trust, Uncategorized, worship

You think You’re Cute

woman in the mirrorPsalm 139:23, 24 NIV

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Even though I have lived with myself for  over a half century, I am still amazed at what I still don’t know about myself. I often hear people say things like “you don’t know me, or that’s just the way I am”. The truth is often times, people really don’t know us…and further more, we really don’t know ourselves.

This is why we need to follow the example of David the Psalmist who asked God to search him; to know his heart. There are times when I think I’m doing just fine. Times when I believe my heart is right toward a person or situation, and I boldly make statements, make decisions, or come to certain conclusions that may not be in line with the heart of God at all.

David asks God to test him and know his anxious thoughts. I find that when I spend time worshipping in God’s presence, or even when I simply am quietly listening for him, I realize that many of my thoughts and actions are born of fear or a need to control or manage things in my life. It’s so easy to revert to lordship over my own life versus remembering that I was purchased by God through the blood of his precious son Jesus. My life belongs to him. Colossians 1:17 says that, “He is before all things, by him, all things hold together”.

I love the fact that David had such a love relationship with Holy God that he knew that his fleshy ways were offensive to God. God doesn’t think the flesh is cute!

Child having tantrum

One day last week my daughter told me, “You’re in a way today!” That was her response to a fleshly tantrum I was having due to a place where I felt personally disrespected and misunderstood. I appreciated my daughter calling me to task. She was essentially saying; “this behavior that you are manifesting is not the character of Christ. What’s going on with you”?

I am very grateful to the Holy Spirit who leads me and guides me, that she did not recognize this as my normal behavior. The truth of the matter is, we feel good when we yield to the flesh. It feels “normal”. We justify the flesh because we compare ourselves to others who do the same thing. When I was young, there was a phrase that adults would say when a child would act out – “you think you’re cute”! The inference was that, “you think you are so cute that I won’t give you the discipline you need”. People who think they are cute play on the sentimentality of those they interact with. We must never forget that God is not sentimental He is just!

When David asked The Lord to lead him in the way everlasting, he was acknowledging that there was something greater that God wanted of him. That his life was not his own. We make elaborate plans, think elaborate thoughts, but how often do we ask, “what is the way that is everlasting”? The place of legacy for future generations.

I don’t want the legacy of my life for my children and others that I come into contact with to be one of fear or control. My legacy prayer is that everyone I encounter would see less and less of me and more and more of Christ who is my King!

So put a spot light on me Jesus – clear out all the junk…I don’t just want to be cute, I want to be beautiful like you…

Gungor beautiful things

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family life, journey, trust

The Clutter Conundrum

co·nun·drum [kuh-nuhn-druhm]- confusing or difficult problem or question)

Cluttered House

“Let all things be done decently and in order.”
1 Corinthians 14:40

This may be a verse that we have heard or spoken on many occasions. It is something that we tend to say when we are trying to get it right. We say we dislike confusion, yet the truth is many of us function rather comfortably in it everyday. We may not intentionally create confusion; however, many of our daily choices seem to land us smack dab in the midst of chaotic situations.
A BIG MESS!
Clutter can show up in a variety of places in many different forms. It is a collection of things lying about in an untidy mass. Although physical clutter is what people talk about the most, the truth of the matter is the excess junk is often just a symptom of something much deeper going on inside of us. Longings that distract us and cause us to chase after the next thing, person or situation that will make us feel better, more content with our selves and our lives. The problem is not necessarily in the fact that we long for new things, God’s mercies are new every morning. We are new creations created in Christ Jesus; however, when you mix the old with the new and leave it all laying around together, it becomes a big mess.
House Cleaning
IT’S SPIRITUAL…
I have found in my own life that mind clutter, situational clutter, and relational clutter are great enemies of my soul. Ultimately all of these various forms of clutter stem from what I call “Spiritual Clutter.” Spiritual Clutter occurs when we collect and hoard the great things that we have learned about God and his ways. We hear a good sermon, listen to a wonderful worship song, talk to a Godly friend and find momentary encouragement, but we ultimately leave the truth that we have learned lying around in an untidy mess. We’ve heard our Pastor say that we must renew our minds. Developing relationships that are healthy and edifying is something that we learned as children as we took the time to pick out our best friends in kindergarten. Yet the moment something gets uncomfortable or ill fitting, we toss it or them aside looking for another more comfortable fit.
Hebrews 12:1 encourages us to “lay aside the weight and the sin that so easily besets us.” This verse does not mean to just leave the weight and the sin just lying around, but that we must put the weight and the sin in it’s proper place, and that place is at the foot of the cross. Verse 2 of Hebrews 12 says, “We must fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” Those situations that torment our minds that we just can’t seem to control, the relationships that bring disappointment and uncomfortable vulnerability will continue to surface in our lives. When you are looking for the right compartment to put away the ill fitting things, just remember this; everything changes with the proper perspective. Remembering Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross for us makes it easier to let things go. Let go of old hurts, bad career choices, difficult relationships. John 3:16 says, God so loved the world that he gave up his son for you and for me. What are you willing to give up for His glory?
Head clutter
“A place for everything, and everything in it’s place,” was my mother’s battle cry in her attempt to get me to be organized and disciplined in every area of my life. I don’t know if I’ll ever win the battle of my cluttered ways, much like my ongoing battle with sin, but one thing we can all rest in is the fact that when Jesus died on the cross for your sin and mine, he said, “It is finished!” Now if I could just hear those words in regarding the unfinished projects in my home!
Be encouraged in the start of this year. He makes all things New!

Christine James is a wife, a mother and a pastor at CareView Community Church. This is her first blog. She is glad you came.