Yesterday, we attended the early church service. It is also the contemporary service. We also decided to try out Sunday school. Both of these a first for us.
Pastor Mark started a sermon series on "Hurts, Habits, & Hang-ups." Essentially letting go of the things that we hold on to, or use to keep us from furthering our relationship with Jesus. I would be totally lying if I didn't think to myself, "oh I don't have any of those!" When I look at my life, I like to think it's a pretty decent, good life. I am extremely blessed, thankfully, I'm not addicted to drugs or alcohol, no I haven't been terribly hurt by anyone in my life - but as Pastor Mark preached about "hang-ups", I realized those things don't have to be major issues or trials in your life. They can be simple as eating too much or over-spending.
First, I realized who am I to question God on why I am having a son rather than a daughter. Who am I to question his will for my life? Clearly, He knows best and why do I continue to question/wonder/and let's just say flat out discredit the one I know has my heart in the palm of his hand. The one I know has a life for me better than my wildest dreams.
Part of it comes from fear and being afraid of what might happen if I allow myself to get closer, or to truly follow His will for my life. One of those - be careful what you ask for kind of deals. Knowing that if that is his will for me and I truly want to live my life for Him, that I must not be afraid or anxious.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I also realized that we often use control as a way of hiding behind those hurts, habits, & hang-ups.
Let's face it, it is our human nature to want to control every facet of our life. If we can control something, we feel more comfortable, we feel as if we have it all together. When clearly, the reality is we are probably unraveling at the other end. Or at any moment, things are going to come crashing down on us.
Why do we feel the need to control? Pastor Mark said because of the 4 F's: fear, failure, frustration, and fatigue. These are the things used in playing God.
Ouch! Am I not guilty of all 4 of those?
Fear and control go hand in hand. For me, fear drives me to want to be in control because I don't like not knowing what is to come, whether good or bad. But scripture tells us fear is not of the Lord.
God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7
And of course no one wants to fail or be looked at as a failure. But I think it is through our failures, we truly experience God's grace and mercy.
Frustration just causes one to become angry and resentful. Building up walls if you will.
While fatigue allows us to make excuses, put things off another day.
For years, I have prayed for God to lead me to a place where I can do the work of His kingdom. To place me where I can serve Him. That I would find "my calling" as we often like to say. What is my purpose here on earth? I think our whole life is a journey in serving & seeking Him, regardless of where we are or what we are doing at this particular moment in our life. We are always seeking a will and a purpose because I believe that is what makes this life a journey, our own written story.
If we didn't continue to seek and search for His next plan, step, or will for our life - we wouldn't experience the greatness that God has to offer. He didn't ask his disciples to follow him for a little while or a few months but yet their whole lives.
And that is where a simply comment can change your life forever. Where following Him can sometimes be complicated, only because we, the flesh make it that way. Goes back to that whole, need to be in control issue.
You see, while I was completely convicted yesterday at church on many different levels, I realized that God listens to your every word, prayer, and thought. He knows your heart inside, out. And regardless of my hurts, habits, & hung-ups - He loves me more than I could ever know.
And yesterday, He wanted me to know He is real.
Real in the sense that He has it covered because He has already written my story. He knows what is to come and what's next and if I want to be "real" then I will follow Him regardless of how hard of decision I have to make.
He is quick to remind me...he was scared, he was second-guessing when he was in the garden preparing to die for our sins. He was ridiculed and mocked, beaten and bruised BUT He still found strength to carry the cross and go through with what was the plan/will for His life. Dying on the cross for all of mankind. Wow!
So whatever your hurt, habit, or hang-up is will you still follow Him when you are called?
I hope and pray I can and will.
After all, He gave his life for me, for you.
And my life is all I have to give...if this life I lose, I will follow you.
For I stand in awe of all I see.