Child of God

14 Mar

“You are a child of God, you can tell that voice of accusation to shut it’s mouth.”

I have been listening to this voice much of my life. Is this why I am so hard on myself? Is this why nothing I do is ever good enough for me? I continuously listen to Satan’s voice of accusation. And I think it is God’s voice. Or I think it’s my┬áconscious. But I am good enough for God. I am his child, his daughter. I don’t have to do anything to earn his love. He made me and loves me because I am his. I also cannot do anything to loose that love.

“I am a child of God, and this will never change.”

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Adventures

11 Mar

A year ago today I was in Puerto Rico. I wish I could be back there right now but God has other plans for my life. Tonight I will venture off to Kansas City, Missouri. I am spending the week at the International House of Prayer. I have no idea what to expect other than some amazing time with God. There are so many things going in my life that I know I need to seek guidance for.

I am also anticipating more adventures for me on the horizon. In May I will be in Uganda for three weeks. When I get back I will be living at school working. This will be an adventure because I have only known camp for the past two summers. Quite the change. After this I will be heading to Guatemala for the fall semester. Lots of preparation ahead of me.

I hope that this week at IHOP I will be able to just focus on God and the here and now. There are so many things that I am looking forward to but I need to be able to focus on this semester. I ask for prayers and I seek guidance from God and learn to listen to his voice.

Individuality and Personality

2 Jan

My Utmost for His Highest

Individuality “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself.” Matthew 16:24

Individuality is the husk of the personal life. Individuality is all elbows, it separates and isolates. It is the characteristic of the child and rightly so; but if we mistake individuality for the personal life, we will remain isolated. The shell of individuality is God’s created natural covering for the protection of the personal life; but individuality must go in order that the personal life may come out and be brought into fellowship with God. Individuality counterfeits personality as lust counterfeits love. God designed human nature for Himself; individuality debases human nature for itself.

The characteristics of individuality are independence and self-assertiveness. It is the continual assertion of individuality that hinders out spiritual life more than anything else. If you say – “I cannot believe,” it is because individuality is in the road; individuality never can believe. Personality cannot help believing. Watch yourself when the Spirit of God is at work. He pushes you to the margins of your individuality, and you have either to say – “I shan’t,” or to surrender, to break the husk of individuality and let the personal life emerge. The Holy Spirit narrows it down every time to one thing (cf. Matthew 5:23-24). The thing in you that will not be reconciled to your brother is your individuality. God wants to bring you into union with Himself, but unless you are willing to give up your right to yourself he cannot. “Let him deny himself” – deny his independent right to himself, then the real life has a chance to grow.

Personality “That they may be one, even as We are one.” John 17:22

Personality is that peculiar, incalculable thing that is meant when we speak of ourselves as distinct from everyone else. our personality is always too big for us to grasp. An island in the sea may be but the top of a great mountain. Personality is like an island, we know nothing about the great depths underneath, consequently we cannot estimate ourselves. We begin by thinking that we can, but we come to realize that there is only one Being Who understands us, and that is our Creator.

Personality is the characteristic of the spiritual man as individuality is the characteristic of the natural man. Our Lord can never be defined in terms of individuality and independence, but only in terms of personality, “I and My Father are one.” Personality merges, and you only reach your real identity when you are merged with another person. When love, or the Spirit of God, strikes a man, he is transformed, he no longer insists upon his separate individuality. Our Lord never spoke in terms of individuality, of a man’s “elbow” or his isolated position, but in terms of personality – “that they may be as one, even as We are one.” If you give up your right to yourself to God, the real true nature of your personality answers to God straight away. Jesus Christ emancipates the personality, and the individuality as transfigured; the transfiguring element is love, personal devotion to Jesus. Love is the outpouring of one personality in fellowship with another personality.

-Oswald Chambers

The Offense of the Natural

10 Dec

My Utmost for His Highest – December 9

The natural life is not sinful; we must be apostatized from sin, have nothing to do with sin in any shape or form. Sin belongs to hell and the devil; I, as a child of God, belong to heaven and God. It is not a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence and self-assertiveness, and this is where the battle has to be fought. It is the things that are right and noble and good from the natural standpoint that keep is back from God’s best. To discern that natural virtues antagonize surrender to God, is to bring our soul into the center of its greatest battle. Very few of us debate with the sordid and evil and wrong, but we do debate with the good. It is the good that hates the best, and the higher up you get in the scale of the natural virtues, the more intense is the opposition to Jesus Christ. “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh” – it is going to cost the natural in you everything, not something. Jesus said – “If any man will be My disciple, let him deny himself” (Matt. 16:24) i.e., his right to himself, and a man has to realize Who Jesus Christ is before he will do it. Beware of refusing to go to the funeral of your own independence.

The natural life is not spiritual, and it can only be made spiritual by sacrifice. If we do not resolutely sacrifice the natural, the supernatural can never become natural in us. There is no royal road there; each of us has it entirely in his own hands. It is not a question of praying, but of performing.

Changed Individuals Change Society

24 Sep

Stories That Feed Your Soul – Tony Campolo

When I became a social activist, some of my evangelical friends told me that this was a waste of time. I can remember many of them saying, “Don’t you realize that all our attention should be given to winning people to Christ? Christ can change their lives and it is changed individuals who change society.” I thought about that for a long time. Through Christ, I had become a changed individual who wanted to change society, but the very persons who told me that changed individuals change society now opposed my attempts to change society.

The Mystical Wonder

29 Aug

Blue Like Jazz – Don Miller

Chapter 17 – Worship

It comforts me to think that if we are created beings, the thing that created us would have to be greater than us, so much greater, in fact, that we would not be able to understand it. It would have to be greater than the facts of our reality, and so it would seem to us, looking out from within our reality, that it would contradict reason. But reason itself would suggest it would have to be greater than reality, or it would not be reasonable. (pg.201)

I was talking to a homeless man at a laundry mat recently, and he said that when we reduce Christian spirituality to math we defile the Holy. Many of our attempts to understand Christian faith have only cheapened it. I can no more understand the totality of God than the pancake I made for breakfast understands the complexity of me. The little we do understand, that grain of sand our minds are capable of grasping, those ideas such as God is good, God feels, God loves, God knows all, are enough to keep our hearts dwelling on His majesty and otherness forever. (pg.202)

Here is what I’ve started thinking: All the wonder of God happens right above our arithmetic and formula. The more I climb outside my pat answers, the more invigorating the view, the more my heart enters into worship. (pg.203)

There are things you cannot understand, and you must learn to live with this. Not only must you learn to live with this, you must learn to enjoy this. (pg. 205)

Needless to say I really enjoyed this chapter. This is something that I have come to realize in the last 3 months. And it has given me so much more awe for God. Someone at camp said something that will stick with me, “Isn’t that the awesome thing about Christianity? There is no way we could ever understand everything about our God. No human could make this up. Because no human understands it all.” The awesomeness of God and my faith. How could I ever question God and think He doesn’t know what he is doing with my life. He made the earth, He made the stars, He made fish, tiny fish, none the same, each one unique. Of course He knows what he’s doing. Who am I to question that?

Home

27 Aug

At home I want to be at school…

At school I want to be at camp…

At camp I want to be home…

It is impossible to be content wherever I am.

I believe this is because my true home is not on this earth.

I will not be content until I am with my creator,

In the home He intended for me.