Friday, August 17, 2012

Through My Soul Clearly

Purge, cleanse, funnel – till, irrigate, fertilize – share, spread, give – tend, love, hold, cherish
There is no “pinnacle of success.” There is no “finally making it.” There is no “coming out on top.” There just isn’t. We can always think of something else that we want. Some other mountain that we want to climb. Some other goal that we want to accomplish. It is a never ending and vicious cycle.
Wow, am I depressing or what? If I ended on that note, then yes, I would be depressing. I would be self condemning and self sabotaging. However, the purpose of those direct statements ties in with my story. Those statements do not necessarily represent how I view the world around me, or how I go about making my. Then what do they represent? Stick around --- and I’ll tell you. That is, if you want to hear…
First off, I am not here to rain on anybody’s parade. Nor am I here to tell people how they should or shouldn’t be. I am just here to share my story. My story that is continually being written. My song that I want forever to be sung.
Now, in order for the words in the beginning to make sense, a little background is in order.  We all have baggage. We all have dirty laundry. But we ALL can unpack, put away, wash, dry and iron every once in awhile. However, my blog is not a vent fest, but an expression. An expression of how much I love Jesus and how much I love what He is continually showing me!
Purge --- Cleanse --- Funnel
Far too often we take in what everyone else says, does, dictates and demands. But, we don’t stop to hear what He has to say first. And even if we stop and try to listen to Him, our heads and hearts are still too full of all the other things we have heard. Advice is great. Feedback is wonderful. I have many godly people in my life who are sounding boards for me when I need it. That is biblical. (Proverbs 11:14) What became a problem and what was a hindrance for me, was that I was using other people’s opinions of me to gage whether or not I was “doing a good job.” Yeah, that had to stop… Because what if they mess up? Or forget messing up, what if they die or move away or we have a falling out? The bedrock of my decision making will crumble beneath my feet, and I will be in the stones and rubble of my shattered fortress. So let’s purge – out with people’s opinions being the “determining” factor. Notice I did not say “out with people’s opinion’s”. I said “determining” factor. The Lord sends people to us to give us wisdom and understanding and feedback. But to follow blindly? To not be able to give answer for why you do what you do? Damaging. Not only to you, but also to your relationship with Jesus. Damaging, because it completely cuts Him out.  I had to clean out my way of thinking, funnel the negative out, while keeping the good. Because there was good.
Till --- Irrigate ---Fertilize
When weeds have been pulled, or the season has ended, you must till the soil. Turn it over and help regenerate healthy soil in order to give new life next year. That’s what I had to do. I needed to be refreshed. I needed to be revived, and I needed a new song in my heart. Worship is one of the most healing things the Lord has revealed to me. To sit and worship – to sing to Him, for Him, for all that He has given me. It is the most precious time I have with Him. This part is hard for me to write, because for me, song is so personal, and I am a little selfish of this time with him. But the truth is,  Jesus wants it… desperately. And He wants it from all of us. Now maybe song isn’t your expression of worship. That’s ok, but He still wants worship… and He wants it from you.
And I want to give that to Him. “Lord, I want to sing to You always – with joy and abandon – with spirit and soul – with fervency and faith. Thank you for giving me something to sing about each and every day.”
Share --- Spread --- Give
So, I have purged old ways. Or, I am still working on purging old ways. Out with the old and in with the new song. Replacing unhealthy behaviors with cleansing and life giving ones. Now what? Well, here is where all of those “Debbie Downer” comments come into play. Part of the purging process was changing and renewing my perspective. For clarifying why I make the decisions I do, and also how I am going to make them in the future. I am all for goals, but I am more for God – at least I want to be. Success is not sin – but my Saviour should always get the glory. I kind of told myself that once I get to Heaven, I will have arrived. Honestly, I cringe even typing that… It hurts me to write it… because if that is what I think it’s all about then I am way off base. I don’t think that anymore, I had a revelation. When we get to Heaven, we will be perfect – yes. But, I don’t think that we are even going to think about that fact. We are just going to be with Jesus and it is going to be awesome. The baggage from this world isn’t going with us! It is staying behind and we will be with Him! Wow…. I cannot even comprehend how amazing it is going to be, but I believe it. That is what I want to share. I don’t want it to be about how well I “fit” the expected model. I don’t want it to be about how we are turning out products that are all the same. (Psalms 139:14) I want to share this awesomeness which is being saved. I want people to see the JOY of Christ in me, not fear and condemnation.
Tend --- Love --- Hold --- Cherish
And we are coming to the end. Thanks for sticking with me. I know, sometimes accept, and always acknowledge that I am incredibly wordy. It is who I am. I try to balance it, but don’t always succeed. I went to a church retreat last weekend, and the question was posed to all of us, “Why is it important to make decisions based on love rather than fear?” This ties in so perfectly with how I began this journey of seeing myself and my life in Christ more clearly. During my devotions that morning, I wrote the answer to this question in my journal.
“A lot of my choices were made by fear. Not really fear of God though, but fear of what other people thought and what I heard God was going to “do” to me. And then when people asked why I did things and why I made decisions, I couldn’t give them an answer. But, when I started making choices driven and motivated by love, the answers came with joy and ease. I read the Word because I love Him. I worship because I love Him. People catch and live LOVE better and more productively that people who walk and live in fear.”
So, where I once looked through a darkened window, I now see through my own soul clearly. Not because I have reached a point of enlightenment, or because I have finally “seen the light”, but because He is in me. He is molding me. He is cherishing and tending the soil of my heart and the garden that is my life. He is shining brightly, and if people see light, it is Him. Submitting to His will, plan and purpose for me has completely changed my life. I am motivated by love. I am challenged by it, and am in awe of it. And that is why, I choose life. I choose growth. I choose not giving up until you find the truth.  I choose this life. This life in Christ. Because, that’s what it is really all about --- Jesus.
Deuteronomy 30:19
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: