Roman 12:1-2

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2

Monday, September 19, 2011

What is easy, what is hard?

Life is hard, wouldn't you agree?  Money is tight, my health is less than wonderful, or even adequate, and my emotions are occasionally all over the map. Sometimes I cry out, "Just take me home."

But today I am reminded that it is in this very environment that God makes me more like Himself.  Evans writes, "God's graces appear in the midst of a consecrated life as it is actually lived, not in some far-off realm set apart from real human  emotional experience.  Surrender never discounts or denies the reality of our suffering."

God isn't standing by my elbow saying, "Get it together, girl!  You can handle this, it's nothin'."

No, He is saying, "This is too hard for you, so stop trying to carry it yourself. ..

Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

And though I recognize the wisdom of it, in my prideful state it is still the hard thing -- letting go, laying it at His feet, saying, "I surrender all."

Oh, God, my God, my Savior and my friend,
Give me the strength to admit my strength isn't enough.
Give me the hope that comes from knowing You.
Give me the rest that I so desire.
Oh, God, my God, give me You.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Evans' Book: Chapter on Surrender

I am in the third chapter, the third of six godly characteristics that the Lord wants His daughters to exhibit.  I am also reading through Chip Ingram's r12 Christian.  In his book, Chip says the thing we are afraid of is the thing that we have not fully surrendered to God.  Evans, in this chapter, is writing about Mary the mother of Jesus, and what she says supports that thought.

Mary was told she would have a child, even though she was a virgin.  Her whole life was about to be turned upside down.  She could have been afraid of Joseph's reaction, public humiliation, her parents, even her life, if the community stoned her to death.  But she was completely surrendered to God, and even losing her life was not something to fear.

What am I afraid of?

You know, an addict's response to life often reflects fear.  Something in his/her life causes fear, discomfort, or pain, and those feelings cause the addict to turn to his/her addiction.  A year ago I was doing very well, walking on solid ground.  When I first read Chip Ingram's words last spring, I thought to myself that I was not afraid of anything.

But either I was deluding myself or I simply didn't realize:  I am afraid of losing my job.  Not just because of a down economy or poor performance.  But what if this rheumatoid arthritis that is sapping my strength and my ability to function causes me to have to quit?  It is still a loss of my job, in a way, and it does frighten me.  Because what happens next?  Where do I go?  What do I do?  I am a single woman who does not live near family.  Do I go on disability?  Move in with friends?  Move back home?

Or simply wait for God to reveal the next step, and then the next?

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
             for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
             until the disaster has passed.
                                                      Psalm 57:1

Friday, September 9, 2011

For Freedom -- Evans' Book

Still dealing with the same sin, though it seems to me when you pray thusly, "God, I don't want you as much as I wish I did.  Please change my heart to desire you as you deserve," -- seems to me He honors such prayers.  Two weeks ago, I was still steeping, like a too strong cup of tea.  Today I have re-found the sweetness of Christ.

Psalm 34: 4-9  I sought Jehovah, and he answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.
 They looked unto him, and were radiant; And their faces shall never be confounded.
  This poor man cried, and Jehovah heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.
  The angel of Jehovah encampeth round about them that fear him, And delivereth them.
  Oh taste and see that Jehovah is good: Blessed is the man that taketh refuge in him.
 Oh fear Jehovah, ye his saints; For there is no want to them that fear him.

Galatian 5: 1 -- It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

I'd love to have a photo with this post, perhaps a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.