Thursday, January 24, 2008

Perfecting by Grace

A dear friend introduced me to Joanna Weavers new book 'Having a Mary Spirit' (she is the author who wrote 'Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World' which we had done as a Bible study a few years back-highly recommended!). I love how God tied in what I had read in chapter three Tuesday evening with last nights Bible study at church (Truth Project for Focus on the Family-awesome!) in which we examined the topic "Who is God?'. I feel compelled to share these thoughts with you about our faith journey in seeing God at work in our lives and intimately within our heart and soul.
Remember the first time Paul's words from Romans seven grabbed your heart and gave you that "ah-ha" moment? Let me refresh you with those words:
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right,
but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
But if I know that what I am doing is wrong,
this shows that I agree that the law is good.
So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature
I want to do what is right, but I can’t.
I want to do what is good, but I don’t.
I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong;
it is sin living in me that does it.
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right,
I inevitably do what is wrong.
I love God’s law with all my heart.
But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind.
This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
Oh, what a miserable person I am!
Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
~Romans 7: 15-24 (NLT)
Ohhh, the inner battle we face within our self! Joanna Weaver calls it "Flesh Women". It's the good verses evil within us all. We are born in sin and sin comes so easily within our first responses-a hasty reaction to a child being slow, a quicken response when someone interrupts what we are doing, a poor choice of words when something does not go our way. The slip of those nasty words, the attitudes that come forth, that "flesh women" seems to over power the spiritual side of us. So how do we change? How do we gain control over this unwanted control within ourselves? How do we become spiritually strong? We can only do this through God and God alone.
It is through knowing Him intimately that we win this battle. Just reading the Bible is not enough. We must search for Him, and long for Him. We do this by continually being in scripture, praying without ceasing, exploring Bible studies or reading spiritual books, and scripture memorization-so that we can actually see the face of God within the pages of His Word, the acts of God within our life, the instruction of God's will in our day. Henry Blackaby in his book 'Experiencing God Day-by-Day' stated: "Christianity is not a set of teachings to understand. It is a person to follow." We have to live in the truth of the scriptures. Do you realize the magnitude of what God's Word, the Bible, is to us-the gift we have received, the power that it contains? In walking with God we actually experience Him! We have to be careful that in our faith journey we are not like the people described here:
And so the Lord says,
“These people say they are mine.
They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by taught by men".
~Isaiah 29:13 (NLT)
So how are you living your life today? Do you live each day to be changed into Christ-likeness or are you following the rules? Are you on a journey of transformation-to rid yourself of "flesh women" and to be controlled spiritually by the Holy Spirit of God? Going back to Joanna Weavers book, 'Having a Mary Spirit' my Friend and I found a powerfully strong statement that made us both sit up and really look at our spiritual journey and examine our hearts, our lives, and where we are in Christ. I quote you Mrs. Weaver's word not to discourage you but to encourage you to examine your heart and draw nearer to God:
"My deepest fear is waking up twenty years from now still the same woman I am today. With the same annoying habits and petty attitudes; with the same besetting sins and false beliefs. I can’t imagine anything more terrible than getting to the end of my life only to discover that God had so much more in mind for me—more freedom, more joy, more peace, more true effectiveness. And I had missed it all, simply because I refused to change."
We are perfecting by grace. Thank God for His grace as He knows and understands this battle we face minute by minute and day by day with "flesh women". It is by perfecting our hearts, that in His grace, we can live daily in a "change mode" to become more like Him! We are to hunger and thirst for Him and His truths. We are called to make Christ our life and to walk and live only in and though Him.
In His Graces~Pamela

1 comment:

Lelia Chealey said...

That is so good!! I am printing off that last quote and will post it in my van where I'll see it everyday.
My Flesh Woman is so ugly!!! Mean and has the sharpest tongue...I just don't like her. Got to change my heart this year. My poor family that has to deal with Flesh Woman would Amen that last sentence!
Have an awesome weekend!!