Saturday, June 13, 2015

Four Lessons from a Growing Soul

 
   
      I spent last week at The Wilds of North Carolina and I learned so, so much. We were in the Word about six times a day: morning chapel, God and I time, God and I time follow-up, Christian Life Seminar, and an evening service. And oh, it was such a blessing. I've learned too much for one post, but perhaps I'll sprinkle a little bit of what I learned into later posts. For now though, I want to communicate the main idea of the whole week:



 1. Life is not about me.

    It never has been, and it never will be. Admittedly, I'm a little embarrassed that it took me this long to realize, but I'm glad God finally got through to my stubborn heart. 
    This life is about giving glory to the One who created us. God is holy and perfect; there is no flaw in Him. For that, He deserves praise.
    Giving praise to God is the very purpose for which Adam and Eve were created. God was great then, and He is great now. Not only is He great, but he is loving and full of grace. His love is so big that He would die for us. A lifetime of praise still isn't enough for all that God has done. I can never repay Him for what He has done and keeps doing for me, but I'm going to live my life trying. I know God will continue to give me grace when I lose focus, as I know I will again.
     My role in this life is to give God glory.

2. I'm going to mess up, and when I do, I can't give up; I have to get up. 
     
     I'm not perfect. I never have been,  I never will be, and sometimes (okay, most of the time) that is really hard to accept.. Following God when life is good is easy, but when I mess up, I tend to throw a tantrum. Like a three year old, I tend to (figuratively) sit down, pout, and refuse to move. When the going gets tough, though, we cannot sit down and pout. Our times of weakness are the times when God's strength is perfected. We have to keeping moving and let God hold onto us. The times that are tough for us are the times when we can shine God's light all the more. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, "But [the Lord] said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." Let God's power rest on you when you're weak. Through Him you can accomplish His will for your life.

3. Christ is enough.
     Sometimes I think that the only thing I'm known for is running away from God. Running to other sources of "happiness" won't suffice. I know that now. I should have figured that out a long time ago. I had been told so before, but often we can't learn something unless we experience it for ourselves. Now I know: Christ is enough. In fact, Christ is more than enough. With Christ in your heart, you will have more joy than any guy, girl, substance, or experience can give you.  Psalms 63:3 says, "Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You." Rest in the fullness of God's love and the protection under the shadow of His wings.

4.  Life isn't sectioned off: It's all or nothing.
     I've learned that living for God means living for God in all areas of life. You can't choose to glorify God at church but not at school, or with your words but not with your music. A true God-lover seeks God's glory in every aspect of his or her life. This is it, Christians. The Bible you have sitting on your nightstand or bookshelf is your whole life. Read it. Study it. Believe it. Press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, as Paul writes in Philippians 3:14. Live fully and honorably with grace in your heart. Forgive and move on. Loves others. Love God. 
     

     Christians, press on. This life is not about you or me; it is about God. Like the old hymn says, "Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe." You will mess up, but don't lose hope. Get up because Christ is enough, and press on towards the goal. Someday, I know it will all make sense. Life may seem confusing now, but God uses the worst circumstances to make something good. He has put you where you are for a reason, and He will lead you where He wants you to go. There is fullness in God's love, and a life lived for Him is a life lived to the full.

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