Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Master It

It's been a while.
Yes, it has been a while since I technically "blogged" in this exact forum of "Still On the Wheel"........but that doesn't mean I haven't been doing some heavy duty inner-heart blogging. And it definitely doesn't mean that God hasn't been working...moving...convicting..healing...restoring.

I have been battling "self" for...oh wait, 29 years now, my age ;) 

I guess we all have. We are human and thus sin is a constant battle. But recently I have really been struggling with a certain temptation and have finally, after many years, received healing, true and complete. Sure, I have tried before, yet failed. I have felt restored before, but fell back into my temptation. Don't get me wrong: I have received God's gift of salvation and  thus He always forgives me when I confess and ask for forgiveness. But it's that ever-recurring, ever-lurking temptation that always seems to come back.

I have mine.
You have yours.

We may each have unique temptations- different sins that we struggle with more than others. But what we share in common is that we all are tempted. All fall short of the glory of God, according to Romans, right?

Well today I was  reading this verse and it struck me between the eyeballs.

 "God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” (Genesis 4:6-7)

And I couldn't help but think: This is so me!
I had been thrilled and elated that God had healed me from the sin with which I was struggling.
But today I was having a hard time with it. No, I didn't give in.
But I wanted to!
Oh, I so wanted to.

But I didn't.
Was I happy about it though?
No. I felt like screaming, crying, breaking something, all at the same time.
It put me in a foul inner-head mood.....all I could think of, it seemed, was HOW MUCH I WANTED TO DO WHAT I KNEW I SHOULD NOT.

And then, here comes this verse.
In the middle of my "tantrum" and "sulking," as the verse put it, I read this.
And I realized, first of all, I have so much to be thankful for.
Second of all, it's not all about me. My purpose in life is not to be happy. It is to glorify God and to seek to bring others to Him--or at least to love them and show them His love in hopes that some day they accept His salvation.
Also I love how this verse points out that sin IS OUT TO GET US. The end. It's not going to leave us alone. We might not ever get rest from the temptation. It is waiting to pounce, like a kitten with a junebug.
The last phrase "'ve got to master it."
This is a command!
This is not "Oh, it would be great for you if you could master it." or "You should master it." or even "Try to master it."

It says "You've GOT TO MASTER IT."
I was discussing this concept with my best girlfriend today, and she pointed out oh so aptly that God doesn't ask us to do things He knows we can't do.
And even though I know/knew this truth in my head, I hadn't really thought of it yet in context to this verse. But she was oh so right! God wouldn't tell us to master our sin if we couldn't. After all, He created us, right?! He ought to know what we can and can't do. And God isn't in the business of frustrating us. He isn't just sitting up there on His high and mighty throne, strumming His fingers together, saying "And how shall we frustrate them today!?"
No, He commands us to master our sin. And we can. And we should. And we WILL, if we do it in His power; not our own.

This verse really spoke to me. Now to go out and do it? Easier said than done. But I can,  through Him who  gives me strength.

Thank you Lord for redemption.
Thank you for clarity.
Thank you for giving us Your strength to master the unmastered and previously thought to be unable to be mastered.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Judges 16:1-18:31 Reflection

As I was reading this morning, what stood out to me the most was Judges 16:22 that said, " 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved." Now perhaps I am reading too much into this, but it always astounds me how God is so faithful to us when we are so rebellious to Him.
And even further, God didn't hold a grudge against Samson for a while...or give him time to think about what he'd done...No, he started regrowing his hair (the sign of the Nazirite vow) RIGHT AWAY. Boom. We sin, we screw up, God's right there, ready to pick us up, dust us off, give us a little pat, and send us back into the crazy world we call life.
God's love is perfect love- He doesn't remember our wrongs, He doesn't hold it against us. He doesn't dredge up old stories or flaunt our inadequacies in our face. His forgiveness is complete and eternal, and He gives us another chance, every time. How blessed are we?

Friday, March 30, 2012

All out?

Reflection on Joshua 22:5

"Hold fast to Him." wow, what a great word picture! Holding fast to Him--I'm picturing myself clinging to the Lord, in the midst of the storm. Holding fast is not just coming near...holding out one finger...or a casual association. Holding fast is a desperate, passionate move to hold onto the Creator for dear life.

Also, notice the use of the word 'all.' We are to walk in ALL His ways....serve Him with ALL our heart and ALL our soul.......hmmm how hard is it to actually serve Him with our whole heart? Not begrudgingly, not half-heartedly, not hesitatingly. No, the whole thing. Completely sold out. Which is a hard thing to do, especially in America and in a culture that tries to pick and choose what parts of the Bible to believe.  This is our challenge: Are you living ALL out for God?
Joshua 22
 1 Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh 2 and said to them, “You have done all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded. 3 For a long time now—to this very day—you have not deserted your brothers but have carried out the mission the LORD your God gave you. 4 Now that the LORD your God has given your brothers rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side of the Jordan. 5 But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

Joshua 13:1

Joshua 13:1
Subheading: "Land Still to Be Taken"
When Joshua was old and well advanced in years, the LORD said to him, “You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.
Reading about the way the Lord was so straightforward with Joshua is eye-opening. God doesn't tiptoe around the fact that Josh wasn't a young buck. But nonetheless, there was still work to be done.
What "very large areas of land" are still to be taken over in my life, in yours?
As long as we're breathing, God has a plan for us.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy blogging birthday to me!

So...It's my first day blogging. I've gotta say I never really thought I would have a blog. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against it, I just didn't picture myself having one. I tried unsuccessfully to be the last person on earth not to have Facebook, but as soon as companies started offering coupons/discounts via Facebook, I was toast. (There are few things I enjoy more than a good deal.) Since then, my husband David would tell you that I have fully embraced Facebook. So, if this is any sign, I'm sure I will fully embrace blogging as well.
So why am I starting this blog, you may ask? Well, I do enjoy reading other people's blogs. But the main catalyst for this foray into techno-writing is because some friends of mine blog about the Bible verses they read and they invited me to join them. (Thank you!) I think this is a great way to grow closer to the Lord and to other count me in! Bring on the cake and candles, it's my blogging birthday!