Saturday, September 14, 2013

All the Vain Things

"All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood."
~When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

I want to be able to truly fellowship withe the Lord. I want to know what intimate relationship with Jesus Christ actually is. I what to be His companion. Check out this verse:

"Who shall ascent into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that has clean hands, and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul to vanity" (Psalm 24:3-4).

Who can truly retreat to fellowship with Jesus Christ? Who can really know what standing in His holy presence is? One who has not lifted up his soul to vanity.

Vanity - "hollowness, worthlessness"

What are the vain things that you are holding on to? What have you refused to let go? What temporal things do you love that is keeping you from enjoying something that will last forever? Maybe it's a sin problem. Maybe its pride in your performance-based living. Maybe its concern for what others think about you. Maybe its not being intentional in what you do. Maybe the vanity in your life is complacency. What is it?

Unless we have surrendered all the vain things that charm us most, we cannot know REAL fellowship with Jesus Christ.

Whatever the vain things are, they aren't worth it. Jesus Christ is everything. Communion with Him is worth it all.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

One Reason to Journal

September 6th I started a new journal. The old one was filled between May 5th, 2013 and September 5th, 2013. I've never filled one so quickly. I'm completely amazed at the amount of lessons God has sent my way over the course of this short summer. Many of these lessons are penned in my journal and it brings me so much joy to read through those pages and remember how the Lord met me.

You know? Remembering the faithfulness of God in our lives isn't just joy-filled, its also a biblical concept.

All throughout the Psalms, the writers are constantly recalling the way God was faithful to Israel, faithful to their fathers and faithful to them. Several chapters recount the works of the Lord: Abraham, Moses, the Exodus, Egypt, and the prophets. These chapters also warn about foolish forgetfulness. Because once a people forgets what God has done, they stop trusting Him and giving Him glory. They begin to doubt that He really can provide, protect and care for them.

Psalm 78 is an example of this. Read the whole Psalm. It is a cycle of the sinfulness of Israel, their forgetfulness of God, His judgment, their repentance and His mercy. The purpose of the Psalm is found in verses 7 and 8.
"That they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments; and may not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not set its heart aright" 
The purpose of constantly retelling Israel's history was so that the generation to come would not make the same mistakes. He was saying "Hey! Look at what your ancestors did! They didn't trust in God. But see what God did? See His mercy? Don't make the same mistakes."

This is the inspiration that I get when I read over the pages of my journal. On September 6th, I wrote:
"Today, I start a new journal. Not many feelings can compare to this. The last journal is only testimony and testimony of how You have met me day by day. You've never left me to figure it out or deal with the problem by myself. Reading over these pages shows nothing but Your guiding hand, Your love, and Your comfort. How good You are to me, Lord."
We are easily forgetful. If we do not constantly bring up in our minds what God has already done...if we do not constantly recall the truth about His power and limitless ability...if we do not preach to ourselves about God's faithfulness...we will forget. Just like Israel did. We will repeat history by trying to make our own way, trying to figure out our own future, trying to provide and protect ourselves, and eventually we will turn to worship ourselves.

To forget God is a weightier problem than forgetting the existence of air, water and food. We cannot go on without Him. We need Him. I need Him.
Here is a good reason to keep a journal: You can remind yourself what God has done. Example - Sometimes, you may think, "I haven't changed; am I saved?" Look through your journal. What has God done? How have you actually grown? How have you matured? God is in the business of making us like Jesus and increasing our faith. Never forget that! If you are His, He is working in and through you for His purposes and His glory.

Sometimes, it takes recalling the past to give us hope for the future.