, not by sight.

Psalm 45:11

11 The king is enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord.

Oh and on a completely different note I strained my back from cleaning the floor. I guess pride comes before the fall since I was bragging about it. =) I really was kidding though. I prayed that the Lord would let Morgan be calm for me and the child has been so good it isn't even funny she has been laying in the bed with me watching Thomas for hours now. He is making us lie down in green pastures....;)

6 comments:

darla said...

This is something that I fall into over and over, I carry a list of verses with me that I read out loud to remind myself that I am what HE says i am, and everything else that I take in is to be filed in the trash. Love you girl and you are who God says you are!

I teach this identity in Christ, and it makes a huge difference how we take in everything else HE has for us! Love you Princess!

Bev Brandon said...

Truth. Truth. Truth.
So good. So good. So good.

Reminds me of Jacob...
steal the birthright
sell the blessing
They kept doing same things
over and over and over and over
and did they expect a different outcome? No peace there. Eph 2:14

What you said---don't let world define you...even my story doesn't define me. Reading a book right now that says 3 lies we believe: we are what we have, we are what we do, and we are what others say about us.

You certainly provoke us
to repent
to reflect
to revel in our waiting God
oh wait...
Jen told me He's running!!!!!!

bummer on the back note
i am about the same today
leaving in a.m. for houston
if weather permits
everyone at grocery store
buying for potential freeze..uh oh

Ang baylis said...

Hey Jenny!
Great great great post! How old are you again? Your wisdom is unbelievable, not reallly , it's awesome! I would love to be peculiar with you! I know how it feels to be rejected and I know it doesn't take time to heal, it takes Him! I'm glad you are Believing God!

Shalom... (I've never used that word before, but it seemed fitting!)
Angie xoxo

Little Steps Of Faith said...

I just love you girl, you always are dead on with what I'm thinking:)
We have such an awesome God:)
I hope to meet you one day girl, its not often where I can sit and contemplate indepthly with any of my friends, but I pray on that...but I know you would be cool with it:)
Be Blessed girl:)
My devo diva sista!

Care said...

I love coming to your blog Jenny! You're right on with God's word and can relate to so many us :0). Blogging is new to me. I'm so refreshed coming to your site and hearing you comfort us with Jesus' Words. You're my Beth Moore blogger :).

It is so true that many of us struggle with molding our lives after what others say and think rather than what Christ thinks. I've been listening to Joyce Meyer and her Battlefield of the Mind is right in line with what you were sharing. God has been teaching me to be free in His truths (John 8:32). It is so freeing when we keep our eyes on Christ and how he sees us.

It is so easy to say we don't deserve something and forget how much the Lord wants to bless us and how much He love us.

I wanted to share something that I am hoping other bloggers will join in on. In about a week, our family is adopting a little girl :). We adopted her sister almost a year and half ago. I also have a son that God blessed us with almost 12 years ago. My story is long..but to keep it short, my family suffered multiple miscarriages. After the last one, God encouraged us to go through foster care and within 6 months we had our first baby girl. She came to us very fragile having been born 2 months premature. The neat Gift was that God placed her in our arms when our baby was supposed to be born. (she was great medicine because she needed lots of holding and our arms ached to hold another baby)

Because of this little girl, we were able to care for her sister (who was born a little over a year later) and plan for her adoption. My desire was to make a HUGE impact for the other orphans and widows whose needs are not being met. So in honor of James 1:27 we are lifting up prayers and releasing balloons. We are attaching tags to the balloons so that others can join in the act of James 1:27 (look after orphans and widows in their distress) and it can have a rippling effect.

When we did our first adoption we had a big party. Our second daughter may ask why we didn't do the same for her and our answer will be that her big party will come in heaven. I believe in the power of prayer and that her big day will have an effect on so many other orphans and widows in need.

I hope that whoever reads this, will consider James 1:27 and reach out...even if it is through prayer. If you want to join us in this effort, we are doing this next Thursday Jan 31st.

I never would have thought that God would have chosen this path for our family nor do I think I deserve it...but I know He does.

I hope your back feels better real soon. :0)

Anonymous said...

jenny,
I just want to thank you again for your encouraging words!
Courtney