This is My Crowd

This is My Crowd
Picture by: Photography by Vicky Campos

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Don't Just Think About Doing. Do.

If salvation is truly the only prerequisite for Heaven, then why does life drag on so long after we obtain it?  Is God attempting to perfect us in this life, full knowing well that it can never be?  Is He crazy or is He just giving us pointless activities to keep us busy until we die? 

Or could the unaddressed sin in our lives be a time-sucking distraction from our intended purpose? 

Are you wasting time fighting a particular sin in your own power?  Is it taking up so much of your time and energy that it is literally keeping you from your intended purpose in life?  Our lives should not be some epic "Self-Help" course at our local adult school.  The absolute truth is that Christ has overcome it all!!  Why keep striving and  struggling on our own?  Pride?  Disobedience?  Aren't those really the same thing?   

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But I Don't Wanna!

I'm a parent.  When I issue a decree (yeah, I said decree) in my household there are not just perameters for what needs to be done, but how it needs to be done and in what timeframe.  Don't even get me started on the attitude with which it needs to be done.  For the record I'm not a tyranical ruler (for the most part), I just believe that it is my job to raise my children so that they are not self-absorbed, bratty, compromising loafs when they grow up.  That's just me. 

I have noticed that when my kids don't really want to do (or stop doing, for that matter) a particular thing, they respond in one of several ways: 

1) They argue the validity of the request. (Why?  I've never had to do that before now!)  
2) They argue the fairness of the request.  (But they didn't hafta!)
3) They pretend they don't hear my voice.  (chirp, chirp) 
4) They move r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-o-w.  (I was gonna do that after my show was over.) 
5) They argue that they are not able to perform the request.  (I don't know how to do that.)   

If I was honest with myself, something I'm not terribly fond of doing for reasons of pride, I would admit that my responses are quite similar when it comes to God's commands in my life.

Let's be Done with Mediocrity Already!

Aren't you "over" your issue yet?  I am.  I'm so over my issue(s).  I'm tired of them.  Sick of them, even!  When I wake up in the morning, they are there to stare back at me in the mirror.  As I'm trying to fall asleep, they roll around in my head as I face another day of failure.  There's a world out there that needs to know the love of an all powerful God.  Why do I expend so much of my energy fighting my own foolish pride?  At what point will I set aside that pride and say "It's Yours God!  All of it!  The good, the bad and the ugly!"  I'm not saying that I'll become perfect here on earth, but obedient.  Well, as much as an inherently rebellious filthy wretch can, anyway. 

To make this life effective, I must allow God to tell me what adjustments to make and then make them immediately.  I know, that's some earth shattering stuff right there.  If I ---->choose<---- to ignore God, I will spend the rest of my life fighting for this ideal life, where I get to do what I want to do, how I want to do it and God still blesses me, which is simply not possible.  Ultimately the end result will be missed opportunities to accomplish God's intended purpose in my life.  And guess what?  My life is not about me.  So, my disobedience will also affect the lives of others.  I hate to burst your bubble, but your life is not about you either.  It will always be about Him and the people He loves.

The Difference Between Thinking of Doing and Actually Doing 

I have wasted too much time trying to sort out the pros and cons of God's commands; generosity, forgiveness, grace, love, purity, discipline, operating in wisdom, faith and all of the other things that I expect from others and debate for myself.  God is pretty specific about all of these topics and many more.  Why debate with an all knowing God at the risk of living a wasted life? 

We tell ourselves and our friends, "I'm just working it out."  "I'm working on it, ok?"  "Look, I'm not perfect (and neither are you, by the way!), but I'm trying."  I know that I say those things.  But the truth is that in the areas I don't WANT to adjust, I'm constantly learning and never applying the truth.  I'm THINKING of DOING, but never actually doing.  Maybe that's just me.

This life is not a school where we study and learn and keep it all in our heads.  There won't be a graduation ceremony at the end where we get a diploma for all that we learned.  This is an internship.  The hours are long, we learn as we go, the job is tiring, but rewarding, it's never about us and we probably won't get the appreciation and acknowledgement we deserve.  Let's accept this and get to work!    

Don't let your pride keep you in a holding pattern.  Who cares if you have to forgive someone that has injured you?  Who cares if that means you have to be more generous (and that pedicure just isn't going to happen this month)?  What difference does it make if you spend more time helping other people instead of doing more entertainment based activities?  Wouldn't you rather quit smoking/ overeating/ watching TV like it were a part-time job/ reading shades of various bad, bad books/ staring at Facebook/ gossiping/ being stingy/ being lazy/ being rude/ being judgmental/ watching porn/ having an emotional affair with your co-worker/ being angry/ lying/ cheating/ wasting your life/ or any such other thing that you've been "struggling" with if it meant that you could live with fulfilled purpose?!  (note: It's not about the things we struggle with, it's how we handle them.  All sins are equal, so don't think your special if your able to hide your issue better than other people.)

Look, I'm not meaning to minimize your struggle.  I understand what it is to struggle in an area for years, I still do.  But again, it comes down to: are you thinking about doing something or are you doing something?  Even if you fall, at least you can get back up and keep moving.  Again, we're not shooting for perfection, we're shooting for obedience.  I can't say that I'll never say another bad word ever again, but I can say that in the moment when the jerk in the Mercedes cuts me off in traffic, I will ---->choose<---- not to freak out.  Maybe next time I will ---->choose<---- a colorful phrase, but, then again, maybe next time it will be easier to resist the temptation. 

Be obedient in this moment. 

Maybe that's not an area God is speaking to you about.  But maybe it is.  We won't really know until we surrender all.  As we surrender our lives to Him fully, God shows us what adjustments to make along the way (hello conviction of the Holy Spirit), but we must actually make them.

Notice I said along the way. 

What is this Purpose You Speak of?
Jesus never said stay in your homes and your small church huddles, talking about your personal issues and problems and then maybe, just maybe, people will see how hard you've worked to become a better person.  No, He said go out and make disciples of all nations, baptize them and teach them My commands.  Your "saved" life has not been preserved in the natural so you can work out your sin issues, you're "saved" life has been preserved so that you can tell people about Jesus, and along the way work out some of those sin issues so that you can become increasingly effective in your purpose. 

We need to remember that our lives after Salvation will always be about God and about other people.  Me becoming the person He created me to be is a result of my DOING what He's called me to do.  So stop arguing that you can keep the crap you already know you should get rid of, hoping that you can still live out your intended purpose.  It doesn't work that way, so far as I can tell anyway. 

Now that I've written it... I suppose I should start doing it!  Will you join me?

Has God already shown you an area where some adjustments need to be made?  How have you responded? 


  1. Whew... long, but good.

    1. I'm glad you made it! I guess I waited too long to blog and it shows. Hahaha!

  2. I loved it like detail the imperfect way we all are, related to it all. Dawn Dabbs

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one! Thanks for checking it out!

  3. I happened upon your blog via Jamie the very worst missionary. Glad I did! Great post!

    1. Thanks! I'm so glad you took the time to check it out. Jamie the Very Worst Missionary is one of my favorite blogs. Hands down. I will be getting back to writing more regularly, hope you get a chance to check out other posts.