Thursday, October 11, 2012


Change is on my heart today. It has been for awhile now, for months really. I've known that it would come. But when the ball starts rolling one of two things can happen, either feelings of relief, or feelings of fear. Today, I'm feeling fear. These changes haven't effected me too deeply yet, but they will. Oh they will. And it's only a matter of time. My fear is intensified because the ball of change has started rolling and when it hits me, I fear it will be a hard hit. One that might knock me off of my feet a little bit.

I had a situation a few weeks ago that was a big blow to me. It was the first time in a very, very long time (years) where I found myself saying to the Lord, 'God you don't feel like a GOOD God today. I know that you say that you work out all things according to your plan and that that plan is a GOOD plan, but today, I'm just not seeing it. Today, I feel like you're pulling the rug out from under me. Today I feel abandoned." I chose to trust that day in a GOOD God. Because no matter my feelings, no matter my perspective, He doesn't change. He is the same God on my bad days that He is on my good days. I had to do a little self-counsel, as my pastor would call it, and remind myself that God is good and he is working out his perfect plan in my life, moving me towards sanctification with each passing day and that this, really, really bad day, was all a part of His plan.

Although today is not nearly as bad of a day, this change begs me to remind myself of a few things. I have a faithful God. He will supply. He knows where we're at, what we've been working towards, and He's provided me with His Spirit and His Word to help us make wise choices in light of this ball of change that is rolling toward me. And He will provide the means necessary to move forward, I just need to keep taking steps. Steps of faith. Wise steps. And all the glory will go to Him.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sermon on the Mount/Respectable Sins

At church this fall we are working through Jerry Bridges' Respectable Sins. Simultaneously I've started a new Bible study working through the Sermon on the Mount by Jen Wilkin. Both have been rather encouraging, or perhaps discouraging, depending on your vantage point.  I'm not really very far into either, chapter 7 in Bridge's work and somewhere in Week 3 in Wilkin's. But I've been very convicted through both of them about my lack of a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit to work in and through my life. Not so much that I don't think he does, because I know He does. But more, my awareness of it, and my daily dependence on Him for strength and acknowledging that fact.

I'll ask you some questions that I've been asking myself lately.

Are you Poor in Spirit? To be poor in spirit is to recognize that just as a person who lives in poverty does not have sufficient resources to care for themselves, you too, do not have sufficient resources. Only in this case, it's spiritual resources. None of us has the resources to function spiritually, to be fed and nourished, to thrive on our own. But understanding and acknowledging that fact as very important. Because Matthew 5:3 says that 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs in the kingdom of heaven.' I'll rephrase that for you. Blessed are those who recognize that they aren't enough, that they can't thrive spiritually on their own, for God's resources are at their disposal. As I pray on my way to work every day that thought has been going through my mind and it is SUCH an encouragement. I'm pretty sure that I've been living in my own strength lately. Trying to change on my own at some level. But just admitting that I'm not enough is so freeing, and Jesus himself here makes it very important because the reward for acknowledging my spiritual poverty is God's Kingdom, all of His resources! It frees us because it makes it about Him. Not that we don't have to try, because we do. We have to put forth the effort, working out our salvation. But I know that my God is working at changing you and me, so our effort will reap an eternal reward, because God will continue our work and finish it!

Do you Mourn your sin? I've been thinking this through as I go through Bridge's book, analyzing my life and looking for those respectable sins that I so often overlook. Am I even sorry for them? Or do they just get brushed off as 'common to man.' We should be mourning our sin, because that sorrow leads to the greatest comfort possible.... in the gospel! Matthew 5:4 says 'Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.' This is specifically referring to mourning our sin and there is no greater comfort than the one who redeemed me. His shed blood for our sins can be our comfort. The fact that he crushed sin and death can be our comfort.

Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness, or are you more eager for something else? This for me really relates back to the whole poor in spirit concept of recognizing my need. Because when we realize how poor we are, that we indeed are in spiritual poverty on our own, we will hunger and thirst after Godly, right things. We will crave them. And this can affect so much of our lives, our priority at spending time in the word and in prayer, our entertainment choices, our friendships, the way we communicate with those around us. Wow.