Monday, June 8, 2009

"Oh I hafta?!"

I don't know about you...but this is how my spiritual life goes....

I go along "just fine" for awhile. No deep valleys. No big mountains. Maybe some tiny little dips or some minor hills to climb along the way. But no real "issues"...and also, generally speaking, no new growth.

Then, WHAM!

I tend to get "hit" by so many stretching and growing lessons in the Lord. It doesn't even have to be a valley or a mountain experience. It's just God's way of simply nudging me to grow up more... stretch...become discontent wth the "just fine" and go deeper with Him. It usually occurs when all of a sudden, the Word of God begans to come alive. More than normal. The Father's Words just click in my heart and mind.

For the record...I LOVE THIS TIME! I love when my heart is stirred, when my stale thoughts are challenged, when I'm reminded of my fullness of HIM alone.

And so I dig in and get moved.

I just completed Numbers. And now I'm reading Joshua. Both are so rich. So full. So encouraging and convicting and beautiful.

Obviously you can tell, I am having one of these moments with the Lord. I wish I could share ALL that God is teaching/reminding me of. But I'll just give you one small glimpse from this morning.

I was reading about Joshua, leading the Israelites into Canaan to take Jericho. When the walls of Jericho came down, the people charged straight in and took the city. The Word says "they devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it -- men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys." (Joshua 6: 21)

Ouch! Seriously?!?! He allowed the little kids to be killed? The innocent sheep, even? That does not sound like MY God. Would he really be so vicious?

Then, as I studied this more, I was reminded of the reasons for this act. God was carrying out severe judgement on a nation that was so completely wicked. And they posed such a threat of contaminating the right kind of living he was requiring of his chosen people. He wanted his people to live purely. Without evil distraction. That is how seriously God treats sin. It's big business.

God wants ME to be pure, too. He wants me to take sin that seriously. In all arrogance, I thought, "I guess I'm glad that I have nothing in my life that is that sinful. There's nothing that I need to clean up or deal with, thank the Lord. I'm obviously not allowing any type of evil distraction to invade my Christian life. Whew...what a relief!"

For the record, don't say that to God...or yourself, for that matter...God hears.

God began to peel back my proud little eyelids to see so many areas of my life that I allow things to infiltrate my mind and heart...that are not of him. I'm so "culturized", I didn't even see them.

One particular area is a weekly tv show I watch. It's really not a big deal...culturally-speaking. But there is nothing about it that is uplifting or honoring to God. Why do I allow that in my life, when I am walking with a holy God?

"But I LOVE this show, God! It's really not a big deal. It's entertainment, that's all. Several of my friends watch it...and THEY are good Christian girls."

Heart stirring.

"God, do I have to?"

"No, you don't have to. But do you want to please me and grow closer to me? Then you make the choice..."

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