Thursday, October 23, 2008

The smallest sin

I have come to realize a simple truth that has changed me the past few days. Bro. Sam was preaching Sunday night out of Haggai ch 2. His sermon was about how the children of Israel who had been in captivity in Babylon for 70 years were finally told that they could go back and rebuild the temple. Not all of the Jews went back but some did and they got right to work on the temple and relaid the foundation. Then political and economical pressure came about and so they stopped working on the temple of God and instead worked on their own houses. They pushed aside the work of God and did their own thing for 16 years. Then Haggai came along and got them straightened out and they started rebuilding again. But the people started getting discouraged because God was not blessing their efforts. They were, in essence, saying "It's not fair. We are finally doing the right things but now it seems that God is not helping us." God basically tells them that just because they are doing all the right things on the outside, they still have sin in their heart on the inside and that is why God is not helping them.
This whole year I have felt like something was wrong. I couldn't figure out exactly what it was but something was definitely wrong. I felt like it was something wrong inside of ME, but it was having outward affects. Not only did I not have consistent joy and peace and love for others, this weird "something wrong" was making me react to my friends rudely and also not want to get out of bed in the morning. I wasn't caring what I looked like and I wasn't wanting to hang out with anyone... I was feeling very anti-social. Something was SO wrong with me but I couldn't figure out what it was. I was trying so hard to get out of bed in the morning in time to read my Bible and spend time with the Lord but I just couldn't drag myself out of bed. I would ask the Lord to help me get out of bed and give me energy but it was like he wasn't hearing me. I would ask him to speak to me in the preaching and it was like he would but then the next day (or even later that day) I would forget about what He said to me.
I finally realized Sunday night that the reason I had no joy and no peace and no consistency in my devotions and like the Lord was not helping me was because I was like the Jews.... I was doing all the right things: lots of ministries and trying do my devotions and trying to do the right things but I still had one "little" sin that I was refusing to give up. I asked the Lord to show me what it was that was hindering me and that thing that I considered so small was the first thing that popped into my head. So right after church I got rid of it and the everything feels better now. God is soooo good to me to reveal that. It's amazing to me that the God of the universe who created everything wants a sinner like me to be close to him and will go to great lengths to draw me back to him so many times.
Is there some sin in your life that you think is so small? Do you have true joy and peace and help from the Lord? If not, get rid of that "Little sin". It will make such a world of difference.
I'll try to post again soon. Keep checking back!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Prideful thinking

This is going to be short but I wanted to share something that was preached in chapel a few weeks ago. The speaker was Bro. Bayered... can't remember where he is from or if that's even how you spell his name.
He preached on the subject of pride. He said something that has never struck me before. He said that every time we get up and don't read our Bible and try to go through our day without God's word and without praying, we are telling God that we don't need him and that's pride! I never thought about it like that but it's true. Every day that I don't read my Bible and forget to pray, I'm telling God that I can do this day on my own. What a joke! I can not ever make it through one hour without God!
Also, something I just thought of and thought I would share, I so often want to call on God when I'm in trouble even though I haven't spoken to Him the entire day. The other day, I woke up late and didn't "have time to read my Bible" or even to say a prayer. I was completely flustered and rushing around (which should have made me want to pray). I went to class and realized that I had two tests that day that I hadn't studied for at all because I was finishing another project the night before. I get one of the tests and I even try to go through half of the test before I stop in the middle of my test and almost start crying because I know none of it. THEN I decide to pray and ask for God's help. As I was praying it suddenly hit me.... "Lord, I haven't even had time to speak to you all morning much less get in your Word and yet I expect you to help me on this test..... I don't deserve it." The Lord was merciful that day and I actually did end up doing ok on that test and getting a 100% on my other one. The Lord is SOOOO good to me. Thank Him for His mercy!
But how ridiculous of me to expect God to do anything for me when that was the only time I had spoken to Him all morning. He needs to be the focus of my entire day. He needs to constantly be on my mind. If I were in an attitude of prayer all morning, it might have gone better.
Anyways... Gotta go... I will try to post again really soon

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The focus has changed

Hey all!
Sorry it's always so long between posts... I get so busy here at school. I'm trying to keep up with it the best I can. I haven't forgotten about this site.

I wanted to write a little bit about focusing. This whole year at school as been weird so far. I feel like Sleeping Beauty... let me explain- In the movie "Sleeping Beauty" the princess is walking toward the spindle in a complete trance. She is still moving but is in a total daze. That's how I feel like I'm living a lot lately. I'm just going through the motions but I'm not "really here". Things are so so different this year. One person who stole most of my focus last year is not here, many of my friends didn't come back, and I think on top of all that I feel somewhat...... I don't know... Grown up I guess. Don't get me wrong, I still have my silly times but they are fewer than last year. I really do think it's just a matter of maturing. Things seem more serious this year.
My focus has changed this semester. My focus is not on a guy (cuz there are pretty much no options in that area at this point). My focus is no longer on my big group of friends- I only have 2 good friends left. My focus is on school work and lots of ministries and ladies meetings and preacher's round up. My focus is on my job (being a good witness at work and having a good work ethic). All these things are better for me to focus on right now than the things I was focusing on before but I'm coming to realize the past couple days that it's still not in the right place. The number one focus has to be on God! I can't do my school work and ministries and work if I am not first focusing on Him. If I try to do these things without Him I will get tired and lose my joy, which is what I'm afraid has happened a little. I'm doing the right things this semester but I'm trying to do it on my own strength.
This part may sound weird but I talked to my mom about all this and she pointed out that I also may be feeling different this semester because I'm having to focus more on me. That sounds selfish but it's true. My freshman year I didn't have a boy friend but I had a guy that I liked and was constantly letting him take over my focus. Sophomore year, I had a "boyfriend" (unofficially) and he stole WAY too much of my focus. (My fault)
This year, I don't even really have any interests. I'm having to focus more on myself and drawing closer to God and not only that but figuring out who I really am and what God's will is for my life. I don't know that I have ever sought Him as diligently as I should have on this subject. That all sounds so cliche but I think that is partly why I feel weird this year. There are a lot more things on my mind this year and they are all a little "deeper" than boyfriends and fights with friends. I'm thinking so much more about my future and what God has for me.
The chapel speaker today spoke about how everything that God allows in your life (good or bad) is to prepare you for three things
He is preparing you:
1. To trust Him more later
2. To help you know Him better
3. For tomorrow
This makes me think... What does God have for me later in life. I need to stop thinking so shallowly and get in tune with God and realize that there is a bigger purpose for me being at Heartland. God is trying to prepare me for my future ministry or for my future husband and family. God is preparing me for my future. This is why I can't give up and go home because I'm so homesick this year. This is why I can't get distracted by trivial, shallow things. I need to focus on my school work and focus on my ministries and above all, Focus on God. Then when His time is right, he will take care of my future husband and everything else.
Wow... okay, I know this was really long and probably made no sense but that's ok. Keep reading. I will try to post again soon.