Monday, April 6, 2009

I want what happened to you to happen to me!

I really do not have any particular agenda or message to deliver here but I did want to take some time just to deliver some thoughts to the pages as my mind is weaving in and out of various thoughts concerning my life, my faith, my marriage and my children. I seem to find myself more and more pondering the heavier subjects of life..taking on the very ideas that for so long have sent me packing into reclusion with myself...what I mean is that these heavier topics have been so painful to deal with mentally that it normally just shuts me down and forces me to move on to a different subject matter...but for whatever reason now at this point in my life, I am not only willing to sit and think about them, but I am prepared to challenge myself to deal with them in such ways that cause me to "test myself" or to "check my progress." This is all fairly foreign to me as most of my life has been about me and what I could make of it and what I could get out of it..

Here is what I know.. God has gotten hold of me over the last few years and He is not letting go.. Once He truly gets your attention, I believe He intends to finish the work He started. Once God gets your faith to a certain point and your heart becomes willing and your mind submissive to His authority, then every day from that point on becomes a day in which we grow. The very way we view our life and those involved in it changes..The very framework to which we operate takes on new meaning. Books we read, TV shows we watch, music we listen to all brings about a new perspective. We began to see things as God sees them...I was in church yesterday and we were singing a song and a line in the song went something like this " Lord cause my heart to break for what your heart breaks for." I found that phrase to just jump all over me..because my desires are no longer what they once were..I do want desperately to feel the way God feels about matters such as sin, righteousness, Love, Serving, Marriage, etc...but my flesh is constantly rising up against what my heart and soul feels. It is like my flesh is constantly looking for any opportunity to spring up and cause conflict in my thinking, my framework to which God is altering to be more like Him. The battle is real and it is raging and as I begin to see the world with a different set of lenses, I hurt on the inside..because I can now begin to see this spiritual battle for my soul play out before my very own senses..and as the apostle Paul says " I do what I despise to do, my heart is willing by my flesh is not cooperating." How is that we can have a sincere desire in the inner most parts of who we are to trust and follow God, yet we constantly sin against Him, unintentionally and sometimes intentionally. Is it part of the humbling process so we may not boast in our Faith or righteousness? Is our nature that bent on rejecting the Lord God who created us? Do we not have enough Faith to simply Trust? I am not saying here that I am frustrated with this process or it should not be this way, I am merely suggesting that I recognize the war being waged....and at times, I am extremely sorrowful for my actions and my words that flow from my mouth and then there are times I am feeling spiritual growth take place..almost like two steps forward, one step back process...I can understand the molding process may at times be painful...and there will be opportunities that I miss completely to reveal the Faith that I know I have growing inside me..but I also understand that the foe who wants to destroy me is extremely crafty and is vicious in his attacks... The bible says he is like a lion seeking to devour...and the moments we lose focus and allow satan to enter our mind and our heart, we can see the devastating effects he can have on us and our maturity as a believer.

I know that many people write blogs to try and help others learn and grow in whatever variety of subject matter they take up and that includes me..but as I have said in the past, I have a focus and desire to document my thoughts and emotions as they arrive so that in the future I can look back and see the work God is performing in me. I mean I want to be able to see the changes in my mindset, the way I view and look at the world around me, how I perceive situations and I how I react to them...and over time, it is much like watching my children grow up..I see them every day and so the physical growth that they undergo is often missed by me while those who might see them on occasion or more sparingly can so obviously see what I am not able.. The girl's grandparents might say, "goodness you girls are getting so big" and while I recognize they are getting big, the change is so close to me that I really cant see it as well as they can..if that makes any sense. This blog is meant to serve that sole purpose for me..I am to close to myself to see the changes taking place, but journaling it all down will allow me the experience of a different perspective..much like snapping photographs and then looking back on them and saying to yourself " I cant believe that was me" or " I cant believe I used to look like that." So if you find yourself reading this and you are not me, then you may have some understanding as to why it may not make much sense or why it seems so random at times. I want to be able to look back and say "Wow I cant believe that was me"..I want to see the growth in my thinking and my spiritual understanding..

