Saturday, July 18, 2015

Called: To Seek and Obey

Hey all,
I just wanted to give you all a quick update on some things I've been thinking about, as well as making some declarative statements to myself about the future and what it holds. 
I think what's been happening is that I have so much to do, and so much looming before me, that I have yielded over and over again to the temptation to just not to do anything/.
I need to be creating the new blog, I need to be working on things for my services marketing class, I need to researching apartments and filling out job applications, I need to buy a new laptop, but what do I do?
I go to school or go to work, come home, eat, and then just veg, Watch YouTube videos for hours, scroll around on Pinterest, research things that aren't of any real importance. 
I don't know why my response to the conviction to do important things is just to slink into my old habits, and I've been noticing so much backsliding in myself that it's been driving me crazy.
Not only procrastination and putting off the things of God, but also the temptation to be vain and to be too focused on my looks is always there, whether its in a positive or a negative way. It could look like me researching what to do cure perpetually dry hair, checking out my dark circles in the mirror, or taking a selfie and thinking I look cute, I feel that old pendulum trying to swing back and forth inside of me and it's driving me crazy. 
Everything inside me longs to pour myself out to God and to others as a drink offering, a sacrifice of praise and service, yet the old flesh keeps rising up, telling me I can make it on my own, I should focus on myself, I deserve a few minutes of checking social media, my life is so hard, I deserve to complain and vent a little, that sins aren't such a big deal. 
That flesh, I want it dead, crucified, burned into a harmless pile of ashes, never again to bother me, to try to get me off track. 
I so often forget I'm living in a spiritual battle, that if my intention is to serve God and bring Him glory and tell others about Him, satan will never stop trying to get me off track or render me ineffective. 
Throughout this past year, I've noticed one of the biggest traps satan uses to keep me out of the game, to get me off track is just me. To keep me focused on me. To keep me looking in every mirror, trying to create the perfect wardrobe, messing with my hair, trying to perfect my skin, thinking about how others seeing me, trying to nourish and cultivate ME ME ME ME ME. 
First it was deep rooted insecurity and trying to become society's definition of perfection, and fighting against myself and the world tooth and claw to get there, the obvious kind of self absorption, then came the more hippie kind, where I "needed" to spend a ton of time listening to music, taking mysteriously cryptic photos of myself, properly "nourishing" my soul, and amassing a hipster wardrobe kind of self absorption that feeds on the philosophy, "You can't love others until you properly love yourself!" 
Then the year that appears in my memory to be swathed in darkness and shadows happened, and I don't really know what was happening inside of me then. I was in very many ways, just struggling to survive, trying to resurrect myself, convince myself without much success that my body and my mind and my heart weren't all just done. 
Jesus has done a lot of work since then, taking me at my word when I asked Him long ago to refine me in His fire and burn away my dross. I don't know why things happened the way they did, but they happened, and He has taught me a lot from it, things I don't ever want to forget. 
I want to have them tattooed on my arm, my forehead, anything to keep me from forgetting, backsliding, wasting what He brought me through, misusing the time He gave me. 
That's why I can't give the trap of me, and all the other distractions satan waves in front of my face on a daily basis keep me from every day going into God's presence and chasing after what He wants me to do. 

This isn't my photo, I got it from Pinterest, link here but the urgency of that verse, and the context of the story really stands out to me as I think about my own life and all the things I need to do, but don't do. This verse is a quote from the book of Esther in the Bible, when Esther, an unlikely queen of hidden Jewish heritage, is put in a position where her people, the Israelite's, are in danger of being wiped out. The quote above was spoken from Mordecai, Esther's uncle, to urge her to speak to her husband, King Xerxes, about saving the Israelites. In the end, his words and God's conviction led Esther to fast and pray, and then obey, ultimately playing a role in saving the nation of Israel from slaughter. 
Her story must have not made sense to her while it was happening, but God knew what He was doing when He placed her in King Xerxes' court, He had her there for a reason, He gave her a purpose, she just needed to seek guidance, than obey.
In a way, I am no different. No, I'm not a Jewish maiden so beautiful I was chosen to be queen, and I'll probably never do anything quite so dramatic as save an entire nation from slaughter, but God knows what He's doing in my life too.
He's given me purpose, He has things He wants me to accomplish in my life, He has a purpose for the little clay pot that is me. 
My role, like her's, like anyone who follows Christ, is to seek guidance and instruction, then obey. 
It's comforting and convicting. 
I know the first step is to connect with Him, which lately, has been harder than usual. 
I often feel like I can sort of understand what God wants me to do, and what direction to go in, but as far as Him, and how to connect with Him?
To me that's far more of a mystery, but of course that doesn't mean I shouldn't try. 

One of God's many promises is that when we call on His name and earnestly seek after Him, He will reveal Himself to us, so I guess I just need to rest in that promise, and try.

That's only a part of what's been on my mind lately, more will come later, as the pieces come together and I ask God for guidance and things get figured out. 
For now the plan is still to create another blog, as intimidating as that is, and to have a couple of main threads running on there, with the goal of sharing what God is teaching me, has taught me in the past. To give a more specific glimpse into into what I plan on writing about, a longtime goal of mine has been to create an online resource specifically for Christians who suffer from acne, to be a support and try to answer some of the questions I always had. I remember when my acne was beyond horrible, several times, trying to find a place online for Christians going through the same thing I was, trying to handle it all in a godly way but not knowing how, and just not knowing what to do and needing support, and not finding a single resource online that was helpful. That's what I want to be on my new blog, among many other things.
I also just really want to share the different things God is teaching me and putting on my heart, it seems like every time I read a scripture or hear a sermon, I just want to share and teach about it, as best I can, and SHARE how awesome God and His word and knowledge is! 
This is all just the rough draft forming in my mind, nobody take it as gospel fact, as I will be praying about it and asking for guidance, but if it is God's will, I'm hoping to get the new blog up in a month. 
Along with ALL of the other important things I need to get done.
Pray for me guys, it's a lot, and sometimes I feel like I have so much going on I'm coming undone, but then I need to remind myself--HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT. 
I love you all, comment if you want to chat, or need prayer, or just want to comment on something I've said, I love reading them and replying, I honestly, honestly do. 
Many blessings,