Posts Tagged ‘follower’

Good People are Sinners

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

broken heart

I need help. I have a condition that cripples me from living the fullness of my life as God promises. It’s called human being thinking. Also known as worldly thinking.

What is human or worldly thinking? Well, in a nutshell…it’s believing that I’m the only person I need to worry about pleasing or satisfying. It’s thinking that I owe no one or thing any allegiance but my self.

The truth is, I’m not qualified to be my own God and Judge.

    My heart is wonky.

It’s dirty, full of sin and ready & willing to turn to whatever feels good instead of running hard & fast after what is Holy. One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is that one about being a GOOD person.

I’m a good person … therefore, don’t judge my decisions or choices. They’re mine, butt out!

The problem with that is that a lot of good people end up in hell. Being “good” isn’t what offers you and me a place in eternity with God.

be holy

While I believe there are good people in the world, I know without a shadow of a doubt that not one of them is perfect or spotless in the eyes of God. It just isn’t possible. Only Jesus Christ has the ability to be that. We are liars, thieves, cheats and more. We trick ourselves by justifying the sin in our lives and that’s where we get the uncanny ability to overlook faults or weaknesses that make us everything we never want to be (or to be called), wrong.

Look, sin is a human condition. Not one person gets to walk through this world without falling into its hole. We are all sinners. You, me, your grandma, your pastor, your best friends’ Sunday school teacher….. every. single. person. sins.

The problem we have isn’t just admitting it. It’s admitting it and believing we need a Holy God to forgive us. To repent and or change.

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Which brings me back to thinking like a human being. There are times when my head wants to gloss over what I know is wrong in my life. I can make whatever is ugly look and feel really lovely if I work at it long enough. Except, the Holy Spirit never lets me enjoy it truly because it’s genuinely gross and disgusting. It doesn’t belong where I’m trying to force it to be.

During this season of Lent, I decided (secretly, between God & Me) to give up something that was literally owning me. It’s not something that others would find bad or unhealthy…but it’s something that I know God doesn’t want for me. When I decided to remove it from my life, I was driving down the road in my car when a simple thought came to my mind that said, “Let it go!”.

Now, that seems simple. But, it had a great hold on my every day life. I liked it. I planned my day around it. It was ruling me. Once I decided to get rid of it, it left. I haven’t longed for it, I haven’t wished for it, I haven’t even tried to figure out a way around getting back to it.

It’s not something I want in my life anymore.

That’s exactly what God desires for us in every aspect of our lives. He wants us to CHOOSE HOLY over worldly. His plan for us never involves sin. We do that to ourselves. We lock ourselves into sin habits or sin thinking. Then, our hearts twist up the truth with the lies we tell our brains and the result is a lifestyle that doesn’t match up with God’s plan for us. But, then….there’s grace.

If there ever were a poster child for GRACE, there you’ll see me.

See, there’s nothing so bad….not one sin that God isn’t ready and willing to forgive us for and to help us overcome in our lives. He is in the forgiveness business. He sent His Son because HE KNEW we would need that kind of sacrificial love and mercy.

Listen, if you’re believing the lies you tell yourself that you don’t need God or His ways….you’re wrong. You do, I do … we all do. He knows that. He’s ready and willing to turn you around. Don’t buy into what the world is selling. It’s cheap and it’s costly all at the same time.

You’re worth more than that.

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Authenticity

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

I’m about to get personal.

I know, I always do. It’s my nature to let it all hang out and this post has been rattling around in my heart for years. Like, seriously. A long time.

Before I go any further, I have to tell you….I’m deeply indebted to so many people that have walked alongside me in my faith path. I’m not where I should be, but I am certainly trying to get where God wants me to be. Every day.

In my teen years when my heart was pliable and mold-able, some really dedicated leaders loved on me and helped plant the Love of Jesus in my heart. It worked. I fell hard and in my own foolish ignorance, bumbled around trying to figure out just how to do this Christian believer lifestyle. I lived in a house of unsaved people. Following Jesus was going to be really tricky. Plus, I was a brand new Christian. I didn’t know how to be Christ-like. So, I joined the ranks of other followers and did what they did. Talked like they talked. Acted like they acted.

DANGEROUS. SHEEP-LIKE. NORMAL.

Fast-forward many years. I met a guy, he loved Jesus and we fell in love. We walked the aisle, said, “I do!” and started our happily ever after. Kids came along and we thought we were doing all that God required of us to live a happy and blessed life.

