Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Do Do Do Do Do (something I wrote awhile back)

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Romans 7:14-20 (New International Version)

I think the English Standard Version is so much easier to follow, but I put the NIV one up just because it's fun with all the do's. :)

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

Romans 7:14-20 (ESV)

Paul is arguing that the fault lies with sin, not with the law. Through the law, sin is revealed in all its hideousness, and the law is vindicated as good.

Just because I am a Christian does not mean that I do not struggle with sin. I struggle so much with it, every day. However, through the power of the Holy Spirit we should be growing and have that desire to be more Christ-like. Therefore, that is why we hate sin. I hate the fact that I sin, and God knows this because He knows my heart. I do desire to do the right thing, but it's so easy for my flesh (sinful nature) to take over. We are not perfect, and we do not have the ability to be perfect. I want to be righteous, but evil is always there.

However, God's love is so amazing that He did send Jesus to die on the cross as a living sacrifice for our sins. He looks at the heart. If he didn't, we would all be goners. But He does love us, and He knows that I hate sin, and He won't ever take away my salvation. This is no excuse that sin is okay, because it is not. God hates sin so much more than we do, and he won't even allow a bit of it in His kingdom. When you truly become a Christian, you will hate sin just as much. God looks at that, and that is how we are judged.

Another thing to think about:

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.
1 Corinthians 10:23 (ESV)

NIV puts it this way: All things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial.

This is another thing that I struggle with. I want to serve God to my best ability and give Him all the glory. All things are permissible, even if we do screw up. But God can still work through that. It may not have been as beneficial as if we followed God's will in the first place, but God can work through anything to make good, which is why all things are permissible. God's will is perfect. We will benefit the most if we follow His plan. For me, I struggle with trying to figure out His plan. From experience, I've found that God never tells us what to do, however, you will just kind of know if you keep praying about it and it feels right. If things start lining up, it is probably God's will.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I think so many times we forget that God has a perfect plan for us. I've been trying so hard to figure out why it's so hard to trust God. From experience, I know things turn out so much better when I do leave it in God's hands, so what holds me back from fully trusting Him every waking moment?

I, like most other Christians, go through times where my faith seems dry. It bothers me so much, and my first response should be to turn to God and to scripture. However, I usually call up a friend or sometimes just ignore it, thinking it will pass. This is not true. Dry spells don't just pass unless either God slaps you in the face until you repent, or you realize for yourself that you are taking a wrong turn. It happens to every Christian I know. Is it just because we are human, or is there really a way to fully trust God with every single decision we make? Is it possible to let God control every aspect of our lives and not have to worry about anything?

I do not think it is possible. Even though Jesus tells us to not worry, and scripture tells us that God has a perfect plan for us and to fully surrender to God, we will always be human and sin will always be our nature. The concept of freewill is what makes the beauty in repentance and surrender. The Bible tells us to fully trust God and not worry about anything else as encouragement. That's our goal. Letting God control our lives should be our desire, and yes, we will mess up because there will always be sin, but that is why we have grace and mercy to justify the times we have messed up. This is why God judges our hearts, and not just our actions. And that is where love comes in to play. Love God. Love people.

Wow, my mind is just all over the place tonight. So many words and concepts to think about.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This Is My Struggle


am i good enough?

Lord, I am so unworthy.
My heart longs for you.
Break me.
Fill me.





Monday, November 2, 2009

I need to be refined

I'm just gonna be honest. I have never felt so distant from God as I have been these last couple weeks. You would think coming to a Christian college would make it easier to not neglect God, but for me, it's been easier to neglect Him. Before I left for school, I was on fire for God. I was so dependent on God, and nothing could bring me down.

But now, I am so critical of everyone here. I feel like everyone is putting on some kind of show. I got this attitude like I'm better than everyone else, like my faith was stronger than theirs' so I didn't need to be spiritually fed by them. Part of it was chapel. I mean, we are forced to go to a certain number of chapels, and then I was never amazed at the speakers. Part of it is that there are so many denominations so the talks are very basic so we can all have a common ground. I wasn't getting anything out of the chapel speakers, because I felt like I needed to hear things that were deeper and had more meaning.

I figured I could just read my Bible for myself and grow by myself. Big mistake. The only thing that did was bring me farther away from God. I was not getting fed by anyone. Sure, I was having fun, but I was not growing in my faith at all. The sad part was that I knew I was becoming distant, but I didn't do anything about it.

I think that happens one time too many for all of us - we know we are becoming distant, but we don't do anything about it. It's sad. I used to be a writer/blogger. I would write notes about what God is doing in my life, or what He's been teaching me, and I stopped once I got to Greenville. Writing really helps me figure things out. It clears my mind. The past couple months, I have just been keeping all my thoughts to myself and it got to the point where God finally decided to break me. I can't really tell you how it happened, but something just hit me inside and I knew I had to do something.

