I’m really excited about this new feature over at my friend Gina’s place (Chat’s With An “Old” Lady). I need, I think we all need, to turn our eyes often to what the Spirit of the Lord is teaching us through His Word. And it seems right now I need to more than ever!
Reading this blog a person might think I’ve got it all together… the little tidy, favicon homemaker, thinking on Jesus all day long, smiling and singing while she cleans her toilets. But it’s not the case at all!
I struggle just like the next person, in fact, often I get caught up in that pitiful place of thinking I struggle MORE than the next person and that they’ve got it good. It’s so easy to start comparing myself to others, or to start getting my eyes on my life circumstances and begin faltering in believing, and pressing on in personally knowing and being changed by the Lord. That’s why I NEED, DESPERATELY NEED, to frequently look into His word praying and listening to what He’d speak to me.
So, part of what I’m learning lately is the danger of setting expectations for what God should do in my life. Now, I’m not saying I shouldn’t believe that God can do great things, in fact I should believe He can do exceedingly, abundantly above all that I ask or think, according to the power that works in me(Ephesians 3:20). But when I put God in a box of my “great” expectations, I really put Him in a small confinement He refuses to stay in, and I set myself up for disillusionment and even offense at Jesus.
Scripture the Lord has been teaching me this through is:
And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ” And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” – Luke 7:19-23
John the Baptist found himself in a position that caused him to question Jesus, even be offended at Him (as Jesus was exposing). After all He’d spent His life making a way in the desert for the Lord, and now here the Lord had come and John was possibly in prison, about to be beheaded by Herod.
Another person in scripture was let down by how Jesus turned out for him. Judas. Judas betrayed Jesus and took money instead of the gift of simply following Christ. Maybe he thought Jesus would take the throne of Israel and drive out all the Roman oppressors right then and there, but instead, Judas watched the One who was claiming to be Messiah go into Jerusalem to take up His cross, even submitting Himself to the abuse of the Roman government. His dissatisfaction with who Jesus turned out to be led to him betraying Jesus to find some personal satisfaction in temporary riches… which of course turned out to be no satisfaction at all, just a haunt he couldn’t live with.
This is kinda heavy I know. I pray its not coming across in a hopeless way. Because it’s through the example of John the Baptist, and Judas, and all of the disciples for that matter, who fled from Jesus or denied Him when it came down to the cross, that the Spirit has been using the Word to exactingly, and sharply discern the thoughts and intents of my heart (Hebrews 4:12)- exposing them that I might agree with what He says about them (confession) and let Him wash me with the water of His Word from them.
I’m learning that Jesus wants me to lean all my weight not on what He’ll do in my life or how He’ll do it, but on WHO He is! Despite my circumstances He wants me to be pure in heart, single minded, fixed on Him, pressing forward by faith not by sight! And oh how I desire to do be and do just that! And so I trust that He’s not exposing these maladies in my thinking to condemn me but to wash me clean and change me a little bit more on the inside into His own image.
To help me press on and not get caught up in fear and unbelief I’ve written out a list of clear instruction which deals specifically with me in regards to how I am to conduct myself in the house of God from 1 Timothy 2, Titus 2, and 2 Corinthians 6-7. Staying focused on reading, even memorizing some, and praying over these verse that deal directly with my calling as a child of God and as a woman, is helping me to be so occupied with what God wants me to do in walking by faith. That way, I can’t be looking around at what I think GOD should be doing in my life circumstances. Doing this is freeing me to walk by faith and worship the Lord no matter if even like John the Baptist I found myself in a prison cell facing death.
No matter my circumstances, by the grace of God, I have plenty to do in following Jesus personally, trusting in WHO He is, and I need to shed all the weights and sins which easily entangle me, so I can endure the road ahead with my eyes looking to Jesus.