Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pressin' In: A Collage of Thoughts

There are so many things I want to write about.  I have so many aspirations, hopes and dreams swirling in my head each day. I am not one to multi-task very well, but tonight, as I type, I will try to say a few different things on my heart and mind.
First, I just want to say that I sense there is a great distraction in our generation of Christian women.  Women are getting so absorbed in hanging on every word of their favorite Christian author/public speaker gal.  I, too, have a few favorites in the world of Christian women encouragers/authors/bible study writers/conference speakers.  And I, too, understand how cool it feels to go to a conference or a retreat and be in the same room with women of such faith and such influence.  However, one thing I hope we all remember is that we are all given the Holy Spirit and we are all able to pursue God to the same degree and passion these "famous" women do.  We all can know Jesus Christ intimately by reading God's Holy Word and we all can learn how the Holy Spirit speaks to us individually by prayer and daily seeking Him.  We who believe in Christ are all called to follow Him; to know Him deeply--knowing His heart on the issues of our times by spending time in God's Word, praying, etc.  We can't just let the "famous" ladies of our faith do all the work for all of the growing in the LORD for us.  We must go after Christ ourselves!!  Our husbands, boyfriends, children, friends and family members are looking to us......wondering if we'll take the plunge and love GOD with all of our hearts and all of our minds and all of our souls.
Second, how is it that Christians are more known these days for complaining about the government and school policies and protesting about their rights being restricted INSTEAD OF being known for how much they deeply love people with God's love....for how much they sacrifice for their neighbors and friends....for how much they teach others the amazing story of the Truth?  When is it going to be that this country first acknowledges it's Christian citizens have a deep passion for their Savior BEFORE they acknowledge the Christian citizens' stance on politics, moral issues, work ethics, marriage, etc??  We Christians in America have no legit reason to try to "hide" our faith/our passion for Jesus Christ.  We are not being hunted down to be killed for our faith like our brothers and sisters are in other countries.  We have the freedom to pursue Christ openly in this country and yet, MANY of us Americans claiming to know Christ don't take that opportunity. WHY?  Friends, you are missing out on so many blessings and adventures by keeping your spiritual growth at bay.  I urge you to hoist the sails of your soul and let the Holy Spirit of God breathe life into your spiritual life.  I urge you to sail in the winds of the Spirit and let Him lead you, provide for you, protect you and strengthen you.  There is no better time than right now to stop stalling; and start your pursuit....again and go after God.  Christian means to be a follower of Christ. And a follower of no one else.
Third, along the same lines of the second, I am appalled at all the time Christian people are taking to fight with each other about their beliefs on abortion and homosexuality.  The fighting isn't in terms of actual fist fights, but it is word fights that are so nasty and evil. How does this type of behavior become so normal in such a large number of American Christians. Once again, I believe it is the lack of time Christians are spending with their Savior--reading the Holy Word of God daily, praying and speaking the Good News to others.  If we Christians were daily doing the things that Christ commanded His people to do, the arguments and fights probably would be much different.  The more quality time a person spends with His Maker, the Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, that person will begin to see his or her world through the eyes of the LORD and not through the human eyes of wicked intentions.  Now, I too, have my opinions on abortion and homosexuality, but if I do not have the right audience and the prompting of my Lord and Savior to speak of these opinions, I will not.  It is not helpful for the body of Christ is be looking for a fight.  We are to "seek peace and pursue it".  Psalm 34:13-14 says, "Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.  Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it."

What I urge all the Christian women who are reading this blog to do, starting today, is to get on your knees before God (whether figuratively or literally) and repent of all the things that are holding your affections that are not Christ.  I urge you to lay all of your selfish ambitions and deep rooted opinions at the foot of the Lord Jesus and ask Him to sift through each one, showing you each one of those things that is dishonoring/displeasing in His sight.  Jesus speaks to the church of Ephesus through the apostle John in the book of Revelation. He says to them, "I know your works,  your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.  I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. ....He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."-Revelation 2:2-7   I don't know about you, but these words Jesus Christ spoke to the church of Ephesus seem to be right for my heart to hear, too.  I feel like I relate a bunch with these believers who lived in Ephesus.  Their city was filled with wickedness and the worship of false gods. Our country today has a bunch of the same characteristics (mentioned in full in the book of Ephesians and Romans).  I read these words from Christ and I am broken., WE all need to hear these words and be moved.  We need to be moved to repentance and humility before the Holy God.  Being right with God (righteousness) is THE MOST important thing a believer can do each day before all the other important things; like standing up for what we believe...raising our children, being a the best friend, spouse, employee we can be, etc.  In everything, we need to remember the words of John the Baptizer when asked about what he thinks of the new guy called Jesus who was on the other side of the Jordan river baptizing folks.  John the Baptizer made sure to tell them that he himself was not the Christ and that "He (Christ) must increase, but I must decrease"-John 3:30.

Once we take time to go before God and repent of the junk we have collected in our hearts each day and we find out those things that dishonor Him, I strongly urge you to pitch those things as far from your heart and mind as you can.....RUN from them. Give up those things to God.  He can take care of them....get rid of them, by His power.  And if you are living in the blessing of being a child of God, you are bought and paid for.  You are Christ's.  You no longer live for yourself.  Galatians 2:20-21 says, "I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose."  We are not our own anymore, if we are born again Christians.  And this verse 21 is saying that if being right with God was able to be achieved through living according to the book of the law, then Christ died for nothing. And we know, as believers in believers in his death and resurrection, that Christ died for us. John 3:16-17 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."