"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Saturday, November 6, 2010

If I truly am to die to myself, I have to quit dwelling on myself.

Well, I've been moping around the house like some depressed zombie for 2 days now. I'm telling you Satan was testing me. I am sure I can hear his conversation with God in my head-- like in Job.

Satan:  "Yeah, God, she follows you... when her cup is abundantly full. Her passion and strength is contagious, but only because she is happy."

God: "Oh, Satan do we have to go through this again? She is my daughter and she loves me as her father. Nothing will change that."

Satan: "Oh yeah, wanna bet."

God: "Now you know I am not a gambler. I'll prove her heart, test her, remember I have given her authority over you so when she sings that Toby Mac song you better listen!"

Satan: "Ha, you just wait. I'll make her second guess her passion for you; I'll make her second guess You and the Holy Spirit. I will even bring others down with her."

Then along comes Satan. He is a smart demon as I have said in the past. He knows where I wear my heart. He knows exactly what buttons to push. He knows I am not easily angered and he knows exactly where to strike in order to land me back in the pit where I have been so many times in the past. He knows how he can hurt me.

Quite unexpectedly, as I am a happy branch abiding and getting all of my strength through the vine, here comes Fall and the veins in my abscission layer start to get clogged. (Alright so this is what happens to leaves in the Fall as they prepare the tree for winter). Anyway, Satan did what was within his power to interrupt my happy abiding. You know what I forgot to do-- I forgot to find my strength in the joy of the Lord. When my smile turned to tears, I for 2 days forgot what it was that I was doing and why exactly I was doing it. Here God continually reminded me that no matter what I do I am doing it for Him and not myself, but I got in His way and wouldn't listen to Him. I unfortunately let my own feelings of hurt and depression catch back up to me and focused on-- guess who? ME! You know what I had plenty of people encouraging me and I was able to forgive the hurt, but still today was not able to climb out of the pit. (I am still in my slippers and bathrobe from first thing this morning and it is now nearly 10pm.)

I sat here with my prized possession-- my Archaeological Study Bible, which is duck taped together, but not a single mark in it with a pen-- a weird pet peeve of mine. (I do not write in my books or fold pages... Thus I am dreaming of winning the Kindle from the SEC Leadership conference. I can highlight on it and take notes and not hurt a book.) Back to my story... Oh yeah, where was I? I sat here and picked up my Bible. I flipped through it not knowing at all what God would have me read. I stopped twice somewhere of my own accord and started reading, but it was not what I needed. I flipped over some more and closed my eyes and just cried to God for encouragement. I asked Him to show me His words for me. I looked back to my Bible and was about to start flipping again when I saw the top of the right hand page was the title "More than Conquerors". And I hear God say this is what I want you to read. So I read this from Romans 8:

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j] 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I read it and was so thankful to God. There were a couple of verses in there that specifically stuck out to me. But the whole section was exactly what God wanted me to hear today.

This wasn't all He wanted though. As I sat there after I read, I kept hearing Him tell me to do something and He reminded me of Matthew 6:5-7. So I did what He told me to do. In my time with Him, He reminded me that He holds all of my tears in the palm of His hand and not even one has gone unnoticed. He lifted me up. Then you know what He gave me? Rest. I took a nap. Depression sure makes you tired. Tonight, I am refreshed and renewed and in the peace of my now sleeping household I am reminded of who I serve. I do not serve man. I serve God. If I truly am to die to myself, I have to quit dwelling on myself and my hurts.

If I truly am to die to myself, I have to quit dwelling on myself period.

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