Psalm 51:17 -- The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.I've been struggling.
I feel like I've been talking (or writing) a lot, but in the depths of my heart, I feel myself drowning.
I read my posts. I re-read them. I find myself talking about things that are relevant, but once they become days old, I forget about the message that God has laid on my heart. I've always hoped that by writing, I'm touching someone's life, but I think I need to reevaluate my own life before trying to help others.
My walk with Christ is a daily struggle. He never promised that my life on earth would be easy. And believe me, it's not. But after thinking about it, I don't want it to be. What kind of life would that be, to have everything handed to me? There would be nothing to fight for. Nothing to have a passion for. And in these past few days, in the quiet of my heart, this revelation has come to me: I WANT to fight for Jesus. I WANT Jesus to be my passion. But more than those 'wants,' I NEED to fight for Jesus. I NEED Jesus to be my passion. I need to be so lost in Him that the world fades away, and He becomes my focus.
It's easy to 'put on a show,' so to speak. Read bits of the Bible. Pray when it's convenient. Go to church on Sundays. But once those 5 minutes, or that hour and a half is finished, life comes back into the picture.
I fight with my family. I use anger as my emotional outlet. I am easily irritated and annoyed. I look at people with scorn and disdain. This disease? Humanity. I've tried running from it. I've tricked myself into believing that I can escape the world, by labeling myself as a follower of Christ. But reality is that as long as I'm living, I will struggle.
I can recite Scripture, and teach people about the beauty inside of the Bible, but if I'm not living it behind closed doors, I've become nothing more than a hypocrite, a lukewarm follower of Christ.
That's not to say that I won't face problems, because as I said before, taking up my cross every day and dying to myself, is a daily struggle itself, but what I choose to do with those problems is what I need to look at.
I've made a small list of things that I need to improve on. I would greatly appreciate prayer from you guys, as I continue to pray for you as well.
1. I need to give more of my time to God. It is after all, His. When I wake up in the morning, I need to start my day by entering into His presence, asking Him to prepare my heart for the things that I will encounter, as well as ask Him to guide me throughout the day. I need to pray for strength and courage to be all that He asks of me. But more than all that, I need to sit in His presence, and listen. It's easy to pray for things that I want or need, but I rarely ever sit there and just listen to what He has to say.
2. I want my life behind closed doors, to be the life that Christ asks of me. I feel that what I portray isn't always how I am 'behind the scenes,' and I want my life to be transparent. I want people to see me exactly the way that I am at home. This means that I need to improve on different areas of my relationships with my family members, and friends as well. I don't want things to be hidden, because the things that I hide in my heart, are things that I'm ashamed of. I want people to see the real me, and through that, see Christ living through me. If I was living the life that Christ has laid out for me, I wouldn't need to feel shame and guilt.
3. I need to remember to love everyone. Love conquers all, and I really need to remember that. I do things out of fear. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of disappointment and so much more. I have learned to guard my heart against people, so that I don't get hurt, but in doing so, I push them away and give myself reasons not to love them. Instead, I judge them, when Christ says to love. I think it's easy to point out other people's flaws and judge their actions as worse than my own, and in doing so, I am unconsciously attempting to exalt myself. If I'm not the one drinking, smoking, doing drugs or having sex, then it's easy to trick myself into thinking that my sins aren't as bad. But the fact is, sins are weighed the same. In judging others, I have no room to show them love. I critique, criticize, belittle, slander and down people; not out of my own selfish amusement, but because I want to see people succeed in their relationship with Jesus, so I try and correct them. The problem is, when I do that with judgment, I'm not honoring Christ, and therefore digging myself into a bigger hole. Pray that the love of Jesus would replace my fears and judgment.
John 13:34-35 -- A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.I need improvement.
I don't want to be a hypocrite.
I want people to see Jesus in every area of my life.
I want my life behind closed doors, to be the life that I live in the world.
I don't want to be ashamed of Christ out in the streets.
I want to be an encouragement to people.
I can't tell people to live a certain way, if I, myself, am not doing the same.
I need to remember not to judge people, for the standard that I use to judge will be used against me.
Most of all, I need to remember to love. Love everyone. Those who love me. Those who hate me. Those who hurt me. Those I have never met. And those who don't want to know me.
If I use love as my main source of energy, rather than anger, resentment, hate, irritation and annoyance, then the life that I put on display (through this blog, Facebook, Bible study, etc.) can be the life that I live behind closed doors.
I come to you as a broken spirit; humbled and in need of you. My life has become a routine, a mask to cover up my past regrets. I've tried so hard to make myself believe that what I show on the outside is good enough. But Lord, my heart is burdened. I feel as though my prayers have become nothing more than the desires of my own heart, rather than an honest cry to you. Change my heart Father. Let the life that people perceive of me, be the life that my heart lives. I want to be transparent; allowing people to see that I have nothing to hide. Let my life behind closed doors become the life that I so desperately want to live. Break me, Lord, into the person that you want me to be, inside and out. Mold me and use me for your purpose. Father, give the me strength to love. You say that love conquers all, and I believe that. Thank you for the sacrifice of your Son, who showed the greatest act of love ever known. Help me to walk in your light, and be a light to others.
These things I ask, in Jesus' name,