spent time with God on Thursday.
i kept on asking Him about where i should go next. what should i invest in? who do i follow? all the while completely neglecting the fact that i wasn't asking these questions because i felt that God was calling me somewhere else because there was a need for me or there was a clear sign that God wanted me to move on. no, it was because i was scared, i felt useless, i felt like i could be appreciated more elsewhere, i could make more of a difference elsewhere. me, me, me, it was all about me. my primary focus wasn't for His glory. sure, i may have justified myself with His glory. as if i was going to move on to another ministry because it's for His glory and His kingdom or something. but it wasn't my main motivation. no, it was selfishness. i wanted, correction, i want to be respected and revered but i can't get that at a new church, so i run away to someplace familiar. i want to used fully, not so that God can be glorified, but so people can see how great i am and how much i want to serve, so i run. i want to have people look up to me, but it's harder when there are not a lot of younger kids to look up to me, so i run. and i justify it by saying that they need me somewhere else when in reality, their ministry is flourishing and they don't really need me all that much. i look at myself, i look at these words that i'm typing and i see how cowardly and selfish i am.
this isn't a man motivated and driven by God's love. this isn't a man that is so on fire for God that he would persevere and stay true to God's calling on his life. this isn't a man who would lay down his desires and dreams to be with the people that his Savior wanted him to love and be with.
no, this is a man driven by fear and selfishness. pride and envy. fame and glory. respect and privilege.
sometimes it's really disheartening to take a long, hard look at yourself and see how ugly you really are. how much you don't look like Jesus. how much you don't look like someone who you yourself would look up to in the first place.
but the amazing thing is always this. there is redemption. there is always a chance for me to turn away and kick my selfishness away. to fight back. not with my own strength, but with the power of the Holy Spirit that is living me. the power that brought Jesus down to earth. the power that fed the hungry, healed the sick, and drove out demons the power that raised Christ from the dead! the Holy Spirit lets me know that i don't have to stay in this. i don't have to wallow in this pity party and feel bad about myself. Jesus Christ has died and risen again! my shame and guilt is nailed to the cross! no more sin, i am righteous in God's eyes because of Jesus Christ! hallelujah!
i don't have to be this man anymore!
now i get to be a man of grace and mercy. of forgiveness and righteousness. of justice and peace. of unfailing love! i get to be a man burning with passion. not a man stuck in his mistakes and the past.
i will fight back. Jesus is on my side. i won't sit and feel bad for myself. i will not let sin conquer me when Jesus has already conquered and overcome. i am free to love and live. i know i'm ugly, i'm human. but i am also beautiful and righteous because of what was done for me on the cross! and i say that my sin will not take me down, these hurricanes will not stop my love, my foundation is in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, the Lover of my Soul! my life will not be made useless because of sin and guilt, i won't stop loving because of my selfishness, i reject my wants and dreams and sacrifice my life to make sure that others know this love!
that day, my conclusion was simply that this is where he led me. and i will stay faithful, i will love, i will pour out my heart, i will guard these sheep, i will shepherd, i will do whatever i can until he calls me elsewhere. and i pray that the people that i serve will see Jesus in me and do the same for others. =]
Saturday, June 2, 2012
And I'm back. Another season of dryness, another season of seeking, another season of starting over and re-centering myself. It's really easy to see the cycles of my faith that I go through. I was just reading some older posts on this blog and I was just telling Thuy that I feel almost exactly the same way that I did then now! It's so crazy! But as always, He breaks me down to build me up again, stronger than before, bolder, wiser, more filled up with love! Right now, I'm going through some loneliness. Going to a church plant and feeling a little out of place. There are many reasons why I feel this way but regardless, I've been feeling down and out. And only recently, I've been able to escape a video game console and share with my community group that I'm hurting and lonely. Ive been far away from God and I've been going through the motions, only seeking Him in small moments when it's convenient for me. I had a friend who I've asked to mentor me tell me some things that I didn't want to hear just yesterday. I've been wanting to run away from the situation and start again somewhere else as if my heart will be automatically hanged by the scenery. But it's just not the case. I need to get back to God, back to that passion for Jesus, back to living out love and letting the world know that there is love unfailing and unending waiting for them. Bigger than anything that they're ever experienced before! A love that died and sacrificed itself to save us and bring us close. I'm slowly and painfully trying to rip myself away from bad habits that have formed in the past couple of months. Like getting a teeth cleaning and getting all the slowly-formed plaque scraped off, only more gross haha. I know that my relationships suffer, my mission suffers, everything suffers because my relationship with God is in a crummy situation. Like I've said before in this blog apparently, I don't pour into people as much as I used to, I don't have a love that reaches as much as it used to, I don't have wise words that impacted as much as they used to. Because of fear, I don't dig deep and develop relationships, I don't speak Jesus into people's lives, and nobody benefits, nobody gets closer to Jesus, and God doesn't get glorified. I have some catching up with God to do and I'm going to do so this Monday. Just spending time away from everyone and everything to be able to just seek Him and pray and repent. To simply say that I'm sorry for letting all of these distractions take his place in my life and asking Him to take His rightful place on my heart and my life. No more laziness, no more excuses, no more distractions. This is something that is a matter of eternity and people getting loved the right way. This is the most important thing in my life right now!