-People Are Blessings-
Had an amazing rendezvous with a friend today and the entire conversation we talked about God. It was such a blessing! I find it so wonderful how God puts people into your life who really help you grow in Him. For example, my best friend has REALLY helped me grow in Christ. She was put into my life RIGHT when I needed to grow deeper in Him as well. I learned so so many things today, that I can't even list them all...in fact, I probably forgot the majority.
-The Church is Catching Major Z's-
Major thing--My friend is reading a book called "The Heavenly Man" about a man and his experience with being a believer in China. This man experienced a lot of persecution through his experiences. He was put in prisons and tortured amidst other trials. He talks about his experiences in the churches there, that were usually held in the basements of people's houses and just how much unity there was among the believers. After coming to the west, and experiencing Christianity here, he says that the churches here are sleeping- that the people here have too many material possessions and a lot of wealth that their beliefs grow stale. In China, however, where there is persecution people are on fire for God. Interesting.
It's a very sad thing that people here are sleeping when it comes to their faith. When are we going to start taking our faith seriously and really start living for it? When are we going to essentially "get over ourselves" and truly surrender to God and His people? I truly think it's because here we have too many temporary "comforts" that we put our faith in. People live for their idols-selfish ambitions, wealth, relationships, power, etc--things that eventually fade away.
-Not Thinking with Purpose-
I even find that as a believer it's easy for one's purpose to deviate. Everything we do and say must be done for the Lord. "For we don't just live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it's to honour the Lord. And if we die, it's to honour the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." Romans 16:7-8.
These days whenever I do something I always think about its purpose. I was telling my friend that I am a writer...and I've always dreamed about being published. When I was younger and had this dream, I always thought about how wonderful it would be to have my book in stores...to write something great that people could really connect to, perhaps something that would even save someone's life. These days growing closer to God, I think about if this is really His purpose for me. I mean I love to write, and I would love to be published...but God right now is using my writing to glorify Him-- to figure out and record His wisdom...He is placing me and using me the way I am to be used at that moment.
-A Skewed Focus-
I realize that sometimes my focus is skewed. I focus so much, sometimes, on my sin and changing and correcting it, rather than just focusing on God. I found today listening to my friend and the man's experiences from the book totally put my mind in another zone. I was engrossed and quieted by how amazing God is and how He rewards those who have faith. I realize that a focus on God and what He has done for us is just the right tool in overcoming sin. I realize that I sin, because I do not have my mind focused on God and His purpose. I believe yet another lie and instead prioritize something else as important in my life. For example, I've been having a crazy ride with my sin of possessiveness. And I know this sin stems from the idolizing of relationships. When I've found a good friend, I hold so fast and tightly to my relationship with them and what I have with them, and I get so scared that it will be taken away or that I will be replaced as a friend in their life and then I get possessive.
In this case, I am believing the lie that I am important- that in a sense I am majestic. In those moments I do not realize that God blesses us with relationships. There are NOT a given and God is not obligated to give us a good friend. It is always by His grace that we enjoy all that we do. In those moments of possessiveness I am not realizing God's grace and how wonderful He is. My mind is consumed with control and loss rather than God's ultimate purpose of winning souls back to Him. In these cases, my focus is skewed.
-The Soul and Body are Connected-
Was telling my friend about my experiences with MH and being a friend and being there for him despite the way he lives his life. And we started talking about how the soul and body are definitely connected. For example, sexual sin has a tremendous affect on one's spirit, as the Bible says..if you are joined with a prostitute, you become one flesh with her. Those who have been very liberal with their bodies usually experience a spiritual disconnection. For example, alcohol and drug addiction not only affects your body but also your soul. You can usually tell who is an addict because of the emotional and spiritual toll that it takes on them. Because these types of people have learned to deal with pain through excessive consumption of substances that harm them, rather than relying on God their soul suffers.
