Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sacrifice and Surrender

Last night at the communion service at church we were challanged to think of and surrender the thing(s) that keep us from change. That which keeps us tied down when God is calling us to move. We were asked to let go of and give up whatever it was that was keeping us from moving forward in our lives and in God's purpose for us. When I finally thought of what mine were, it was terrifying. First, my main one was just plain fear...and that I was willing (not necessarily able) to give up. The thought of moving somewhere other than where I live to follow God's call just causes fear in me on many levels. Where many people would see it as excitement or a thrill, I would see it as terrifying. The second, and this was the one that I wanted to ignore surrenduring, was my family (the family I am referring to is my mother, father, sister, brother, and all of my nieces and nephews). I use them to stay where I'm at because we are so close and I can't imagine life away from them. I want to see my nieces and nephews grow and be able to drop by my sister's or mom's when I need a friend to talk to. I have to be willing to give up everything in order to follow Christ (please understand I'm not talking about giving up a marriage or children or anything like that). Even the things that are good in my life, like family, I need to be able to leave if God wanted me to, and I feel like that where I'm at right now I would probably ignore Him...that's me being brutally honest about myself. Lately Noah has been missing Tampa like crazy. He loves Virginia but longs to live somewhere a little more exciting while we are young and have no kids. The thought of living somewhere else is scary to me, but I can't hold him back because of my fears. The main point of all of this I guess is that I just need to learn to be willing to sacrifice and surrender.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Go change the world

This past Sunday, Pastor Jon gave an analogy comparing us (the people of the congregation including himself) with his 7 year old son who, when the family goes to theme parks, talks big and tough about how he is going to ride all of the wildest, scariest rides and then once he goes to sit down in the seat freaks out and crosses over to the exit side to wait for everyone else to finish riding. Jon pointed out that this is what we will often do in our journey with God. We talk a big talk and say things like, "God, I want you to use me in big ways", and "Make my life count for more than just the ordinary", etc...and then many times when God actually calls us to something that answers those prayers we back down or even take off running. I have prayed that so many times and yet I find myself living for the worldly things of this life rather than that which glorifies God and furthers His kingdom. I don't believe that this is because God is ignoring me, but rather that I am ignoring Him. I want to learn to quiet my mind and actually listen; stop filling myself up so much and begin pouring out to others. I realize that I don't need to be in other countries or making headlines in order for God to use me in big ways. We can influence change in the world right where God has placed us and I don't feel like I am pursuing that enough. The love of Christ shown through His believers is life changing and that is what I long for.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12