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Saturday, February 16, 2008

And Again

It is amazing how I sometimes have to keep relearning. I read this old post I wrote a while back and the Lord used it as a big reminder to me once again.

Friday, October 19, 2007

BIG FAT Ego's

Philippians 2:2-4

2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.



I used to teach in the singles ministry at my church for almost 7 years and I can not even begin to tell you some of the stupid, no idiotic, things this girl has said or done. Since, the time I have not been teaching the Lord has done a profound work in the "humbling jenny" department. Only one of my closest friends really knows about this work in me regarding to details. The Lord has really handed me over to myself in some ways to sift things out of me that HAD TO GO! You would not believe the selfish ambition that I have had at times and y'all it is disgusting in the eyes of God. It makes Him sick when we are not unified or when we are trying to have the spot light, or make a name for ourselves. Without constant examination we all fall prey to this because of our sin nature. Anyway, I normally have a history of having to learn things the hard way and I can not even begin to explain the ways the Lord has dealt with me in the last year and a half. I have really had to question everything and my faulty views of God have been shattered to pieces (I know He will continue to show me more of the One True God...not the one that I have imagined at times based on experiences). I have learned so much about His mercy, His love, His grace, and His faithfulness. I have also learned that we reap what we sew whether for the good or the bad. I have only been walking closely with Him for the last decade and He still manages to blow me away with His mystery. Last night I was headed to my little sisters and I looked into the sky to see sheer brilliance. I saw a rainbow out of the corner of my eye and thought I would pull off the side of the road in 5 o'clock traffic to take a picture and then I felt that might not be wise since I had my 2 year old in the car. What was so interesting is that there were SOOO many dark stormy rainclouds and I thought to myself man this is just like life at times we are going through a storm and we can't see our way through the dense fog and then the Lord shoots a rainbow in the sky right near the darkness and reminds me of His covenant relationship with His people. He is constant and remains unchanged regardless of our circumstances or storms. He is God Almighty.
++I just got home from work and I had typed the first portion 7 hours ago so let me see if I can get going again.++

So on to another point Luke chapter 9 has hit me between the eyes this week. Jesus sends out the 12 to preach the good news to the Jews. Then, He miraculously feeds the 5,000,which I have blogged about earlier in the week. Christ then transfigures Himself before Peter, James, and John (can you even imagine?). He goes on in the passage to heal the boy with the evil spirit, remember he had it since he was a small child. Then a fight breaks out among the disciples as to who will be the greatest among them. Then here it is that brings me to the point of this post:
54When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you
want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?"
55But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56and they went to another village.

How like us? We walk with the Lord, we know Him, and we see Him perform miracles in our lives and the lives of others and then we start to think we are members of some elite club. Jealousy of others can set in, which is rooted in pure insecurity and we start calling down our judgments on others in the body of Christ. The Lord can not stand this attitude in us...this spirit of competition among other believers. Why? Because satan wanted to make a name for himself instead of giving glory to God. We do the same thing if our chief end is not knowing God and bringing glory to Him. Let me tell you something personal. We should use our gifts to edify the body of Christ...it is a command that has a promised blessing. But what I want to say is that sadly there came a time where I was more focused on a calling then bringing glory to Christ. I am so sorry about that (I don't think I even realized it at the time)...it grieves me now as I type this. Through the last year I have learned a lesson that I pray will take forever...I am absolutely no better than anyone else. No matter how much scripture I know, whatever greek or hebrew I have memorized, nothing makes me superior to ANYONE else...nothing. You know the verse take heed you stand lest you fall...that will put you in your place when you start trying to judge (pass judgment that is reserved for God alone) on another person. Left to our own demise, no matter how long we have walked with God, we must guard our self from the pride that seeks to entangle our feet and trip us up. I believe the disciples got really proud after all they had seen and done with Christ and then they got to a really scary place. They were ready to call down fire and destroy people. We should absolutely tremble at the thought of others spending an eternity apart from Christ and we should pray for mercy on others and not judgment. Why? Because Matthew 7 says 1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. You and I need mercy, mercy, and more mercy. So don't we want it for others. There have been times where I have felt so betrayed and I wanted to call down fire on someone else. The times I have chosen to take God at His word and come to Him with raw honesty and pray for the person who hurt me God has healed me and made me free. When I have chosen to hang on to unforgiveness the bitterness has separated me from my God and eaten me up like a cancer (Believe me when I say though that forgiveness has not been an overnight process with some things I have dealt with...it has taken a lot of praying and a lot of time in the word). To me jealousy, passing judgment, and selfish ambition really are rooted in insecurity as I said before. When I stop and think it through with the Lord I have not wanted others to get in on what I had going with Jesus because I was afraid He would forget about me or He would not use me in the way I had planned. Instead the Lord has given me the message to BE STILL and KNOW that HE is God. (10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.") Many of you are familiar with this but the verse literally means to be still...to cease striving with your own plans and know Him. Know Him. As we seek Him we will find Him and we will want others to know Him. When we see that our righteousness is as filthy rags those big fat egos will be beaten down in light of the Holiness of our God. Quick story: The other day I was thinking back on friendships that didn't work out in elementary school, broken relationships that I never thought I would get over, abuse that I endured, and so many other things and I just had to praise God over how He was orchestrating my life even when I didn't understand. I had seen on Myspace some people that I used to be friends with and their life took on a completely different direction. I say this in all humility...I pray that they will come to the Lord...but what kind of direction would my life have taken had I continued journeying on with these people. No I am not better than them but through brokenness and not being able to understand...the Lord was working out His plans for me.

