Friday, January 5, 2018

Whatever Is True

Typically when I read a book I ignore the questions at the end of the chapters. I always figure that I got what I needed from the preceding pages and don't need to rehash what I've already underlined and taken as notes of my thougths in the margins. Recently I've changed that practice. It's a bit bittersweet to actually do. When you do it, you learn a lot. But when you do it, you learn a lot that maybe you didn't want to know or realize about yourself.

In She is Free by Andi Andrew, she asks the readers to truly examine Pslam 139. These were my reflections.

* no one knows me as well as God

* no one understands me as well as God

* no one can help me understand myself or why I do what I do as well as God (apply that to Romans 6.....that's fun)

* unless I am willing to listen for God's voice and wait on His timing, I will always be running ahead of Him trying to do things myself

* if God is most aware of my ways, He is also most qualified to diagnose the problem and give the solution to it

* there is nowhere I can go physically, emotionally, or spiritually that God will not be there to lead me back to where I belong

* nothing can keep me out of God's sight; no darkness can hide me and no bright light can obstruct His vision

* God is the one who put me together, uniquely for a reason. His design for me is best. Have I truly sought Him on what I am supposed to look like? Have I asked Him to get me back to the proper settings for me?

* do I try to improve what God created and to what end and for what purpose? (for the girl who tries to eat non-gmo and hates the concept of improving what God created in food, this was a harsh reality)

* if what I have in mind for how I am supposed to look is different that God's plan, is that okay?

* if God's goal is healthy am I willing to ask Him what His description of healthy is for me?

* if God's thoughts about me are precious, and He told me what they were, would I accept them as true?

* if God's thoughts about me outnumber grains of sand, do I believe I matter to Him? can I believe they are ALL precious?

* if the enemy of God is Satan and he stands to accuse me and uses the words of God to do it, do I repsond with the hatred he deserves or do I concede in agreement and forget God only has precious thougths towards me? (If we read the word of God and get harsh condemnation, Satan is twisting things, getting us to believe we should be perfect, and using what we hold most dear to do it. God doesn't dish condemnation through His word, He uses His Spirit to bring conviction to follow His ways in our hearts.)

* am I willing to invite God in to let Him show me the best way for me to go?

* am I willing to find out where I am hostile to God, not agreeing with what He says about me?

I'm sure you enjoyed those questions as much as I enjoyed answering them. But it doesn't change the fact that if we ignore them, we will remain exactly where we are.

I had no idea until I started truly examining this Psalm just how faulty my thoughts are. I had no idea how many lies, half-truths, and mis-applied truths that sounded right, I'd been accepting. And the only way to fix this is to submit to the truth of Romans 12:2....not letting myself become conformed to the patterns of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of my mind so that I can find the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

This world offers solutions. If we're overweight, we can find a pill, a shake, an exercise program, a trainer, a piece of equipment, or an article that will tell us exactly what we need to do to fix our problem or problem area. BUT, if our body was not designed to respond to said solution for whatever reason, we will blame ourself, blame the product, or anything else that could have contributed to our lack of success. However, if we consult the designer, accepting the truth of Pslam 139, and then seek His ways, guess what? Success. Not because we fit back into the jeans we shouldn't have bought in the first place, but because we have peace in knowing that where we are is where He wants us to be.

We see ourselves as flawed because the world sells us lies. We take those lies and internalize them as truths and then those truths manifest themselves in behaviors that are not in agreement with God's calling. And what's worse is that half the time I don't think we realize we are doing it because it's so subtle. We think we found a solution but if the solution isn't God directed, we are still falling down to idols that are making promises they can't keep.

But what's worse, and potentially even more harmful, is that if we fail to apply the truths of Pslam 139 to anyone, we are fanning the flames of the lies that keep us bound in someone else's heart. If God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I have no choice but to look at everyone else from His perspective and see what He says to be true about me.

It's Friday. It's cold. And if we're anywhere on the east coast, we are probably staying home. But even if that's not the case, let's open up our Bible, pull out a journal, and go through this Psalm with God and ask Him to show us the correlations for our lives between what He says about us and the relation it has to letting Him renew our minds. My guess is that it will warm our hearts enough that the sub-zero windchills will feel like a summer breeze at the beach.

Lord, these words are not easy to share. I pray that you would open our minds and our hearts to see ourselves from Your perspective alone. Lead us in grace, mercy, and compassion to the revelations we need about what is in our hearts and minds that does not belong there. The things placed by the enemy or the world that are not of You and do not agree with Your word. We know that without Your direction, any solution we seek will be temporary and leave us unchanged at a heart level. We love You Lord and believe that You will lead us gently through this process. Don't let us give up on ourselves. We pray all this in the  mighty, powerful, and holy name of Jesus. Amen.

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