Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Too Much Thinking About Myself continued...

"We must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life. We are not destined to happiness, nor to health, but to holiness. Today we have far too many desires and interests, and our lives are being consumed and wasted by them. Many of them may be right, noble, and good, and may later be fulfilled, but in the meantime God must cause their importance to us to decrease. The only thing that truly matters is whether a person will accept the God who will make him holy. At all costs, a person must have the right relationship with God."

I must continually remind myself of my true purpose in order to function in true, constant fellowship with God and in right fellowship with my family. "Well, what is your true purpose?," you might ask. Two passages come to mind, and they are two that Ben and I have committed to memory together: 

(In regard to my purpose toward others) 1 Peter 4:7 "The end of all things is near, therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, for love covers over a multitude of sins." 
(In regard to my purpose in Christ) Ecclesiastes 12:13 "Now all has been heard. Here is the conclusion of the matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind."

But, how can I do this in our culture? With all the pressure to perform well, appear to have it all together (this is multi-faceted), own this, wear that, sign my kids up for this, volunteer for this and that and this!?

"Our Lord’s teaching was always anti-self-realization. His purpose is not the development of a person— His purpose is to make a person exactly like Himself, and the Son of God is characterized by self-expenditure. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain but what He pours through us that really counts. God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us. Our spiritual life cannot be measured by success as the world measures it, but only by what God pours through us— and we cannot measure that at all."

I must remember that My life is not being measured by God in the same way that the world measures. "What he pours through us..." For me, this is about how much I pray for others; how tender and patient I am with my kids; how I extend grace and respect with lots of affection (no matter how tired I am) to my husband. Read 1 Peter 4:7-10. As I said in part I of this post, I must stop thinking about my circumstances. Anti-self realization. Christ pouring through and out of me. Things we cannot measure. 

Oh, LORD, I want to be clear-minded, self-controlled, prayerful (especially for others), deeply loving of others, fearfully reverent of Your commands, and most of all, non-complaining, unaware of my circumstances. May I look for You in every detail of my days, whether I am in my quiet time or policing two squealing toddlers. Jesus, give me supernatural strength to live 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17, to "be joyful always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances."

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