I went home this weekend. Yesterday, I visited my good friends Haley and Linnette, and they were asking how I was doing. I told them about how I felt so distant and critical, and Linnette asked me, "Who are you hanging out with?" I thought about that. It's not like the people I hang out with are bad people, but honestly, I don't feel like I am growing spiritually either. Sure, I have lots of fun with them, and that is important, but I feel like the spiritual growth is missing. This doesn't mean I am going to stop hanging out with these people. I am going to try to build closer friendships by having meaningful talks or whatever I need to do. She also asked, "Who is pouring into you spiritually?" I paused and thought, no one. That's my problem. Because of my critical attitude, I wasn't allowing anyone to help me grow in my faith. I need to open up to more people, and this is so hard for me. Also, I may be distancing myself for awhile, just to get back on track with God. I need to spend one on one time with God, and I have not been doing that as often as I need to.

I just want to encourage you all to not neglect God. Keep up your Bible studies. Have meaningful conversations with others. It helps. I had a friend in my room last night, and we had a nice talk. It was the first time I actually had a good talk opening up to someone else about my faith, and it was nice. We get so nervous of what others will think, or how they will judge us, but I just want to encourage you to find at least one other person you can open up to and share what God is doing. It will change your perspective. I realized that I was not the only one who was so critical about everyone here. I am asking God to help me be less judgemental and that whenever I start to criticize, realize that I am as much of a sinner as they are. I have my faults too. I can be annoying sometimes. I don't always dress fashionable. I am not always the nicest person ever. I can be bitter. In Matthew, Jesus preaches, “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Also, if you could, please keep me in your prayers as I am working on getting back on track. I love you all. And if anyone ever wants to talk, please let me know. I would love that. :)

OH, I am going to add on to this. Another thing that has been getting on my nerves is all the relationships here. I understand the whole waiting on God to bring the right guy to you, and wait for the guy who will pursue you, but as I look around and see everyone finding their lovers, it makes me feel like I am being held back, which is ridiculous thinking. I am still waiting on God, but I am getting impatient, ha. I haven't even had any "maybes" yet. I considered a few to be a maybe, but I just let those pass. I just have to keep reminding myself, singleness is not a disease. I guess I do have a few more years here, so I shouldn't be in a hurry, right? To my future husband, wherever you are, I hope you are having a great day. And, I love you. :) okay that's weird

Friday, September 11, 2009

You Are Everlasting

Our God reigns forever. He is our hope and our strong deliverer.

He doesn't faint, He won't grow weary.

He's the defender of the weak
He comforts those in need
He lift us up on wings like eagles

God, You are everlasting.

So, we sang this song in chapel and I realized that this is something I struggle with so much. Waiting on God's timing. I want to have everything figured out for myself, for my life. Sometimes, I just wish there was a simple formula for life. Like, plug in X here and Y there to get Z. Unfortunately and fortunately, life does not work this way. I struggle with expectations. I expect one thing to happen if I do something for that result. But, it doesn't always come out the way I planned. Sometimes, it's just so frustrating and I get so impatient with God. We have to remember that strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord. This is so hard. I find it easier when I remind myself that God created me, and He knows everything about me. He knows every decision I'm going to make. So, obviously He knows what is best for me. But why do I still want to control my life myself? Is it stubbornness, impatience, selfishness? I think it is all those things, but I still know that God has a great plan for me, so why can't I just give myself completely to Him? What is holding me back? What is holding you back?

Another song that really hit me was How He Loves Us. I heard the lyrics, "He is jealous for me. His love is like a hurricane." This is so true. So many people try to find a replacement for God's love. They run to a boy or to a girl looking for this love. No love surpasses God's love. We all long to be loved unconditionally. God is so jealous for us. He is always waiting with open arms ready to love us and to never stop. It breaks his heart to watch us go day by day just going through the motions and not giving ourselves fully to Him. Think about how bad it hurts when a boyfriend or girlfriend tells you they don't love you anymore. It's like that, but infinity times harder for God. He created each and every one of us. He knitted you together and He gave you your body and He calls you beautiful. He wants a relationship with you. That is why He created you! He is waiting for us to run to him. After we do this and experience God's amazing love, we obtain the ability to love others. Love comes from God. We can't be in a relationship or dependent on someone else until we first experience God's love. Or else, we will never fully be satisfied. That was just something I've been thinking about. It took me the hard way to figure this out. I gave my heart away to someone else. I put that person before God, and I became dissatisfied. I thought I knew better, and I've heard the stories, but God had to put me through that situation in order to fully understand it. And now I can tell other people my story and try to help them see how wide and how deep the love of God is.

"You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." - 1 Corinthians 13:2

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." - Galations 2:20

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." - Ephesians 3:17-19