My Struggle With Being A Hypocrite

When God put it on my heart to start this blog. I doubted Him. Why would He ask me to write about living for Him and being set apart?  It feels so hypocritical sometimes as I post a devotional. When I write about being godly and how its okay to live a Christian lifestyle, I’m reminded how I used to watch wordly tv shows and laugh at things I shouldn’t around my friends. I think about how some of my family members might read my post and think I’m a hypocrite for the words I type. A lot of times Satan will creep inside and remind me of my sin and just how insufficient I am. It can be really depressing! I’m sure if you’re saved that you have felt the same.

Recently I have been studying the book of Hosea. Hosea was a prophet of God in the Old Testament. God told him to go and marry a prostitute named Gomer (That poor girl… what a terrible name!).

God told Hosea to do that to show Israel that they didn’t deserve God’s love. They couldn’t do anything so dirty that He wouldn’t love them. Because He chose to love them. Hosea chose to love Gomer, not because she deserved it. But because he chose to! I can imagine that Gomer felt very hypocritical at times,  especially if she changed from her old way of life. Why would Hosea choose her after everything she had done? Wouldn’t others see her as a hypocrite? I’m sure some did, there’s always going to be those to see only the bad. But Hosea didn’t.

Thankfully,  because of the blood of Christ, God looks at me and see’s the good, the potential. And it’s the same with you.

Even though there will be times that me and you will fail, and slip back into sin; Remember that God sees our hearts, our intentions and our struggles. But the world sees our works, our words, and our actions.

Romans 6:6 “Knowing this,  that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed,  that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

Romans 6:12-13 “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive, from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”

Sometimes I do feel hypocritical. Just know that I write for myself to be encouraged and edified, just as much as I do for others. I’m thankful I’m able to see the things I can work on, not only so I can become a better witness, but also because it shows me that even though I mess up, God still chooses to love me.

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Mind Games

I think a lot. When I’m working, I think about work. When I’m with my friends and family, I think about recent events or things I thought was funny. When I’m at church I think about church stuff (and food thats waiting at home for me I’m not gonna lie;). When I’m at home, I think about everything. The cats, books, outside, how to keep my potted plants from dying,  what I’m gonna do the next day, what I should be cleaning but probably won’t, YouTube videos I want to watch, etc….
I’m sure you think alot too. If you’re reading this your probably thinking “What do I think about?” 😉

2 Corinthians 10:5 is possibly one of my favorite scriptures in the New Testament.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Did you catch that? Every thought captive. Not just the bad ones about your co-workers,  the lustful ones, the hateful ones, the ungrateful ones. EVERY thought.

Do you know how many thoughts on average a person has per day??
50,000 to 70,000. In one day?!!

That’s alot of thinking. How many of those thoughts have I brought captive to Christ? I’m gonna say in the low, well… under a hundred probably.  What about you? How many out of your 50,000 thoughts have you taken captive today? What have most of your thoughts consisted of?
We tend to think about the same things that we did the day before.

So how exactly do you captivate thoughts?  It’s not like you can trap them with rope and food like wild animals.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us of our thought-trapping device.

“For the word of God is quick,  and powerful,  and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing assunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

The Word of God can discern our thoughts for us. It can pierce through our flesh to our spirit.

We are suppose to meditate on scripture. Day and night.

Joshua 1:8a
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night…”

Psalm 1:2 “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

We are here to glorify God. Every thought we have should be to His glory!

Can you imagine how letting Satan get into your head 50,000 times a day will do to your relationship with God?

Can you imagine how bringing every thought captive to Christ 50,000 times a day will do to your relationship with Him?

It’s definitely a game changer.
I’m not saying that you and I will ever get to that point. We are human and will mess up every day, hour,  possibly minute. But isn’t it a humbling perspective to see how we much we fail in one day, and yet God’s grace still covers us?
Isn’t is awesome that Jesus took every thought captive while He was on Earth?

If you think your thinking doesn’t affect you, well you’re wrong. You are what you think. What you desire and long for stems from what you think about. How you view life’s circumstances is through the lens of what you think on.

Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

As christians we should strive for our thinking to be like Christs. We are to be Christ-like. Try to align your thoughts up with the Bible, see how it effects your relationship with God.

Weak Minded Christians

I feel that since I am a Christian,  I get looked upon as being ignorant,  or weak minded. For example, I had a girl tell me one time that she has been all over the country and has seen more things and experienced more than I have. Therefore my belief in God was childish dreams. She knew God wasn’t real because of what she has experienced. A lot of people think christians are weak minded because we use God as a “crutch” to get through life. For example, death is a lot easier to bear if we believe we will see that loved one again.. Which it is, but it’s also harder to go through when you don’t know if that person went to heaven or hell.

A big thing in our culture is education. I’m 20 years old and work at Walgreens. I can’t begin to tell you how many strangers have tried talking me into going to college. I have nothing against college! I love that anyone can go and better their education and do great things with their life somtimes I wish God would have choose that path for me.
And I’m not against experience. I would love to go to different countries around the world and be a part of different cultures.

But what is all the knowledge and experience in the world worth if you don’t know Christ?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” -Proverbs 1:7

You don’t truly know anything until you know the Lord! I have an uncle who has traveled the world. He has been to soo many countries and seen so many breathtaking things, but he doesn’t know God. His knowledge doesn’t add up to anything. His experience doesn’t mean anything.

Proverbs 15:14
“The discerning heart seeks knowledge: but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.”