I finally had the opportunity to sit and watch the movie "Fireproof" last night with Nicki..There has been a lot of hype about this movie in my circles and I was concerned just because it was a Christian movie made by a church that they were just showing favoritism toward it, but that in all actuality it could not be as good as they all made it sound.....I was ASTONISHED. That was one of the most inspiring movies I have ever watched..I laughed and I cried, I was on the edge of my seat as well as sitting back on the couch thinking about what just happened and how it challenged me as a man, a husband and a believer.. I must say that after all the chatter about this movie and all the church billboards I saw saying "Fireproof your marriage", I can see why it has had such a profound impact on those who have seen it. I know that for me and how my marriage has transpired over the years, it brought up some very ugly emotions that I stuffed away hoping to never relive again but did as I saw myself in many of those scenes..The tears that formed on my cheeks were birthed from my overwhelming sorrow for how I have acted so many times in my own marriage and so totally against God. I was amazed at just how accurate these scenes were to real life but not only real life but my life.. The scene where He comes to accept Christ with his father standing beside the cross and he talks about being spat on by his wife and how undeserving she was of his love and how they wove that into the idea of how we are constantly rejecting God, Him being spat on yet He still finds a way to Love us was a very heart wrenching moment for me..because I am so that person..and for so many years I have rejected surrendering my life to Him...not allowing Him to have a say so in my decisions..even though I knew intellectually that God loved me, I really never felt it and therefore blew it off as not part of the life I would ever know of God..but seeing that scene play out and with the work that God has done in my life in the recent months allowed me to see this in a way that touched the essence of the man I am today..and Praise God that I have this perspective and that is matters to me when once before it did not..For all the sick, twisted, sinful desires I have pursued in my life, God still loved me enough to Save me from all pull me up out of the desolate pits and place my feet upon a secure foundation in Christ...even though I was so undeserving and not worthy of any love from Him at all, after all my constant rejecting, HE still cared.. That is a love not known to me and one that escapes me but one that I am forever grateful for and humbled at the very existence of..This is very emotional just to think about and causes me to weep and grieve in my just how much God can care for you even in the midst of your most wicked days..I pray for a love so great as that to be inside me....just as the wife at the end says " what has happened to you, I want to happen to me". What a model of the affect we can have on others by how we act, if we can allow God to show Himself thru us.....then there was the bedside scene where Kirk Cameron kneels at the bedside of his beloved wife and says to her " I have trampled on your for 7 years and I am so so sorry" and " just as God has forgiven me, I pray that you to will also be able to forgive me." Those were some very powerful words that again caused tremendous pain in me for how so many years I have trampled on those I love, particularly my wife, and how sorry I am for that and how I wish I could take it all back and start over knowing what I know now...but being the selfish, ignorant man I was and still am, I can only seek the same forgiveness from them as I seek from my Lord...and to extend that same forgiveness to those I love, especially my wife, that God has extended to me...It is a true "mark" of your genuine conversion to have within you a capability to love and forgive as God has with suppress our flesh to such a degree that it is no longer about me and my feelings as it is about others and how I treat others...for if Christ truly lives inside me, then I ought to act like it and display that in everything I do..and allow Christ to rule and reign in my heart, unrivaled and unchallenged, totally surrendering to Him and giving up on my desires and seeking only the desires of God and what He wants for my seek Him so earnestly that His desires are clear and precise to me and doubt has no residence in my fully and absolutely trust in Him and to make my life about share that with everyone I know and see, regardless of how I might be perceived...There is a song by Brandon Heath "Give me Your Eyes"...That is my desire..To have the eyes of God, the ears of God, the heart of God and for Him to Open me Up and rip out the old wicked self and replace it with His parts...

So the war wages on and battles will not cease for my heart by the evil one...but as for me and my life...I choose to serve the Lord and His will is my will and His desires are mine. I surrender!!!

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