Posted in Hearing God by Dallas Willard

Honing

I’ve always struggled with being a “new creation” and yet being exactly who He created me to be. If He had created me this way – with this personality and these talents and experiences – then why do I need to be a new creation? Does that mean my personality will be changed? My talents will become different? My experiences are not usable or meaningful?

And the worst question: Am I not as good or valuable as someone else? Is He making me into a cookie-cutter mold like *her*? (whoever she may be)

In Hearing God, Dallas points out that conversation with God is not to be a list of “do this” and “don’t do that”, but just one way God shapes our character. As our character becomes more like Christ’s character, we no longer need to ask: “Should I?” because we’ll already know Him and His heart (similar to a parent raising a child to be a responsible adult).

And as I was thinking this through, knives came to mind. (Weird, huh? Maybe it’s because mine need sharpened so badly). But then a connection hit me:

Let’s say I’m a butcher knife, a cleaver – large, unwieldy in the wrong hands, created and able to divide bone from bone.

As a new creation, God came in and become my Handler. I’m no longer unwieldy. And He sharpened my edges, making me better able to do the job He created me to do. I’m still a cleaving butcher knife, but I’m now able to do it well.

But what about *her*? That infamous woman that we all compare ourselves to:

She’s a steak knife – skinny, serrated, for the delicate work of cutting meat into chewable, digestible pieces. God comes along for her and sharpens her edges – one swipe and the meat is cut, no more sawing. And He holds her handle delicately, poised just so, with the right pressure.

He’d kill her if He tried to use her as a cleaver – slamming her down on hunks of bone and gristle.

He’d get nothing out of me if He tried to use one slice of me to remove bone from bone.

What a wise God He is!

So, being a new creation is akin to being honed – removing the dull edges to be used effectively, in whatever task He’s created for us.

How are you being honed?

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Posted in LOVE

Dreams Broken

What do you do with dreams that are broken? unfulfilled? maybe even ‘wrong’ dreams?

What do you do when you come face-to-face with the reality that your dreams are not God’s dreams?

1 Corinthians 13:11a  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. (GWT)

I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be rich ~ all doctors are. I wanted to be important and respected and honored ~ doctors get all that. I wanted a big house with lots of horses and a garden and a ton of adopted children ~ and as a doctor I would be able to have all that.

1 Corinthians 13:11b  When I became an adult, I no longer used childish ways. (GWT)

I spent 3 years of college pretending I was going to be a doctor. I had my first child, worked a year as a Certified Nurse Aide, and taught a vacation bible school for 5th graders. I decided being a doctor wasn’t me. I didn’t do well in Chemistry (a lack of effort, not ability – but a good excuse to quit).

I didn’t want the life of a doctor (on call, weekends, holidays); and I didn’t want to work so hard to clean a huge house, manage horses and children, and grow a garden (I have a brown thumb anyway).

These were all childish dreams – dreams I gave up as an adult ~ to be an English teacher.

I spent another 3 years of college getting a degree in English education. I was not excited about English – I often felt out of place because I didn’t eat, sleep, and breathe literature. There are many, many ‘staples’ of English literature that I have not read and have no desire to read.

But I wanted to teach.

I loved preparing lesson plans (I’m an obsessive planner) ~ I wanted to influence teens like my best teachers had influenced me ~ I was good at English (and math and science and history) ~ I wanted the life of ease teachers have (weekends, summers, and holidays OFF). I thought I could be a better mother as a teacher than as a doctor because I’d have more time with my kids.

BOLOGNA!!!

1 Corinthians 13:12 a & c  Now we see a blurred image in a mirror … Now my knowledge is incomplete.

I am jobless at the moment. I’m questioning all I’ve ever wanted ~ thought ~ dreamed …

I don’t want a blurred image in a mirror.

I don’t want to drag myself off to a job that is not what I like to do,

or am passionate about doing,

or am sure that it is what God wants me to be doing.

I want to ‘see very clearly’ (12 b). I want to clearly see His image reflected in the mirror when I look at myself.