And back to the subject of working for the Lord and bringing glory to Him...we must make our focus knowing Him and delighting in Him and His light will spill over from our full cups. I love the following verse to remind me that the Lord knows my motives and hidden agendas and He will judge my work in truth because nothing is hidden from Him.
1 Corinthians 3:11-13

11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.

May the following verses be our hearts cry and that instead of seeking position we would see God with all of our hearts to love and adore Him and that He would be High and lifted up in our lives:
Psalm 27: 4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

And remember this and take it from me: YOU DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO LEARN EVERYTHING THE HARD WAY like I have so many times.
Matthew 23:12
12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

I hope this make sense because I am really tired. So goodnight. I love all of my bloggin' sistas (siestas)...(and brothers) and praise God for your passion for Jesus and how you have encouraged me!

10 comments:

Charity said...

That really is a good word.

One of my favorite scriptures is Galations 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

I hope you feeling good today!
Love,
Charity

NYC said...

You made so many great points in this post! First, you are absolutely right when you say that God will not accept anything that comes out of a self-serving purpose. Whoo, He weeds that out, sometimes easy, or im ny case, sometimes hard :) Although I would most absolutely want to learn things the easy way.

Second, yes, as human beings, we often (sometimes subtly) place ourselves higher than this or that person because of our knowledge and/or relationship to Christ. We must pray, pray, pray that God extends mercy to unsaved people, for we were once the same until the Son drew us near to the Father. Also, we have to get into the habit of praising God for all of the knowledge He has blessed us with being able to learn and process. I am trying to get into the habit of remembering that any abiliy I have to do anything comes straight from the Lord. He gives and takes away... okay, enough with the longest coment since sliced bread :)

Katie said...

Amen sister! This stepped all over my toes...and I loved it and desperately needed it! I have been struggling with this for some time now and have been begging God to help me because I don't want anything to come between us (it's just crazy how someone as messed up as I have been would have any ounce of selfish ambition inside of her...oh, wretched woman that I am!). Reading what you wrote about this has been an answer to my prayer, I said out loud when I saw the verse "Thank you Jesus!". Now, just pray that I will let this get through my thick skull so I can move on with my relationship with God.

Thanks Jenny for fearlessly bringing on the word today!

Lindsee said...

Amen, sister! Good word. I think it's a constant struggle for anyone who lives in the world. That's why we have to choose the spirit over the flesh! :)

Jessica said...

What great news! That Christ can overcome the flesh. The word of God is a constant renewel. You have such a gift for revelation, Jenny. Thank you for being led of the spirit. I come to your blog to hear from you, and always end up getting blessed!

Fran said...

OH WOW!! That was just so good Jenny. Lord, remove my "self" and fill me with nothing but You!

I thank you for sharing. This girl needed to hear so many of these things you wrote about.

And....the darling Valentine girl below is the sweetest angel I've seen. Her little face is precious.

Hope your weekend is wonderful.
Blessings~

Bev Brandon said...

You said you posted this before...made me think that it's not that we realize something new or something for the first time but we need to be reminded again and again like it says: encourage one another DAILY...and you do! Thanks for reminding us of what is really true. Bev

Faith said...

Oh, sister, that is SO true! God has convicted me of similar things lately: I saw some ugly competitiveness crop up. Very scary to see what's really in my heart! I am so glad God is at work in there to redeem and transform!

He Knows My Name said...

jenny, i must come clean, i too am a member in the hard headed learn the hard way club. i need His grace everyday! hugs ~janel

He Knows My Name said...

do you have a dr. appt. yet. if you don't i'm gonna have to woop you! :) ~janel