Thursday, March 02, 2006

Trials, Temptations & Triumph

I watched Joyce Meyer this morning for the first time. The Lord sent her to me. I got up, turned on the news and it was so depressing, I couldn't stand it. I meant to change the channel down, but instead hit the up button and there she was. Talking about just the things that I have been working on in my life--with God's help and strength. I am paraphrasing some of the things that she said.
Here's her website
The show was titled, "Tests, Trials, Temptations and Triumph" She hooked me in when she said: "There are no drive thru breakthrus--you gotta go thru it to get thru it." A little later she said, "Submission is not an act, it's an attitude" She told personal stories to illustrate the lesson and it rang true with me. She tells stories with humor but behind the humor is truth. She said this one thing that rang in my heart like Big Ben. She talked about how sometimes we know God could deliver us and even though we pray and pray, He still doesn't. The reason we are not delivered is it is a test of our faith. "

How else can I become strong in the Lord without going through a test, trial or temptation and coming out triumphant? Satan tempts me, God allows temptation to test me. If everything was nice and rosy all the time how would I ever flex my spiritual muscles and grow stronger. If I live sacrificially, I will go thru tests and trials so that I can help others in similar situations. Getting rid of the junk in my life that make me a poor witness to others, like addictions: overeating, cursing & gossiping teaches me about the power and strength of the Lord. But I have to release control over my life and fully embrace God's will for my life. I can cast my cares upon HIm or I can carry them around like a 200 pound gorilla on my back. Thinking about submission has always made me cringe. I didn't want to be in submission to ANYONE! I was no slave. Then the thought of submitting to my non-believing spouse was even more abhorrent. So we had 21 years of strife(the first year doesn't count, as it was the honeymoon phase). I argue with everything he said. I told him and myself that I was just voicing my opinion--everyone has a right to their own opinion, don't they? But it wasn't just an opinion, it was a challenge and the beginning of an argument. Usually, he would back down, knowing that it wasn't that important to be right. But it was very important to me. I NEEDED to be right.

The Lord has revealed so much to me in the past few months about myself. While proclaiming to be a Christian, I rarely behaved in a Christ-like manner. I can see now that I was a Pharisee. I was talking out of both sides of my mouth. I praise the Lord that He did not spit me out, but was patient and waited for me to see the error in my thinking. It's been a difficult journey of self-awareness, watching all my character flaws revealed, one by one. There's probably more, but Jesus is kind, only giving me as much as I can handle at one time.

God is good to me!


Kelli B said...

I really enjoy reading your thoughts and reflections. It continues to amaze me how much I can learn from other people's lessons.

Thanks for sharing and being open to refinement. I've been reminded of that need in my own life!

Diana said...

Oh Auntee! My heart goes out to you and totally hears you sister. God is faithful to protect us and provide strength for us. His grace is sufficient for the task at hand. One important thing I always forget is not to expect too much of myself because that's pride. God grants me the grace for what He wants me to overcome. What I think is important may not be what He thinks is important. It's my job to love Him and others with everything in me. All the details and equipping are under His power and grace.

Rest, child of God! He IS.
i love you, auntee.