Whenever I am talking to a nonbeliever about God or prayer or etc… I always get this look from them like they just feel bad for me. They think I’m naive because I believe in a God who cares about me and I actually think He listens?! To the world’s eyes, its easy to believe in a god that doesn’t exsist just so I have some kind of hope in which I can handle the difficult things in life.

But honestly, being a Christian isn’t just a walk in the park. The Bible even compares the christian walk to warfare.

“Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” 2 Timothy 2:3

There are numerous verses that cautions us about the dangers in life, and teaches us about the spiritual battle we fight every day.
No, I haven’t experienced different cultures or lifestyles. I don’t have a degree of any kind. I’m just a cashier and photo tech at Walgreens! But because I know Jesus as my savior, I have more knowledge and understanding than the smartest nonbeliever on Earth. 

2 Peter 1:3 “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”

I don’t use God as a crutch to bear the burdens of life. If anything,  being a Christian has added difficulty to my life. I battle my flesh every single day. I’m constantly at war with my fleshly desires!

No, I have never been through a traumatic experience or anything like that. But I do know people who have been, and those experiences has strengthened their faith in God.

I don’t have all the answers… but the Bible does. I do know that being a Christian isn’t being “weak minded”. It’s about weakening our fleshly desires and striving for our purpose in life, worshipping God. It’s easy to say God doesn’t exist, or that He doesn’t care about us. It’s difficult to go against our flesh and know there is someone greater than us who knows the bigger picture.

I’ll admit I get intimidated meeting people who study in college (like physcology or science,  etc..) or who have seens things I can only read about in books.. it is easy to feel almost awestruck by someone like that. But, if that person isn’t saved, they know nothing of worth. And its mine and your responsibility to share the knowledge of salvation we have with that person. If you went to see the Taj Mahal or the Amazon Rain Forest, would you keep it all to yourself and not tell anyone of your adventures? 

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Of course not! You would want to share your experience with those around you and show them the beauty of it! And it should be the same way with our knowledge in Jesus Christ.

Can I Accept The Lord’s Chastisment?

So this morning I was reading my Bible in 1 Samuel about Hannah wanting a child and getting pregnant and because God answered her prayers she gave him to the priest, Eli,  to raise him up. I continued to read about how Eli’s own sons were misusing offerings (a big deal) and sleeping with different women and the door of the tabernacle (again, a big deal). It goes on to say how Eli honoured his sons over God by allowing them to continue on with their sins (chapter 2 vs. 29). Chapter 3:1-18 is the part of this story that spoke to my heart.

And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;
3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;
4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.
5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.
6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.
8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.
9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.
12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.
13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.
15 And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.
16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I.
17 And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee.
18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.

So, the Lord is going to punish Eli and his sons for the sins they have committed against God. (By the way, his son’s sins affected not only themselves,  but their dad and wives and offspring too.. your sins have an affect on more people than you realize.)

When Eli hears what God had told Samuel, his reaction spoke to my heart. He didn’t weep, or try to bargain his way out of it. He didn’t argue or get angry at God, he accepted it. More than that, he praised God with his response. He acknowledged that God knows what is good.

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If I had just been told that I was going to die early because of sins my sons committed and because I didn’t stop them,  I would not have replied like Eli.

I mean, how many times have I prayed for God’s will, yet didn’t want to hear it because I was afraid it would go against my will…. Yes Lord, I want to follow you and do what you want and praise you but only if the outcome is what I have planned.

Sure, Eli obviously had major family issues, but his response showed a heart of humility,  and obedience. When God chastises me, do I say He knows what is best because He is good. Or do I pout and feel bad for myself then give excuses for my behavior.

Yes Lord, You know what is good, chastise me according to how you see fit. What strength it took to say those words. Strength that can only come from one who trust God wholeheartedly and wants His will.

My Scarlet Cord

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Reading: Joshua 2:1-22 Joshua 6:22-25 Hebrews 11:31

Rahab is one of my favorite stories of the Bible. Every time I think about her story I am amazed at her faith and bold actions. Truly if I had the faith of Rahab I would be far beyond happy.

    STONE WALL.jpg      Joshua 2:15 says Rahab let them down by a cord through her window and they climbed down the outer city wall that she lived upon. Their deal was that when God’s people came to destroy Jericho, they would spare her and whoever else that was inside of Rahab’s home. But only if she left the scarlet cord in the window. Many times in the Bible, the color scarlet represents sin, particularly sexual sins. In a sense, Rahab (the prositute) had to hang out her sins for all to see. Only through repenting and confessing her scarlet sins would the Lord save her. Not only did she confess her sinful lifestyle, but she did so because she had faith that God would save her! She didn’t know when Jericho would be defeated, for all she knew, it could have been a day, a couple weeks, maybe even years before the promise would be fulfilled. But she knew it would be and by faith she hung the scarlet cord.

RED ROPE      I believe that the cord (rope) she saved the spies with and hung out her window was scarlet for a reason. Throughout many other women’s stories in the Bible there is a reoccuring scarlet thread weaving it’s way through the bloodline of Jesus Christ. As you read, not only was Rahab saved, but the author of Joshua even writes that she dwells in Israel even to this day! One of the faces I can’t wait to meet in Heaven, is Rahab.

Her story is a perfect picture of salvation. She confessed her sins, she believed God would spare her, she was saved and continued to dwell with God’s people the rest of her life.

GIRL LOOKING OUT WINDOW  Can you imagine her emotions on that day of redemption? Looking back through all the chaos and debris and seeing through the dust in the air, the  faint glow of that scarlet cord hanging from her window, that crimson color which saved her from death.

Matthew 27: 27-28 “Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.”