Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Problem with Problems...

I can often times have trouble keeping my life focused on eternity.  I get caught up in what is bothering me today, and I forget that those nuisances were stragetically placed in my life to sanctify me in the Lord.  I get spiritually exhausted from fighting battles day in and day out; and there happens to be more than one occasion (that I can recall to my memory), where I would just like to put my sword down, wipe the blood off of it, mend my wounds and give myself time to heal before moving on to the next blood filled battle.  But what I forget, (absent minded fool that I am) is that Jesus is my rest.  My redemption and eternal salvation is my peace for dwelling here on this wicked filled earth.  

I am an enormous Greg Bahnsen fan!  I just have to proclaim that for all of you fellow Greg Bahnsen guru's out there.  I have such an admiration for the way he would debunk false religions and defend the Christian faith with a strength and confidence that is not often seen these days.  You would think that I would be able to harness all of my apologetic and worldview studies and conquer the temptation to dwell on my sorrows, with a grace like that of a seasoned veteran for the battle of a lifetime!  

But do I?


Nope!  I cower, I complain, and I conjure up all sorts of additional miseries for my "woe is me" moment.
It's so simple!  Forgetting what our purpose is in life is one of the easiest things for us to do when life gets hard.  We get focused on our hardships, rather than what the purpose is behind our hardships.  We want life to fit into our little molds of what we deem acceptable and good-- and when they don't, we fall apart and succumb to the common thought that the world is coming to a complete and utter end and we are all doomed!  

We are massive control freaks...and we just can't let go and realize that God is the one who is in fact, in complete control.

It is the hardest thing for us as human beings to do.  But we must relinquish our wills to the perfect will of our Father!  He knows everything, is infinite in wisdom and has foreordained every event that takes place!  Our knowledge of the future is absolutely nil--why is it so hard sometimes, to trust the One who can see the entire future and be able to rest in the knowledge that He is orchestrating every moment of our lives?  You see, when we try to do things in our own power, we always end up either regretting or questioning the results.  Whereas, if God is the one who brings about the events in our lives, then we can be assured in the confidence of it being wholly good and blessedly perfect. 

When we are finally able to take our hand out of every situation that we are trying to tyrannize, we will be able to keep our focus on what God wants us to fix our eyes on, with greater ease.  Learning to bear good fruit and pursue what is good for edification and sanctification will come so much simpler to us!  Striving is important, but when we surrender everything to the Lord, it will feel more like achieving, rather than straining.  There will still be pain, but the pain won't feel like an injury as much as it will feel like a growing pain.

I find that as young women, we get distracted with thoughts of matrimony, acceptance and popularity.  We all want to be well known, well liked and pursued; both in friendships and romantic relationships.  But this is not what we are called to!  We are called to seek righteousness and holiness!  Our face should be continually before the Lord and our thoughts should be geared towards how we can best glorify Him, not how we can exalt ourselves and elevate our positions in life.  

Young women, in particular tend to be very competitive, and it only leads to our becoming distracted and the enemy finding a perfect door to walk through and stomp the living daylights out of our potential in the Body of Christ.  We are vessels that the King of Kings has cultivated for battle on this earth; it is a terrible shame and a waste for us to use our energies and throw away our time on silliness that can only brew sinfulness.  

Thinking about how we can be productive unmarried individuals, and how we can climb the social ladder of our reformed circles, all at the same time, is a practically impossible task.  When we focus on the temporal, we lose sight of the eternal.  

"'Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'" 
Matthew 6:19-21

And we do it everyday!

I'm guilty of it!  You're guilty of it!  The little, sweet elderly woman down the street is guilty of it!  But just because everybody does it, doesn't make it right!

Just because "we all do it", doesn't mean that God just winks at it and shrugs it off.  It breaks His heart and it is a sin against Him!  He has bestowed upon our souls, one of the tenderest and most precious mercies ever fathomable!  How dare we throw it back in His face by being focused on our own worldly well-being.  We need to make Him the focus of our daily lives and the reason behind all of our actions.  Who cares if everyone likes you.  Does God really care if everyone knows your name and what a wonderful person you are?  I don't think so.  It is exactly this kind of self-centered mindset that will rob us of every single ounce of influence we could have on the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Our job is to make His Name known, and His alone!  

Because that is what it is really is about what kind of impact we are able to make in the short window of time we are granted life here on this earth...this earth that is full of *things* will pass away, and yet, it is a gateway to all of eternity!  It is just a gateway.  The whole of life's purpose does not rest within this earth. The whole of life's purpose resides on His throne in Heaven above, and He has placed us on this earth to proclaim His name to every hell bound soul we could possibly encounter!  Sure, that doesn't mean we will all be street preachers, but it does mean that when a lost soul encounters us, they should be able to see the substance and priority of our focus, and the object of our love and affections! They should be able to see Jesus and our love for Him!

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 
gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  
And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another."
Galatians 5:22-26


Molly Rose said...

No comments? I shall fix that. :p

So this is rather timely. I must say that it's been very hard to not get bogged down in what's happening in the immediate here and now and not moaning and groaning over what the future may (or may not) hold. Sigh. So thank you for addressing this... :)

Ana W. said...

This was beautifully refreshing, Shelby! Your love for the Lord blesses and encourages me.
Thank you for sharing this!

Holly W. said...

Wow! You're so right, Shelby.
All of us unmarried young ladies would be spared a whole heap of misery if we'd only look to the eternal. In most instances, our discontent is born of misplaced ambition. If our ambition is where it's supposed to be (i.e. exactly where God has us) we won't get depressed trying (and failing) to control and accelerate our future lives and dreams.

I had to laugh at myself several times while reading this post. Thanks for sharing.