For you, O God, tested us;
you refined us like silver.
lens - something that facilitates and influences perception, comprehension, or evaluation
reflection - consideration of some subject matter, idea, or purpose
Looking at oneself through the lens of God is a hard thing to do! Necessary, but oh so hard!! This is where I am and have been the lasts couple of weeks! God is showing me just what my heart really looks like, and it's not pretty!
Luke 16: 14 & 15
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.
It all started a couple of weeks ago. There has been so much going on lately that are so outside of my control, and that tends to put me in a state of upheaval. We are, like most people in Michigan and the US have had to make many adjustments, and will continue to have to do so as Steve's job is just not stable. At home there are many stresses mostly involving pre-teen angst, and just the stress of raising a family to love and honor God. Work (which is where I worship) has it's own set of stresses. I have felt that in every facet of my life I am at a stand still! This has caused ugliness to come up and out of me, that have surprised me and have also given me pause, as I see that I am not as far along in my journey of sanctification as I desire to be.
Just a couple of Sunday's ago I was up at 3:30am, got my Bible and laid down on the couch. Discussing with the Lord how frustrated I was with everything! This is what I said "I am going to flip open my Bible and read where it flips too, and I want to be spoken too!!!" (BTW - I am so glad he allows that without lightning striking us - CAN I GET AN AMEN TO THAT!!!!) So where does my Bible flip too? Romans 2. If your not familiar with Romans 2, this is how it starts:
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?
5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
O.K. then, that was certainly not meant for me, right?!!!! Ah yea, it was! Of course at the time I was pretty upset he brought me there, but later on that morning I realized that is exactly where I needed to be taken. I really have an issue here, that needs the refiners fire!
He has also shown me since then my selfishness. Last week our Pastor asked: "what are you willing to die for?", and he also mentioned that the dieing is not just physical death, but ARE YOU WILLING TO DIE TO SELF? O.K. there's #2! I am selfish! So often this past week that has come to mind - you are not willing to die to self are you! You want what you want, when you want it, and don't ask me to sacrifice! (I told you people this isn't pretty - now you see!)
So you see God is currently peeling away my layers (just like the video above is talking about). It is most definately not a pretty process, but I submit to his control (again) because I so want to be like Him! I so want to be used by Him! I confess this today to you to ask for prayers that just like in Ezekiel - God will change my heart of stone to a heart of flesh! Some of the verses I will be memorizing this year are these:
Hebrews 13: 5 & 6
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Now I know these verses discuss the "love of money", and this is about so much more then that. It's the word Content that I focused on! Be Content! Don't worry! Why? Because God will never leave me or forsake me! He is my helper! I will not be afraid! What can man do to me?!!
Thanks for listening and for the prayers!