Tag Archives: Letting Go

I’m Uncomfortable

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But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. ~Philippians 3:7-9

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.  My alarm went off early, and the day seemed to be starting off well.  However, then I turned it off and woke up a good hour after my day was supposed to begin.

I felt irritable and it bothered me.  I am not typically one to be grumpy in the mornings, and I usually look forward to whatever the day has to offer.  But today, everything seemed like it was gearing up to be particularly ugly.

I decided to continue my morning routine in a quicker manner than usual, ate breakfast, worked on homework and trudged to chapel. When I walked up the stairs, I was feeling frustrated and confused about why I was even feeling that way.

The music started and I couldn’t even sing by the end, I knew I was so off in my spirit.  And then the sermon rolled in.  The speaker today talked about being able to hear the voice of God.

Funny, I thought to myself.  This speaker is talking about the exact topic of my current Bible study.  Right now, I am working through the book Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby.  The tagline for the study is “Knowing and Doing the Will of God.”  Basically, the study challenges its reader to learn how to hear God speak, and do what He says, the exact topic of today’s sermon.

Feeling convicted, I listened a little harder to what he had to say.  And I started to ask myself…why am I so irritated?  What in the world could possibly be bothering me?

And what came to my mind was a whole list of petty problems that were all rooted in a deep sense of security in the things of this world.  When I worry, scheme, and plan my life around the things of this world, I am always frustrated.  But they sneak in so quietly and subtly that I often do not realize they are there.

In doing this study, I am realizing that getting closer to God, hearing His voice, and knowing and doing His will, is going to require some sacrifice.  It’s going to require me to sever my ties with this world.  And if I am completely honest with you, I’m uncomfortable.

I’m uncomfortable because for too long I have found comfort in the things of the world that will never satisfy.  I have looked for meaning in my work, my activities, my relationships, money, my family–anywhere but the One Who has blessed me with these.

Drawing closer to Him, means letting my deeply-rooted ties to this world go.  And there are some deep roots. It is uncomfortable to think of what I will have to “lose” to draw closer to God.

The passage at the top from Philippians lays it out clearly for me.  “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things…” 

As I sat in that chapel and continued on through my day, I have been asking myself “Do I really consider everything a loss compared to knowing Christ?  Everything this world has to offer me?

I’m discovering some deep ties to areas in my life that were never guaranteed to last, and certainly should not cause me to be upset at the slightest threat that they may be taken away.

And as I am growing closer to God, I am realizing that the life He offers me is so much fuller, sweeter, and simpler than what I can do on my own.

It’s uncomfortable.  But so incredibly worth it.

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Lift Your Eyes…

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Just take a minute and read the passage below.  And I don’t mean skim it.  Dig into it.  Read it until the words sink in for you tonight.

Isaiah 51: 1-8, 12-16

Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many. The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: The law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies; But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail. Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have my law in your hearts: Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment;  the worm will devour them like wool. But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations. […] I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor,who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor? The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread. For I am the Lord your God,who churns up the sea so that its waves roar — the Lord Almighty is his name. I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand —I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’

~

Tonight, I was feeling a little down and opened up my journal about to write about my doubts, insecurities, fears, etc.  The song Mystery by Charlie Hall (check it out here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaSv0W9eyHI) was playing in the background.  Just as I was about to write out my first fear, the words…

Celebrate His death and rising, lift your eyes proclaim He’s coming, celebrate His death and rising, lift your eyes, lift your eyes

…rang out loud and clear from my speakers.  I did not even write one fear or doubt down on that paper.  I was immediately convicted that I needed to look up and focus on Jesus and all that He has done for me, rather than into my own self and my own issues.

My smile was huge.  Because Jesus was once again reminding me that I had taken my eyes off Him.  No wonder why everything was starting to seem so out of balance.

Friends, there are a lot of little, petty things that can block out Jesus from being in our sights 100% of the time.

But did you read that passage above? Those earthly things will pass away. They are TEMPORARY. But His salvation will last forever.

-What little things of this world are blocking your view of Jesus tonight?

-What is getting in the way of you letting them go?

Praying for you, dear friend, on this journey.

Lift Your Eyes