Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oil & Water Just Don't Mix

1 John 2:15-17
15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

I am going through a personal time of warfare right now. I have had the blessing of being able to start teaching again in the Singles ministry to women. My first Sunday is this Sunday so please say a prayer! I will then start back my fall bible study on Tuesday nights this coming Tuesday. It is as if I almost forgot the wiles of the enemy. I taught for seven years and without fail I had warfare for seven years (and have continued to don't get me wrong). Don't get all freaked out on me I am just saying that the enemy would come against me in some form to try to thwart Gods plans. I look back over the years that I taught week in and week out and wonder why anyone ever came to my class. There were times I felt like the biggest idiot after I taught. I would go home some afternoons, sit in my bed, and pull my pillow over my head thinking about how bad I blew a lesson and wonder what in the world went wrong. Then, I have wondered why people are still friends with me and on and on. It really is about His power being made perfect in our weakness though. So, He sure gets the glory for ever even using me to accomplish one ounce glory. My cardboard testimony is Psalm 130 for sure! The primary area the enemy targets is a relationship that is close to my heart, one that in no way am I called to leave. For whatever reason every season we just butt heads. There has to be a point that comes with each of us when we no longer succumb to the same old same old way of reacting just because we are stuck in a rut.
We are called to holiness as believers. However, when I teach it holds me to such accountability about the standard of purity in my life. I think this is why we should all continue to serve in the gifts God has given us because there in lies our calling. Consecration should be the standard at all times but I am just being honest about how serious I take teaching a class of people. (And no I am not talking about being a pastor) I do know that I am the least of the least and not worthy or fit to do anything for the Lord, yet for His grace.
So, I am upping my level of consecration and being a lot more particular and intentional. It is just way too easy to let your guard down in the area of what you watch (your eyes are a lamp unto your soul), what you listen to (it does affect you), where you go (whether you are setting yourself up for temptation), the way you spend your time (our life is a vapor and mist). I have heard over and over people tell me that certain things just don't effect them. Wrong. What you put in that precious mind of yours effects you. How do I know? 1. From experience and 2. Gods word says so. So take that up with God of the Universe. I have at times been on facebook or something and someones pictures will come up in my feed and I begin to click through thinking thoughts like these: "Oh she is so much prettier than me." --"This couple seems so in love, like they are best friends."--"she dresses so cute."--"She is thinner than me." All from looking at some stinking pictures. Half the time your thoughts aren't even true of their situations. Yet there are so many things that create a sinful discontent in us as we compare ourselves to this world system. God gave Adam and Eve a lot of variety in the garden paradise and they went after the ONE THING...THE ONE THING that God said no to. They focused on all the one thing they could not have instead of all that God had given them. That is our sin nature at its best. With all of the media outlets we have we are inundated with things that raise our level of discontent...and we lust and lust for what we feel God is holding out on us over.
As I was boiling some water earlier today I poured some oil in the pot and watched as I have many times how it all starts out as a bunch of drops and then forms as a whole spot of oil. That is exactly what Christ is calling us to. He wants us to be in the sea of people on this earth yet He doesn't want us to blend in. We are called to be radically different in a world of chameleons. We are to come together, united as one body of believers yet serving in our individual places. I will never forget a sermon I heard about ten years ago regarding salt and light. Salt and light are so prevalent in our day that we have a hard time thinking of "back in the ancient day." Salt is a preservative and light was not just the flip of a switch. When your house is pitch black and a light comes on, even the smallest light, it extinguishes the darkness. We are called to spill out onto the meat of this world and shine for Christ but it won't happen on accident. When we compromise (which I have had my share of) we lose focus, and sensitivity. We in essence put our lamp under the bed instead of shining like a city on a hill.
After all what good is salt if it loses its saltiness?

Matthew 5:13
13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

The whole point here is that we have an identity problem. When we start to blend we forget our identity in Christ...that He is our life. Yet what is our point if we lose our effectiveness? If we lose the whole point of our being here for this brief time. When we conform to the patterns of this world we become like the above verse...not good for anything. Salt if it wasn't added flavor or preservative was tossed out and mixed with gypsum to help plaster a roof on top of a house. Back in the day people spent plenty of time on the roof and trampled under foot that salt mixed with gypsum. Do you want to be effective? Ask God to show you what your level of cooperation needs to be regarding what needs to go that is pulling you down. Listen, as hard as it is to let go of some of the things that have a hold on you work with Him. You were meant to live in the freedom that is already yours. So stand firm and do not be burdened again to a yoke of slavery.
Short story: I used to be so co-dependent. You have no idea. My identity was so wrapped up in having a man in my life. So, the Lord called me to be by myself because I needed to know that I could be OK, He didn't need to know I would be OK. I thought it was going to be the death of me. Yet my whole deal did not start over night and I sure wasn't going to be free of long standing co-dependence overnight. When I tell you I cooperated with Him as painstakingly as it was I am not kidding. I prayed, I fasted, I memorized scripture. I got on the floor and writhed in pain as my heart was completely His and it was the most liberating thing that had ever happened to me at that point. I was not whole as long as I clung to my idols. I am not even that person anymore. Why? Because His word works. He works! So go with me and let us press on to know Him. Let's bind together and build one another up in the faith.

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Steve said...

I really like this post. I'm sure that your a fine teacher, and I'm also sure that if God did not want you to teach, you would not be teaching.By your writtings, sounds like to me, God is showing HIMSELF to you in a Great way. my prayer is that some young people will read this post. I've also did things that my mind will never forget. If the young ones would understand that what you do today, will always be there in your mind, as long as you live. God remembers this about me no more, My Past. May God bless you and keep you, and may HE give you peace for teaching this up coming year.Just keep looking up.

Toknowhim said...

Two good posts today... I totally understand what you are saying about holding yourself to a standard of purity through and through...

I so need that, and I am not teaching anyone at present... Consecration to our Lord is where I know I will find my freedom in Him...

Love ya Jenny... Keep pressing on in Him...

Anonymous said...

Girl, you blow my mind. I would love to be able to sit in your teaching class. If I am this blessed my your posts, I can't even imagine the joy I would get sitting under your "teaching". I know God will richly bless you.
Nancy in NC

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Fabulous post Jenny. I always enjoy your writings and so much of this resonated true to my own life.

THanks for sharing,

michellemabell said...

Beautiful post.

I still remember years and years ago when I first read Jerry Bridges's, The Pursuit of Holiness. I was a new believer and wow did that open my eyes and show me how God looks upon holiness and for that matter what holiness even is.

Keep pressing on with your teaching God's Word.
You are in my prayers.


Still Learning said...

Jenny, I really enjoyed reading this. Although it scared me too! Starting Sept. 17 I will begin teaching the women's Bible study class. I am justing getting myself prepared for those attacks and accusations whispered in my ear from the ole lying accuser Satan that I am not good enough and won't do a good job. Really, we all just need to pray for each other. I'll be praying for you girl.


AveryHome said...

Hi Jenny, Funny...I was just searching for a scripture lesson to go with an oil & water experiment that I am doing with children tomorrow and stumbled across your post. Your words have encouraged and blessed me. Now I just need to figure out how I get the message to 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 years olds :)