Thursday, July 9, 2009

are you listening?

We serve a God with manners. God is always respectful of our right to choose. He gives many, many choices within in our Christian life, the first being whether to choose Him [life, everlasting and abundant] or to not [death and dissatisfaction]. After we choose Him, the choices don’t end.

However, God knows which choices are better and aligned with His commands and which are not. God’s commands serve two purposes. The first is that we give Him the glory and honor that He deserves. The second is something that is commonly overlooked.

God possesses all wisdom. He is not a fool, nor is He a sycophant to any type of emotion. His commands make sense. Many people choose to eschew some of God’s commands, thinking themselves the wiser. However, if one looks to the root of the commands, they will see that our God is one who is the wisest.

God is quite lovely in the fact that He will never force His wisdom down our throats. He will prompt, He will urge, but if we resist, He will not force.

However, if we do not follow God’s gentle prompting, He knows.

If we are seeking after God’s heart, isn’t only logical that we would want to fulfill His commands? Therefore, the proof of a heart seeking after God is not the lip service and praise that we give Him in His house or even the exhortation in front of other people, but rather it is based on wholeheartedly and faithfully following His commands. When it becomes our delight to follow God’s prompting and commands, then it is a true testament to a heart that is close to His.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


“alone, alone, He bore it all alone”

When Jesus walked the hill of Calvary, He was alone. Even though God had previously given Him the right to choose disciples for His ministry and He was in close communion with them during His ministry, during the gruesome act of sacrifice, the pinnacle of His ministry, He was alone.

God understands people. He created us, and He knows our needs, whether they be for food, shelter, or for social contact. He awards us with brothers and sisters in the church so we can work towards the same goal together. However, as shown in His example, many of the most important points of our Christian lives will be gone through on our own.

Those are the defining moments that no one will know about but us. Those are the individual facets that God blesses us with in our lives that give us each a unique song of His goodness.

A contrast arrives when your life becomes juxtaposed with the lives of others who refuse to “walk the walk”. Suddenly we feel lonely because everyone else seems to be committed to a half-pursuit of God and we are experiencing an amazingly full communion with Him. It makes us want to quit being around the church or being around people. It makes us want to compromise.

In those times, a question is posed: What is our Christian pursuit about? Is it about receiving the affirmation of others? This natural need to receive affirmation from other people can be misused as an attack to our Christian lives.

Jesus bore the pain alone. Support from brothers and sisters can be a great tool to have, however, our Christian lives are not about affirmation within the physical church. It’s about our private longing and communion with God. No matter what is seen on the outside, no matter what types of acts others choose to commit, God seems our individual acts and cherishes the sincerity of each and every heart. Truly God is so good by loving us so deeply and uniquely!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


“so many times we fail, still Your mercy remains…”

I am someone who fails. Looking back, the amount of times that I have fallen and felt like a failure seem countless. It seems like that is what I am continually doing. Whether it be literally or figuratively, it seems like I am always failing and having to pick myself up.

Failure feels terrible. It eats away at you and creates these thoughts of doubt and distrust. These thoughts, seemingly directed at oneself, actually become the roots of doubt in God.

If our hearts are chasing after God and seeking Him to be the person and do the actions that He wants us to do, our success becomes His accomplishment. Not ours. That means that we need to believe that God will accomplish all the things that He wills to be done.

Our failure should not result in doubt in oneself, but rather, belief in God. Failure and uncertainty keep us reliant on God! It “puts us in our place”, so to speak. When we fail, we are brought back to our place of assurance, which is in God. On our own, we will never be free of failure. With God, however, failure is a means to an end, which is God’s glory, rather than just an end.

Failure is a beautifully unique part of the Christian walk. God does not condemn us for failure or mistakes but rather will welcome us back even more, every time we return if it leads to a deeper reliance on Him and an increased yearning to know Him.

True accomplishment will only be found in God.

Monday, July 6, 2009

what type of fool are you?

In this world, we can make ourselves fools for everything. Chick flicks bombard us with the concept of “fools for love”. These are people who end up doing anything, especially incredibly foolish things just to show someone else that they love them. We swoon over the idea because it is so touching.
I am a fairly obsessive person. If I am “into” something, I will slowly but surely become some sort of fool for it. The things that I am “into” are usual the most trivial of concepts—finding the best makeup products or baking the best apple pie! I think about the idea, I talk about it, I do my research, I read reviews. If you come up to me when I am in one of my phases, you can bet that I will find some way to sneak my current obsession into the conversation. It is so easy for my mind to become enraptured by a concept.
God, in the bible, states that He had come to give us life more abundantly. He knows us, and He treasures every special thing about us. That means that our minds and their intellectual tendencies, our likes, our dislikes, those are part of the uniqueness that God has created us with. That means that yes, God does treasure our uniqueness. However, do we make our lives about serving these trivial details?
It’s like going to the circus just for the roasted peanut stand. The goal of the circus, the point of the circus, is not the food. However, we can focus on these details and make them the center of our lives to the point where that is what we live for and work for! We can become so enraptured by these ideas that we can slowly and surely become fools for them.
There is a very fine line between making the most of all the things that God has given us in our lives and making our lives about these minuscule details. God wants us to have the direction of our hearts focused on the big show- Him!