Monday, April 29, 2013

When you Make the Wrong Choice and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

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I feel like a hypocrite.  Why do you ask?  Because I spoke a fervent truth to my sweet friend yesterday and I am drowning today in those exact same lies that she was believing.

The truth is I'm not exactly drowning anymore.  If I was drowning, I'd blow off writing this post, and probably just aimlessly wander around my house, looking like I was cleaning it, but probably just moving dust bunnies from one side of the room to the other.

Instead, I've decided to clean this house.  What better tool to weed out lies than God's Word?  I started aimlessly picking through the Bible in what was, at first, a half-hearted attempt to find Truth.  Because at least I got far enough out of the rapids to realize what I am feeling isn't Truth (and thank God for that).

My eyes fell upon this verse from Romans 8:19:
"For creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are."
One day, friends, we will be free from death and decay.  And I don't think that's limited to old-age, frailty, and grief.  I think it's also a promised freedom from competition, inadequacy, and comparison.

How many of you need freedom from those things?

How many of you have a least one thorn in your side you wished with all your might you could pluck out for ever? 

How many of you could deal without having grief, decay, and a slowly decomposing body (right now, I'm lamenting my running out of natural hair color)?

Today, I've been giving into the lure of comparison.  I've been calling myself names like inadequate, underserving, not-quite-good-enough.  I could blame the enemy, the father of lies, but you know, there is someone else to blame.


I've let him back me in a corner.  I've let him point this finger at me.  I've been the one looking at the stats, reading the Facebook and Twitter feeds, measuring success.  I'm the one that have accepting my feelings as Truth.

That's all me.

Because God has equipped me.  He's done His job.  He's laid out my armor every day since the beginning of time, just as I used to lay out clothes for my children.  But I've decided today that it wasn't really that cold or harsh outside so I'd just skip the extra covering.

Wrong choice, Jen.  It's when we think we'll be fine on our own that God gets the life preservers ready to throw.  It's going to be a rough ride.  How easily our human nature loses hope.  How easily our sin causes us to covet and measure and scale.  How easy it is for us to be lured into trap after trap.  We are all vulnerable unless we choose not to be. Unless we choose God's Word over our feelings, over our perception, over worldly standards.

I'm ready for the day when God would reveal who His children really are -- when we are free from the way the world sees us, when we are running unecumbered the race He has set out for us, when we spend not one day lamenting what we do not have.

I'm wondering if part of verse 19 is actually available to us now.  No, we will not be able to escape the growing older and the decaying of our physical bodies, but I do believe that we can begin to know on this earth who we really are, who God designed for us to be.  And I mean not just giving lip-serivce, but believing with our whole entire hearts, sisters, that He has designed good things for us and in us, even if they don't look that spectacular through the eyes of the world.

But who cares what the world thinks.  It's not like it's God, even though it might think it is.  Even though we might ourselves give it that stature.

Today, right now, I'm repenting of having wandering eyes that tend to fixate on glittery success.  Repenting is stopping my journey down one road, turning around, and heading in the opposite direction.  And so now, all that is in my vision is the face of Jesus.

And I am running.

T.R.U.S.T. Question: What are your traps that lure you away from believing God's Truth about you?

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  1. Replies
    1. envy gets me a lot -- I want to be satisfied with what He has given me!

    2. Kendal and Jen, I once heard a quote from a book that said something like: "envy is doubting that God wants the best for you" or something to that effect (my memory!) but it is basically the idea that when we envy we are not trusting that what we have, what God has given us, is his best for us. It was a powerful moment for me. I think most of us suffer from that.

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  3. Oh, Jen, you were writing about me, weren't you?? I, too, believe that I am not good enough, too fat, should try harder, and on and on! God convicts me ... He created me for Him and I am good, beautiful, special ... because He said so. And isn't He the only One I should listen to? YES!!

    Thanks for a fine post and for waking me up... AGAIN!! God is so compassionate and understanding. I have turned away from what He desires of me so many times, but He is always there to right my ways. I love Him so!

    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    ps... can I get back into a small group? I am up and running again!

    1. Linda, yes of course! Give me a few days and I will get back with you soon!!

  4. Love your image with the verse from Hebrews. I just wrote a post about Hebrews, which I'll link up in the morning. Love that feeling of being on the same page. Hugs to you :)

  5. This, Jen, I think is key: " . . . I do believe that we can begin to know on this earth who we really are, who God designed for us to be." Sometimes I think the temptation to think in terms of all or nothing in our faithfulness. The reality is we are God's children, but we are in process. We are growing up into Christ-likeness. We're not all there yet. But even your admission that you didn't give in to the temptation to move dust bunnies around reveals God's work in you.

