Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Our Lives Reflected in a Cup of Steaming Tea...

This morning I was drinking hot tea. My favorite in the morning. Not flavored (flavored is dreadful tasting stuff) and with a little bit of honey. I was sitting on the floor by the table and my tea was on the table at my eye-level. It was right in the sunlight, so I had a perfect view on the steam rising from the mug. It was really pretty.

For some reason it just dawned on me that we are a lot like mugs of hot tea. The tea being our lives, and the aroma and steam being the overflow of our hearts.

I don't know if y'all have ever done this, but I have and still on occasion do. I come to these points in my walk with Christ where I ask myself, "Ashley, are you even a Christian? You don't seem like a Christian. You don't stand out." And maybe I'm not even that extreme. Sometimes it's as simple a question as, "Why am I not sold out for Jesus Christ? Why do I not talk about Him more and witness more?"

This is where I look at the glass of hot tea. What did it take for that tea to become tea? It took water-which had to be boiled, a tea bag-which had to be put in the hot water and steeped, then honey-which had to be stirred in.

I feel like Christians (me chiefly) try to make "Christian actions" come. But really it requires work (Aside from the saving grace of God and the love for Him that He puts inside us.). It requires us to work. A Christian life is an overflow from our hearts. Waht are we resting in, dwelling on, and worshipping? Is it Christ? Is He the one we are pouring time into to get to know? A love for God requires us to study and learn about Him. To be in prayer and fellowship with Him. I believe that the more we learn about God, the more incredible He becomes to us (though not changing who He is), and the more we desire to be with Him and live every moment and every heart-beat of our lives for the glory of our Father.

We drink the cold water and think "Yuck! This is supposed to be hot tea!" We first off need to become Christians. If we aren't Christians then it is impossible for us to bare lasting good character. Secondly, if you are a Christian then I would suggest reading the Bible. Really. Their are some times when I have felt spiritually dead and gone through a low-time in my sanctification. This helps. Read the Bible, a rich book that is going to benefit you amazingly! My recommendation is John (my favorite book of the Bible). It just shows us who He is and is stuffed with the direct words of Jesus. There is nothing that makes us fall more in love with Jesus than a revelation of who He is! The other thing I do sometimes is read through hymns! I'm telling ya, hymns are a wonderful way of seeing truth about who we are in and outside of Christ. Lastly, if you are going through a spiritual low, I would tell someone and have them pray with you.

And I'm not saying that we have to "make" ourselves love the Lord so we will do good deeds and be happy. That's not what I mean. Because if you break it down, God is really the only person who can put a love for Jesus Christ in us. Because "There is none who desire God." But it does help to remind ourselves of who He is and who we are apart from Him. Nothing is a better wake up call then a song or verse about Christ and His everlasting love and how He removes our sins from us..."as far as the east is from the west."

So, take this as a reminder to evaluate yourself. Ask yourself, "Where am I on this spiritual journey? Am I in the family of God? If yes, why am I not serving the Lord whole-heartedly without regrets?"

They are good questions to ask yourself. Is ti possible it's because we don't understand who God is and the magnitude of His character? I think so.

Challenge: Before you get up out of bed every day, try to name some of the attributes of God and meditate on them. We have an incredibly lovable God and if we remember that it will be easier to serve Him with every ounce of energy we possess. Just like if your true love is "everything you have ever wanted" and "loves you with all their heart" we will dwell on that. And the thought of who they are will compel us to get out of bed and serve them. :)

Ha! Jesus is more than any old guy or girl.


LoVizzle said...

I love posts with allegories that make me think. Thanks!

nathan said...

Good post Ash! I especially liked what you said at the end. More and more, I've come to realize the importance of adoration--praising God for who He is. I've been reading (off and on) this book called How to Worship Jesus Christ by Joseph Carol (the guy who started EI) and he puts a lot of emphasis on this point. He says that our relationship will really grow when we spend time each day to adore God. It gets our mind off of ourselves and helps us to truly see who God is. If we truly understand God's character, then we wouldn't fear anything, and we wouldn't have a hard time serving Him. Anyway, good stuff, Ash.

Becca said...

I love this Ashley! Thanks! Good analogy and thoughts! It's all very true. I ask myself if I'm sure I'm a Christian a lot. Cause sometimes a feel like my actions are so far from where they should be, and it makes me think that maybe I'm just kidding myself. but then I remember that, like you said, living a Christian life is work, hard work. We are gonna constantly battle with sin, but with God's help we will weaken our fleshly desires, even if just a little. There's where you blog name comes in...."Striving for a crown." We have to STRIVE for Christ, because our flesh doesn't do it naturally. Okay, I'm stopping cause I don't know what I'm saying anymore. Bottom line: Good post, I agree with you, and praise the Lord!

Ashley said...

ME TOO NATHAN! When I was reading a book called the "Attributes of God" by Pink I realized how much my mind was on the Lord those days. It really taught me to meditate on God and who He is. Because dwelling on that...everything else seems minor in comparison. One of my favorite scriptures that reminds me how awesome He is, is Isaiah 53.

Thanks Bec. Like a dear sister reminds me, "He who began a good work in you will bring it to the day of completion." That's encouraging. Don't worry. I lose my train of thought all the time. I ramble soooo bad!