Friday, May 29, 2009

What is Your One Thing?

I realize that I've been quite silent on the cyber side of life over the last thirteen weeks. It isn't because I've been disinterested in all things digital. Quite the contrary. Freelance work has captured my attention, speaking at women's retreats provided a sweet opportunity to encourage the hearts of women, a new book release was celebrated (Verses We Know by Heart: NT Edition) and a wonderful mission experience to Ecuador revived my heart for God.

Yet in the midst of daily life and hectic schedules, God has begun a work in me. A new work. An unexpected work. One I begin to share with you while experiencing a bit of trepidation. Why? Because it is a path I've begun to tip toe out on many times before, only to fail miserably.

Really? Fail miserably? Hmm. When I say such things to my hubby, he asks me if it is really failure. Sure, I miss the mark, but his point is this: what did I really want? Did I really want to change, or just do what I want? If I was set on acting like I wanted to change, but deep down I really wanted to rebel and have my own way instead, then I didn't really fail did I? After all, I got exactly what my rebellious heart wanted.

Successful rebellion. Ouch. Thank you, Lord for revealing the truth of my wayward heart through the one person that can get away with such upfront truth. He's absolutely right.

Ok, so with God revealing the heart attitudes and rebellious spirit that has lurked since childhood, I have been faced with the ugly truth. I've spent a lifetime loving sin. Relishing in it as I deny, make every excuse, and justify with whitewashed stories that became as flimsy as the whitewashed walls in scripture. Forgive me, Lord.

I've grown in my walk with the Lord in so many other areas of life, so why, oh why, dear Lord do I have to submit THIS vice (aka sin) to you? Why do I have to lay this comfort zone at your feet? I have to guard my mind and heart lest I become like Lot's wife who looks longingly back at the sinful comfort of the worldly things she will leave behind. I'm determined to press forward, as God has given me the desire and the power (Phil. 2:13) to tackle this bondage once and for all - never going back to the chains that I've placed on my own life for so long.

So, thirteen weeks later, God has taken this one thing - this one area of my life - and completely transformed it for His glory. No longer is my motivation propelled by the desire to look good, or to simply whitewash the exterior of my life with a better physique or more approval from man. No longer is the issue about self - it has become all about glorifying God in my body. Completely. Living as the living sacrifice He is calling me to be - in every area.

Not just the segments of life that I want to address, ignoring the addition to sin and self indulgence that has been cultivated for a lifetime. Nope. He has called on me to lay down this very issue that has become the little blue blanket I carry around like Linus. No more. I've given it to God, and only He can and will help me keep from reaching into the giveaway bag to cuddle that blue fuzzy sin again. It's done. I'm pursuing righteousness in this area. Period.

It's taken a lot to get to this point. It will take even more strength, prayers, accountability and daily right choices to keep on this path. God had to clear out a bunch of other spiritual junk I'd had lying around in dormat places of my heart for far too long - things that were stuffed deep inside my mind, causing me to reach for the comfort of worldly things rather than reaching for the freedom that comes from forgiveness and allowing Jesus to be Lord of those issues. Well, friend, I'm excited to share that I have cleared out those cobwebs and storage boxes, and because of that freedom and forgiveness, God has been able to move on to this issue I'm describing today. It's all connected. All a part of the transforming process of sanctification in my life.

I know that I know that if I had initiated this thing in my own strength, for fleshly reasons, I would have failed like every other attempt. I would have chosen the world over righteousness every time. I would have found the solution to be complete depravity and torture.

Instead, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, in His timing and purpose for my life, I am finding freedom. Ease in following the right choices. Strength in knowing that my friends will hold me accountable. Rather than allowing them to ask me any surface question about any sin they see (flesh consequences) I am asking them to simply, but firmly, ask me if I have talked to God about that choice. I'm not claiming complete victory today, because I know that true victory will only occur through a lifechanging shift in thinking. A transformed mind. A long-term focus on God over everything else. Never looking back.

See, it's between me and God. You have your own things that He wants to cleanse from your soul and spirit. He will have something new for you and me once we are victoriously transformed in today's one thing, but until then, God will focus on this thing until we see it through.

I won't go into detail about my issue, because if I do, human nature will rise up and there will be a bunch of people who jump on the bandwagon, wanting to succeed in the same area - simply because they like the external changes they might see in my life. Well, if that happens, my testimony has failed.

My heart is to see you seek God and find out what is on HIS heart - not mine or even yours. Find out the area that He wants to work, and join Him there. Allow the truth of God's perfect will to carve out the sinful habits, denial and patterns of the world that have engulfed you - no matter what the issue is.

Then, dear friends, together we can truly praise God that He is giving us the desire and the power to pursue righteousness. We will find ourselves walking together on this path to holiness, steadfast in our resolve that we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Though He loves us all equally, He equally loves us right where we are. Not only where someone else is (thank God) or not only where we will someday be. But right here, right now, in the midst of our one thing - the thing He's had enough of, and wants to show you how to have freedom from.

Are you ready? Will you join me? Not on my quest, but on your own. Will you enter the greatest race of your life, grab the ticket God gives you, and come along side me as we press on towards the goal?

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At 11:33 PM , Anonymous A. Coon said...

I can hardly believe that no one has commented on your transparent blog. I just read it today and was so blessed by your honesty in your journey. Some peoples "addictions" or vices (aka sin) aren't quite apparent as others so its easy for them to hide them behind self-righteous smiles. For some of us, myself included, its out there for all to see.
God has been speaking to me about my ONE THING for some time and I've started the journey only to allow myself to be pulled off course. Sometimes its difficult to try the journey again, and again and again. Sometimes it was because my motivation was wrong. Motivations can be so deceiving. But we must humbly begin again because He paid too high a price for us to wallow in bondage. There have been so many transformations and freedoms that have come through the years. I've definitely thrown off the garment of heaviness and put on the garment of praise. I've traded my ashes of shame for a crown of beauty, I've found freedom from the performance trap, the comparison syndrome and I'm walking in my new Identity in Christ. Christ calls me to keep on keeping on because victory is just beyond the bend.
Thank you for your honesty and inspiration. I love what you said about how "he loves us right were we are." I also understand that He loves us too much to leave us there so He calls us to take up our cross and follow him. I hope you will blog about this again or how things are going on your journey. I'm on the quest, pressing toward the goal.

At 9:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this... very moving. One of the things I have been trying to focus on is that my worth comes only from HIM. I can't find that anywhere else, achieve it, earn it, etc.

This just fell in very nicely...isn't God great that way ;-)


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