P31 OBS, Week 2 of: Living So That
I have been thinking a lot this week about perspective. One of its many definitions is: the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance <trying to maintain my perspective>. While I once viewed the world from a place of self; what would be the effect on me. I now see the world (as best as I can since I am human) through God’s word, character and truth. I try to never rely on my emotions or feelings because I have learned how fleeting and unreliable they are. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. I try and approach every moment of life asking two questions, does this glorify God and does it align with God’s word.
Last week I talked about my initial response to the Gospel of John and my initially negative reaction to Jesus. The other reason I tend to shy away from recommending the Gospel of John to new believers is because John refers to himself as the disciple Jesus loved and I know I have been left feeling that sounds arrogant and I have felt intimidated and even jealous by this. Then this week I found myself in the middle of an argument about how and who God can speak and work through. A brother in Christ has called into question a popular Pastor whose book I am reading. I also have felt called to a ministry of sharing God’s word and Christian encouragement through my twitter account. I am the only one of my local friends who has a twitter and I receive over 200 texts a day from twitter that I read through and forward on to five sisters in Christ on a daily basis. This male friend has asked that when I feel led I include him as he is always desperate for a revival and accountability but more times than not he makes me feel foolish for choosing to follow certain people. Now this friend is known for being a worrier and negative, he often engages people in fear inducing end of the world conversations and his FB wall is filled with often hostile debate over politics and the state of our country. We are complete opposites because God has gifted me as an encourager and I have always preferred being positive and focusing on the glory of God than the negative and I normally let his words go by without hurting me but this day I was led to, in what my mind felt like defending God. I reached out to my best friend who has the gift of discernment and asked for prayer coverage and realized that my argument wasn’t coming from a place of anger but of Love. I am now, every day more in love with God and I felt as though God’s glory was being attacked. I spent hours in His word, praying and finally responding to my friend. Two days later, having not heard back from the friend I was starting to doubt my response, I was confident in the content and tone but worried I had hurt someone whom I love. Then I read Part 4 of Living so That by Wendy Blight. The first two chapters had me rejoicing, I knew that is exactly what I had been feeling that I was standing on God’s truth because I was confident that He loved me dearly and that I was in line with His will for me. Wendy writes, “What is so intriguing about this statement is that John alone called himself by this name. At first, it makes him sound a bit arrogant. But as you read through John’s writings, you will sense that it is more likely John experienced God’s love in such powerful ways that he knew without a doubt Jesus chose him, called him, and deeply loved him. He knew his identity was in Christ, and, because of that, he knew he was the Lord’s beloved. Oh, that we would have that confidence to unabashedly speak these same words: “I am the girl Jesus loves!” No matter my actions, no matter my words, no matter my mistakes, no matter my exploding emotions, “I am the girl Jesus loves!” There are times I doubt my intensity of devotion to Jesus, times I fear that I must sound so arrogant and even cocky. I worry that people think I have all the answers because of my position in leading Life Groups (Bible Study). I will no longer worry these things. I know that Jesus called me to be a completely transformed woman, one who went from hating him and challenging others faith to one who depends on Him for every breathe she takes. I know that when I come armed to groups with God’s word investigated it takes me hours praying and digging deep into five study bibles and online commentaries and reaching out to leaders at my home church when I need even more clarity. I know that when I read a book by a Christian Author that I research their mission and know that there have been plenty of times I did not see evidence of God’s truth in what I was reading and put the book aside. There is always a chance the devil can work his schemes and fool me with a false teacher but I also know that I dress myself every morning with God’s full armor and pray in the Spirit.
God Spoke so that…
God Spoke so that we are equipped to walk in a fallen world. So we can lead from God’s character of grace, mercy, love, forgiveness and restoration. So that we can live with His power tucked deep inside of us and arming us on the outside. God Spoke so that His love for us would be clear, so that His might, power, peace, love, grace and mercy would be available to all to be transformed, equipped and ready share with others. God Spoke so that we could hear. He loves us so much, pursues us with His beautiful, living word so we can tuck His seed in deep, true, rich soil and have His best in our lives. God Spoke so that we would know peace, true, unhindered, unconditional peace as a gift from Jesus that isn’t fleeting or based on what we can do but on what He has and continues to do. “It is finished.” God Spoke so that I would have confidence to share His good news, know that I am His girl who He delights in and that I would stand firm in my faith.
"All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17