Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2014

I have an issue. I get caught in the comparison trap much too often.  This problem isn’t “Oh I’m better than that person.” I get caught in the trap of evaluating myself to others who I think are better than me.

 

I find myself thinking; Wow, when am I going to be able to run everyday her?  Or why can’t I write like them?  Why can’t I lose the weight or eat like they do?  It’s a ferocious cycle.

 

My spiritual life is no different.  The thoughts in my head go like this, Why can’t I have faith like my husbands?  Why can’t I study the Bible like her? Or He is such prayer warrior.  My prayer life stinks.  That friend is so together and has a strong walk. I’m inconsistent, struggle and don’t seem to have a thirst for God like they do, what’s wrong with me?  I must not be good enough for God.

 

A guest speaker at the church I attend had this to say about comparison, “It will take you down one of two paths – pride or depression.”  For me, 95 percent of the time relating my life to another leads to depression and discouragement. He went on to say our standard should not be those around us, but God is to be our standard.  That makes me feel so much better. Yeah, right. How about you?

 

The truth is we are to be “perfect as our Heavenly is perfect” Matthew 4:28 (NIV 1984).  However, here are on earth it’s not possible because we are in our human, sinful bodies.  But we are to strive toward the goal, by reading the Word, prayer, and through the work of the Holy Spirit.

 

There is another thought I need to consider in reference to measuring up to others.  I am a unique person.  You just have to look at my DNA and finger prints to know that.  Therefore, it stands to reason that I will not be like another runner, writer, or home decorator.  I won’t be the same as another mother, wife, or woman.  And most importantly my spiritual walk will not mirror any other person.

 

My prayer life and quiet times will be different.  But it doesn’t mean the way I do things is wrong.  God works differently in my life because I am unique and so are the details of the situations in my life.

 

What about the other things?  My body can’t handle running everyday.  The writing I do comes from a totally different perspective then others and I’m not called to write like others either.  And the spiritual life?  I have to ask myself these questions:

 

Am I growing?

  1. Is my desire to do the things God wants?
  2. Do I read, and talk to God?
  3. Do I desire to improve?

 

The answers to these are a definitely yes.

 

How about you? Do you find that you compare yourself to others, especially in your spiritual walk?  Stop it.  Talk to the Heavenly Father; ask him to show you what pleases Him about your walk.  Pray He’ll give you the strength to change the things that need changing and to stop comparing yourself with others.

 

You are unique, loved and the apple of the Father’s eye.  Celebrate the fact that there is no one like you.

 

Each one should test his own actions.  Then he can take pride in himself, with out comparing himself to somebody else.”

Galatians 6:4

Read Full Post »

Easter is the holiday that ushers in a new season.  Spring marks the end of the bitter cold, snow, and ice. The sun replaces the dreary gray skies with the bright blue horizon. Trees are turning green, bunnies are hopping out of their burrows, ducklings waddle down to the ponds with their mothers and the sounds and smells of new life are every where.

 

However, Easter is more than nature coming out of a winter’s nap.  It’s also an amazing  celebration of the new life we are offered through Christ Jesus.  Because of His willingness and the Father’s plan, He went to the cross to pay the debt that our sin deserves; death and eternal separation from God.  Then three days later He rose from the dead.

 

I know, there are those who say there are many ways to God, like there are several paths to reach the mountain’s summit.  Some of the paths are just harder than others.  I would love for there to many ways to God. That would mean more people wouldn’t go to hell due to their sins, but Jesus Himself told us the complete opposite.

 

 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.”

John 14:6  (NIV 1984)

 

The key word is “the”.  He is not a way, but the way.  He is not a truth, but the truth.  He is not a life, but the life.  What a comfort this is.  There is nothing we can do for an eternal relationship with God.  Nothing.  Why?  My good may outweigh the bad but that isn’t good enough.  The requirement is perfection.  Jesus was the only one who fit that description.  In the end it doesn’t matter how we see ourselves.

 

Jesus also gave us this hope;

 

 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies (*physically); and whoever lives and believes in me will never die (*spiritually)…”

John 11:25-26a

 

Anyone who is spiritually dead due to their sin and choose to accept Christ as their Savior and Lord, will be given a new life, and a abundant life in Him.  That choice also gives us a hope for the future even when we look around and see the mess our lives and the world are in.  God sits on His throne, and a day will come when this world will become new.

 

Friend if you have all ready accepted the free gift that Jesus has extended to you, praise God and celebrate this Easter.  If not, I would encourage you to visit the tab at the top “An Invitation”, which walks you step by step in what it means to be one of His children.  The Heavenly Father desires that all come to Him and be adopted into His family.  Jesus asks one more question:

 

“Do you believe this?”

John 11:26b

 

 *emphasis added.

Read Full Post »

I’ll admit it, I’m an addict.  Chocolate and sweets are one of my struggles that have plagued me over the past few years.  Many times I have asked God to take away the desire for them.  Yet here I am, still struggling with the cravings.

 

My morning quiet times have been focused on the attributes of my Heavenly Father.  The ones that have really have made an impact on me so far are, His sufficiency and sovereignty.

 

God is sufficient within Himself, so therefore He needs no one.  I am not.  God created all things which makes Him the only rightful ruler over all.  He knows me inside and out and the choices I will make, yet He does not force Himself or His ways on me.

 

It dawned on me one morning why He doesn’t magically take the desire away. The reason goes back to the attributes above.  His desire for me is to depend on Him to battle the cravings for me.

 

He also allows me to make the decision to walk away or not.  He has a will and I am created in His image therefore I have a will.    He gave me the ability to make the decisions because they are right and I because I love Him.   He did not create me like a robot to be controlled, and to program every chose I make.

 

I’ve noticed, when I am faced with a temptation there is that still small voice of the Holy Spirit that impresses on my heart to go the other direction.  Many times I give in to my wants but other times it seems easy to go the other way.

 

The times when I could be easily swayed by the fleshy desires are times that I should immediately pray, quote scripture (Christ’s example), or if I’m home, go to Word or on my knees to pray for help.

 

Of course this doesn’t just apply to my chocolate situation but all temptations, habits and hang ups in my life.  I’ve also noticed that if I start gaining ground in one area, another sneaks in to take its place.

 

I have to be vigilant in keeping my mind focused on the Word, and depending on the all sufficient and sovereign God.  If I do, I will make the right choices.

 

How about you?  Are there things in your life that have a hold on you?  Maybe for you it’s exercise,  texting, facebook, hobbie or ___________ ? You fill in the blank.  Give it over to the One who knows you best, allow Him to work in you and help you conquer whatever your blank is.

 

I would also encourage you that there are Christian counselors and groups such as Celebrate Recovery that are available for extra support.  Ask your pastor or google for local support groups.

 

 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

Read Full Post »

The Gospel Project

Journey through the storyline of Scripture.

marthaparish

The pages of my life

The Harried Hamptons

Sharing my story

The Great Adventure

A Journal of Life and Faith in Southeast Asia

Hearts Set Free Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

Eggs In Asia

follow us as we follow Him

%d bloggers like this: