Month: June 2012

Joyride

The world has a way of vying for our attention, doesn’t it? Drawing us in, it entices us with it’s harmless fun and entertainment. The recent trends of a popular erotic romance novel & a new flick based on male strippers have women nationwide on overdrive. Unknowingly, we start to we sacrifice holiness for temporary pleasures and indulgences.

Nichole Nordeman’s song “Mercies New” describes it well:

“Is it fair to say I was lured away?

By endless distractions and lovelier attractions then

Or fairer still, my own free will…”

Free will. That can be a dangerous thing can’t it? We are given this gift from God, in hope that we will use it to pursue things that are pleasing to Him, that give Him glory. But have we abused the free will He has given us? Have we taken for granted the gift of the Holy Spirit?

The analogy I’m reminded of is my experience as a teenage driver. My parents so graciously let me have the keys to their car. What is the first thing that comes to mind? Joyride! Does that usually end up being “joyful”? No…usually I would end up getting pulled over for speeding, or getting into an accident.

Venturing out into worldly things opens up doors for the enemy to come in to your life. Though it may seem like harmless fun, we are leaving the door unlocked, maybe even cracked, for an intruder. We crowd our minds with meaningless things that won’t last instead of allowing God to take residence and rule our minds. When we become children of God, He desires to purify us, and make us new creations in Him…but we have to allow Him to do so if we want Him to truly be the Lord of our lives.

He has called us to be not of this world. (John 17:16)

He has called us to be holy, for He is holy. (1 Peter 1:14)

He knows we will never be perfect…but are we striving to be holy & blameless for when we meet Him face to face? Life is a vapor…we are here today & gone tomorrow. We must make the most of each day to prepare ourselves for His return. Let Him find you pure.

_______________________________________________________

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.” John 8:31

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”  2 Timothy 2:21

Remade

I am not who I was before I met Jesus.

My name is still Gina. I still have the same traits, memories, and quirks(many) as the person I was when I met Him…but I have been remade. Somewhere along the way, I shed the old person and my true identity was revealed. The identity of who I am in Christ.

When He called me, I was “living in sin”, if you will. At the ripe and oh-so-wise age of 21, I was living with my then boyfriend out of wedlock. While reading a book about The Rapture he gave to me, my eyes were opened. For the first time, I understood why Jesus came. Even though I had heard the stories & knew the message, something was different. Something took me over, and I had zeal about my belief for the first time. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone of the reason for this newly discovered joy I had. I longed to know more about my Savior, so I dove in.

As a new believer, there were stumbles and falls…as it is with any new journey. The encounters with Him far outweigh any of the those, though. The negatives are cast in the shadow of the glory moments…the moments where I have felt Him near or have heard His voice.

One of my “shadow moments” was when I discovered how I was picking and choosing what to believe out of the Bible….to fit my situation, to fit my comfort level…to fit me. Using the phrase, “God is love”, I accepted things that outright contradict what the Word of God says. The world’s belief and opinions began to override what God has clearly laid out. Ignoring the prompting of the Holy Spirit to be changed, I resisted and remained stubborn in my own opinion.

With maturity, the desire came to align myself & my views with God. One specific song lyric moved me – “Break my heart for what breaks Yours”. If I call myself a child of God, why would I not strive to see everything from His eyes? So, the prayer for transformation came. I simply asked Him to teach me. (He is The Teacher, after all)

Sure enough, changes began to happen. Not by my own power. There was a shift, a movement. Curiosity about specific(controversial) issues arose…research followed. Exposing myself to issues that I had always been uncomfortable with, my heart started to soften…to be broken by things that didn’t affect it before. He has changed my mind. When the Holy Spirit abides in you, the desires for this world begin to fade. You become more sensitive to things that are not pure, not of Him. He begins to prune you, to clip off the things that will serve no purpose for Him, or are ungodly. The most beautiful thing is, He called me as I was…the imperfect, stubborn girl. He sees me for who I can be.

I am now 31, and can truthfully say that over the past decade, there have been some dramatic changes. They are still occurring, daily. The desire of my heart is to simply please Him. Of course, I’m not perfect & will make mistakes. But in everything I do, I want to bring glory to the God who gave me breath…the Man who saved me. My desire is to be on the narrow road that He refers to, the one that is less traveled. It may not always be the popular one…but I have the only Company I need.