    And that thing about losing your natural hair color? Not as bad as most people think. Have you seen pictures of me? Embrace the gray--I've earned every single one of these :)

  6. I know we're both Texans, but I think we are also twins separated at birth!! my traps? "I got this" and "I'm insignificant therefore insignificant is where I have to stay." Thanks for the reminder, again, to "Look full in His Wonderful Face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His Glory & Grace." Hugs, girl!

  7. Dear Jen
    Oh, dear one, we all do that from time to time! But once we realize who the father of all these lies are, we know where to run to. Our Lord invited us to submit to Him and resist the devil. We have the blessed assurance that this world is not our home and we are just pilgrims on our journey home to the new heavens and new earth!
    Blessings and thanks again for being our gracious hostess!

  8. I've been in a Beth Moore study called Believing God and the study led me to understand every sin as a lapse in belief. Every time we repeatedly do something that God doesn't want us to do--use fear for an example--indicates where we don't believe something God tells us about Himself. If we fear, we do not believe that God is able to handle every situation He allows into our life. If my sin is lying, I don't believe that God can transcend whatever danger or discomfort we think the truth brings. If my sin is lust, I don't believe God loves me enough and I'm looking for love somewhere else to make up the difference.

    So, what is the trap? Unbelief, I think. To open the way for God to give the belief I so need, I have to want to change what is keeping me away. To do that, I am developing a page of scriptural admonitions and encouragements dealing separately with each sin to which I know I am most susceptible. So, I have a page for pride, one for gluttony, etc. Every morning, I confess my sins from the previous day, and pray that sheet of prayers--kind of like putting on my armor for the next time I am tempted. And I finish with a list of verses that reminds me of God's love, even in my sinful state.

    1. MrsP -- I did that same study years ago and I am so grateful that you reminded me of it. I really needed this reminder today -- it set my mind and heart straight and I could repent of what is really going on in my heart -- unbelief. So good. We really DO need sisterhood!

  9. My current trap: Not being able to get over a situation and continually running it through my mind and thus not turning it over to the Lord and casting my anxiety on Him.

  10. A trap I fall into from time to time, too. Just when I think it's licked for good it comes slinking back. I wish I could learn the lesson for good. My biggest trap is taking on too much. I hate to say no and then I get overwhelmed. I've found the devil can have a heyday when I get too tired.

  11. Praise God that He is our lively hope! He is all we need. Thanks for the lovely post & for hosting & God bless!

  12. OH, I'm right there too. The whole comparison thing is killing me. So much so, that yesterday I was completely paralyzed and kept asking God, "Are you sure you have someone better for this job?" But today, this new thought struck me - that by wallowing in fear and doubt and staying there and not moving forward, I'm disobeying. Ouch!

  13. The days I'm too "busy" to start with God, His Word, His preachers on XM and my devotions is the day that falls apart for me. Maybe it's an age thing or a season thing but I'm not struggling with traps so much as I'm struggling to do the work He's set before me. Struggling to make, excellent...use of my time, to make it count for eternity. Time is the beginning of eternity and the time I spend wasting here, now, is time I can never re-capture for Him. Since Dave died, my biggest fear is...fear. Am I being a good steward, am I giving enough, am I doing His will. Suppose I screw up and lose it all.
    Daily, He reveals, a little more, a little more, who I am as His child. ouch. Daily, I pray anew to do His will and not my own. It's a daily battle; not a tomorrow battle or a yesterday battle. All I have to tend to is today; yesterday is gone and tomorrow never arrives.
    Oh my. This is beginning to sound like a blog post; my apologies. -smile-

  14. Oh, this: It's when we think we'll be fine on our own that God gets the life preservers ready to throw.
    I have lost count of the preservers that have been thrown my way, as I merrily wander off the trail, sure of my own shortcut to success. . .

    I have been praying the Prayer of Jabez to enlarge my territory. As God has been so very faithful in doing so, I react with fear. "What makes you think you are ready for that challenge? Do you really think they want you? They must not know you very well." I have found I have become even more dependent on Him as I travel these new and exciting places.

  15. Oh, Jen...I wrote about distraction today -- keeping my thoughts and eyes in His direction!

  16. Thank you Jen for hosting and for your encourging words.

  17. I've always loved that word picture from Hebrews 6 that says He is an anchor for my soul. So often, I allow myself to drift off the in sea of voices in my head, rather than staying grounded with Him. Thanks for this reminded... I used a similar image to yours in my post this week....

  18. love this. needed these words of encouragement this morning. thanks for always sharing your heart, for never holding back, for being willing to be vulnerable. i love that about you. don't change who you are, jen ferguson. for YOU is a very special you, indeed. :-)


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