This is going to be a hard entry to write today. It's always a little unnerving to admit what your thinking, especially when sin is effecting your thinking. But once again God is showing me wonderful things.
I'd first like to start out with a verse that I have recently found to be a Great prayer... I'm sure many of you have heard it,
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23,24
Today a part of the verse jumped off the page, "Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life." I guess I should have known that if I'm going to pray something like that, God's going to answer me, and boy He has!!!
As I said this entry is going to be uncomfortable for me. I hate admitting my sins or issues to anyone. I'd rather the world think I was just this perfect little person that had it all together... but we all know that is so far from the truth about any of us. I feel that God's calling me to be real, to tell the absolute truth. Before I became a Christian I thought all Christians were hypocrites because they acted like they had it all together but totally did not, I don't want anyone to get that impression about me. Yes I have Christ in my life, Yes I am totally changing from it, Yes my life is getting better and better, and Yes I still struggle with sin and have down days and hypocritical moments. Though I am "no longer obligated to follow my sinful nature" (Romans 8:12-13) I still fall back into it from time to time. Sometimes I want what I want instead of what God wants.
Having said all that I wanted to share with you something God has Really laid on my heart the last few days. I am SO prideful and judgmental. Oooh it hurts to admit that! Doing a constant Bible study and spending quiet time with God has changed me in so many miraculous ways. God has taught me about my anger and jealousy. But Satan isn't happy about this. He doesn't want me to have a relationship with Christ. And so my sinful nature keeps urging me to "Look around and notice who isn't reading their Bible. Notice who's having anxiety and isn't putting it at the foot of the cross. Notice who claims to be a Christian... they don't do devos like you do, they haven't changed like you have... clearly they're not as good of a Christian as you are." Shivers down the spine! Can't you just hear a creepy whispering voice saying all of that? Satan constantly whispers these little things into my ear, stroking my ego. "Well yes, I have been doing quite good haven't I? I am closer to God than so and so aren't I? I mean look at how they treat people or look at their obvious sin!" Ugh!!!! I used to lay in bed at night and just beg God to help me understand why I am this way. In the past I would look up psychological explanations. I'd take little personality tests to figure out why I think I'm so much better than others. Nothing ever gave me a clear answer or peace. But then this past year I've realized all my short comings are sin. Plain and simple. Sin is the root of it all. But the awesome thing about that is We have "no obligation whatsoever to do what our sinful nature urges us to do.... But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live" Romans 8:12-13
Today I read 1 Cor. 3-4. Chapter 4 verse 7 says,
What makes you better than anyone else? What do you have that God hasn't given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own? (NLT)
Um, wow. It was like God sat down next to me and said, "Abbey, why do you think you're so much better than your brothers and sisters? What do you have that I haven't given you? Why do you act as though all the changes in your life are something you accomplished on your own? Do you honestly believe that it's because of your good works and discipline that you are different? Dear child! It is I that have changed you on the inside!" And to that I argued, "Yes you have changed me, but only because I came to you. Wasn't it I that started reading my Bible? Wasn't it I that decided to have the will power to spend hours with you? Wasn't it, wasn't it?"
See! I have such a huge head that I think I can argue with God and show Him that it is all by my power.
Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
I may decide to water myself, to feed myself on God's word, but it because of God that I grow. If I am to boast about anything that has been given to me or has happened to me, I should only be boasting about what it is God has done, not myself. Oh it is still so hard to wrap my head around this! I want so badly to say "Look at what I have done! Look at what I am capable of!" But it is not so!
Lord I just pray that you help me with my pride! Help me to realize that it is ALL to your glory and that I can not take the credit. I don't completely understand your ways or your thoughts... infact I often feel like I am so far from understanding. Please continue working in me so that I may learn to hear your voice clearly. Holy Spirit you are the Spirit given to us from God, help me to understand the depths of God, to know Your thoughts, to discern Your ways O God! In your Heavenly name amen!
This is an ongoing journey my friends. And I am SO excited to be on it! I pray that God is able to use me to reach you and teach you just like He is teaching me. Like a potter that only works with soft clay, God will only work with soft workable hearts. We are to be teachable, we are to go to Him open handed and open minded. Not our ways and thought, O Lord, but yours!