Monday, October 22, 2012

Whoops! Face First In The Mud

I find myself tripping a lot as of late and you know what? It's usually over my own feet or my own tongue. Both can cause me to trip in such a way that I am flat on my face in mud. Not a very pretty photo op. But, praise Jesus!  There before me, is the grace of God waiting. He not only forgives my fall, but the actions that caused my fall in the first place. Now that, sweet friends, changes the photo op to beautiful.

Before we get to that forgiveness, we must be aware of what made us trip. We often look back and blame in on something other than ourselves. This is where accountability comes in. I can be honest and say, accountability is a journey of maturing faith in Christ. I have not always held myself accountable. It's quite easy to find blame elsewhere. Agree?

With that said, He knows I'm going to trip. He knows exactly what's going to trip me up. Oh, He shows me where my feet are to step. He teaches me the way to walk either through it or around it, but if your like me, there are times we look to the Lord and say, "Hey, thanks, but I got this". How foolish I can be. Just who do I think I am? Well, if  I'm totally honest. I think I'm a girl who can do it all. Took me a long time of finding humility to realize, I cannot do anything worthy without Christ. Oh sure, I can do a whole lot, but nothing that has the lasting impact of eternity.

I mean I have to move right? God cannot use stagnant. He needs me to be available. I can only move in one direction at a time. Hmm...so with that said, I am either walking toward the Lord or away from Him. Even when I'm stagnant, there is no movement toward the Lord. In stagnant we find fear and we too find just laziness. Oh sure, we have good intentions to do the work of the Lord, but we get in those ruts and we just become couch potatoes. Expecting others to do it and if Satan has anything to do with it, accepting that we are useless to the kingdom of God. That is a crock if I have ever heard one. We can be used of God. We just have to be willing and make ourselves available.

So, as we make ourselves available we are going to trip at times. No matter how great my focus is, I'm still going to trip. Why? Because I'm a sinner. That's not an excuse. It's the truth and it's in that truth that we find the grace of God. It's in that truth we find compassion and forgiveness. We can't expect from others what we ourselves are not willing to give. I can't sit on the couch and expect someone else to feed me. If I'm not being fed, I need to feed myself.

I can wake up, turn on the Christian radio station, read my Bible, do my Yoga, read a bit, write a bit, and totally be in worship service at home. I'm serious, whether in the total silence of the day or if I crank up the radio, I can worship. Raise my hands in praise and just have a time with just me and the Lord. When I'm in my own little world, all seems pretty easy. When I shut out everything and everyone around me, my focus is spot on. I am that girl on a mission. But, this is not the mission God had in mind. I actually have to go out and face the world. Not only face it, but live Christ in it.

My trouble begins when I get bored and turn on the television. When the phone rings and that girlfriend has got some news that she just can't hold in any longer. Ugh..when anger hits and my day is no longer filled with things that bring me joy, but business and strife. It's when I'm right in the middle of something and there is someone at the door. Daisy needs to go outside for the thirteenth time and now since I haven't moved quick enough I have a mess to clean up in the floor. My hubs can disappoint me. The mail can come and there before me are unexpected bills. A letter from an aunt with failing health. The list can go on and on. Do ya hear me? Have you been there?

See, this is the real world. For me, I just have to keep focused no matter what comes. I can walk with joy even though the day is busy. I can still be reminded of God's glory when I'm on the fourth load of laundry. What is it? ATTITUDE..It's all in our attitude. No matter what comes. We may not be able to change the situation, but we can change our reaction.

How do we do this? Place scripture all over your home. Put those little sticky notes to good use. Lay your Bible open on your kitchen table. Open up a favorite book and keep it by your bedside. Here is the key. No matter what our day holds, begin each day by reading the Word of God. It makes all the difference in the world. Have a prayer list handy so you can turn to it as a reminder to pray for those who are hurting. What better way to use our time than be a blessing? If we are focused on praying for others, our need no longer seems so great.

Have a friend or a circle of friends help you be accountable in your day. Check in once a week with a scripture that has blessed you and share just how the Lord has kept you in His work and away from the temptations that are at every corner. There are many great Christian groups on facebook that you could go to for inspiration and encouragement. Friends, we can feel like there is no one there to lift us up and we might even feel forgotten by those around us, but we never have to feel this way. Open your heart and time and God will make a way for you to be blessed and for you to be a blessing to another.

We just have to stop complaining like spoiled children. Everything doesn't have to be perfect for us to worship Christ and to walk in joy. In fact, that's where faith comes in. We trust Him when things aren't perfect. It's through Him that we find perfection. He has a way of bringing peace and filling us with His presence.

When your walk gets long or you begin to stumble, reach to the One who created you and set your journey in place before you took your first breath.

"No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

"Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God." Ephesians 5:1-2

"Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct." Galatians 6:4-5

"Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice!" Philippians 4:4
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