Friday, November 14, 2008

My Life is Not My Own

     You know the big question that God continues to ask me is where is my focus?  Am I focused on Jesus and what He would have me to do with my life or am I  being sucked into the leadings of our country? This world wants me to buy in to building my own empire, doing whatever my heart desires, free reign.  This world tells me to make myself extremely comfortable, to collect "stuff and more stuff".  Seriously, how many outfits can I wear in one week.  Yet, it's so easy to get sucked right into the ways of America.  I must confess that in my lifetime I have been guilty of being sucked into "collecting stuff" myself.  It's only by the grace of God calling us to serve in the Philippines, that this "stuff" began to loose it's importance.  We packed it into boxes and stored it. Then we were exposed to people who do not have the means to collect "stuff", they don't even have the means to buy food, or to buy a home.  And when we got home all of that "stuff" in those boxes didn't seem nearly so important.
     Well, Jesus calls me in Matthew 16 to "come after Him".  It's a passage that we are all familiar with but am I living it out? Oh dear here we are again at that focus war.  Am I focused daily on seeking Jesus?  Then Jesus tells me to "take up my cross and follow Him".  Hum, that would definitely look different for each of us.  For me it would indeed mean to open my hands and let go of my precious Children, Grandchildren and dear friends, to leave this country, the comforts of home, easy access to so many different kinds of food, hot showers, a bathtub etc. 
     But, it gets even better.  Jesus tells me that if I continue to focus and live the way this world wants me to live, focused on "collecting stuff", living in comfort, having everything I could possibly want, "I will indeed loose it all in the end". All of those things that I could spend my life working so hard to get and collect will not matter one whit in eternity!  Jesus says, "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?"  
     My heart was so sad today as I realized how easily Americans are deceived (myself included) into believing the things of this world are the most important.  It's so much easier here in the good old USA to focus on earthly things, to let the things of this earth enthrall our hearts and pull our hearts away from the One who deserves total surrender and adoration. It happens so quickly and before I know it I am focused on building our own little empire here in the States, doing what I want to do with my life and collecting "stuff".
     And yet, God reminded me that I should "deny myself".  And then my imagination took off and I began to dream and wonder what would happen if each one of us made a commitment to limit our spending on "stuff, including Christmas stuff".  My heart was drawn this morning to some dear Pastor friends of mine who are raising support to plant churches right here in our own country.  All are struggling to raise support right now in our economy.  All three are so committed to sharing the gospel with Americans that each one of them are willfully giving up "stuff" in order to be able to answer God's call to share the gospel.  One is planting a church in North Carolina, one in Texas and one in Utah.  Then I thought about the Reformed University Fellowship minister's that are making such a difference in the next generation; many of them right here in our own state that are working under funded.
     Jesus is calling us to fight the ways of our country, to ask ourselves what are we doing with our lives and our resources (which He has given to us), to refocus and to "lose our life for His sake".  


Nikki Bonham said...

I love reading your blog... thanks for your comments today, I needed them!! Youre already mentoring me and we're not even teammates yet (:
Miss yall!!

Lynn Cross said...

I wish I was going to be your team mate! Thanks for the words, all I can say is ouch. I wen from one junk store to another today buying "stuff" when all I ever want and need, I already have. I love you and miss you. Lynn

Dabney 11 said...

This was really good for me to read. Thanks Deborah. I love you.
Marian :)

Laurie M. said...

I'm a few days behind, but these posts are so encourging, and convicting. Since I'm not much of a hoarder, and I loathe shopping for the challenge it is to my contentment, my tendency is to hold a bit too tightly to what I do have, because there's not a lot of it; and if I do have it, it's usually because I really like it. I guess I'm more attached to this world than I like to think.