Thursday, June 18, 2009

No Wonder My Eye Hurts!

Matthew 7:3-5 (Amplified Bible) "Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother's eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye? You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother's eye."

I have read this verse two times today. And not on purpose. I just "happened" to open up my morning devotional My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. It was talking about the log in my eye. Then I read the daily devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries. It was talking about the log in my eye.

Normally I would probably take offense at this. What do you mean I have a log or a beam of timber in my eye? "Get out!!!" as Elaine Benis of Seinfeld would say.

It all came about yesterday and I was thinking of what I wanted to say in a conversation from some things I had been studying. I had written it all out so that I would know what I was talking about. It was all true and scripturally based. Yes, this is what I should say. It was all things that I could relate to. I could see myself very much in the words coming from my pen.

As I continued to write... I was on page three by this time... I just began to pray... "Lord, I know that these are things that I am dealing with in my own life. I know these are lessons that you are currently teaching me. I do see them over here in this other area and I don't think that I am wrong in the things that I am writing. BUT." "First things first," He said.

And then I prayed, "Lord, please help me to know if I really need to say these things or if the reason I am getting so worked up about this is because I need to deal with these things in my own life first."

Well, waddaya know. That's when God chose to show me Matthew 7:3-5. And then He showed it to me again. I could have taken it harshly. After all, the tone of that chapter sounds kind of harsh to me. In fact, after I prayed for some direction on where to go with my thoughts, that is when I read that devotional. Actually, my first thought was "Hmm... I guess this isn't how God is going to answer my question because this does not apply to me or my situation. Guess I'll just keep waiting."

But then I realized something and I felt God's gentleness that was so evident to me and His voice so clear. I still feel that my insights and thoughts are correct and not meant to judge. However, because I can see these things, it gives me a window into my own self that I did not see before. This new awareness is now an opportunity for God to continue to change me and refine me even more than before. This is an exciting opportunity and I am looking forward to the learning process, though the road may be painful.

The next part of this passage is, "...FIRST get the beam of timber out of your own eye and THEN you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother's eye." It's all in God's timing. If I am meant to share the things I had been studying, then God will provide the perfect timing. If not, then I am confident that God will lead me in another direction and will continue to grow me in the process of it all.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lean Not on Your Own Understanding

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

I was searching for something on google today and I came across this piece from His Sheep Ministries that I thought was interesting:

The Good Shepherd is saying to every believer, “Get to know Me, learn to hear My voice, and follow Me. That is, be led by the Spirit as I was led by the Spirit,” so that the source of motivation in every aspect of life is the Holy Spirit.

When I respond to Him by believing Him, then I can do the works of Jesus when I go where He sends me. Then I can speak the words He gives me. If I do what I think is good, my doing is of no eternal value. If I say what I think I should say, then my words are of no lasting value. If I do what others want me to do (unless the Lord is speaking through them), then my doing is worthless in the economy of the Kingdom. If someone asks me to pray for them, or for someone else, or about any situation and the Spirit is not my motivation, then my prayers are fruitless concerning the Kingdom of God. If someone (or someones) asks me to come share with them, or preach, or pray, or teach or minister and the Lord is not sending me, then my sharing or preaching or praying or teaching or ministry is not the will of God.

And so I must know the will of God to do the will of God.


So how do I know what God's will is? Romans 12:2 says "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

I used to think that I could just try to be good and not do things that the world does. I've learned that patterns go a lot deeper than I ever would have known had it not been revealed to me as a result of the trails that God allowed in my life. The Bible says to "lean not on your own understanding." I have learned that in "all things", it is important to "acknowlege Him" and he will make my paths straight. Can't do it on your own. It is pointless to try. God's desire is for HIM to do the work, and for me to submit to His will and let Him be God.

Lord, help me to let go of myself and let you hold me up.