Friday, November 14, 2008

Yes To God

Once again... this is my very late post about the great book that we are studying on Lelia's blog. We are reading Lisa Whittle's book, Behind Those Eyes. We are winding down on this study... I can't believe it is almost over.

I have to tell you ladies... I am not able to eat Skittles these days without thinking about the fact that God knows my favorite color Skittle. I know that it was such a simple statement in last week's reading... but it has left a lifetime's worth of impression on me. The last bag (snack size, of course) that I opened was overwhelmingly purple and red. I felt like God was looking down at me saying, "my little sweetie... this is just for you". He loves me that much. WOW!

On to this weeks chapter...

Chapter 9 We Are Completely Flawed Yet Forgiven

Lisa told us a story about her daughter intentionally smashing some potato chips on the floor at her son's school in front on the many others that passed by... her whole morning had been a mess from the beginning... to which Lisa said the only two words that she could come up with to explain her daughter's poor behavior was...

"Sin nature"

Well... that summed it right up. Our sin nature often leads us to do things that go against what we really know that we should be doing. There are so many times that I respond to my husband or my children in a way that is less than (okay... WAY less than) pleasing to God. I would have told you just moments before my outburst that I know that I shouldn't act that way... and maybe even that I wouldn't act that way. I cringe every time I see that "old self" come back to life in me... I so wish that it would just go away. But... I guess if it were really gone... I might forget that I truly need a Savior. But instead, so often I am sent back to the sweet feet of my Jesus asking him to forgive me for being my "old self".

Lisa then said,

"It's not that we can't do right or that we are helpless victims to our sin nature, but if we do not allow ourselves to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, our sin nature takes over. And that's when things get really messed up."

There is another mouth full. Being controlled by the Spirit. God so graciously sent His Holy Spirit to live inside of each believer... for that very purpose. To help us walk in victory over our sin nature. To keep our sin nature from taking over again. Being controlled by the Spirit is a job. It is not something that happens without effort. We must work at submitting to His authority. I wish that I could come up with a quick little formula to make this happen... but I am afraid that there is not one. So the battle continues.

Lisa also said,

"We are fleshly and flawed."

"For if there were no flaw, there would be no reason for forgiveness. And then we wouldn't get to see the awesome power of God miraculously at work in our lives."

I am pretty sure that if given the choice of walking in perfection... or seeing God's miraculous work in my life... I would choose to see God's work in my life. And... well.... he gives me many opportunities to see that as I battle my sin nature.

The next section of the book was about being completely forgiven. Lisa's example of her forgiveness for her child is about the best way for me to imagine God's forgiveness... but even at our best example, it still does not compare to God's forgiveness.

A while back I started to try to memorize scripture... my first attempt was Psalm 103. I did pretty good for a while... so many times I recited the line,

"as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us".

(just in case you think that I arrived at my goal... I just had to look the verse up to be sure that I had it correct!) I always let that description just flow over me... not really getting into my heart. Lisa's explanation of that made me really stop and think about it...

"...there is a measurable distance from the north to the south, but there is no measurable distance form the east to the west. God used those words because He wanted to illustrate for you and me that His forgiveness for us cannot be matched or measured. It is without condition or limits. There is no cap on how many times He will forgive us."

Wow. How much more could we ask for?? How much more could that inspire us to strive not to need that much??

Lisa also pointed out this scripture...

"The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him." Daniel 9:9

I was stunned by that word... rebelled. Somehow... "disobeyed" makes it sound a little less severe. But... in reality, no matter what we call it... it is severe. Only God could forgive us so completely. I am so thankful... I will also rejoice in its truth.

If you are interested in seeing the many posts about this chapter... just click here. This has been quite a journey. I am so blessed to be making it with so many sweet ladies.

Also... God is working up a post in my head about the difference in being a peacemaker and a peacekeeper. Beth Moore started this whirlwind in my mind a few weeks ago in one of our video lessons in Living Beyond Yourself. I am really struggling with this. God is doing a work in my heart about it. I am not sure how it is going to turn out... but I want Him to do a work. I'll be back with that hopefully soon.

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1 comment:

Regina said...

Hey Girl! I loved this post. And I can't wait to read the next one about peace.

Have a great weekend, see you Sunday.