Then, we got restless. We started to wander. Life as we knew it didn’t feel complete. Something needed to happen. So, we hooked our wagon to seminary and took off for the ministry.

My first few weeks at Bible college were filled with anxious thoughts. Not thoughts of – did we make a mistake? But, thoughts of – What am I doing here? I’m a tiny little baby Christian and I don’t know anything about this great big God. I’m weak. I’m naive. I’m simple. I’m not Bible savvy. I’m just a normal gal.

It seemed like every person I met had a super power of Bible knowledge and I was way behind the curve. I prayed for God to help me not feel so insecure. I knew what I needed to do to change that was study God’s Word. So, I did that with a house full of babes. I read my Bible and I studied every lesson I could find. God provided other women for me to lean on and grow alongside while I was there. Those friendships are still solid and longstanding because they were genuine and linked to a common desire – to know and love God more.

They were authentic.

We left seminary because that’s what happens. God sends you out to do THE WORK of ministry. We were warned. We were cautioned as to what REAL LIFE could and would do to our fragile egos and ministry muscles. Like an obstacle course of Jesus Ninja Warrior, the real ministry trenches challenge you. Just when you think you’ve made it to the buzzer goal, you slip and fall. Ministry life bruises you and knocks you around. It leaves marks on your heart and mind that take a long time to heal. It feels like it’s going to kill you some days. It’s also amazing.

And that’s just what ministry is like in the American church. Don’t even get me started about crossing an international line of safety. That’s hard work. That’s hard living. That’s struggle. My life, not even worth comparing to the missionaries of this world. God, love them hard.

We didn’t stay long. We slipped out, quietly around year 10. Something we were warned would happen. Ministers leave the church and its people at record numbers. Churches are unhealthy and so are some in ministry. We’ve seen both. Sadly, we’ve experienced hurting churches and deeply hurting leaders. Satan has tricked and trampled many and continues to wreak havoc on those trying to live for Christ. We weren’t any better.

It’s been about 8 years since my hubby was called Pastor and our kids PK’s. We’ve missed it and then we’ve boasted at how we made it out alive (barely). I have no clue if we’ll ever go back or why we ever would (except, Jesus). I just know, that the past I’ve lived has jaded me.

I long for authenticity.

No matter where we’ve lived or what jobs we’ve worked, I have searched for those that are genuinely sold out for Christ. Oh, there are plenty who call themselves followers or Christians. But the ones who are truly authentic have been rare. Why? I don’t know. I used to think that I was just from another planet. Not literally, but culturally. The south is known as the Bible Belt and just about everyone I know…loves Jesus. Moving north felt a little like I was leaving behind the open trust of living out loud for the Lord.

Honestly, it felt like most people were ashamed of loving Jesus. Like, it was something to keep a secret. Or to yourself.

So, I fell into that hush hush society behavior too. And I felt miserable.

Christians do a great job of being so-so. Me included.

I love God. I am totally His. I don’t have anything to lose for loving Him and yet…..I live like I don’t even know Him some days. I’m ashamed.

He is never ashamed of me, ever.

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This topic is heavy, I know. Who wants to fess up to being a lukewarm Christian? I’ve been one and I’ve let my faith sit stagnant on a back burner for too long. Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t offer rest to His children who wander aimlessly. He lovingly allows discomfort and even misery to keep us linked to Him and our true calling in this janked up world. (Welcome, Holy Spirit)

Thank you, Lord.

Here’s what I want you to know – I am just like you. I’m selfish, greedy, foolish, quick to judge, easily angered, wishy-washy, broken, needy and full of myself. I brag about my guaranteed spot in the Kingdom and still I fall flat on my face when it comes to sharing the Gospel. I live with all the blessings God has to offer and I miss out on a million chances to be the face of Jesus to a hurting world. I do a great job of living FOR WANDA!!

And when life gets rocky….. I cry out for help, from G O D !

I’m pathetic. I’m exactly the opposite of what I want in others around me, AUTHENTIC! I want real and I want to be real, to myself….to God and to those around me.

The reality? I can’t do that on my own. I will more than likely fall short. I’ll mess up. I’ll break in two and that’s okay. The Christian faith is a journey.

I’m dedicated to being authentic. Please be patient with me while God works and continues to mold me into the person He wants me to be.

be God