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Posts Tagged ‘help’

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)

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One of my favorite musicals is the Phantom of the Opera. A man wears a mask because of his disfigured face, and falls in love with a young singer that he tutors. His thinking is that since he “gave her” the voice to sing, she would love him all the more. By the end of it you feel sorry for him. Here is a man who will never experience love because he tries to intimidate someone into loving him instead of being honest about who he really is.

It made me think about us as Christians. Many times we wear masks so others will not see the real us. We wear them to cover pain, insecurities and flaws. We fear that if others see who we really are we won’t be accepted.

God created us for a relationship with Himself. But He also knew we would need others. It bothers me when people say to me they don’t want to tell others of their prayer needs. They fear people will think of them as Christians without faith, or they don’t want to ask for help because it is a sign of weakness.

I have learned that is exactly what the body of Christ is for. Verses like, “Where two or more are gathered in my name, I am with them.” Or “Bear one another’s burdens” come to mind.

At one time my family was going through a dark time. My husband’s mother was dying and I became a temporary single mother of three children ages 9, 8, and 3. This was because he would leave the house at 6 in the morning for work and not get home until 10 at night from the hospital. I was so tired I couldn’t even work the microwave. One Sunday in our Sunday school I broke down crying and asked for prayer that God would give me strength to make it through the day. What I received was four days of dinners. Those dinners gave relief from the stress and renewed energy for the days ahead. I had to remove the mask of the “good Christian” who could handle anything, and show my true struggles, which in turn released the burden emotionally as well as physically.

The church was meant to come together not only to worship God, but also to help each other. Of course there was a risk of being vulnerable. There always is. However, if I wasn’t transparent two things would have happened. First, people would not know the real me and the ways they could intercede on my behalf. Secondly, not only would I have cheated myself out seeing God’s provision, I would have hindered others from receiving the blessing that comes from serving.

The Phantom in the musical chose to hide and to become feared instead of loved. But I wonder, if he had taken the risk of removing his mask and being vulnerable, people would perhaps have become more compassionate and loving. He may have even been freed from his prison of loneliness.

As Christians God asks us to remove the masks and live in the freedom of allowing other to see who we are and to risking the exposure of our flaws so that He may work in our lives through those around us.

Do you risk coming out from behind your masks and show others who you really are and the struggles you face? When fellowshipping with other believers, do they feel comfortable sharing themselves with you?

Who knows by taking that risk we may help others take their masks off also.

 

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:2 (NIV 1984)

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