Monday, June 9, 2008
It's All About Him
I have found myself in a place of chronic anxiousness lately. A gnawing feeling that I am not living a balanced life. I am missing something. A scattered spirit. I read, I think, I wonder...Where am I? Who am I? So I have tried to solve these questions by busyness, by renewed commitment, by trying harder. I have been obsessed by my "values". Am I making the right choices? Am I on the right path? I can work myself up into a contemplative frenzy...an obsessiveness with life and "vision" that makes me a driven, morose woman with little joy, peace and love.
Well, I am relieved to say that I moved out of that foul place last night, and by God's grace alone, I hope to stay in the place of rest I found myself this morning. Through seemingly random events, we decided to go to a young church last night to visit (young in the sense that it is only 3 years old and young in the sense that the majority were 20-somethings). I felt old and a bit weird being there with my four children. But I knew that I needed to be there for some reason and definitely needed to check my pride at the door that I am older and wiser than this younger group of believers. The guy that preached spoke from Philippians 3 and the Lord used him to speak on self-righteousness in us and reminded us of the true Gospel. I love that he said "we can be self-righteous about ANYTHING".
Mike and I left and the first words out of our mouths were "I feel convicted". Last night I saw how my life is all about me. I revolve around me. I take pride in just about anything...that I homeschooled. And now I take pride in the fact that I don't. I take pride in the good healthy foods I choose to eat. And then I take pride that I have "freedom" because I also go grab a cheeseburger the other night at McDonald's. I take pride in my thriftiness and that I buy secondhand. And then I take pride the other night when we headed to a wedding in a cute new dress with sassy new shoes. Honestly, by the end of the night, I was just fed up with myself and how I swing from pride to self-condemnation....I live in the land of my own gospel of works and acceptance by God through choices. In all of these instances, it's just all about me and how well I think I am doing before God and others.
No wonder I am so anxious, so judgmental, so disillusioned.
I had simply lost sight of Jesus, His glory, and His Gospel...the really Good News. God really loves me and I really don't deserve it. I am sinful and apart from Him I can do NOTHING to move towards Him and others...I am lost unless He comes. Jesus came to save me. To pay the debt I owe. To meet God's just requirements, to receive the condemnation I deserve, to be separated from the Father so that I won't have to be, to experience profound rejection, isolation, and loneliness so that I would never have to...He experienced Hell so that I could have Heaven--unbroken connection, life, love, family, joy, peace. Wow. If I preach the Gospel to myself every morning, I realize that I am needy for grace and love...and that I bring nothing to the table. And He is ready to lavish His love, grace and power on me for His glory and my good.
So this morning I awakened and re-read Philippians 3. I recognized that without Jesus today I will be a train-wreck. I found my priorities shifting this morning too. By His grace I actually wanted today to be about His glory and not my own. His plans and not mine. His view of others. And for the first time in a while, I actually knew in my heart that Jesus really is Good News and felt an overwhelming desire for the Gospel and sharing its message with others. I know I could never manufacture those desires in and of myself because my default setting is "me". So then I was so encouraged that He IS at work in my life...changing me, softening my heart, growing me, maturing me. What Hope!
Oh Lord, give me the grace to keep You as my True Priority...that I will look to You as I awaken, as I eat, as I walk about my day. It's seems so simple and yet it is supernatural. Keep me from living in the smaller stories of stuff and self. Be glorified in my life, Jesus. Be glorified.
**I just found this article and it's a wonderful read!