Thursday, March 29, 2012

life is not a snapshot

inspiration: the message at theWell.

i feel like i haven't blogged in forever...
my blogging this year has been less than what i would've hoped to do thus far.
but tonight, i'm excited because i finally have words :)

i love the song "Before the Morning" by Josh Wilson
it's all about how the pain we experience is preparing us for the joy we will experience down the road.

i've posted this song so many times on this blog, it's not even funny. haha.

but tonight, jack hoey gave an awesome message at theWell.

we've been in a series called "Unbound", making our way through the book of Romans, learning about how because of the Cross, we are no longer bound by sin.

we are no longer bound.
we are no longer slaves.
our chains have been broken.
we are free!!

tonight, jack reiterated that point. but also reminded us that change takes time.
small changes take a little bit of time.
big changes take a  lot of time.

when we accept Christ into our lives, it takes time to get used to.
we are constantly torn between pursuing our new life toward Christ or to turn back to our old life of sin.
we are called to pursue Christ, but Satan attacks us even harder when we make that pursuit.

Romans 6:12-14 says:
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
jack spent some time talking about the word "instrument". he said the word Paul used could mean any or all of three things: weapon, tool, or instrument.

when you think about it, a knife (weapon) could be used for good or evil. a hammer (tool) could be used to build or to destroy. and a guitar (instrument) can be used to make noise or to make music.

our lives are no different.
we can live in such a way to chase evil and darkness.
or we can live in such a way to pursue light and goodness.

we are all designed for a specific purpose by God, just like a knife, hammer, and guitar.
he has wired us with specific gifts and talents and strengths.
we can choose to use them for our glory or for His glory.

something else jack mentioned tonight that really spoke loudly to me was that what matters to God is the person we're becoming.

"life is not a snapshot, it might take a little time, but you'll see the bigger picture"

my favorite line from the aforementioned josh wilson song.
we are works-in-progress.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. -Philippians 1:6
i constantly have to remind myself that God is always at work in me.
even when i feel far away.
or when i don't blog for 4 days.
and don't read my Bible.
and don't pray for 20 minutes (which i don't ever do, just being honest).

just because i have a bad day, or week, or month in my spiritual walk, it doesn't define who i am.
the only thing that matters to God is who He is creating me to be.
and i've gotta be honest, when i am reminded me of that, it brings me so much joy to know that even when i'm struggling, He's got my back and He's using every circumstance for my good.

"Even our sins are used by God to make us BETTER" -Jack Hoey III

God will never let any minute detail escape His sight.
the mountains in our lives are only but a tiny anthill in the grand scheme of things.
the sin that we struggle with today doesn't define us, but God will use it to shape us into who he needs us to be.

i'm humbled and in awe of the work he's done in me. i was far away from God and entrenched in a life of judgement, pride, insecurity, and sexual sin. i had completely placed my identity in a guy and acknowledged no part of Christ. it's not that i didn't believe, i just wasn't following. i was pursuing flesh over wisdom and myself over God.
God knocked me flat on my face though.
and slowly, but surely brought me back to Him.
He covered me with grace and mercy.
revealed to me how much He loves me.
He used every scar, every wound, every ounce of pain to draw me closer to Him and to prepare me for the people He has placed in my life. i'm able to share my heart with others and to be a testimony to the power of his unconditional love and mercy!!

i believe wholeheartedly in the truth of Romans 8:28 - that in ALL things, He works for the good of those that love him. He is always faithful and always will be.

we can stand firm in that promise.
we may not be able to see the big picture.
but He can.

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