-A Church Divided Fails-
As I've blogged, I'm really trying to understand this "oneness in Christ" concept because I think it is EXTREMELY crucial to our faith and it is only through oneness where we can progress together as believers. A church divided cannot and I repeat CANNOT achieve too much of anything. My friend was saying that if all of the Christians of the world united and were exercising the fruits of the spirit and just WOKE UP this world would definitely change and I believe it would! We need to WAKE UP and there definitely NEEDS to be a revival in us believers. We need to realize and maintain oneness as believers, and make sure that we are of ONE mind and purpose.
-You Gotta Have Faith-
Without faith, nothing can be done. We have to truly and honestly believe in God's power for anything to be enacted. I've found this summer, most especially, that God truly truly rewards faith. The more you believe, the more God reveals Himself. And He is ALWAYS faithful. I've heard of so many people who have needed money to go on missions and were almost on the plane but didnt have enough funds and God suddenly provided. My friend was telling me of the Idaho fires that could have destroyed the camps of a Christian organization. The members prayed and it was a miracle. The fire ruined everything but the camps. Can you believe that? God continues to do amazing things for those who believe and love Him. Our faith can go a really long way..so continue to pray and believe.
-Let Go and Let God-
God requires that you let go. My friend was telling me of a time when she got into an argument with her father, and she went in her room to calm down. There, God was telling her to simply love her father...and she was resisting God's command. I can completely relate! Sometimes I've been in positions where I have to make the first move-I have to humble myself and let go...but I find myself actively opposing. I dont want to do it! But I know this is what God would have me do...it is the best thing for myself and for others.
I am the proudest person I know!!! I really am...and I am trying hard to let go, let go and deny myself. Trying so so hard. I find it so hard to humble myself. I have this very stubborn mind and I'm extremely opinionated. I hate to be wrong, etc. And I have this horrible habit of crushing and really hurting others who I think have hurt my ego. First of all, I must deny myself. Deny, deny, deny! Most of the time, the things that one gets all riled about don't really matter. Often, I cant even remember what arguments and disputes were about. I have this way of wanting to prove myself to people. But really, what is there to prove? Does it all matter in the long run? And am I thinking of out a framework of winning people to Christ, of encouraging and uplifting others? NO? Then I should just forget it. I'm learning moreso now to think before speaking to people rather than acting out of emotion. It's so hard!
-Keep your Eye on the Lord-
There is no place for self-rightousness. I'm learning so much about God these days that it's so easy to think that you know everything..when you don't! It's only by God's grace that we know anything about Him! We must continually humble ourselves..ask God to humble us and help us to do so. I believe that we can truly attain oneness with Christ through humility. And..right when you think you have achieved something...that you have overcome a sin, it comes right back to bite you! You have achieved nothing. It is really only through a constant and close relationship with God that we can keep sin away from us. We must always upkeep this relationship. For example, when I don't spend time with God, I immediate feel myself deviating. I ALWAYS need to be dissolved in God's word. As Jesus said, when he was being tempted by the devil: "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4) THIS IS SO TRUE! I honestly can not live ONE DAY without God's word...I need it in my system to be connected with Him!
This summer has left me speechless. God is SO AMAZING! I cannot even begin to speak. I am so grateful for ALL of the BLESSINGS and driven to tears! Everybody close to me has experienced some really wonderful blessings from God this summer, it's amazing. EY! I am in awe! We just must continue to praise and give thanks!
We must continue to pray for this city, for our loved ones, for those we don't know. We must pray for humility, for love, for faith and wisdom. We must pray for God to come into our hearts...and to truly love our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as those who do not know him. This is important.
-Live in Faith-
I always get so scared about all of the many ways I may fail...how I may sin next, how my thoughts, actions hurt others and God. I must however, set my mind on God continually!
For all who read this blog or don't! (haha) I love you all and want what's best! We must grow in knowledge of the Lord and TRULY love each other through humility! God bless!!!