We can't just sit on our church pews and nod our head in agreement with the message of repentance. It has to penetrate down to the very core of our soul.. It has to change the way we think and live.
My pastor last week was talking about growing up in his home and when they were going to have company his mother would say "Get READY, get the house READY, get on your nice clothes, be READY for our guest."
Think about it..."Girls get READY, get your life in order, get your home ready. GOD is coming back to take the church home. Are you READY? Am I READY? Are we READY? Truly READY?"
I was laughing with Amy yesterday because we feel that we are floating out in the middle of an ocean with these rubber ducky floats around our waist and ours has a hole in them. We are moving all around going in circles and not accomplishing anything. It is like we have Attention Deficit Disorder for God. We want to do all these things for him but continue to spin our wheels and not go anywhere. I start to question "Am I REALLY Ready?"
God has shown me lately that I am drinking from this world. I have set up idols in my heart. (Substitutes for God). Girls I am battling with my own indwelling sin. Some of my examples are self-control with "my tongue", my eating habits, my spending habits, and these are just a few (believe me I could fill the pages with things - we all could I'm sure). I have even had to admit this week that I love myself more than I love others BUT I am still so busy trying to please everyone around me instead of pleasing God, so afraid of what they may think of ME if I don't.
I am a sinner DESPERATELY in need of God's mercy .
I have felt such a power struggle lately within myself. I so desperately want to please God by doing what I know I am supposed to do to please him. Satan is not very creative but he is very effective. He can cause us to be so busy with everyday life and house hold duties, work, kids, husband, activities with our children that we either miss the chance to get away and spend some time with God or we just get too tired to stay up and do it. We have an amazing ability to make some great excuses why we don't have the time. I've heard this saying a million times from Jennifer that she says..."An excuse is a reason wrapped up in a thin layer of a lie". Think about it. How true is that; yet, we find ourselves making "excuses" all of the time for why we CAN'T do that for God.
We have tremendous power given to us by God...The Holy Spirit. God gave us the Holy Spirit to work in us here on this earth. He can renew us, our mind, and give us peace and strength to sustain us. Praise God for his Mercy and Grace and He is always there to catch us when we fall.
Verse for today:
"When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law, but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! (or woman) Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ is Lord!"
The law at work in the members of my body is the "SIN DEEP WITHIN US". The bible explains that this is where we are vulnerable. Everything in us is more loyal to our flesh and our old selves than to God.. How sad are we. But there is good news, God has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to help us. God has conquered our sin by sending His only son Jesus to die for us. Without the Holy Spirit the sin is stronger. We never have to stand up alone. God is right there beside us fighting for us.
Let's strive for Holiness together this week. Starting today give up one earthly treasure.
What are your entertainment choices? What TV shows do you watch? What music do you listen to? Magazines? Movies? We have to set out to die to the flesh daily. Let's set out on an intentional pursuit of Holiness and Righteousness. Pick and choose what you allow in your life. Whatever you feed your flesh with is going to influence you whether it is Holy or not.
There was a guy once that in his walk with the Lord, he got to a place where God started to speak things to him about dying to the flesh. One thing that he began to do was he began to run. Now, he was definitely not a runner, never had been, never had any interest in it, didn't even look like someone that would want to try it. BUT, he knew that because his flesh hated it so much, he needed to start doing it because he needed to DIE TO HIS FLESH, and what better way than to do something that your flesh doesn't want to do. It wasn't something that he had to continue over the years, but for that season he had to fight that battle between flesh and spirit and let the flesh die down so that his spirit man could rise up. And, it did. He sold everything that he had, gave up his life here in the states, packed up with his wife and 3 children and now serves as a missionary in Lima, Peru. God spoke to him about overcoming the temptations of the flesh, dying to the things that you love or even to the things that your fleshly body hates to do, and allowing your spirit to rise up in its place. No, its not always the easy choice to make. You may have to choose salad over homemade lasagna, but if it means dying to the flesh and bringing you into a place of holiness with the Father, THEN CHOOSE THE SALAD! RUN LIKE THE WIN! TURN THE TV TO THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL! PUT THAT NEW PAIR OF JEANS BACK ON THE RACK! CUT OFF THE CABLE! SELL THE MERCEDES! GET OUT OF THE BED, PUT TOOTHPICKS UNDER THE EYELIDS, OPEN THAT BIBLE, AND READ IT UNTIL GOD MOVES! LET THE LAUNDRY GO FOR A DAY, LET DUST COLLECT ON THE ENDTABLES FOR AN HOUR, AND GET ON YOUR FACE BEFORE THE LORD! BE UNCOMFORTABLE FOR A MINUTE, BE UNCOMFORTABLE FOR A DAY! LET UNCOMFORTABLENESS BE YOUR LIFE!!!!!!!
What better way, ladies, than to walk away from things that interest your flesh the most, that feed you inside and out, that make you look good on the outside to others that see you.
Father I pray to you for strength. Oh Father, please plug that hole up in our rubber floats. Help us to make it to shore. Thank you for getting us out of spinning in circles with our tired old floats with holes in them. Thank you for showing me today that we don't need those tired old floats to stay up on top of the water and that all we really, truly need is you Father. We need the Holy Spirit to live in us to give us power. And when we fall (because we will fall sometimes), thank you Father for being there to catch us. Forgive us Father for trying to use our own power to overcome sin. Thank you for showing us we need to lean on you. Not our strength Lord, but yours. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Remember pursuing Holiness is a life long process. Becoming more like Christ is a fight to the bitter in. The fight of your life. But the battle has already been won. The end results are already written. Depend on Christ. There is nothing we can do to earn it.
Praise you Father.