Do you ever wonder why when you try to live selflessly, thankfully, and authentically it seems like every element in rhe entire universe is aligning to try stop you from doing so?
The answer to that question lies in some ancient words….
Centuries ago, the Apostle Paul was mentoring Timothy and wrote him a letter. In that letter – now a part of the Bible – God was giving His Church a glimpse of what life would be like in our modern times.
Paul was telling Timothy that the “latter days”, a.k.a. our modern age, would be characterized by people who are relentlessly greedy, self-seeking, lazy, and ungrateful… among other things. In essence, this passege tells us that the spirit of our modern times is selfish pride. So, when we strive to live beyond ourselves to walk out a lifestyle of kindness and humility, we are actually rebelling against the evil “spirit of the age” that Paul wrote to Timothy about so very long ago.
No wonder it feels like all hell itself is coming against us when we strive to live beyond ourselves! Does this mean we shouldn’t live in the beautiful love-led way Jesus modeled for us when He walked our streets? Of course not! That kind of selfless love-driven life is exactly what He made us for. So keep going for that kind of life, friends…. a life so much bigger than what you see around you and the pretense on your TV and computer screen.
But, keep in mind… When you live like that you are being a rebel against our very times for the cause of Christ. So don’t you dare do it without Him. And don’t you dare do it alone. Depend on God’s strength – not your own. And stay in community, a Bible-based church (like my Amazing Church) where you’re surrounded and supported by other “rebels” against the spirit of this selfish age.
It won’t be easy, but it wiil be worth it!
“Purity leads us to fervent prayer & fervent prayer leads us to purity.” – @PriscillaShirer #SomeCyclesAreGood #GetCaughtUpInHIM
(BTW…. In my humble opinion, the book Fervent is a “must read” for every woman)
One of the results of the fall way back in the Garden of Eden is the tendency we women have to think we cannot be complete or get our needs met apart from a man in our life (“Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” – Genesis 3:16b). Please remember, this is a part of a curse after Adam & Eve’s sin. But it doesn’t have to be our story because Jesus died and lives to break that curse (among others).
When we put any man – even a most wonderful one – in the place of God in our hearts, things will get ugly. We’ll either pursue a relationship more than we pursue the very One who died just to be in relationship with us, or we’ll put pressure on our guy to be our everything – even begging him as stated in the image below.
Make sure your heart is securely placed in God’s hands before you even think about placing it in the hands of anyone else. And, choose your man wisely: someone whose track record and not just his words prove his love for God. Then… God can move your guy’s heart toward you as only God can.
(Note: I found this great meme on The Conflicts of Life Facebook page. Great page to follow!)
So, have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who is “jammin’ out” to music in their headphones? A bit challenging, isn’t it? He or she may even make a comment directed at you, but they can’t hear your response even if you shout.
One of three things can happen in this scenario:
1) The person takes the initiative on their own to either turn down the music or remove the headphones so they can hear you and connect with you relationally.
2) You do what it takes to get their attention. This may entail shouting, yanking the earbuds out of their head (not recommended), or waving your arms in their face or otherwise gesturing to get their attention.
3) After your voice gets raspy from shouting or you decide that whatever it is they’re listening to must be way more important to them than even acknowledging you’re in the room, you simply stop trying to communicate with them.
God has been showing me lately that sometimes my approach to Him doesn’t differ much from someone lost in their own “jam” while someone else is trying to share something beautiful and even life-changing with them. I claim to want a relationship with God more than anything. I claim to long to hear His voice. But, at the same time, I may not take the steps necessary to silence the other voices and noises vying for my attention so that I can hear my loving Father’s voice.
And although God and His perfect intentions are so very far beyond our human responses and reactions, it is very clear from both His Word and His demonstrated nature that there also comes a time in God’s pursuit of us that He will respect our choice to dance to music other than the beautiful song He composed just for us. After futile attempts to get our attention, He may simply stop His specific communications to us altogether.
I can’t imagine anything more heartbreaking than my own indifference or apathy silencing the song the very God of Heaven longs to sing to me.
So, let’s make this our prayer today: Sweet Heavenly Father, show me what it takes to silence any voices, sounds, or distractions keeping me from fully listening to and connecting with You. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Some of us have learned the hard way that jumping into to Christianity and “church work” (ministry) in our own strength instead of God’s strength can leave your soul bruised and bleeding. No more playing for this girl. God has some things to do through me. #ALLin #FirstFruitFast #AmazingIsHere #ReconnectingIn2016
Well, that’s because… you are in a spiritual war zone! It is a fight. But when we’re in Christ, we fight from a place of victory because THE BATTLE IS ALREADY WON!
To end my letter I tell you, be strong in the Lord and in his great power. Wear the full armor of God. Wear God’s armor so that you can fight against the devil’s clever tricks. Our fight is not against people on earth. We are fighting against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness. We are fighting against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly places. That is why you need to get God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil, you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing.
So stand strong with the belt of truth tied around your waist, and on your chest wear the protection of right living. On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows that come from the Evil One. Accept God’s salvation as your helmet. And take the sword of the Spirit—that sword is the teaching of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times. Pray with all kinds of prayers, and ask for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready. Never give up. Always pray for all of God’s people.
– Ephesians 6:10-18 ERV
Better CHOICES = A Better FUTURE