Monday, January 23, 2012

Resolution 3

I had an interesting conversation with a man the other day in which he said he didn't know why Christians asked to know God's will. From his perspective, if a Christian was really a follower of Christ, then shouldn't they have the Holy Spirit inside them already telling them what God's will is?

It was an interesting conversation and one in which I did not agree with everything the man said, but it did start me thinking on a lot of things. Things like, how often do I ask for God to show me his will but I don't really wait or listen for the answer? Or how often when I hear God's answer do I actually follow His will over my own?

I feel that I have been pretty blessed in that I have usually been able to tell the way God wants me to go. My trouble seems to lie not in hearing or understanding His Will but in following it.

I don't think it is true that just because I am a Christian and have God's Spirit within me, I automatically do the right thing. If that was the litmus test for a 'real' Christian then none of us would pass - including the original 12 disciples. We often hear God's still, small voice inside us, guiding us, but we choose to not follow because of our sin nature. We might not like the direction God is pointing us in or we don't like his answer which tells us to wait and be still. We are people who like action. Sitting and doing nothing makes us anxious.

The conversation however, has echoed over and over again inside my head the past week. It has made me think long and hard about the Christian I am and the Christian I want to be. It has made me ask myself how often I have ignored God's will in order to do my own will.
I was wondering the other day what our world would be like if we talked less and listened more. What would our world, in general, and my world, in particular, be like if I could put aside my own desires and egoism and do what God wanted me to do?

This week, I have 'resolved' to make a conscious choice to sit and listen to God's voice over my own.


"...We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” - 2 Chronicles 20:12


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Resolution 2

Change in our life doesn't happen without the Holy Spirit - that amorphous being who helps us live our lives in God's power and not our own. The Holy Spirit is also responsible for that still, small voice of God that we hear in our innermost being.

In Genesis, the Holy Spirit is found at the very beginning of creation, hovering over the waters of the deep. In Hebrew, the word for the Holy Spirit is "ruach" which means breath. I love this image of God beginning to create the world by breathing his Spirit out upon it. It reminds me that everything around me is covered by God's being, including myself.

This knowledge should change us. It should change the way we look at the world and the way that we live our lives in it. Last week, on the recommendation of a friend, I watched a YouTube video of a young girl speaking at her brother, Ben Breedloves's funeral, here in Austin, TX. In it she says that God's gift to us is eternal life with Him and our gift to God is our life on earth.

That really struck me and has stayed with me for almost a week now. If this life is my gift to God, then a lot of the time I am really blowing it. Thank God for grace and new beginnings every morning! This idea, however, makes me want to be better and do better and I have been praying every morning for God's Holy Spirit to be with me and to help me be a better person in very specific ways.

If this very short life is really our gift to God, how are we each going to make it a gift worth giving?



Monday, January 9, 2012

Resolution 1

Resolved: "As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." -Joshua 24:15

What exactly does that mean for me? For the way I deal with my family? For the way I behave at work? For the way I let my thoughts wander away on their own?

If I am going to serve God everyday of my life, then that is a pretty big committment. Bigger than getting married. Bigger than becoming a parent. Bigger than anything else because my committment to God will be the bedrock of my committment to anything and anyone else. Being a Christian doesn't happen by accident - it happens because of a decision that is made once and then renewed on a daily basis.

If I am going to serve God everyday of my life, then I need to re-set my priortities and compass everyday of my life in order to stay on course. It is so easy to get caught up in things that make us lose our way without realizing it or even caring.

If I am going to serve God everyday of my life, then I need to throw out all the idols of the culture I live in. The idols of wealth, power, and success. The idols of youth, thinness, and perfection. The idols of food, sex, alcohol or whatever addictions we begin to put before God.

If I am going to serve God everyday of my life, then I need to fall on His grace and power, rather than my own. If I am going to serve God, rather than humankind, everyday of my life, then I need to recognize His mightiness and my smallness. If I am going to serve God everyday of my life, then I need to accept his love and mercy in place of my guilt and shame.

If I am going to serve God everyday of my life, then I need to start today.


This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. - Deuteronomy 30: 19-20


Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome 2012

Well, Happy New Year, everyone! I can't believe it is actually 2012. I remember being in 5th grade trying to figure out how old I would be in 2000 and having a friend comment that we would all be dead by then (because it was so far away).

Getting older is a wierd thing. I am always surprised at the things my body won't do anymore. It shocks me sometimes to look into the mirror and see the years written on my face.

Getting older, though, is part of God's perfect plan. Hopefully, over the years we spend on this planet, we gain temperance, patience, wisdom, and the ability to love more fully and broadly. How sad it is when instead of gaining these things as we age, we become less loving, more impatience, less tolerant, and more quick to blame and yell.

As 2011 ended and this new year began, I have been thinking a lot about the person I want to become. I want to be a better role model to my son. I want to show him that it is ok to fail. I want to show him that what you do after making mistakes or failing is more important than the actual failure or even success that you acheive.

As much as we dislike it, ,our true character is seen and develops during the difficult times of life, not the easy ones.

This year, I want God to mold me into a better person. There will probably be times I regret this prayer, but I hope that throughout the coming 12 months, God's will, more than my will, will be accomplished in and through my life.


"Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground." - Luke 22:39-44