Friday, May 2, 2014

Grace abounds

Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work? Be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you. -John Owen

Mortify:  to destroy the strength, vitality, or functioning of  (gotta love some old English words)

I have been battling some anger over some things that happened in the past. Even though I know I have been set free, there are moments that strike me and cause fear and anger over some of the decisions I have made. Now, I know I can’t change the past but when these thoughts come into my head, I start to doubt myself over what I’m doing right now. I start to wonder if I really can do better. Fear of failure is a very present monster that I struggle with. Which makes me sometimes- heck most times a very intense, super intentional person.

Yet I believe with everything in me, that God’s grace is sufficient and that there is no condemnation for those in him. The Bible is  also clear in Matthew 26:7 “Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” If I’m being honest with myself, I have a few root causes to deal with: pride (how could I have done that?), worry (what if…). We all want to believe that we are better than the reality. 

John Owen again:

How can we possibly believe the promises concerning Heaven, immortality, and glory, when we do not believe the promises concerning our present life? And how can we be trusted when we say we believe these promises but make no effort to experience them ourselves? It is just here that men deceive themselves. It is not that they do not want the Gospel privileges of joy, peace and assurance, but they are not prepared to repent of their evil attitudes and careless life-styles. Some have even attempted to reconcile these things and ruined their souls. But without the diligent exercise of the grace of obedience, we shall never enjoy the graces of joy, peace and assurance.

 Let no man think to kill sin with few, easy, or gentle strokes. He who hath once smitten a serpent, if he follow not on his blow until it be slain, may repent that ever he began the quarrel. And so he who undertakes to deal with sin, and pursues it not constantly to the death.

This is so sobering, and yet goes to the root cause of my struggles. I need to get over myself and consistently go before the Lord for daily sustenance. That is why the Bible is called our daily bread! I can testify, when I feel like I got things in control and I’m not surrendering to God, sooner or later things and thoughts that are unwanted creep back in. Yet when we have sins that are recurring, we need to lay it at the feet of Jesus until they are put to death. As is the nature of life, we will encounter struggles. Let’s not wait until they have become such big monsters, or  reconcile with our sins or be comfortable with careless life-styles. We are being obedient when we surrender to God, and he brings joy, peace and assurance to every circumstance, that is a promise. Thank God for his grace that I can go to him even when I mess up over and over.

2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

In perspective

I experienced disappointment from family and friends on something I am hoping will turn out great. Sadly I have had this on the back of my mind for a couple days and today I let it out on my husband. Well he was part of the disappointment. Let’s just say there has been a bit of drama and confusion over the baby shower. I started wishing that my sister and mom were here because none of this would happen- maybe. As I was replaying this over and over in my head and working myself into a pretzel, I heard on radio that it was National day of Prayer and the first prayer offered was for victims of flooding in Romania.

What a piece of work I am, working myself up over something so minute in the big scheme of things! I just felt the Holy Spirit convict me. Me, me, me is all I was thinking. Surely, I could be grateful for the shower at church and the wonderful shower and generosity of my coworkers. Surely I could be grateful for a wonderful pregnancy. I have been blessed with everything that I need.

Truth is people even those closest to us will constantly disappoint us. They are just like me, imperfect, human. When we look to other people to fulfill a part of us, we set ourselves up for failure. Today I was reminded of that in the midst of my whining. I seriously felt like the Lord was saying, “Get a grip, and get in perspective!”

I was letting a minor disappointment unravel me and dictate the trajectory of the day. Yet the needs of many people far outweigh what mine are. I should be on my knees being grateful and praying for someone else’s situation.

Lord I ask for forgiveness for my selfishness. Instead of focusing on disappointments, help me to focus on you, and what you have appointed for me today. Thank you because in you I have everything I need and more.

Psalm 103:2-5
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender
Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.