Sep 17, 2012

Monday SHINE....

Reading Plan for the week of 9/17-9/21:
  • Monday 9/17: 1 Corinthians 9
  • Tuesday 9/18: 1 Corinthians 10
  • Wednesday 9/19: 1 Corinthians 11
  • Thursday 9/20: 1 Corinthians 12
  • Friday 9/21: 1 Corinthians 13

Happy Monday, sweet SHINE girls! I hope your weekend was full of JOY! 

I had the absolute pleasure of spending about 15 minutes speaking to a precious and beautiful friend at church yesterday. After listening to her spill her heart, I had such compassion and tenderness for where she's at on this faith journey. I understand, because I've been there. (and still there at times)

She told me how she felt like she just was not doing "enough" and that she knew she needed to spend more time with the Lord, but that it has just been so hard. School has started, activities are running rampant, and finding time for Him is just hard to do most days.

She said she felt like since she was a stay at home momma, she should be filling her time with stuff that people thought she should do. Not that she really desired to do all of that, but she felt the pressure of what other people would think of her.

As I watched this beautiful girl with the sweetest brown eyes tell me her story, all that I could hear in my heart was this verse:

"There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." 
Romans 8:1

Perhaps this verse was fresh on my brain because our pastor had brought it up in the sermon. He had even put it on the big screen. Being the visual person that I am, I took note of it. It was big, bold and in my face. Little did I know that I would be needing to tell this precious young mother this same verse.

How many times have I beat myself up, or worse, let someone else beat me up (mentally) for not "doing" what I or they thought that I should be doing with my time. It is a sick cycle of defeat and a cycle that offers no grace, no mercy, and no love. Only a heaping load of condemnation.

Side note: I have a person in my life. Every single year before my children start back school--they ask me this question: "What will you do with ALL the free time you will have now that the kids are in school ALL day?" 

I'm not kidding when I tell you that I have to literally super glue my tongue to the roof of my mouth as I smile sweetly back at this person. (recanting the fruits of the Spirit in my head!)

Immediately I start giving them an enormous list of the things that I will be doing to fill my day. (as my hands are shaking, and my heart is beating out of my chest wall.)

However, just recently, the Lord clearly spoke to me and said this: "Do you really need to tell her what your day looks like? Why do you feel the need to make her think you are doing "enough" to be worthy? You are worthy, because I say your are worthy, daughter of Mine. Not because of who she says you are--but because of who I say you are. Quit explaining yourself and live to please Me and not man."

He was showing me that I didn't need to be upset with her for asking me that question--but instead to ask myself why I let it bother me so much. Huge revelations, friends, HUGE.

Back to the story: After the conversation with my friend yesterday at church, I went to His Word to find out more about that verse in Romans. I read along further and found this:

"For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,  and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
Romans 8:6-7

So, let me break this down real simple, because I am a simple girl. Christ did not come to condemn us, He came to set us free. Secondly, if we are walking in the flesh in any manner, we cannot please the Lord. Let me repeat: we cannot please the Lord. (yikes!)

Let's break it down even further. If I am doing something to please another or to gain their approval, even if it's a "good" something, I am walking in the flesh. Did the Lord call me to do this? Or did I call myself because of the fear of what others would think of me if I didn't do this particular thing?

Here's what I ask myself now when considering something: "If nobody knew that I was doing this particular activity--except for the Lord-- would I still do it?"  It's is as simple as that. 

Do we live to please Him? Or do we live to please the world. We cannot do both. 

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."
Galatians 1:10

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.
It is the Lord Christ you are serving. "
Colossians 3:22-23

So, as I think about my lovely friend that I spoke with yesterday, I am reminded of His Grace and His Love, and His Mercy for her----for us! Oh, how He LOVES her----and us!

 Who are we to condemn ourselves, or another? If we are condemning ourselves, we are self-focused. If we are condemning another, we are judging. 

In either case, we are not Christ-focused.

"Do not criticize each other, brothers. Whoever makes it his habit to criticize his brother or to judge his brother is judging the law and condemning the law. But if you condemn the law, you are not a doer of the law but its judge."
James 4:11

Today is Monday. The start of a brand new week. I love fresh starts. Don't you?

Let's ask Him for forgiveness if we have been condemning ourselves or condemning others--even if it was only in the privacy of our minds and hearts. He hears those thoughts in that pretty little head of yours. He doesn't miss even one.

In everything we do this week starting this very second, let's make it about pleasing Him, and not others. Let's do it for His Glory. 

"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31

Father, let us never forget who we are in You. You sent Your Son to set us free from condemnation of any form. We gladly accept and receive Your conviction. However, condemnation from others or ourselves we strongly reject and renounce. In the name of Jesus we break the chains that it had on our lives and we are set free by the blood of the Lamb!

Let us find our worth from You and You alone. In all we do, let it be for Your Glory, Father.

In Jesus name, Amen.

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