A Breath of Fresh Air

Glimpse the Living God.

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Location: Virginia, United States

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Questions and an Experiment

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)

The verse is "come to me" to find rest. Not, sit in front of the TV or do something mindless. On the contrary, taking up the yoke of Jesus will provide rest for my soul. A yoke goes around an animal when they are working. So, working will provide rest for my soul?

The Questions:
How do I live for Jesus in my current society?

Is it ever okay to watch TV? to play mindless games? to read "brain candy" type of books?

Does God want more for me than that?

Can I find my rest only in God? By reading the Bible?

Do I feel restful after a long binge in front of the TV?

Psalm 39 says, "
Each man’s life is but a breath." That's not long.
How should I be spending my short life?

What would please God? What would be just acceptable? Do I want to be just acceptable?

Should I be working toward something all the time?

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:9-10 (NIV)

This full life that Jesus died to give me sounds like it's in heaven, not here. This is not my home, not all there is, not where I should be storing up treasures.

So, what does this life on earth look like?

He is the vine, I am the branches. If I remain in him, I will bear much fruit. Apart from Him I can do nothing. So, I need to be producing fruit? That sounds like work too.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26

Am I exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit in it's fullness?

Do I need to crucify my passions and desires?

Am I living by the Spirit? Do I want to? What does that even look like?

How can I do this without becoming legalistic?

“Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 1Corinthians 6:12

“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. 1Corinthians 10:23

If it's permissible, doesn't that mean that I can do it?

Does everything I do have to be beneficial? All the time?

Does it have to be constructive? All the time?

What does that look like?

Have I let too much that isn't beneficial creep into my life? What does that do to my character?

What is sinful vs just not the best choice?

How do I look at all of this through grace?

The Experiment:

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Matthew 6:30-33 (The Message)

So, for one week, I am going to "steep my life in God-reality, God-initiative, and God-provisions". I wonder if He really will meet all my everyday human concerns, or will I be missing out?

I'm going to read the Bible instead of watching TV or indulging in some other escape type of entertainment. I'm going to fill my mind and my heart with praise music, Christian books (namely, my Beth Moore Bible study), and God centered blogs and pod-casts. I'm also going to limit my time online to posting on my blog, checking my e-mail, and managing my Ebay sales.

I want to walk in the Spirit, find rest, and be content. I want every aspect of the fruit of the Spirit to be evident in my life and I don't want to waste a moment of this precious time that I have.

I'm hoping to see and hear God clearly with no static. Maybe I'll find some answers to my questions, or just find a good balance in my life. At worst, this will not change my perspective at all and I will have wasted my time. In which case, at the end of the week, I'll just resume my regular life. Either way, I have to know.

God, I need You to be who You say You are. I need You to speak to me this week. My life isn't right and I don't know how to fix it. Help me to see through Your eyes no matter what my society wants me to believe. Show me Your truth, guide me in Your way, and teach me.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Steph said...

Girl, you're writing from deep within, I feel it coming up from all the way down dep, from down your toes, and I'm diggin it!

Living in and by the Spirit is some seriously freaky business because I have to relentlessly trust God more than me and "get over" looking foolish.

God uses the foolish things of the world, so I'm very useful to Him.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Let's say you go to someone else's house. How comfortable are you turning on their TV? Raiding their pantry? Logging in to their computer?

If I truly believe that God owns my house, my TV, my food, and my computer, then I shouldn't go about using them without at least asking Him first.

God challenged me a couple weeks ago to give my (new) laptop away... to Him. Now, I need to ask Him any time I want to use it. I slip up now and then, but it sure has focused me on what I do on it.


Oh, and SO GOOD to see you writing again! I missed it!

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Emily said...

Wow, good stuff! Thanks for sharing all your questions with us! I'm excited to see the results of your experiment. I think you will be richly blessed. Will be praying for focus and against the enemy who will try to make you stumble. So proud of you!

3:39 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

love you sister- MISS YOU! praying for you - these answers are different for everyone yet consistent for everyone through the truth of the word - how cool is that!

6:12 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Steph,
Thank you so much for your encouragement! You are an inspiration in writing and true devotion to the Lord. And, you make me laugh :-)
Mike,
Profound insight even in just a few words. Thank you for the thoughts as always you get my brain going in a fun direction! You are a theology superstar!
Em,
love you! now i can plague everyone with my constant questions instead of just you :-)
Katie,
Miss you so so much!

1:06 AM  

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