August 22, 2011
What I have been and continue to chew on these last few weeks
Upon the back of much persecution and various sufferings Paul puts on paper these words.
But NONE of these things MOVE me
nor do I count my life as dear to myself
SO THAT I may FINISH my race with JOY
and the ministry which was given to me by the Lord Jesus
to TESTIFY to the GOSPEL of the GRACE of GOD.
But NONE of these things MOVE me
Everyday there are many challenges that bowl me over, but I do not have to be moved from the state of being in the ever loving presence of my Father. Knowing I am in the Arms of Love strengthens me to hold stubbornly to His will when I am assaulted mentally and physically by the world the flesh and the devil. Standing firm I CHOOSE to keep my JOY! I am Choosing to not react when all the enemy wants is my focus to be broken.
Broken Focus is:
A misunderstanding turned into a loveless fight
A filthy, messy, disorganized house
Me assaulting the children with critical words
Company coming over
My children's varied needs
My children struggling in school
Tripping over clutter
Not honoring God
My impact on others
Immaturity of others
My inability to be the example I want to be for my kids
Healthy and the diseased relationships
Living well while sick
What to do
My husbands needs
Health; good and bad
We generally think of only the hard and the difficult things as moving us but the “good” can also MOVE you...move you to independent, comfortable, apathetic living.
BUT, not a single solitary one of these has to deter us from His abundance of love, joy and a peace that surpasses understanding which can be found in the darkest of places, in the hardest of times. His promises are for the prisoner, the sick, the weary, the weak, the fearful, the discouraged, the bed ridden and they are mine!
I will not be moved
I will not be shaken
Nor do I count my life as dear to myself.
Now that is a difficult statement. How much of what moves us is related to the self life? OUR expectations, OUR rights, OUR boundaries, OUR timing, OUR plan, OUR way! The more we cling to self the less quality of life we have because we benefit no one but ourselves, and not even that very well.
When I am feeling “MOVED” I ask God how much of this turmoil is me clinging to me? My life is not my OWN, my time is not my OWN both were bought with a price. Those that strive to keep their life and what they perceive as theirs will loose it.(John 12:25) To release my life, to lay it down,enables His life to be expressed through me.(Gal 2:20) To find my life as His life, is abundant life. It is hard to give self up! For most of us, our preoccupation with self has been a long love affair. But a self focused life is fruitless. I don't say this as one who has attained but I press on in this high calling. After all it is God that works in me to will and to do His good will.
A purpose clause. The reason we are not to be moved and the reason we lay down our preoccupation with self is because they are hindrances to the well run and finished race.
I may FINISH my race with JOY:
We all have a race to FINISH. I want to do more than just make it through this life. I don't want to run my race with a permanent crinkle brow, but rather it is my desire to run well with JOY and finish well this course laid out before me.
My course though unknown by me has been laid out and allowed by the loving kindness of God thus making it a sacred journey.
“When what we have to offer seems pitifully small and woefully poor, we must offer it nonetheless, in obedience...Quantity and quality are not always under our control.” Elisabeth Elliot
We have always got the hope of the Gospel! As a child of God my life is to bear witness. The grace extended to us through God through Christ alone is enough. It is sufficient. How else could I put one foot in front of the other?!