When someone looks into my eyes, I want them to see Jesus. To see Who He is to me: love, peace, mercy, grace. To see what He can be to them.

I want to ‘have complete knowledge [of God] as God has complete knowledge of me.’

I want to know His dreams for me (at least the next step) ~ I want to know His heart for others (what of Him do I need to reflect to them?) ~ I want Jesus.

1 Corinthians 13:13  So these three things remain: faith, hope, and love.

Faith ~ He’ll show me the next step; He’ll walk it with me; He’ll provide for me as I go;

Hope ~ He’ll use even me; I do have a purpose here – an impact to make; I can reflect Jesus clearly;

Love ~ love God, love others.

But the best one of these is LOVE.

Why is love the best? I think because it is the only one we’ll need ~ experience ~ have ~ use in heaven.

 

 

 

Posted in Hope

The Purpose of Prayer

Prayer is a two-way conversation with God ~ you talk, He listens then He talks, you listen.

When we pray, we benefit more from the time in His presence ~ listening ~ than we do from getting our prayers answered.

When we sit ~ when we wait ~ when we listen  to Him, the peace and joy of being in His presence is often times more sweet ~ more precious than the content of the conversation.

There is nothing like sitting with my LORD, pouring out my heart and asking my questions, then waiting for His response.

His nods let me know He’s listening ~

His words of comfort and mercy let me know He has heard my heart ~

His words of correction let me know He is helping my heart to be His ~

His answers to my questions let me know I can know Him, His ways, His thoughts ~

Just as He knows me, my ways, my thoughts.

I see the compassionate tears in His eyes as we talk about my hurts.

I see His righteous anger over injustices I’ve done and had done to me.

I see His loving censure as He corrects my disobedience.

I look into His eyes ~ I listen to his voice ~ I learn His body language ~

I begin to know my God and be known by Him as we sit and have conversation.

Posted in Uncategorized

Life Wasted

We spend so much of our lives wasting time in a desperate search for meaning, for purpose, for fulfillment ~ and it’s all right there in front of us.

There is NOTHING that compares to living your life with Christ.

Everything is more real

more true

more alive.

Joys are more joyful ~ sorrows are more sorrowful ~ life is more alive. And Christ is IN each moment of joy ~ of sorrow ~ of life.

What makes us choose to ignore this? Why do we choose to life our own way? Haven’t we proven to ourselves often enough that on our own we screw everything up?

A friendship that doesn’t have God at the center is destined to fail. It cannot be its deepest and most meaningful because we are incapable of that level of connection apart from Christ. A person who is completely ~ devotedly ~ whole-heartedly committed to Christ has a hard time connecting deeply with someone who is not. What is there to talk about?

What joys can be shared? The one’s joy so far surpasses the other’s joy.

What comfort can be given in sorrow? The person who is not connected with Christ cannot receive His comfort that the other person is trying to give.

What life can be shared? Priorities are different; interests are different.

This is not to say we CAN’T or SHOULDN’T have relationship with them. It just will not be ~ cannot be ~ should not be the deep, soul-stirring, challenging, engaging relationship that would be there if both were in the same place.

I thank Jesus that He is willing ~ and able ~ to be my Best Friend.

Posted in Uncategorized

Being faithful… when I’m not sure of anything

In April, God prompted me to quit my job at Union High School. There were various reasons for this change, but the decision was hard to make because I do not have another job. In April, I was at peace. Now, in mid-June, I’m still at peace. After this decision, my pastor began a sermon series on James entitled “Staying on the Right Path”. Each week, he discussed how to stay on the path now matter what.

I’m trying to discover my path. I’m looking at anything, starting over from scratch, praying for insight, meeting with a life coach.

The only things I know for sure are: I only want God’s path, I want to know that I know that I’m on His path and fulfilling His unique plan for me, and I’m not in a hurry. I’m not moving until I know for sure.

Lord, please show me Your path for me. May I know that I know; may I fulfill Your plans; may I walk on Your path; may I glorify You.